Posts Tagged ‘Akron Railroad Club picnic’

ARRC Picnic Set for July 18

July 12, 2021

The Akron Railroad Club will hold its annual picnic next Sunday (July 18) at Waterworks Park in Cuyahoga Falls.

The club has reserved the Little Stone Shelter at the park, located at 2025 Munroe Falls Avenue.

The shelter is at the west end of the park near the dog park, a children’s playground, a boat launch and restrooms with running water. 

The club will provide hot dogs and hamburgers with Marty Surdyk, (a.k.a. Chef Marté) manning the grill.

Condiments and some beverages will be provided but attendees are asked to bring desserts, snacks, beverages, and covered dishes. There is no refrigeration available so plan accordingly.

 The pavilion has electrical outlets for crockpots or roasters but remember to bring an extension cord.

ARRC has the shelter from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The grill will be fired up about noon.

Although the park is adjacent to the CSX New Castle Subdivision, the view of the trains is obscured by trees.

Open views are available nearby at grade crossings for Ohio Route 91 and at Bailey Road.

The Route 91 crossing is especially good for eastbound trains in the morning. Bailey Road is good for eastbound trains in the morning and exceptional for westbound trains in late afternoon. 

ARRC Cancels July Picnic

July 9, 2020

The officers of the Akron Railroad Club have decided to cancel the club’s July picnic but are holding out the prospect that a picnic might be held next month.

The picnic, which last year was held at Waterworks Park in Cuyahoga Falls, was called off due to the pavilion the club had reserved being officially closed by the city.

If that situation changes next month the club might consider holding the picnic then.

In previous years the picnic, which traditionally is held on the Sunday after the July meeting, was held at Warwick Park in Clinton and the Bedford Reservation in Bedford.

Almost Setting a Dubious Record

July 30, 2018

Chef Martè, a.k.a. Marty Surdyk, places the first burger on the grill at the Akron Railroad Club’s 2018 picnic.

It was nearly a record-setting day for the Akron Railroad Club’s annual July picnic on Sunday and that was a good thing and a bad thing.

It was a good thing because the 10 trains we saw kept us from tying a dubious record of least trains seen during an ARRC picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton.

It was a bad thing because it was just one over the record for the lowest train count.

The record for least number of trains seen at Warwick Park during a picnic is nine, posted several years ago on what Bulletin editor Marty Surdyk described as “just one of those days.”

It also was a hot and humid day, Surdyk recalled.

The train count began at 8:45 a.m. when ARRC President Craig Sanders arrived and ended about 8:40 p.m. when he and Surdyk departed for home.

The first train, a westbound auto rack, was logged at 9:08 a.m. and the last one, an eastbound stack train, passing through at 7:52 p.m.

Between those were numerous long lulls, one of which lasted two hours and 22 minutes.

Auto rack traffic dominated the action with five of the 10 trains being predominantly auto racks and one of the two manifest freights that passed through having a cut of auto racks in its consist.

There were two purely intermodal trains, the Q137 and the Q016, but trains Q276, Q292 and Q216 all had blocks of stacked containers.

The pure auto rack trains were the Q299 and Q277. We also spotted manifest freights Q348 and Q369, both of which passed through within 22 minutes of each other.

The detector at Easton to the west counted 690 axles on the Q348. The crew of that train told the IO dispatcher that it would be dropping off its first 49 cars of stone at Ohio Junction and taking the rest of the train to New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Breaking the monotony of stacks and racks was the K182 coke train.

All of the trains featured CSX motive power with the lone except being a Norfolk Southern unit trailing on the Q137.

There have been reports of Southern Belles of Kansas City Southern making regular appearances on New Castle Subdivision trains, most often on the Q292. But there were no Belles for us today.

The local based at Warwick didn’t operate and neither did R.J. Corman. It was from a railroad perspective a rather quiet Sunday.

As for the picnic itself, approximately 30 ARRC members and guests munched on hamburgers and hot dogs along with chips, cookies, pie, brownies, deviled eggs, baked beans and some raw vegetables.

There were a lot of stories told and past good times shared beneath the pavilion of the park.

As always Chef Martè manned the grill and arranged for the burgers, buns, condiments and drinks. Most members had departed by 4 p.m. as things wound down.

The weather was partly sunny, but pleasant. Rain was reported in the Akron area and we saw some dark clouds, but it remained dry in Clinton.

Alethea Rantanes checks out the snacks and desserts during the ARRC picnic on Sunday.

From left to right Bob Farkas, Denny Romain and Bill Kubas sit and wait for the burgers and hot dogs to be grilled during the ARRC picnic, held at Warwick Park.

Tom Ward fills his plate at the buffet tables as Rick Houk (back to camera) dresses his burger.

Todd Dillon (seated) and Paul Woodring review images on Todd’s smart phone during the ARRC picnic.

The engineer of the Q016 gives us a wave as his train passes Warwick Park during the 2018 ARRC picnic. It would be the last train of the day that any ARRC member saw on the day in Clinton.

Wonderful Day for a Picnic and Steam

September 18, 2017

The photo line is out as Nickel Plate Road No. 765 passes the Valley Picnic Area en route back to Akron with the first excursion of the day.

It was a perfect day for a picnic. Under sunny skies with temperatures in the upper 70s, 17 Akron Railroad Club members and guests descended on the Valley Picnic Area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to watch Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 pass by four times as it carried excursionists out of Akron on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The Berkshire locomotive built in Lima, Ohio, performed flawlessly and cameras were out to record its passage.

At least one ARRC member, Vice President Emeritus J. Gary Dillon, was aboard the train, riding in car 165 on the afternoon trip with his niece Lisa.

As always, Chef Martè fired up the grill and served up hamburgers and hot dogs.

It was the second time the ARRC has held a September picnic in the CVNP in conjunction with a visit by the 765.

Last year we also held a picnic at the same location when the 765 was operating as the 767. Attendance at that picnic was 27 and may have been boosted by the novelty factor of NKP 765 operating with a different number.

We observed that there didn’t seem to be quite as many photographers out chasing the 765 as there had been last year or in some previous years.

To be sure, there were still a lot of people in the park with cameras. But the posse chasing 765 along Riverview Road as the steam train passed by wasn’t as long as in previous years and we didn’t recognize anyone we knew.

However, the steam trains appeared to be well patronized and as in past years the premium seats in the open window and dome cars were sold out.

Between runs of the steam train we also observed the passage of the regular CVSR train, the National Park Scenic, three times.

It had FPA-4 No. 6771 on the north end and Alco C424 No. 4241 on the south end. Most of the CVSR’s feature cars were on the steam train so the Scenic had an abbreviated consist that included a caboose.

For the record the steam train had RS18u No. 1822 on its north end.

If you missed the 765 this past weekend, it will be pulling another slate of trips on Sept. 23 out of Rockside Road station and on Sept. 24 out of Akron.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society is paying tribute to the late Jerry Joe Jacobson, a lifetime ARRC member, by placing his name beneath the cab widows on both sides of the 765 above the number.

Jacobson, who died on Sept. 13, was the developer of the Age of Steam Roundhouse as well as a friend of the steam locomotive preservation community.

The chef has another round of burgers on the grill while hungry members go through the serving table.

When two old railroaders get together they are going to talk a little shop. Paul Woodring (left) and Bob Rohal try to solve the problems of the industry while agreeing it’s not what it used to be.

The engineer of NKP 765 gives us some whistle as the train passes the ARRC picnic. The locomotive paid tribute to Jerry Jacobson on the cab.

A few ARRC members can be seen at right photographing the northbound excursion in mid afternoon.

The sunlight was still barely over the tree line as the last excursion of the day headed for Akron along Riverview Road.

34 Enjoy ARRC Picnic at Warwick Park

August 1, 2017

Chef Martè places the first burgers on the grill.

Thirty-four Akron Railroad Club members and guests munched on picnic food Sunday at Warwick Park in Clinton while watching CSX trains on the adjacent New Castle Subdivision.

A few brave souls risked getting a food-borne illness by eating the unrefrigerated potato salad that someone brought.

In the approximately 12 hours that at least one club member was at the park, CSX sent 12 trains through town.

That was more than the record low of nine but far short of the record high of 21. But it’s the CSX New Castle Sub and long lulls are synonymous with that route.

The train count included two sightings of local D750 which left the yard for Akron at 2:40 p.m. and returned at 6:45 p.m. The crew had gone to work in late morning switching cars in the Warwick yard.

The train count also included two eastbound empty coal trains, two westbound auto rack trains, two westbound intermodal trains, a westbound coke train, an eastbound steel train and one manifest freight in each direction.

Aside from a Norfolk Southern unit trailing in the motive power consist of the Q352, we didn’t see any foreign power.

The highlight or lowlight of the day, depending on your perspective was the Q299 going into emergency a short distance east of Warwick.

That tied up the mainline for a good hour. The culprit was a broken air hose six cars from the rear of a very long empty auto rack train.

A trainmaster came out to check on the stalled train and the IO dispatcher informed the crew that three departments, mechanical, engineering and transportation, were interested in the incident.

At one point the trainmaster asked the conductor over the radio if the engineer had done any damage to “my train.”

No, the conductor said in response. It was just a separated air hose. Still, there was something threatening in the tone of voice of the trainmaster.

As the conductor was walking back to the head end, he encountered a skunk and asked his engineer for advice. The response was that if riled up a skunk will spray you.

Back at the park, master grill chef Martè fired up the grill around noon. Don Woods received the first burger. As in the past there were a variety of chips, salads and desserts.

The weather was as good as it’s ever been for an ARRC picnic and quite a contrast with last year when a thunderstorm rolled through as we were getting ready to eat.

The picnic wrapped up with a game of H-O-R-S-E on the basketball court involving Marty, Richard Antibus and Paul Havasi.

Marty won the game, but none of the three contestants will ever be confused with a more famous Akron basketball player, a guy by the name of James.

By the time the game mercifully ended the players had put up enough bricks to earn a union card and start a second career and enough air balls to leave a crowd horse from chanting “air ball, air ball, air ball” had this been an actual game.

But it was great fun, which is what the annual picnic is all about.

James Leasure (left) scoops up, gasp, potato salad as Dave Shepherd dresses his burger at the condiments table. In the background Bill Kubas ponders the offerings.

Rich Antibus (center) explains to chef Martè and Jim Mastromatteo how many CSX trains we can expect to see once the late afternoon flurry gets underway on the New Castle Sub.

The photo line is in place in the shade of a large tree to photograph D750 as it heads to Akron.

Ron McElrath (left) and Tom Kendra made video of CSX manifest freight Q352.

ARRC Picnic Will be July 30 at Warwick Park

July 26, 2017

The Akron Railroad Club will again visit Warwick Park in Clinton for its annual picnic, which this year is Sunday July 30.

The club will provide hamburgers and hot dogs and the popular condiments. Members are asked to bring their own beverages, snacks, beans, and desserts.

Just remember, we will be outdoors without any refrigeration, so plan your dishes accordingly.

Manning the grill as always will be Master Grill Chef Martè.

In addition to the food and fellowship, we will be right next to the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

They may cooperate and run some trains. Our record for rail traffic at a picnic in Warwick is 21 moves. Our lowest total is nine.

The picnic will be held rain or shine. We do have cover, although in a heavy downpour with a lot of wind, there may not be enough cover.

Come for an hour, come for the day; just make sure you come to Warwick Park for the ARRC picnic.

Burgers, Dogs and Steam in the Valley

September 26, 2016

The photo line is in place as Nickel Plate Road No. 767 tails on the afternoon trip from Akron.

The photo line is in place as Nickel Plate Road No. 767 trails on the afternoon trip from Akron.

Twenty-seven Akron Railroad Club members and guests ate hamburgers and hot dogs on Sunday afternoon while watching the passage of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 767.

The Ohio-built Berkshire-type locomotive pulled its final schedule of trips to wrap up a two-week stay on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The ARRC held a picnic at the Valley Picnic Area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park south of Peninsula and those who were there for the full four to five hours of the picnic got to see the 767 pass by three times. They also saw the CVSR Scenic train roll past an equal number of times.

It was the club’s first autumn picnic and the weather could not have been any better. There were sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s and low humidity.

We were prompted in part to hold the picnic as a way to eat down leftover inventory from the July picnic and as a way to celebrate the visit of the steam locomotive.

No. 767 is actually NKP 765, which has visited the CVSR in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The 767 number was attached to the locomotive earlier this summer when it was the feature attraction at an event at its New Haven, Indiana, home to publicize the proposed Headwaters Junction rail-themed park that will be built in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In the 1950s, NKP 767 participated in a ceremony to mark the completion of the elevation of the Nickel Plate tracks through downtown Fort Wayne.

The city asked the railroad to donate the 767 for display in Lawton Park, but the railroad sent No. 765 instead, albeit with its numbers changed to 767.

When the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society restored the locomotive to operating condition in the late 1970s, it reinstated the 765 number.

The CVSR excursions if this month were the first to feature NKP 765 running as NKP 767.

The weekend excursions were reported to have been sold out and fans came from far and wide to see the 765 operate as 767.

ARRC member Paul Woodring reported that he spoke with two railfans from Denmark who were making their fifth railfanning trip to the United States.

Such was the attraction of seeing a mainline steam locomotive show what it could do.

If Nickel Plate Road 765 comes back to the CVSR in 2017 will we have another picnic? We just might no matter what roster number the 2-8-4 operates with.

Lining up at the serving table to dress the burgers and pick up a few other food items.

Lining up at the serving table to dress the burgers and pick up a few other food items.

Larry Luther (left) and Jeff Troutman (right) check out the images that Ed Ribinskas made of the Nickel Plate Road 767 earlier in the day.

Larry Luther (left) and Jeff Troutman (right) check out the images that Ed Ribinskas made of the Nickel Plate Road 767 earlier in the day.

Chef Marte, a.k.a. Marty Surdyk works his magic with the grill.

Chef Marte, a.k.a. Marty Surdyk works his magic with the grill.

Don Woods also made a photograph or two of the picnic bunch.

Don Woods also made a photograph or two of the picnic bunch.

Paul Wooding (left) and Steve Heister compare notes about railroads.

Paul Wooding (left) and Steve Heister compare notes about railroads.

Some of those at the picnic posed for a group photograph. They are (from left) Denny Tharp, Paul Tait, Tom Goughnour, Todd Dillon, Todd Vander Sluis, Ed Ribinskas (kneeling), Jeff Troutman, Marty Surdyk, Craig Sanders, Rick Houck Roger Durfee, Paul Woodring and Steve Heister. (Photograph by Larry Luther)

Where Did You Say the ARRC Picnic on Sunday is Going to be Held? We’re Glad That You Asked

September 20, 2016

OK, this is going to be embarrassing, but we’ve been giving out inaccurate information about the site of the Sunday, Sept. 25 Akron Railroad Club picnic in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

ARRC logoWe’re having the event to watch Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, which is operating this month as NKP 767 on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The problem is that although we’ve describing the correct location of the picnic site, we’ve been giving out the wrong name.

The name was incorrect on the ARRC blog when the picnic was announced and it is incorrect in the September 2016 issue of the Bulletin that club members will receive in the mail this week.

The Bulletin and the blog have incorrectly identified the site as the Columbia Run picnic area. There is such a place, but it is located north of Boston Mill.

The site where the picnic is actually going to be held is the Valley Picnic Area, which is located along Riverview Road south of Peninsula but north of the diagonal crossing of the CVSR tracks with Riverview.

The name has been corrected in all references to the picnic now on the ARRC blog.

The Valley Picnic area is located on the west side of Riverview Road. There is a sign marking the location.

Picnic hours are still noon to 3 p.m. If you get there around 11:30 a.m., you will be able to see the NKP 767 and its train passing by southbound on the return to Akron Northside station with the morning excursion trip.

The next passage of the NKP 767 will be around 1:40 p.m. when it heads northbound with the afternoon trip that is due out of Akron at 1 p.m. That trip will return southbound shortly after 3:35 p.m.

This picnic will be a shorter and less involved version of the traditional July picnic. We had a surplus of hot dogs and hamburgers left over from that picnic and Marty intends to clear out his freezer by firing up the grill.

The club will furnish buns and condiments, but members are asked to bring snacks, side dishes and desert items.

Be forewarned that parking at the picnic site is limited. If a horde of people show up at once, you might have a tough time finding a place to park your vehicle.

ARRC to Have Picnic to Fete NKP 767

September 12, 2016

Nickel Plate Road No. 767, a.k.a. NKP 765, is coming to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this week for a two week stay and the ARRC will have a picnic as part of the activities.

ARRC logoWeather permitting, the picnic will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Valley picnic area along Riverview Road south of Peninsula in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This site is on the west side of the road and north of the diagonal crossing of the CVSR tracks with Riverview Road.

You’ll be able to munch on hot dogs and hamburgers expertly prepared by Chef Marte and watch and photograph the 767 and its train as it passes by on the nearby CVSR tracks.

We had a large inventory of burgers and hot dogs left over from our summer picnic so this a way to do a two-for-one.

The club will furnish buns for the hot dogs and hamburgers, but will not have any other side dishes or snacks. Attendees are encouraged to bring those.

Keep in mind that the hours for this picnic are limited. It is primarily intended to provide lunch or a snack.

This message has been corrected to provide the correct name of the picnic site.

Steamy Sunday at ARRC Summer Picnic

July 27, 2015

It wasn't the Nickel Plate Road 765, which was also running in Northeast Ohio, but a working steam locomotive made the rounds during the Akron Railroad Club picnic on Sunday at the Northeast Ohio Live Steamers club near Lester. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

It wasn’t the Nickel Plate Road 765, which was also running in Northeast Ohio on Sunday, but a working steam locomotive made the rounds during the Akron Railroad Club picnic held at the Northeast Ohio Live Steamers club near Lester, Ohio. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

On a steamy day that felt like real summer, approximately 25 Akron Railroad Club members, their families and guests enjoyed the club’s annual summer picnic, held on Sunday (July 26) at the Northeast Ohio Live Steamers park near Lester.

One member of the NEOLS group had a working steam locomotive that pulled picnic attendees around the various loops of track that offer a little over a mile of a ride through forests and prairies.

Between rides, picnic goers munched on hamburgers and hot dogs expertly prepared by grillmaster Chef Marte, a.k.a. as ARRC Bulletin editor Marty Surdyk. There was plenty of food to go around and then some.

It was a hot, humid day and a brief rainshower fell early in the afternoon. That sent everyone seeking cover in the main station of the NEOLS facility.

It was the ARRC’s first picnic at the NEOLS facility, which is on land owned by the Medina County parks system.

ARRC member Greg Warren is also a member of NEOLS and acted as the liaison between the two groups in arranging the event.

ARRC member Paul Woodring had suggested holding the picnic at NEOLS because he thought it would be a similar experience to an ARRC picnic held years ago at the now defunct Trolleyville.

Aside from steam power, trains on Sunday were pulled by replica diesel locomotives. Some members went on multiple rides around the NEOLS network, which included diamonds, passing sidings, staging yards and intermediate stations.

The CL&W Subdivision of  CSX abuts the NEOLS facility on the western edge, but CSX did not send a train past during the picnic.

There were at least two derailments during the day. One occurred when the engineer forgot to remove a chock block from in front of the locomotive. The other involved the steam train and was caused by a faulty switch.

In both cases, crews members lifted the derailed equipment off the ground and set it back on the rails. No need to call in Hulcher.

It was an enjoyable afternoon at a venue that the club had not visited in some time.