Posts Tagged ‘Akron Railroad Club’

Slide Show to Highlight ARRC Meeting

September 23, 2021

A good old fashioned slide show is in store for the September meeting of the Akron Railroad Club on Friday.

Rick Varga will present Kodachrome slides made during the 1980s and 1990s. The program will include images of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, Conrail and CSX.

Varga, who recently retired after a career as an operating employee of Norfolk Southern, plans to emphasize in his program how CSX has changed over the years.

The club will meet on Friday (Sept. 24) at 8 p.m. at the New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

The meeting will begin with a short business meeting followed by the program at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Following the meeting, some members gather at the Denny’s restaurant on Main Street in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

Next month the ARRC plans to hold its annual member’s night. It is set for Oct. 23, which is a Saturday.

Members who plan to show slides or digital images during member’s night or who simply plan to attend and watch the shows will be asked to indicate their interest on a signup sheet at the September meeting.

The ARRC officers said this would give the club an idea of how many pizzas to order for the event.

As in past years, member’s night attendees will pay a $5 cover charge to cover the cost of the pizzas and some carbonated beverages and water.

Attendees of the member’s night event are encouraged to bring non-alcoholic beverages and snacks such as pretzels and chips.

The officers said those planning to show slides or digital images should limit their program to 10 to 12 minutes, showing 35 to 45 images.

There will be no business meeting during the member’s night event. Those who are unable to sign up at the September meeting are asked to contact Vice President Bill Kubas at 330-928-7025 (bkuboose@gmail.com) or acting Secretary Dave Kachinko at 440-537-6487 (dkachinko@aol.com) to indicate they are coming.

Doors will open on member’s night at 5:45 p.m. with pizza being served at 6:30 p.m. Presentations are expected to begin about 7 p.m.

A Few ARRC Program ‘Surprises’ Revealed

August 26, 2021

One surprise of the program of the August Akron Railroad Club meeting was revealed this week in an email notice sent to members.

The images to be shown by Mike Costill at the Friday meeting (Aug. 27) were made by the late Jerry Jacobson.

Costill’s program is titled Surprise and will present images made during the period of the late 1950s to the early 1970s.

Among the highlights will be Nickel Plate steam across Ohio; the roundhouse of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Akron; and Denver & Rio Grande Western steam.

There will still be some surprises of images and railroads and places that have yet to be revealed.

The meeting begins at 8 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the New Horizon Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

The club has also announced that the program at the Sept. 24 meeting will be presented by Rick Varga and the Oct. 23 meeting will be the annual members night in which members show images of their choosing.

‘Surprise’ in Store for ARRC August Meeting

August 23, 2021

Mike Costill will present a slide show of seldom seen images at the Aug. 27 meeting of the Akron Railroad Club.

Mike isn’t giving away too many clues about what attendees will see other than the images were made between the 1950s and 1970s. The program is appropriately titled Surprise.

Very few people have seen these images, he said.

The meeting will begin with a short business meeting at 8 p.m. followed by the program at approximately 8:30 p.m. The club meets at the New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

Following the meeting, some members gather at the Denny’s restaurant on Main Streets in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

ARRC Program to Focus on Past 20 Years in Akron

July 19, 2021

Richard Antibus will review the past 20 years of railroad operations in Akron during the July 23 meeting of the Akron Railroad Club.

The slide show will focus in particular on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Rich said his program will show overall changes that have occurred over the past two decades, saying that things can change quickly.

The meeting will begin with a short business meeting at 8 p.m. followed by the program at approximately 8:30 p.m. The club meets at the New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

Following the meeting, some members gather at the Denny’s restaurant on Home Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

The Aug. 27 meeting will feature a slide show by Mike Costill.

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. 

Trains (and Rain) at ARRC Longest Day Outing in Fostoria

June 30, 2021

A CSX train passes F Tower as it rounds the connection to go north in Fostoria on June 21, 2015. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

June 27, 2021, was a much anticipated day.

It was the Akron Railroad Club’s longest Day outing to Fostoria to visit the “iron rriangle.”

My day began at 6 a.m. with loading my Jeep being out the door at 6:20 a.m. I was five minutes behind schedule, no big deal.

Traffic on Interstate 480 and the Ohio Turnpike was light as usual on a Sunday morning. With one pit stop at a rest area and a trip through the drive thru at McDonald’s in Fremont, I was in Fostoria at 8:15 a.m.

I was surprised to find myself as the only one there. I picked out a picnic table with a view of all three mains and made quick work of breakfast.

The radio began to scratch, a train was nearing. It turned out to be Norfolk Southern intermodel 234.

NS 7600 was in charge of a trio of horses. As 234 cleared, a CSX train was lined from the south on the former Chesapeake & Ohio to east on the former Baltimore  & Ohio. This was auto rack train Q214 behind a pair of locos lead by CSX 7793.

A few minutes later NS intermodel 218 was heard entering town. I lined up my shot only to say “that’s not 218, those are coil steel cars.” NS 7691 with two trailing units passed with coil steel cars extended as far as you could see.

Sixty-one cars deep the intermodal freight that 218 would normally carry was finally coming by.

“Strange” I thought to myself.

What was even stranger was the fact that 218 stopped east of town and set out the 61 coil steel cars in the “new yard.”

Those coil cars are heading to Pro-Tec Steel in Leipsic via NS local L70 as we’ll see later.

About a half hour passed with no action. The next train at 9:29 a.m. was a CSX northbound loaded coal train. The symbol sounded like U506.

It was making track speed through the interlockings and coal dust was flying off the cars as each set of wheels pounded the diamonds. The U506 was heading to the Toledo Docks where the coal will be loaded into a lake freighter.

Next up was NS local L70. They were heading to the steel plant in Leipsic with a cut of 46 coil steel cars. For power they had NS 3067 and NS 6338.

The cars that 218 set out will most likely go to Leipsic on Monday’s L70. There must have been a shortage of cars for the plant if they used a hot intermodel train to get them to Fostoria.         

Just after 10:30 a.m. a CSX eastbound turned north on the C&O. It had CSX 771 up front with three other units trailing.

This was a mixed freight. I have no idea what the symbol was; couldn’t understand a word they were saying on the radio.

Twenty minutes later, we had the first sighting of a DPU. CSX Q203 had CSX 3286 up front and CSX763 about a third of the way back on a long train of auto racks. They went from south to west.

At 11:24 a.m. NS got back into the act with the passing of westbound intermodel 217.  He had a bit of a saga trying to get through town. The detector east of town at MP 275.4 reported hot wheel, axle 26 on the fireman’s side.

The CSX dispatcher had them lined across the diamonds, but they stopped before accepting the signal at the C&O diamond to check the hot wheel.

The CSX dispatcher wanted his railroad back to run a couple of his own trains. He gave the NS train the diamonds because they were short and moving right along. After some three-way radio conversations among the CSX dispatcher, the NS trainmaster and the 217’s crew, it was decided the 217 would proceed through town and then stop and inspect the hot wheel.

CSX indeed had trains to run. For the next hour, six CSX trains passed. Leading the way was Q166, the CP run-through. CP 8724 was leading with CP 7044 in the middle. They go straight east on the former B&O.

Right on the heels of Q166 was CSX double stack Q158. It was lead by CSX 63 and one additional unit.

Southbound empty hopper train U501 went south a few minutes after Q158 cleared.

Next up was CSX westbound doubles tack Q157. It had CSX 3011 up front with CSX 3067 splitting the double stacks from a cut of auto racks.

One of the hottest trains on the railroad, CSX Q010 was next, heading east on the B&O at 12:16 p.m. He had CSX 817 and one additional unit up front with CSX 3223 in the middle.

CSX Q150 ended the flurry as it went from east to north. Its destination is Detroit.  It was lead by CSX 423 and one additional unit.

While the CSX flurry was going on NS had a train that had worked in the yard for a while and was ready to head west. The 13Q had called their dispatcher and wanted an update as to when they were going to be moving west.

“CSX says he’ll take you as soon as a window opens up for you.”

When 13Q finally got the signal to proceed, we found out why CSX was reluctant to take the train across their diamonds. The 13Q was HUGE. Coming out the yard onto the main at restricted speed it went by for 25 minutes!

It only held up one CSX train. The Q151 was coming south and looking to go west toward North Baltimore.

As Q151 cleared the skies were darkening and rain looked imminent. I went into the restroom and then was hoping to make it back to the Jeep before the rains hit. No luck.

The skies opened up and a huge downpour was underway. Inside the restroom it sounded like someone pounding on the door. I stayed put until the rain let up a bit and I made a dash out the door to the other side of the building out of the wind and rain.

Interestingly, both CSX and NS at this time had gone quiet. It was radio silence for now.

When the rain finally let up enough that I could head to the Jeep, I decided now might be a good time for lunch. It was about 1:45 p.m. and my snacks that I brought with me can only hold you so long.

It was off to Arby’s, the closest fast food to the park. I was back in no time; no line at the drive thru at this time of the afternoon.

I ate in the car. It was still radio silence. They couldn’t be done running trains for the day, could they?

It was an hour and a half between trains. CSX Q358 finally broke the dry spell (trains not rain) at 2:44 p.m. as it passed behind CSX 5467 and one additional.

NS was next with the return of local L70 about ten minutes behind the Q358. It was only a few more minutes when a northbound CSX grain train came past on the C&O. It carried symbol G326 and was lead by CSX 384.

About 45 minutes passed before our next move. This was an ethanol train that came into town eastbound and turned south on the C&O. It was lead by a pair of CP GE’s. The leader was CP 8957.

CSX was next, as they took out the trash, sort of. Earlier in the day CSX 5329 running as local H792 tied on to some garbage cars and headed south to the garbage dump. They set out the cut that they took down and came back with 75 empties. They took the empties around the southeast wye and left them in the B&O east siding.

While they did this CSX Q169 double stacker came by westbound. CSX 9010 was today’s leader of a short train.

Q635 was approaching on Main 2 with more garbage cars to set out for the dump south of town. The H792 returned light to the yard on the C&O side to wait for Q635’s set out. They would take them south before calling it a day.

Q635 had CSX 3266 up front. It had garbage cars up front, some mixed freight in the middle and more garbage on the rear.

While they tied up the southeast connection to make their set out, CSX Q201 came around the northwest connection traveling from south to west. It had CSX 47 doing a solo.

It was now after 6 p.m. Several more cars of fans were arriving. The big news of the day was CSX Q016 had CSX 3194 on the lead.

CSX 3194 is painted up in a blue and black scheme to “Honor Our Law Enforcement.”

I wondered if it would make it before dark. It had left Chicago in late morning and they had to change crews at North Baltimore. All we could do was wait and see.

CSX Q555 was next. This is a Collinwood to Cincinnati train. It had CSX 409 and 888 up front pulling a cut of steel slabs followed by some mixed freight.

On the heels of the Q555 was coke train K182. It had CSX 354 and 562 up front.

With the diamonds clear of CSX action, the CSX dispatcher let NS have the rails for one each way. The 15Q behind NS 3618 passed at 7:06 p.m. As his last cars were disappearing around the curve on their way out of town, NS 12Q came into view with four ponies up from with NS 1142 as the leader.

My last train of the day was CSX Q370 at 7:26 p.m. This mixed freight was lead by CSX 988 and CSX 110.

I didn’t leave at this point. I stayed at the park until 8:45 p.m. hoping to catch the CSX 3194 before dark. I also was concerned about the prospects of finding something to eat this late in the day. Some restaurants have been closing earlier than usual due to the shortage of workers.

I missed the CSX 3194 by about a half hour. It went by about 9:15. I watched the play back of the action from Sunday on the Fostoria Rail Cam Monday morning before leaving for work. I also missed one westbound intermodel on CSX that passed just before the CSX 3194 came by.

Oh, well, maybe next time, when things get more back to normal.

For those keeping score with me, I totaled 30 movements in 12 and a half hours. The only foreign power leading were the CPs on Q166 and the ethanol train.

I was surprised to see as much action on the C&O south of Fostoria as I did. The last time I spent a day at Marion, my train count on the C&O was zero.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Longest Day. Where are we headed?

Article by Marty Surdyk

Preview of Tonight’s Program

June 25, 2021

The Akron Railroad Club will meet tonight at 8 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the New Horizons Christian Church.

It will be the club’s first in-person meeting in more than a year.

President Todd Dillon will present a digital program of images made during his travels in the past year between Ohio and Florida.

Here is a preview of Todd’s program. The top image shows Tampa streetcars at Ibor City, Florida, the middle image is a U.S. Sugar cane train at Clewiston, Florida, and the bottom image is CSX 1776 at Waycross, Georgia.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

ARRC Sets June Meeting, Longest Day Outing in Fostoria

June 21, 2021

The Akron Railroad Club will meet this Friday at 8 p.m. at the New Horizons Christian Church in Akron.

It will be the club’s first monthly meeting since February 2020.

Club President Todd Dillion will present a digital program titled Off the Beaten Path: Railfanning in the Era of COVID.

It will feature images of U.S. Sugar railroad operations in Florida, Tampa Bay trolleys and CSX tribute locomotives 911 (Spirit of our First Responders), 1776 (Spirit of the Armed Forces) and 3194 (Spirit of Law Enforcement).

The program will focus on Todd’s travels between Ohio and Florida.

The club will be having its annual longest day event on June 27 at the Iron Triangle RailPark in Fostoria.

Club members and their guests will spend the day watching and photographing trains on CSX and Norfolk Southern mainlines that pass through Fostoria.

The park is located within the “iron triangle” of the three rail lines.

As always, the event begins when the first member arrives and ends when the last one leaves.

ARRC Gets Approval to Resume Meetings

June 4, 2021

The Akron Railroad Club has received a high green to hold its monthly meetings.

Officials at the New Horizons Christian Church in Akron, where the club has been meeting since 2006, on Friday notified ARRC President Todd Dillon that the club could resume meeting in the church’s fellowship hall.

The next meeting is scheduled for June 25 at 8 p.m. with a digital program to be presented by Dillon titled Off the Beaten Path: Railfanning in the Era of COVID.

It will feature images of U.S. Sugar railroad operations in Florida, Tampa Bay trolleys and CSX tribute locomotives 911 (Spirit of our First Responders), 1776 (Spirit of the Armed Forces) and 3194 (Spirit of Law Enforcement).

The program will focus on Todd’s travels between Ohio and Florida.

Meeting attendees will not be required to wear a facial mask at the meeting, but should use good judgment and follow recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ARRC last met in February 2020. Meetings were suspended the following month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future meetings have been set for July 23, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24, but no programs have been announced yet for those meetings.

Another Chilly But Sunny Dave McKay Day

May 31, 2021
The first train of the day was an eastbound NS stack train.
The second train was an eastbound CSX train.
The Herbert C. Jackson with some familiar Cleveland landmarks behind it makes it way upriver on the Cuyahoga River.
The Reading heritage unit leads the 21E at Hudson.

The annual Akron Railroad Club Dave Mckay Day at Berea was chilly but had sunny skies all day. 

Four members attended including Bill Kubas, Paul Woodring, Dave Kachinko and myelf.

I counted 21 trains during the time I was there which was 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It was a fair mix of NS and CSX traffic although NS had a few more trains.

No heritage units went by although NS 4001, one of the Blues Brothers, trailed on the 12Q.

The Reading heritage unit did lead westbound 21E but that didn’t show up until after 8 p.m.

After leaving at 3 p.m., I went downtown to do some boat chasing. The Herbert C Jackson was heading upriver and I caught it several times. 

I also ran into Roger Durfee during this chase so that made five ARRC members out today.

After that I went to Hudson and caught three more trains including the aforementioned 21E with the Reading heritage.  That brought the day’s total to 24 trains and one lake boat.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon