Posts Tagged ‘ARRC activities’

We’re Having a Pizza Party on Feb. 25

February 20, 2017

The Akron Railroad Club’s February meeting will be the annual member’s night and pizza party. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 in the social hall of the New Horizons Christian Church.

ARRC logoThere will be a $5 cover charge and doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The pizza will be furnished by Marcos with serving to begin at 6 p.m.

Sometime after 6:30 p.m. we’ll start the member presentations. There is no theme other than it should be railroad related.

We will have the club’s equipment to present slides, digital images or video. All of the club’s audio visual equipment will be available for use as needed.

We chose February for the member’s night because of a schedule conflict at the church for Feb. 24, the normal night of our February meeting.

The church wasn’t available that night because of a large youth group program. We could have Feb. 17, but the social hall wasn’t available on that date because it would be set up for a spaghetti supper the next day. We could meet that night but in a Sunday School room that could get crowded.

The third option was Saturday night on Feb. 25, which the officers elected to make the annual member’s night.

ARRC Officers Set 2017 Slate of Activities

January 27, 2017
arrc-officers

The 2017 officers of the Akron Railroad club are (from left) Jim Mastromatteo, secretary; Craig Sanders (seated in front), president; Paul Havasi, treasurer; Marty Surdyk, editor; and J. Gary Dillon, vice president.

I didn’t think that the Akron Railroad Club officer’s meeting held last Sunday would last all that long.

ARRC logoSure, we had a long list of items to discuss, but most them involved merely finalizing the dates for activities that we’ve had before.

We decided on the following activities and dates: Member’s night and pizza party (Feb. 25), Dave McKay Day in Berea (April 1), longest day in Bellevue (June 25), summer picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton (July 30), outing in Vermilion (Aug. 26), and the end of year dinner (Dec. 2).

The member’s night was set for a Saturday in February because of schedule conflicts at the church. The social hall is not available on the fourth Friday night of February due to a church activity.

We could meet on Feb. 17, but the social hall isn’t available on that night, either, because it will have been set up for the annual spaghetti supper that the church is having the next day. We would have to meet in a Sunday School classroom.

But we could have the social hall in the evening on Saturday, Feb. 25 if we wanted it. The officers elected to take that offer.

Last summer the club did well financially in having a silent auction of books from the collection of the late William Surdyk.

At the time, someone suggested we have a similar event for members wishing to unload railroad-related artifacts and memorabilia.

We liked that idea and quickly settled on having it at our July meeting.

However, working out the details proved time-consuming as we discussed rules and issues surrounding an activity the club has never sponsored before.

Those ground rules and guidelines are still being worked out and will be shared with the membership at a later date. But the event has a name: Roundhouse Rubble Auction.

But in essence, you will need to give Marty Surdyk by the May meeting a list of items you wish to sell.

Sellers have the option of setting a minimum bid – known as a reserve price – on their item.

Unless specified otherwise, items placed for sale will become property of the Akron Railroad Club if not sold at the silent auction and be offered for sale at train shows at which the ARRC has a table.

However, sellers have the right to specify that they want to take back their item(s) that do not sell during the auction.

The officers also discussed having a steam-themed event in September.

If the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 back, we will replicate the picnic that we had in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on the last day that the 765 operated in September 2016. It was one of our best-attended events of the year.

But we also discussed two other potential club outings. We’ve learned that a working steam locomotive might enter tourist train service this year on a short line near Buffalo, New York.

If it operates as we suspect it will, out of Eden, New York, we will look into chartering a bus and traveling to see that locomotive as well as the nearby Arcade & Attica steam train.

The other possibility involves reviving the overnight outing with a destination of Cumberland, Maryland, to see Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 in operation.

We expect to wrap up 2017 with the fifth annual end of year dinner at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow. Mark Demaline has agreed to do the program.

Mark is the newest member of the ARRC and a retired railroad executive who worked for CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

He is also an accomplished railroad photographer who presented a program to the ARRC a few years ago about railroads in Montana.

30 Enjoy ARRC End of Year Dinner

December 5, 2016
arrc-dinner-1

Roger Durfee (right) adjusts the slide projector prior to his program as Marty Surdyk looks on during the Akron Railroad Club end of year dinner on Saturday.

Thirty Akron Railroad Club members and guests enjoyed dinner and a program about the evolution of Conrail motive power on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the club’s annual end of year dinner.

Held at Beef ‘O’Brady’s restaurant in Stow, the highlight of the event was a slide show presented by ARRC member Roger Durfee that summarized the locomotives used by Conrail during its existence between April 1, 1976, when it was formed from by consolidating many of the assets of multiple bankrupt railroads, to its being divided on June 1, 1999, by Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Roger had just begun his photography career when Conrail came along and he was able to photograph the railroad’s operations from the beginning to the end.

By the time Conrail was carved up in 1999, Roger had been a employee of the railroad since 1998, working out of the Altoona, Pennsylvania, terminal.

The program was not intended to be a comprehensive review of Conrail motive power or the railroad’s sprawling network.

Over its lifetime, Conrail had several dozen makes, models and types of locomotives, many of which it inherited from its predecessor railroads.

In his program, Roger gave viewers a sense of what how Conrail motive power evolved to become the fleet that it had when it ended, although Conrail still exists in the sense that some of its properties operate under the Conrail shared assets banner or NS and CSX.

Roger focused his program on some of the older models that were frequent sights in Northeast Ohio, which was the location where most of the images he presented were made.

Conrail based in Cleveland many of the F units it operated in its early years. Most, although not all, of them came from Penn Central and served Conrail in a utilitarian black livery with a “CR” stenciled on  the nose and flanks.

However, Conrail found itself short of working power so it brought out of retirement for a time a number of former Erie Lackawanna F units wearing the EL’s  colorful livery.

Aside from Conrail in the Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown regions, Roger also took us to eastern Pennsylvania, including the Northeast Corridor to view Conrail locomotives that seldom if ever ventured westward.

The end of year dinner was the last ARRC activity o f 2016. An issue of eBulletin will be issued this week, but the paper Bulletin will not be published this month.

All Tickets Distributed for End of Year Dinner

November 28, 2016

We can’t call it a sellout because the tickets were free. But all of the 32 tickets available for the Akron Railroad Club’s end of year dinner have been distributed.

ARRC logoThe dinner will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow at 3732 Darrow Road.

Roger Durfee will present a slide program titled “One Man’s Journey With Big Blue.” Durfee will show with photographs and discuss how Conrail developed and evolved from its April 1, 1976, inception to its final years before being divided between Norfolk Southern and CSX on June 1, 1999.

Durfee, a conductor for NS, began his railroad career with Conrail.

The end of year dinner is limited to 32 attendees due to the small size of the meeting room in which it is held.

The event will begin with cocktails starting at approximately 5:30 p.m. We will order from the restaurant’s regular menu starting about 6 p.m. The program should get underway around 8 p.m.

The event is held on an individual settlement basis.

It will be the final ARRC activity for 2016. The club’s next event will be the January meeting.

Although the paper Bulletin is not published in December, the eBulletin will be distributed during the week of Dec. 4.

4 Tickets Left for ARRC End of Year Dinner

November 21, 2016

Just four tickets remain for the Dec. 3 Akron Railroad Club end of the year dinner.

ARRC logoTickets are free, but limited due to the small size of the meeting room that we reserved at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow.

To obtain a ticket, contact Marty Surdyk at  surdykm@aol.com

The program at the event will be a slide show presented by Roger Durfee titled “One Man’s Journey With Big Blue.” The program will look at Conrail from its beginning in April 1976 through its final days in May 1999.

A cocktail hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. and we’ll be ordering at about 6 p.m. Event attendees will order from the restaurant’s regular menu on an individual settlement basis.

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 September Meeting Moved to New Date

September 14, 2016

Due to construction in the parking lot of the New Horizons Christian Church, the September meeting of the Akron Railroad Club has been moved back a week.

The Club will now meet on Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. at the church.

ARRC logoThe change was made after the church canceled all meetings set to be held there during the week of Sept. 19 due to the parking lot resurfacing and other work.

The program will still be presented by Don Woods. The paper edition of the ARRC Bulletin will be mailed the week of Sept. 18 but the eBulletin will not be distributed until the week of Sept. 26.

Members are also reminded of the picnic, weather permitting, that the ARRC will have at the Columbia Run Picnic area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Sunday, Sept. 25, weather permitting.

The club will furnish hamburgers,  hot dogs and buns along with condiments. Members are encouraged to bring snacks, small side dishes and desert items.

The picnic hours will be noon to 3 p.m. The picnic site is adjacent to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad along Riverview Road south of Peninsula.

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will be making its final runs on the CVSR on Sept. 25.

We also need volunteers to staff the ARRC table at the Berea train show on Saturday, Oct. 1. Contact Marty Surdyk at surdkym@aol.com for further information or to volunteer.

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.

NS Put on Its Usual Show in Vermilion

September 2, 2016
The classic eastbound crossing the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line image.

The classic eastbound crossing the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line image.

Before anyone had left home we missed the Conrail and Monongahela heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern and the GoRail commemorative unit.

All three had passed through Vermilion before dawn.

But there was plenty of other NS traffic to watch during the Akron Railroad Club’s fourth annual day in Vermilion hosted by ARRC member and Vermilion resident Todd Vander Sluis.

Six ARRC members and guests made the trek to the Vermilion on Aug. 27.

ARRC President Craig Sanders was the first to arrive at 10:30 a.m. and was joined by the day’s host not long after that.

The group soon included Rick Houck and Todd Dillon. We set up folding chairs on the grassy strip near the boat launch along the Vermilion River.

It was a warm, sunny day and there was a steady parade of boats in both directions during the time we hung out by the river.

The NS Chicago Line was its usual self with an array of intermodal and manifest traffic with a few unit commodity trains added to the mix.

We saw just two trains slip through town on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, both of them eastbounds.

At about 2 p.m. someone noticed on his smart phone that a heavy band of rain and thunderstorms was about to slam Toledo.

It looked like it was headed our way and Todd wanted to go to the barn where he and his sister keep their horses and bring them in.

The four of us piled into Todd’s Dodge Ram truck and off we went.

That gave us a chance to meet Todd’s horse Fancy (registered name: I’m a Fancy Chip) whose stall includes a nameplate on the door.

After Todd took care of business at the barn, we headed west of town to check the status of the connection NS is building between the Chicago Line and the Cleveland District.

When finished, it will enable eastbound trains to diverge from the Chicago Line west of Vermilion and go either east or west on the Cleveland District.

Reportedly, such intermodal trains as 22K and 206 will use this connection rather than the Cloggsville connection in Cleveland to access the former NKP mainline.

The right of way for the connection appears to be finished and track panels were stacked up nearby. But no ballast has yet been laid and it had yet to be brought in.

We had ideas of catching a train on the Chicago Line and started scouting for photo locations.

As we did Marty Surdyk sent Todd a text asking “where are you guys hiding?”

Todd’s truck can link to his cell phone and read out loud a text to him.

Marty’s text triggered a round of joking and laughter about us being underwater in nearby Lake Erie.

I sent Marty a reply text reading, “glub, glub,” which he didn’t get because he wasn’t in (yet) on the inside joke.

With nothing apparently moving on the Chicago Line we headed back into town. Of course that was when something finally moved on the Chicago Line.

We joined Marty at the railfan platform at Victory Park in downtown Vermilion.

That storm that passed through Toledo was approaching Vermilion and Todd and I went to Sherod Park west of town to see in coming in off the lake.

But other than gale force winds and dark clouds, the storm skirted Vermilion.

Back we went to the railfan platform where we hung out until about 6:30 p.m.

There was another storm coming from the southwest that had passed over Dayton and that one did hit Vermilion.

We decided that would be a good time to head over to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner.

It was dark when we finished, but Marty, Todd and myself spent some more time at the railfan platform where we saw five trains pass by in about an hour’s time.

We had heard a 20E calling signals west of town. Or so we thought. But 20E wasn’t showing up.

It turned out the 20E was stopped near CP 222 where the connection from the Cleveland District joins the Chicago Line.

We were amazed to learn that NS had held the 20E, which carries trailers for UPS and thus is a higher priority train, for the L13, the daily Bellevue to Rockport Yard turn.

The L13 was a very long train for a local and we speculated it had been combined with another manifest freight that goes to Bellevue.

The L13 had been sent west on Track 2, the same track the 20E was using.

Other westbound traffic was running on Track 1 and the 20E was the train that got stabbed.

About 10 p.m. things got quiet on NS and it was time to head for home.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The only set of all foreign power that we saw was pulling train 23K.

The only set of all foreign power that we saw was pulling train 23K.

The first of two trains that passed through Vermilion on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline. If there were others we missed them.

The first of two trains that passed through Vermilion on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline. If there were others we missed them.

We saw plenty of boats during our day in Vermilion.

We saw plenty of boats during our day in Vermilion.

An NS tanker train probably had barely gained the attention of the boater on the Vermilion River returning to the dock.

An NS tanker train probably had barely gained the attention of the boater on the Vermilion River returning to the dock.

An eastbound auto rack train crosses the Vermilion River on the Cleveland District.

An eastbound auto rack train crosses the Vermilion River on the Cleveland District.

The L13 noses by the railfan platform in Vermilion.

The L13 noses by the railfan platform in Vermilion.

We never did learn the symbol of this one unit wonder that was pulling stacks and racks past the railfan platform in Victory Park.

We never did learn the symbol of this one unit wonder that was pulling stacks and racks past the railfan platform in Victory Park.

Work is well along on the new connection west of Vermilion from the Chicago Line to the Cleveland District.

Work is well along on the new connection west of Vermilion from the Chicago Line to the Cleveland District.

The storm over Lake Erie ended up passing by Vermilion.

The storm over Lake Erie ended up passing by Vermilion.

Fancy does some fancy stepping as she heads for the barn.

Fancy does some fancy stepping as she heads for the barn.