Posts Tagged ‘ARRC activities’

Its Pizza Party Time for the ARRC

March 28, 2018

The annual Akron Railroad Club member’s night event will be held this Saturday (March 31), which means we’re throwing a pizza party and inviting members to show us some of their railroad photographs.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. at the club meeting site at the New Horizons Christian Church in Akron.

Pizza will be delivered at about 6 p.m. and the slide shows will start at approximately 6:30 p.m.

It will be an open projector format with presenters signing up to show 36 to 50 images with any railroad-related content. In short, pick your own theme.

The club’s slide projector and digital projector will both be available. Digital presenters should bring their images on a USB device.

A slide stacker will be available for the convenience of those showing slides or you can bring them in your own carousel slide tray.

There will be a $6 cover charge to cover the costs of the pizza, snacks and beverages. The pizza this year will be ordered from two establishments, Marcos and Hungry Howie’s.

Members are encouraged to bring snacks and drinks to share.

There will not be a business meeting this month. Club matters will be addressed at the April ARRC meeting.

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2018 ARRC Activities Set by Officers

January 25, 2018

Some details are yet to be worked out, but the activities schedule for the Akron Railroad Club for 2018 was worked during the annual officer’s meeting on Jan. 21.

Most activities will be familiar, including the Dave McKay Day outing in Berea, the longest day outing, the summer picnic, Vermilion Day and the end of year dinner.

But the club is also eyeing holding an outing at the Northern Ohio Railway Museum located near Seville.

NORM put into service last year a short section of track over which it can operate a former Shaker Rapids car.

We’re going to look into going to NORM to ride that car and photograph the museum’s collection. No date has been set for that outing, but we’d like to do it in the fall.

The first activity will be the traditional Dave McKay Day outing in Berea on April 7.

The officers decided that the club will travel to Fostoria this year on June 24 for the longest day outing at the Iron Triangle Rail Park.

The summer picnic will return to Warwick Park in Clinton, which is located adjacent to the New Castle Subdivision of CSX.

The day in Vermilion along the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern will be on Aug. 25.

If Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 returns to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September, we’ll hold a picnic at the Valley Picnic Area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to watch it and the CVSR’s National Park Scenic in action.

That picnic will be held on the first Sunday of the steam locomotive’s excursion schedule.

The member’s night and pizza party will be held on March 31, a Saturday night.

Although most monthly meeting program slots have been filled, the club still needs presenters for the June, July and August meetings.

Club members who wish to present a program should contact Vice President Todd Dillon.

The end of year dinner was set for Dec. 1 although the officers will decide later on the venue.

For the past five years it has been held at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow, but at the suggestion of an officer we are considering moving it to the New Era restaurant in Akron.

The New Era has a larger meeting room and a different menu than the pub grub oriented fare of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.

However, the Hungarian cuisine at the New Era has received mixed reviews from those who have dined there.

The officers plan to solicit the views of the members at the January meeting and then decide where to hold the end of year dinner.

The club ended 2017 with a slight uptick in the treasury. Treasurer Paul Havasi reported that the ARRC ended 2016 with a balance of $4,851 in the kitty, but at the end of 2017 that had increased by $273 to $5,124.

During 2017, we took in $208 more in income than we spent in expenses. Dues income netted $1,248 while we also made $811 from train shows and a silent auction held in July.

The cost of producing the paper Bulletin again exceeded dues income. The newsletter cost $1,434 to produce last year.

After a discussion, the officers decided not to hold silent auction in 2018.

Paul also reported that last year the ARRC had 78 paid members and three life members who receive a complimentary membership.

Back When We Still Were Wearing Shorts

December 23, 2017

Remember last July? Remember the day of the Akron Railroad Club picnic? It was warm that day and most of us had shorts on with t-shirts or short sleeve shirts.

CSX cooperated and ran some trains. Nothing out of the ordinary came past that day. Unlike at the 2016 picnic, a report of a heritage unit on the Fort Wayne Line of Norfolk Southern didn’t send several of us scurrying to intercept it at Massillon or some other point.

As is typical of the CSX New Castle Subdivision, there were some long lulls between trains.

The action picked up some late in the day. Those of us still there even walked down the street and stood next to the easternmost building in “downtown” Warwick to catch the K182 as it rolled into the nice early evening light.

About 15 minutes earlier, the photo line had captured local D750 returning to its home base after working in Akron and Barberton.

It remains to be determined if the ARRC will return to Warwick in 2018 for its annual picnic or go elsewhere. The officers will hash that out in January.

In the meantime, here are a few memories of this year’s picnic.

The K182 had a hopper car still wearing the Family Lines markings.

After a long day, the D750 returns to its home base in Warwick.

The rear of the U700 lumbering eastbound.

Westbound train Q375 makes an appearance.

The westbound Q299 had a road slug in its motive power consist.

Here comes the Q299 making some smoke as it accelerates.

The Q235 rolls around the curve and into Warwick. It was one of two auto rack trains that came through town during the late morning hours.

ARRC Members Go South at End of Year Dinner

December 4, 2017

Mark Demaline (left) and Marty Surdyk adjust the projector before Mark began his program at the Akron Railroad Club’s annual end of year dinner held last Saturday.

On with the show, we’re ready.

Twenty-five Akron Railroad Club members and guests took a trip down South at the annual end of year dinner held Saturday in Stow at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant.

ARRC member Mark Demaline gave a slide show titled Southern Served the South that showcased Southern Railway operations from Virginia to Florida, and Atlanta to New Orleans.

Mark’s hour-long program had something for everyone, including passenger trains, steam-powered excursion trains and workaday freight trains that ranged from hot shots to locals.

Most of the images were made in the 1970s and early 1980s when Mark worked in management positions for the Chessie System in Richmond, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida.

He would spend weekends traveling the territory in search of photographs. On occasion he was able to make images traveling to or from work.

Among the stars of Mark’s program was the Southern Crescent, which the Southern operated through Jan. 31, 1979, between Washington and New Orleans. The Southern did not join Amtrak when it began operations on May 1, 1971.

Amtrak took over the Crescent on Feb. 1, 1979. Amtrak had operated the Southern Crescent between Washington and New York, just as Penn Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad had done before the coming of Amtrak.

The Southern was a pioneer in mainline steam excursions and Mark caught a few of those in his program. But most of the presentation was an overview of Southern freight operations.

The end of year dinner is the final activity of 2017 for the ARRC.

ARRC End of Year Dinner is Saturday

November 27, 2017

The annual Akron Railroad Club end of the year dinner will be this Saturday (Dec. 2) at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow, 3732 Darrow Road.

Due to the small size of the banquet room, attendance is limited to 32. There are still four tickets left for the dinner.

The tickets are free and available from ARRC officer Marty Surdyk.

The restaurant is located in a shopping center at the southwest corner of Graham and Darrow Roads about a mile and a half east of Ohio Route 8.

The cocktail hour will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. We’ll order dinner off the menu between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Terms are individual settlement.

The program will be a slide show by Mark Demaline titled Southern Served the South.

The program will feature Southern Railway freight, passenger and steam excursion action between the late 1970s and late 1980s from the Washington D.C., area, through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Northern Florida.

 

Bowler to Give Wide-Ranging Program

October 23, 2017

Peter Bowler will present a digital program at the October Akron Railroad Club meeting on Friday (Oct. 27) that will take us far and wide.

The show will be done in segments with the first those titled “Southern Swing” and covering a trip to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia chasing steam, plus a visit to the North Carolina Transportation Museum at Spencer.

There will be a couple video clips of Norfolk & Western steam locomotive 611 inserted for fun and sound.

The second show will be a series of the best of Peter’s China trip steam videos that he ran out of time to show at the December 2015 end of year dinner.

The meeting will begin with a short business session 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 Eat ‘n Park restaurant at Howe and Main streets in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

Visitors are always welcome at Akron Railroad Club meetings.

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.

ARRC Picnic a Highball for Sunday

September 15, 2017

With the weather forecast for the weekend showing sunny skies and only a 10 percent chance of precipitation, the Akron Railroad Club will hold its picnic in the valley this Sunday (Sept. 17).

The event will be held at the Valley Picnic area south of Peninsula along Riverview Road on the west side of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tracks.

Chef Martè (a.k.a. Marty Surdyk) will fire up the grill at approximately noon and serve up burgers and hot dogs.

The club will supply buns, condiments, and a limited supply of snacks and beverages. Members are asked to bring some side dishes and desserts.

The chef will be serving up hot food until the last passage of Nickel Plate Road No. 765, which is expected to be late afternoon.

Depending on what time you arrive, you can expect to see the 2-8-4 and its train pass the picnic site four times, twice going north and twice going south.

The excursion trains are expected to leave Akron at 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., which is 20 and 25 minutes respectively after the scheduled departure of the CVSR National Park Scenic trains.

The Scenic is scheduled to arrive in Peninsula on Sunday southbound at 9:50 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and northbound at 11:45 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.

Assuming that the NKP 765 and its train have the same running time as the Scenic of about 45 minutes to reach the picnic area, it should pass the picnic area at approximately noon and 4 p.m.

The steam trips are advertised as two-hour excursions and include a photo runby at Boston Mill station.

The southbound trips, which will have NKP 765 leading, should make their return trips between about 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. for the first trip of the day, and between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. for the second excursion.

Please note that parking at the picnic site is limited.

McKay Day Train Listed Posted

April 8, 2017

The train list for the 13th annual Akron Railroad club Dave McKay Day outing in Berea on April 1, 2017, has been posted. To view the list, click on the link below.

https://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/about/activities/2017-dave-mckay-day/

Fellowship Outweighed ‘if Onlys’ of McKay Day

April 4, 2017

Berea is not the only home to a memorial to the late Dave McKay. Jack Norris arranged for this tribute to Dave at Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, Pennsylvania. (Photograph by Jack Norris)

When I look back on the Akron Railroad Club’s 2017 Dave McKay Day I’ll remember the “if onlys” that surrounded the event.

If only we had had the weather of Sunday, April 2 on Saturday April 1 when the McKay Day was held.

If only I had had my camera ready when two Citirail ES44ACs that were leading CSX train Q384 showed up.

If only we had gone to dinner at 5 as we had planned I could have photographed the Wabash heritage locomotive leading Norfolk Southern train No. 294.

If only the fog that shrouded the east side of Cleveland early Saturday morning also had been in Berea when I arrived I might have gotten a dramatic image.

All of those missed opportunities have their own story behind them, starting with the fog.

As I drove south on Warrensville Road I saw how the fog created an interesting effect with the lights illuminating the RTA Green Line station platform.

I thought about turning around to go get the image, but kept going. I hoped to reach Berea before the fog lifted but by the time I arrived, it was gone. Of course I’m assuming it was as foggy in Berea as it had been on the east side of town. Maybe it wasn’t.

Photographers generally hate overcast skies because they produce flat light and little contrast. So I left my camera in its bag, which I placed on the back seat.

I didn’t regret that until I spotted the headlight of an eastbound CSX train. As it got closer something about the lead unit looked different.

The train was closing in as I struggled to get out of the car, open the locked back door, reach across the seat for my camera bag, open it, get the camera out and remove the lens cap.

By the time I did all of that the photo opportunity was gone.

I’ve only once photographed a train led by a Citirail unit, which features a pleasing gray, yellow and blue livery.

This missed opportunities annoyed me because it was of my own making due to lack of preparation.

I was prepared, though, for the Wabash unit. I had my camera with me at dinner at the Berea Union Depot Taverne. The plan was to eat and then go trackside to catch the Wabash unit.

But making photographs of other trains delayed us by 20 minutes.  Even if I still had been sitting at our table when the Wabash H unit came through I doubt I would have made the image.

I would have had to move some wood slats of a venetian blinds and the image would have had heavy back lighting.

Of the 46 train movements that I saw in Berea on this day, I made two or three images that might rise to the level of being somewhat interesting. The rest are routine images similar to ones I’ve made before in better light.

CSX is leasing about 20 of those Citirail units so maybe there will be another opportunity to get one leading a train.

I’ve photographed the Wabash heritage unit more than once and even if my plan had worked out it would have yielded nothing more than a side light image.

I can always go to Berea on days when the weather is better.

But opportunities to socialize with my fellow ARRC members are less frequent. With my plans to move out of the area within the next two years they may be quite limited.

The bigger picture is that the ARRC’s McKay Day is less about photography than it is socializing. The fellowship of the event meant more than getting some so-so photographs on a less than ideal day for photography.