Posts Tagged ‘ARRC activities’

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.

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.

Mangold to Present at February ARRC Meeting

February 23, 2020

The Akron Railroad Club will hold its February meeting on Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. at the New Horizons Christian Church at 290 Darrow Road in Akron.

David Mangold will present a program titled Silver and Orange Railroads.

It will feature photographs he made while traveling through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to and from various railroad jobs that he’s held in the past year or two.

Those jobs took Dave and his two dogs, B.J. and Thunder, to the San Joaquin Valley of California, the Royal Gorge tourist railroad in Colorado, and the Fort Worth & Western.

The next ARRC regular meeting will be in April. The group plans to hold its annual member’s night event and pizza party on Saturday, March 28.

Trying to Stay Dry on Vermilion Day

August 29, 2018

An eastbound coal train crosses the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line at about 4:30 p.m. during the Akron Railroad Club outing in Vermilion. Where was a boat on the river when we needed it?

It started with rain and ended with rain. In between we managed to see some Norfolk Southern action interspersed with long periods of waiting.

And that in a nutshell summarizes the 2018 Akron Railroad Club day in Vermilion that was attended by eight members.

As we expected, most of the action was on the Chicago Line, which boasted its usual assortment of manifests, intermodals and single commodity trains.

But the iffy weather meant that few boats were plying the Vermilion River by the boat launch that was our base of operations for much of the day.

No NS heritage units came through but the 9-1-1 unit made an appearance late in the afternoon trailing in the motive power consist of a coal train.

Two ARRC members saw it from the rail platform in downtown Vermilion, but three of us missed it because we were in Huron seeking photographs of trains passing beneath the old signal bridge with its Type G signal heads that NS is about to replace.

It took a long wait before an eastbound and westbound came through Huron.

In the meantime, we heard the Toledo East dispatcher talking to trains east of us and multiple trains coming onto the Chicago Line and turning west in Sandusky from the Sandusky District.

Those of us in Huron missed the 9-1-1 unit because its train diverged from the Chicago Line west of Vermilion and went to the Cleveland District en route to Bellevue.

The Cleveland District, which is the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, was largely quiet during the day.

As I arrived in the Vermilion area I spotted an eastbound stack train east of town on the Cleveland District.

Presumably it was either the 206 or the 22K and had taken the new connection west of Vermilion that allows eastbound trains on the Chicago Line to move onto the Cleveland District.

Otherwise, the only other train on the Cleveland District was eastbound manifest freight 210, which had one locomotive on each end, something we’d never seen on this train.

One eastbound coal train came past with BNSF motive power and a few trains had former CSX units still wearing their CSX colors.

The rain stopped around mid day and gradually the clouds moved out to afford us alternating sunny skies and conditions of sun and clouds.

But as the five of us who had dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube came out of the restaurant about 9:45 p.m. light rain was falling and continued to fall throughout my drive home. Maybe that was a fitting way to end our day.

ARRC member Todd Vander Sluis (blue shirt) watches the L13 as it passes the former passenger station in Vermilion.

ARRC member Alan Nagy gets video of westbound NS stack train 25V as it races through Vermilion. It was the last train we saw before going to dinner and then calling it a day.

ARRC Vermilion Day Outing is Saturday

August 22, 2018

The early hours of the Akron Railroad Club outing to Vermilion this week will find us getting images such as this one from the 2017 outing. An eastbound Norfolk Southern train crosses the Vermilion River by the boat launch.

The Akron Railroad Club will return to Vermilion on Saturday, Aug. 25 for a day of railfanning Norfolk Southern.

Vermilion features two NS lines, the busiest of which is the Chicago Line, an ex-New York Central route. Also passing through is the former Nickel Plate Road line that is now the Cleveland District.

The Cleveland District through Vermilion traditionally has host far less railroad traffic than the Chicago Line, but traffic has risen with the completion of a new connection from the eastbound Chicago Line to the Cleveland District a couple of miles west of Vermilion.

Intermodal trains 205, 206, 22K and 23K are expected to be regular users of the connection.

The Chicago Line hosts 40 to 50 trains daily with a traffic mix of intermodal, mixed freights, tanker trains, coal trains and Amtrak.

We will begin our day at the boat launch located on West River Road between the two railroad bridges over the Vermilion River.

Being summer there should be ample boat traffic on the river to watch between trains.

An eastbound on the bridge is the prized shot for this location. Shooting a westbound these days is tough. You will need a wide-angle lens.

But don’t let that deter you from enjoying some time at the boat launch. It is an enjoyable experience.

After lunch, when the light shifts to a more westerly direction, we will move to the railfan pavilion downtown.

This spot sets up well for westbounds with the city’s water tank as a backdrop.

Eastbounds can be shot with the Vermilion station that sits just to the east of the pavilion. This is also a wide-angle shot due to some pine trees along the tracks.

Still, it is a nice place to hang out and watch trains. The crossings in town are quiet zones, so there is no horn blowing.

Train crews know that the crossing protection is working if the “X” at the top of the poles at each crossing is flashing.

Once evening arrives, those of us still there will head to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner.

As with most ARRC activities, the event begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last one leaves. Spens a few hours or the entire day, just plan to spend Saturday in Vermilion.

To get to the boat launch go into Vermilion on Ohio Route 60. As you enter town and after crossing the single-tracked former NKP tracks, Route 60 will make a right turn at a flashing light.

About a block to the east, Route 60 will turn left but continue straight ahead on South Street to the stop sign at West River Road.

The entrance to the boat launch is a little left of straight across from that intersection. Park at the far end of the lot near the picnic table. You will have both railroad bridges over the Vermilion River in sight.

The Railfan pavilion, known as Vermilion Mainline Rail, is on Route 60 where it crosses the NS Chicago Line at the north end of Victory Park.

From the boat launch, go back west on South Street to Route 60 north at Main Street and make a right. The pavilion is on the right just before crossing the tracks.

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.

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.

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.