Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore & Ohio in Akron’

B&O Passengers Two for Tuesday

March 9, 2021

If you know your Baltimore & Ohio passenger train history then you recognize the Diplomat was for several decades the name of a Washington/Baltimore-St. Louis train.

But as part of a restructuring of B&O passenger service in 1964, the Chicago-Washington Shenandoah was renamed the Diplomat.

Four years after that renaming occurred, the westbound Diplomat is shown in the top image at Akron Union Depot.

Some switching of head end cars also occurred here. Note that the train has a railway post office car behind its two locomotives.

The bottom image shows the Diplomat stopped at the station in Kent. If you look carefully along the right edge of the frame you’ll see a caboose from an eastbound freight

By the time these images were made, the B&O passenger department was in retreat. In November 1967, the eastbound Diplomat had been discontinued within Ohio.

The consist of the westbound Diplomat by 1969 had shrunk to a coach, a food bar coach and two or three head end cars.

It was discontinued west of Akron in early January 1970, leaving the Capitol Limited as the B&O’s lone Chicago-Washington train.

The Shenandoah name was revived for use on the surviving Akron-Washington train, which continued to operate until the coming of Amtrak on May 1, 1971.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Rusty Rails in Akron

March 1, 2021

A Chessie System train is on the Baltimore & Ohio mainline running westbound in Akron in June 1981. The two very rusty tracks to the left of the train are what remains of the Erie Lackawanna mainline through Akron. To their left, the empty field was where the EL’s McCoy Street Yard was.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

A Favorite Grab Shot

February 26, 2021

This is one of my favorite grab shots. It’s an early May or June 1978 morning at Voris Street in Akron where eastbound and westbound Baltimore & Ohio trains are meeting. On the right are parts of the crossing signal and a view of some of the front of my 1976 Pinto.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

At the Akron B&O Engine House

October 2, 2020

The Baltimore & Ohio engine facility in Akron on Feb. 25, 1973, was crowded. From left to right the identifiable locomotives are B&O 9054, 6518, 9048, 6423, and 6426 while at the above right the nose of Penn Central 3738 can be seen going southbound on a trip from Hudson to Akron.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Snowy Day in Akron on the B&O

September 11, 2020

It’s snowing in downtown Akron as Baltimore & Ohio GP30 No. 6915 leads an eastbound past the Erie Lackawanna station in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Trailing is another GP30 along with an F7B, F7B, and F7B.

As this image was posted in mid July a snow storm might be a welcome relief from temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in triple digits.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

What Was the First Thing You Noticed?

June 16, 2020

When you initially glanced over this image what was the first thing that you noticed?

Was it the Baltimore & Ohio F7A No. 4529 or was it the boxcar behind it?

Whatever it was both feature something you won’t see anymore at Voris Street in Akron.

You won’t see F units in motive power consists anymore and you also won’t see the words “cushion underframe” on boxcars.

Yet were common sights that many might have taken for granted when this image was made in the early 1970s.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

B&O in Akron in 1967

April 25, 2020

As you requested, we’ve set the wayback machine to December 1967, Akron, Ohio, Baltimore & Ohio mainline, Akron Union Depot.

And what pops up but an eastbound train about to pass the station, led by GP38 No. 836.

A couple of things are of interest in this image. The second unit is a Reading Lines GP30.

There is also construction work going north of the tracks. Note the concourse of Union Depot is no longer connected on the north side to the bus station.

But there are buses still parked there as a new building is being constructed nearby.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

At the Akron B&O Engine Facility

December 29, 2019





It may be a Chessie System locomotive but GP9 No. 6500 still sports its Baltimore & Ohio identity as it sits at the engine service facility in Akron in July 1973.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

What an Interesting History This Unit Has Had

October 29, 2019

EMD E units and F units were once commonly assigned to passenger and freight trains in Northeast Ohio.

Even in the early Conrail era of the late 1970s F units were standard motive power.

But today those units largely have been scrapped or relegated to museums or tourist railroads.

Shown is a Chessie System freight headed by Baltimore & Ohio F7A No. 4553 near Voris Street in Akron in mid-1973. It is passing beneath the Thornton Street Bridge.

B&O/Chesapeake & Ohio F units were becoming unusual by the time that this image was made.

This particular unit has had an interesting history. It was built in 1951 as No. 293A before being renumbered 4553 in 1957.

It continued to work for the B&O/C&O for more than another decade before being sold on May 5, 1975, to Morrison-Knudsen.

No. 4553 sat idle in Boise, Idaho, for a few years before being rebuilt into an all purpose control unit for push-pull service.

In the process its prime mover was removed and replaced by a 6 cylinder  Cummins Diesel engine connected to a generator to create 480 volts of electricity for head-end power to passenger cars.

The traction motors were removed and replaced with idler wheel sets. Most of the unit’ accessories, including the control stand, toilet, sand boxes and lights, were left intact.

The car body received repairs and was painted orange and silver in the livery of its next operator, Maryland Area Rail Commuter. MARC gave the unit roster No. 7100.

Now a passenger unit, No. 7100 was released from the M-K shops on April 10, 1981, and delivered to Washington for revenue service.

M-K also rebuilt four other F7A units for the Maryland Department of Transportation for MARC service, but those locomotives retained their original prime movers.

Those four MARC units were later traded back to M-K for credit on an order for five rebuilt GP39-W locomotives in the 1990s.

No. 7100 in the meantime was removed from service in late 1998 due to deterioration. By that time it had been relegated to backup service.

But it wasn’t done yet. MARC management decided to rebuild No. 7100 yet again so back to Boise it went. By then M-K had been renamed Boise Locomotive.

The rebuild took place over the next year and cost $900,000, a sum that raised a few eyebrows as to whether it was a worthwhile investment to make on a locomotive that had been built in the early 1950s.

The rebuilding involved replacing components with their modern counterparts, including a Cummins KTA19G4 6-cylinder diesel engine to drive the generator creating HEP.

No. 7100 received cab signals so it could operate on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor if needed.

Also installed was a PULSE III event recorder and idler wheels with “self adjusting single head brakes.”

A new Q-TRON computer controlled wheel slip\slide system managed the braking effectiveness with individual censors on each wheel.

The traditional control stand was replaced with a newer model EMD control stand.

The 7100 arrived in Baltimore in August 1999 ready for revenue service.

It was donated to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore in 2010 where it sits today.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Downtown Akron in the late 1960s

June 13, 2019

Sometimes its hard to believe that it’s been 50 years since the 1960s ended. It was an era of transition for the railroad industry in Akron and elsewhere and many of those who lived through those years can’t get enough images of what once was.

So let’s climb aboard the wayback machine and step off on the platform of Akron Union Depot where we see Baltimore & Ohio No. 6939 leading a trailer train past the station.

On a nearby track is an Erie Lackawanna freight led by an Alco RS-3 or RS-2 along with an EMD F7B, EMD F3B, GE U25B, EMD F3B, and EMD F7A.

Photographs by Robert Farkas