Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore & Ohio passenger trains’

EL Monday: Once a Common Sight

April 18, 2022

Erie Lackawanna Nos. 819 and 818 are on the point of the approaching Lake Cities while Baltimore & Ohio No. 1440 is on the point of the Diplomat, which is already at the Akron Union Depot. It is the late 1960s, and it was not uncommon to have both westbound trains at their respective stations at the same time.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Friendly Wave From a B&O Trainman

March 23, 2022

Although I lived near Warwick, I only photographed one or two Baltimore & Ohio passenger trains through there. It is 1966 or 1967, and here is Baltimore & Ohio 3516 westbound. I really like the image of the trainman giving a friendly wave.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Backing Onto the Diplomat

August 21, 2020

Akron was a station where some Baltimore & Ohio passenger trains made set offs and pickups.

It might be a sleeping car or it could be head end cars carrying mail and express.

By the time this image was made the Akron set off sleepers were thing of the past but head end cars carrying mail were still interchanged.

B&O E8A No. 1444 and E8B No. 2415 are backing onto their train after picking up a mail car at Akron Union Depot.

It’s a morning in mid-1968 and this is the Diplomat bound from Washington to Chicago.

Model railroad building Walthers sells HO scale replicas of the 2415 so its memory continues to live on model railroad layouts even if the Diplomat has been gone for 50 years now.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

B&O’s Diplomat in Akron

March 14, 2020

The westbound Diplomat of the Baltimore & Ohio is making its station stop in Akron in 1968.

Leading No. 7 today is E8A No. 1446. In the background is the passenger station for the Erie Lackawanna.

The Diplomat is on the westbound B&O main line with the Akron Union Depot passenger platform between No. 1446 and the viewer.

The track between No. 7 and the platform was used for storing cars to be put on passenger trains or cars that were taken off passenger trains.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Working B&O’s Diplomat in Akron

December 26, 2019

Baltimore & Ohio F7A No. 4550 is working at Akron Union Depot in the late 1960s. On the other track is B&O’s westbound Diplomat.

No. 4550 and F7B No. 5478 have cut off their train to add another car to the consist.

The Diplomat in this era typically had a coach, a food bar coach and two or more head end cars.

In early January 1970 the Diplomat and its eastbound counterpart, the Gateway, were discontinued west of Akron.

East of Akron they continued to operate to Washington using the name Shenandoah.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Merry Christmas From Bob Farkas

December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas to all the Akron Railroad Club members. Here is Baltimore & Ohio No. 1455 at the Akron Union Station. It is the fall of 1968 and the Diplomat will soon head west.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Another B&O Dining Car Menu

December 8, 2017

It is funny that the December Akron Railroad Club eBulletin covers the final decade of the Baltimore & Ohio’s passenger service. I see that the article featured a menu from my collection. Well, here is another menu from my collection. This is from the final day of the B&O Capitol Limited. I do enjoy the Amtrak version very much, but I know it is just not the same.

I have many B&O menus, china, timetables, etc. I have ridden the Amtrak version of the Capitol Limited many times. When I rode it the first couple times it had dome cars. The Superliners had not come on line yet. I loved the old dome cars with the forward facing view.

I miss that view with the Superliner lounges. By the way, as you can see by the photo I even have a B&O tea bag. Probably 50 years old or more. I have no intentions of using it, but it demonstrates the fact that people will save anything, and then collectors like me are ecstatic to find it.

Article and photographs by Jack Norris

Taking the Farkas Challenge: An Early 1950s Scene on the Platform at Akron Union Depot

June 13, 2016

Farkas William Surdyk

Another in a series of “nominations” for the Farkas challenge.

It is May 1952 and you are standing on the platform of Akron Union Depot waiting to board a chartered steam train to Sandusky.

The station is less than five years old and one of its tenants, the Pennsylvania Railroad, is down to one pair of scheduled trains, the Akron-New York Akronite.

The Baltimore & Ohio, which is hosting today’s special, is the primary passenger carrier in Akron.

Perhaps those milling about on the platform have discussed how nearly a year ago the PRR ended its Akron-Hudson shuttle trains and in December 1950 discontinued its Cleveland-Columbus overnight trains that ran via Akron.

The B&O eight months ago ended its Cleveland-Wheeling, West Virginia, service that also ran via Akron. It has also been nearly a year since the mixed trains of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown ceased to carry passengers.

At the same time, the conversations might have touched upon how the railroads have been putting new streamlined equipment into service.

On the major mainline routes, there remains a high level of service, including the luxurious Capitol Limited.

Note the passenger car at the end of the platform. It is still a time when the B&O had a set out sleeper for Akron.

The discussion also probably got around to how much longer steam locomotives would be around.

Those standing on the platform might not yet foresee the end of intercity passenger service in Akron, but the times they are a changing and not all for the better as far as the railroads are concerned.

Some things about this platform scene are timeless. See that boy in the red shirt at right wearing a cowboy hat? His mother is gently holding onto his arm in the way that mothers have always done.

We all know what is in that boy’s mind. He wants to do what the boy in the Cub Scout uniform is doing and get a closer view of that B&O steam locomotive leading a freight train past the station platform.

Mom knows that, too, and also knows that boys can easily get into trouble trying to get “a closer look.”

There is a police officer walking toward the camera and it appears as though he is pacing the train.

He probably wants to ensure that no one gets too close to the tracks. He too knows how people can get into trouble when they get too close to a train.

In the foreground are a pair of men in business suits. One might be a railroad official attending to some last-minute business, but it is difficult to know. It was still an era when people dressed up to travel.

From our perch in the 21st century we know how fragile this scene is.

We know that steam locomotives will vanish from the B&O in about five years.

We know that in another 15 years the B&O will no longer be amendable to offering chartered passenger trains to Sandusky or anywhere else for that matter.

We know that B&O passenger service in Akron will end in 19 years almost to the day of when this photograph was made.

And we know that the sponsor of this trip, the Midwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will become a faint echo of what it was in the early 1950s when it sponsored numerous chartered passenger train excursions.

That’s the beauty of having hindsight. It is also helps us to appreciate what those folks were experiencing on this day on this railroad platform and, perhaps, to envy them for what they had that was once an everyday occurrence in Akron.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by William Surdyk