Posts Tagged ‘B&O in Akron’

B&O F7A in Akron

October 29, 2020

Baltimore & Ohio F7A No. 4590 along with an F7B is shown in Akron in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The location appears to be the mainline above the B&O shops.

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

Today’s Chessie Sampler

February 28, 2020

Let’s go back a few decades to a time when what is today the CSX New Castle Subdivision was operated by the Chessie System.

In the top image, an eastbound led by Baltimore & Ohio GP40-2 No. 4156 leads a steel coil train through Sterling in November 1981.

The middle image was made in Akron in December 1979. B&O SD40-2 No. 7613 leads a westbound beneath Interstate 76 near South Street.

The bottom image was made at Easton in March 1988 and shows an eastbound led by B&O GP40 No. 6088

Photographs by Robert Farkas

One Day Early in the CSX Era

December 15, 2019

It an afternoon early in the CSX era, March 14, 1987, to be exact. I’m standing on “the Hill” in Akron where four locomotives led by Chessie System-painted (Baltimore & Ohio) GP40-2 No. 4308 are eastbound climbing east of the CSX yard. The track on the right is the now-removed ex-Conrail line from Hudson, to Akron.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Need a B&O Fix? We’ve Got it For You

August 16, 2019

B&O GP 30 leads a westbound in Akron on June 20, 1987.

It has been decades since the Baltimore & Ohio faded into history into the Chessie System which in turn dissolved into CSX.

But some who have long lived in or near Akron still have a fondness for the B&O even if the only tangible trace of it these days are museum pieces and a locomotive operating on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that is painted in a B&O livery.

The CVSR’s B&O No. 800 does a reasonably good job of bringing the fabled railroad with the capitol dome herald to life, but sometimes you want to see the real thing.

Here is a selection of photographs of the B&O in Akron and Willard that come from the camera of Robert Farkas, a long-time resident of Northeast Ohio who continues to photograph the region’s railroad operations.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

GP9 No. 6548 works a train in the Yard at Willard, Ohio, on Sept. 3, 1978.

B&O GP 35 No.3504 is eastbound in Akron in the late 1960s. Notice the IBM dealership and the Akron Beacon Journal clock tower in the background.

GP38 No. 3825 and F7B No. 5449 move a westbound in Akron at Exchange Street on July 23, 1971. Note the roof of the Erie freight house in the background.

Akron Junction Getting that Empty Look

November 21, 2016


I mentioned at the November Akron Railroad Club meeting that most of the tracks at Akron Junction that once linked the Valley Line of the Baltimore & Ohio with the Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline of the B&O have been removed by CSX sometime within the past year.

The January issue of the ARRC eBulletin will have an article and photographs about the changes at Akron Junction, but here is a view of what it looks like these days.

In the photograph above, the gondola is marooned on the East Wye Track, the rails on each side of the car having been removed. Presumably, this car will some day be scrapped in place.

Also removed has been the other leg of the wye, which was called the Hole Track or PC&T connection. A small portion of the connection is still in at the Eastwood Avenue crossing.

Just beyond the far right end of the gondola is an empty space where the two legs of the wye from the Valley Line headed toward the connection with the Chicago main at BD Tower near Evans Avenue.

The coaling tower still stands, probably because of the expense of removing it.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Then and Now at Akron Junction

November 10, 2016


Akron Junction is an area in the eastern part of Akron that describes where the Baltimore & Ohio; Pennsylvania; Erie; and Akron, Canton & Youngstown railroads all came together.

The name notwithstanding, none of the railroads crossed at grade.

The B&O had two lines that intersected at Akron Junction with its Chicago-Pittsburgh line crossing over the top of the Valley Line between Cleveland and Mineral City, Ohio.

The lines were connected by a connecting track that left the Valley Line beneath the Chicago mainline bridge and snaked around to connect with the Chicago Line at BD.

The area along this connecting track also included a roundhouse, various yard tracks and a wye.

Within the past year or so CSX has removed nearly all of the connecting and yard tracks here.

On a recent Sunday, Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee paid a visit to this area and created a now and then image. The top image was made in July 1985.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

A Busy Akron Engine House in June 1973

July 11, 2016


Sometimes we forget how busy the Chessie System (Ex-B&O) engine facility in Akron was in the early 1970s.

It is June 1973 and this image looks down from the embankment that has the Chessie System mainline tracks.

This is not a railfan photo as much as a piece of Akron history. Not one locomotive is unobstructed, yet the image captures this busy facility in an original way.

There are ALCO switchers, B&O geeps, etc. without a trace of Chessie System yellow.

The yellow would come soon, but for one moment in 1973, this still looks like the B&O of the 1960s.

Without images such as this, Akron’s railroad history would be lost.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Taking the Farkas Challenge: A Second Life for the B&O Valley Line at Howard Street in Akron

July 4, 2016


Farkas Bowler

Few who ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from or into Akron Northside station probably are aware of the history of the site.

The Valley Line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad once had a station and freight house here. Some in the 19th century Akron thought the Howard Street station was too far from downtown, so they successfully lobbied for the construction of another station on Market Street.

The depot didn’t last long, perhaps because it was a stub-end facility that required backup moves. Perhaps Akronites just got used to using Howard Street station.

B&O passenger service to Howard Street station ended in January 1963 and the station was razed.

That might have been the end of the story, but for the decision of the Cuyahoga Valley Line to begin bringing passengers into Akron and taking them by bus to Quaker Square.

For several years, the passengers disembarked at a vacant lot. Then the CVL became the beneficiary of money flowing from the National Park Service, which purchased the Valley Line after CSX abandoned it in 1985. The Park Service was helping to preserve CVL service,

In time the CVL renamed itself the CVSR and began developing stations that have the appearance of a railroad station even if they are minimalist structures.

The vacant lot where B&O’s Howard Street Station had stood soon sported a new station with an expansive paved parking lot.

That resurrection was about having a second life.  The Valley Line got a second life by providing transportation to and within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The involvement of the Park Service brought the CVL a second life for it didn’t operate in 1986 and 1987 after the Valley Line was abandoned.

The site of Howard Street station received a second life and became Ohio’s busiest railroad stations in terms of passengers handled annually.

Steam motive power on the Valley Line also has received a second life. In the early years, CVL trains were pulled by a former Grand Trunk Western steam engine.

But that ended after the 1990 season and it would be 17 years before a steam locomotive whistle again echoed through the Cuyahoga Valley.

In recent years, former Nickel Plate Road No. 765 has been a regular visitor to the CVSR and thousands have ridden behind it and/or come out to watch it.

Not every railroad line in Akron has been able to enjoy a second life, but in the case of the Valley Line at Howard Street it has bounced back from the dead quite nicely and its future is assured.

This image of the NKP 765 arriving at Northside station in September 2010 was made from the Y bridge before the fencing was added. It is my nomination from the collection of Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler for the Farkas Challenge.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by Craig Sanders

Where Were You in October 1969?

January 9, 2014


Baltimore & Ohio F7A No. 7034 heads a westbound freight past the B&O’s passenger platform at  Akron Union Depot. When this image was made in October 1969, Akron was down to just six passenger trains, of which four used this platform. Another pair was on the Erie Lackawanna and those trains had less than three months to live. Within two years, Amtrak would arrive and Akron UD would close.

Photograph by Robert Farkas