Posts Tagged ‘Canton’

Conrail in Canton Yard

July 18, 2021

Early Conrail motive power at its fines is on display in the yard in Canton on March 19, 1977. Pulling the eastbound train at SD40 6355, GP40 3079, and SDP45 No. 6686. The middle unit still wears Penn Central markings while the third unit still has Erie Lackawanna paint. The 6686 was built in June 1969 as EL 3655.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Light Rail Service Eyed in Canton

July 6, 2021

Canton officials want to study the possibility of a light rail service that would whisk visitors between the Pro Football Hall of Fame and downtown and someday to the Akron-Canton Airport.

The city engineering office and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority will seek a $25,000 grant to explore the idea.

The grant application has been submitted to the Stark County Area Transportation Study.

However, Canton Enginer Dan Moeglin said SCATS has told him the rail project is not high on that agency’s priority list.

Officials say the development of the Hall of Fame Village with new hotels and attractions would draw a significant number of people from out of the area.

The proposed rail service would cost between $25 million to $50 million with officials hoping the Federal Transit Administration would cover at least 80 percent of the costs.

SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad said the project would take at least two years from approval to construction. The project could be halted if the Hall of Fame Village ends failing to develop.

“If it’s not cost effective and we’re not going to get the return on investment, then we’re not going to do it,” Moeglin said.

 “We think having that dedicated line to and from the Village and downtown creates a calling card and attractiveness that a simple bus doesn’t provide,” he said.

Canton officials envision using track owned by Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority that was once used by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad between Akron and Canton.

A portion of this line is used by the Wheeling & Lake Erie for freight service.

If the rail service develops, a station would be established near the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the southwest corner of Fulton Road NW and Harrison Avenue. 

Trains would go to Tuscarawas Street west of Brown Avenue. Intermediate stops could include 12th Street NW near the McKinley Memorial and Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, the Ralph Regula Federal Building, City Hall and Stark State Downtown campus at 400 Third St. SE.

Some new track construction would be needed for the project on Third Street SW as it goes southeast from Tuscarawas and then east with a stop at Market Avenue.

Eventually, the service would be extended northward to the Akron-Canton Airport with stops in the Belden Village area with shuttle service to SARTA’s Belden Village Station on Whipple Avenue NW.

Conrad said autonomous vehicles could shuttle passengers from a station on Fulton Road NW by the track to and from the Hall of Fame.

He said he’s had only preliminary discussions with Akron Metro officials about using the rail line. Yet to be worked out is whether the city and SARTA would lease or purchase the railroad tracks.

Valerie Shea, director of planning of Akron Metro, said her agency has not “had any discussions regarding this specific proposal or its operational details at this time. However, we continue to discuss and remain open to any ideas that bring economic growth to our region.”

Conrad said a feasibility study, if funded, would take at least six months to complete.

SARTA operated a bus designed to look like a trolley for less than six months in 2006 on a loop in downtown Canton. Ridership was poor with the trolley bus carrying fewer than 10 passengers on some days.

A Locomotive and its Caboose

June 27, 2021

Conrail GP38-2 No. 8089 and its caboose are en route to their next assignment in Canton in May 1985. The unit was built for Penn Central in February 1973 and would later go to work for Norfolk Southern.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Quite a Penn Central Collection

May 7, 2021

Let’s see what we’ve got here. There is E8A No. 4294, E8A No. 4070, E7B No. 4104, E7B No. 4107 and GE U25B No. 2658. They are teamed up to the westbound westbound Penn Central train Mail 9″in Canton on Sept. 10, 1972.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Penn Central’s Fort Pitt in Canton

January 24, 2021

It may be a Penn Central passenger train but the westbound Fort Pitt had a pair of Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives pulling it as it arrives in the station in Canton on May 30, 1968.

Nos. 4309 and 4304, a pair of E8A locomotives, are on the point today.

No. 4309 had been built for the Pennsy in January 1951 as No. 5809. It would later become an Amtrak unit, work for Conrail and end up becoming Juniata Terminal 5809 wearing a PRR livery.

The Fort Pitt, however, would not have the same history. The Pittsburgh to Chicago train survived until the coming of Amtrak when it was discontinued.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Fort Pitt in Canton

January 9, 2021

Penn Central E8A No. 4309 is heading the westbound Fort Pitt through Canton on May 30, 1968. You’ve already noticed that it still wears its Pennsylvania Railroad markings.

Indeed, it was built by EMD for the Pennsy in January 1951 as No. 5809. This unit would later join the Amtrak motive power roster where it held roster numbers 315 and 498.

It then became Conrail 4020 and helped to pull that railroad’s executive trains. It then became Juniata Terminal No. 5809 where it was repainted back into PRR colors and markings.

In the image above you can also see Wandle interlocking in the background where the Norfolk & Western (former Wheeling & Lake Erie/Nickel Plate Road) crossed the Fort Wayne Line of the Pennsy.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Wabash H Unit Leads NS OCS

November 15, 2020

Norfolk Southern’s executive train made a pass through Northeast Ohio on Saturday led by the Wabash heritage locomotive.

It traveled the Fort Wayne Line and reported by Crestline at 7:32 a.m. and Orrville at 12:38 p.m.

The six-car train was headed back to its home base in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where it arrived around 11 p.m.

It is shown above passing through Canton.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Looks Like an Alco Except on the Inside

November 6, 2020

By outward apearances Conrail 9931 looks like an Alco locomotive. It was built in March 1953 for the Central of New Jersey as an RS3. But by the time this image was made on Nov. 1, 1980, it’s Alco power plant had been replaced by one built by EMD.

It is shown on the Fort Wayne Line in Canton at McKinley Tower were Conrail crossed the Chessie System branch to Mineral City. This was a Baltimore & Ohio route and much of it has been abandoned south of here.

This line, which is partly visible to the right of the locomotive nose, continued north to Akron and Cleveland and is used today by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad between Akron and Independence.

The tower is partly visible in the upper left hand corner.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Another Wheeling 2 for Tuesday

September 29, 2020

Here are a pair of Wheeling & Lake Erie locomotives that each feature a touch of another railroad.

In the top image SD40-2 No. 6316 still wears is Wisconsin Central livery as it helps pull a westbound in Navarre on September 5, 2016.

In the bottom photo, GP35-3 No. 107 pays tribute to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown. It is shown in Canton on Nov. 4, 2011.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Cart Before the Horse?

July 30, 2020

The phrase putting the cart before the horse is an idiom that often denotes something that is being done contrary to conventions or an expected relationship.

Everyone knows that a caboose is placed on the end of the train, right?

That is not always so when doing a switching move.

In the photo above, made in the early Conrail years, a switcher works at the east end of the yard in Canton with a transfer caboose that still has its Penn Central markings.

Photograph by Robert Farkas