Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Rock Island & Pacific’

Vestige of the Rock on the ABC

September 24, 2020

On Wednesday I caught the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway local returning from Ravenna. it had GP40 No. 4005, which was formerly Rock Island 4700. It is shown passing the former Erie Railroad passenger depot, now a restaurant named Treno, in Kent.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

Trade in Power at the GE Erie Locomotive Plant

March 16, 2020

Although public access is limited, railfan photographers have long sought to make images at the General Electric locomotive assembly plant in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Aside from the shiny new locomotives ready to head to their owners you might also see units that has been traded in.

Such was the case with two Great Northern Alco RS3s, a Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Alco FA, and two Rock Island Alco RS3s that were all out in the open on Oct. 2, 1969.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

A Collection of Erie Lackawanna Motive Power

August 19, 2019

EL 6621is riding the turntable in Marion, Ohio, in the late 1960s.

Relatively speaking, the Erie Lackawanna had a short if colorful life, lasting from October 1960 to April 1976.

The EL, which many wags dubbed the Erie Lack of Money also had some of the snazziest looking locomotives operating in Northeast Ohio.

Here is a collection of EL motive power from the camera of Robert Farkas.

About the image below that features a Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific locomotive leading a train in Kent, Bob wrote: “My friend Mike Ondecker was friends with many who worked for the EL in Kent, Ohio which arrangement allowed me to take photos in the yard when I was with him.

“Rock Island 201 leads an eastbound Erie Lackawanna freight through the EL yard in Kent in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

“At the time RI, B&M, and D&H power could sometimes be seen mostly on run-through trains.”

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL 7062 is at Marion on July 28, 1972.

EL 2503 is part of a motive power consist in Akron on Oct. 1, 1972.

EL 1005 is in Akron in January 1973.

EL 3617 is westbound in Kent in the late 1960s.

EL 820 is eastbound in Kent in the late 1960s.

Some Railroad Sights From Joliet, Illinois

April 13, 2017

Amtrak 62 is a French Turboliner that Amtrak used out of Chicago in the mid-1970’s. Here she is in front of Joliet Union Station on June 15, 1974.

Rock Island 654 leads three other Rock Island E8s approaching the crossing with the AT&SF on August 18, 1973.

AT&SF 314C was in Joliet on April 14, 1973. By then some passenger units were on freights as well as on Amtrak.

Mike Ondecker had heard about how Joliet, Illinois, was an excellent location to railfan and wanted to railfan it.

Never did I realize it would become a favorite location and a mandatory stop on westward trips.

Here are three photos taken when Mike and I visited Joliet on different occasions.  By this time Mike had stopped taking photos, but thankfully his being employed by the Erie Lackawanna and his knowledge of railfan locations helped each trip be a great experience.

Of course the fact that Mike loved driving and drove all the time gave me more time to try and navigate to the next location as well as check out the scenery for things of interest. We truly got along well.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Once an Occasional Sight at Wilbeth Road

December 4, 2016


Been to the Wilbeth Road footbridge in Akron recently? Then you didn’t see this. Rock Island 244 leads three Rock Island GE U-Boats east on the Erie Lackawanna. It is the early 1970s, and Rock Island; Delaware and Hudson; and Boston and Maine pool power sometimes came through Akron.

Photograph by Robert Farkas


The Whole Was More Powerful than the Parts

February 19, 2015


It is August 12, 1972, and Mike Ondecker and I have been given permission to take photographs around the Rock Island engine facility at Joliet, Ill.

At the time, I took mostly roster shots instead of train shots. Had I concentrated on a roster shot of Rock Island 641, the shadow of the sand tower on the rear of the unit would have driven me mad.

Here was an E7A in beautiful light, yet it had that distracting shadow. Thankfully, I stepped back and got more of the whole scene.

That engine house had certainly seen better days and while the rectangular 35mm slide format cut off part of the sand tower, enough was there so that there weren’t two strange diagonally-running pipes appearing out of nowhere.

Also, a roster shot would have cropped out part of the reflection. Did I plan the image this way? No. I just took it to have something.

Yet 40 plus years later, it serves as a good example of the whole image being far more powerful than its individual parts.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas



Akron Gets a Piece of the Rock

January 12, 2015


img479-Edit-Edit533EChicago, Rock Island & Pacific No. 220 heads west through Akron on the Erie Lackawanna on a cloudy late day in the late 1960s or early 1970s.  It was not uncommon to see run-through foreign power or leased power on the EL, but few of the newer members might realize this. Sorry about the less-than-great image, but the original negative was damaged.

Photograph by Robert Farkas