Posts Tagged ‘EL passenger stations’

EL Monday: Way it Used to be in Kent

February 6, 2023

It is the late 1960s in Kent. This view is looking railroad east toward the Erie Lackawanna passenger station. The two EL main lines are on the left while three team tracks are on the right. Even the westbound waiting shed is still there. With the frequency of trains, soon this scene will take on a life of its own.

Much has changed since this image was made. You can stand in this same location today and still see the West Main Street bridge and the passenger station. The grain elevator in the background suffered major damage in a fire in late 2022.

The area where the team tracks used to be is now a parking lot. The passenger shelter on the west side is long gone and rail traffic here is much diminished.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Rolling Stock in Akron

February 7, 2022

The wayback machine has landed us by the Erie Lackawanna passenger station in downtown Akron in the late 1960’s.  Delaware & Hudson special duty flat car No. 16157 looks ready to carry truly heavy loads. In the bottom image, I have no idea why baggage car 578 is not on the Lake Cities unless it was cut off for some mechanical reason.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: The Lake Cities in Kent

June 28, 2021

Erie Lackawanna E8A No. 815 is on the point of the Lake Cities in Kent on a winter morning in the late 1960s. By now this was the last intercity passenger train left on the EL although the railroad had commuter trains in Cleveland and the New York City region.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Down at the Akron EL Station

June 29, 2019

Erie Lackawanna 6311 is eastbound past the EL passenger station in Akron in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

By then passenger service on the former Erie Railroad had shrunk to the Lake Cities between Chicago and Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Lake Cities would continue to operate through early January 1970. It would be the last EL intercity passenger train although the carrier continued to operate a commuter train between Cleveland and Youngstown, and it had extensive commuter rail operations in the New York City region.

But the Lake Cities would be the last EL varnish to carry a dining car and sleeping cars.

The Akron EL station, which was built by the Erie in the late 1940s, no longer stands. It was razed and a bank branch is now on the site.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Sleuthing to Solve a Historical Mystery

July 5, 2018

Historical artifacts don’t always come with much explanation of their past. Such was the case with this train bulletin board that is mounted on a wall of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society roundhouse in Cleveland.

There are some clues about its past starting with the name of the railroad. When created in October 1960, the Erie Lackawanna used a hyphen, but that was soon dropped.

It can clearly be seen that someone painted over the original name of the railroad with “Erie-Lackawanna.

Given the shaky condition of the EL throughout its lifetime, I can understand how no one cared to change it once the hypen was dropped in 1963.

I can also understand why one bothered to paint over the numbers of trains that no longer operated. The EL was in the passenger business for nearly a decade and took a certain pride in it, but the period was marked by retrenchment until its last intercity train, the Chicago-Hoboken, New Jersey Lake Cities completed its final trips in early January 1970.

So where did this train bulletin come from? Given that the trains shown operated between Chicago and New York that suggests it came out of a former Erie Railroad station.

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western had New York-Chicago through cars that interchanged with the Nickel Plate Road in Buffalo, New York, but I doubted this artifact came from a former Lackawanna station.

A check of the train numbers in the Official Guide of the Railways substantiated that. The Lackawanna did not have a Train No. 1 on the eve of the merger.

In the EL era, Nos. 1 and 2 were the Erie-Lackawanna Limited (nee Erie Limited), and later the Phoebe Snow, a former Lackawanna train.

Nos. 5 and 6 were The Lake Cities, which had a Buffalo section numbered 35 and 36.

No 8 was the Atlantic Express whereas No. 7 was the Pacific Express. These were mail and express trains that also carried passengers.

Train No. 80, though, baffled me because the only No. 80 I could find in Official Guide schedules for the Erie Lackawanna was a commuter train that originated in Port Jervis, New York, and operated to Hoboken.

Could it have once operated to Chicago? Going back into the early 1950s schedules of the Erie, I determined that No. 80 was a Sunday-only section of the Atlantic Express.

The number for another westbound train has been obliterated, but it probably was No. 9, a Saturday-only section of the Pacific Express.

Despite this artifact being displayed in Cleveland I ruled out it having come from Cleveland or anywhere on the former Erie line between Cleveland and Youngstown.

That line once had a substantial passenger business, but those trains in the EL era carried 600 series numbers and did not operate between Chicago and New York.

There are times shown for some of the train, but those were not helpful. Eastbound No. 2 didn’t have a scheduled 43-minute layover anywhere along its route.

It did pause in Binghamton, New York, for 23 minutes, but not at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m.

I checked the times shown here for various stations, but that did not lead me to a particular station. That suggests someone added these times for show.

Buttressing that belief is the fact that Nos. 7 and 8 ceased to carry passengers in July 1965.

There was never a time when the EL had trains 2, 5, 6 and 7 operating when Nos. 1, 8 and 80 did not operate.

There was one more clue to pursue. The board used the letters “P” and “A,” to the right of the column “due,” which probably means p.m. and a.m.

Barely visible for Train No. 5 is the numeral “10” followed by “A,” presumably meaning a.m.

In late 1965 The Lake Cities was due into Akron at 10:10 a.m.

The Pacific Express when it still carried passengers was scheduled to arrive in Akron just before 8 p.m.

The only other train for which there is an “A” or “P” is the eastbound Lake Cities, which was due into Akron at 6:42 p.m.

I detected a faint trace of the letter “A” for the westbound Phoebe Snow, which was scheduled into Akron at 1:25 a.m.

This led me to conclude that this just might have been the train bulletin board at the Erie station in Akron.

Or was it? In checking the schedules more carefully I discovered that on the eve of the Erie and Lackawanna merger No. 5 was scheduled into Youngstown around 10 a.m.

As late as 1963 No. 5 was scheduled to arrive in Kent just after 10 a.m.

The best I can therefore conclude is that this bulletin board probably came out of a station somewhere in Northeast Ohio.

Erie/EL Stations of the East: 3 in New York

June 3, 2016


Erie Middletown Built 1896

Last in a Series

Our tour of Erie Railroad stations concludes with three stations in New York state.

The Tuxedo depot (top photograph) was built in 1882.

Although Middletown Station (middle photograph) is in its original location, the adjacent Erie mainline was ripped out by Conrail in the early 1980s. It was built in 1896 and is now used as the Middletown Library. Adjacent to the old Erie mainline right of way, the tracks were removed by Conrail in 1983.

Finally, there is Port Jervis station (bottom photograph), which was built in 1896 and served as home to the Delaware Division headquarters.

This station is now under private ownership and contains offices and retail. It is no longer in use by the railroad.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Ridgewood, Mahwah

June 2, 2016

Erie Ridgewood Built 1918

Mahwah Station Built 1871

Part 4 of a Series

Today we look at two more stations along the former Erie Railroad New York Division in New Jersey.

The station at Ridgewood (top photo) was built in 1918 and features a unique mission style architecture, that was ruined (in my opinion) several years ago by the addition of high-level ADA platforms.

This was the suburban stop for most Erie long-distance trains. Although it had eastbound and westbound waiting rooms, only the eastbound building is used today by New Jersey Transit.

The Mahwah station was built in 1871 but retired by the Erie in 1904 due to right of way expansion.

The building was moved in 1904 to a dairy farm for use as warehouse. After the dairy farm closed, the station was moved again to this location where it is now an Erie Railroad Museum. Although the station is more than 145 years old, it only served the railroad for 33 years.

For more info visit:

Article and photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Radburn (Fair Lawn)

June 1, 2016

Erie Radburn Built 1929

Part 3 of a Series

Does Fair Lawn sound familiar? Did any of you ever send out Kodachrome slide film to Kodak for processing? Most of it was developed at the Fair Lawn Kodak plant.

Today Kodachrome is gone but the Radburn station, which serves Fair Lawn, still stands and is used by New Jersey Transit. The depot, which features the Dutch Colonial style, was built in 1929.

Photograph by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Rutherford, NJ

May 31, 2016

Erie Rutherford Station Built 1897

Erie Rutherford Station 2

Part 2 of a Series

The Erie Railroad had its start in New York/ New Jersey. As a result, the Garden State has some very old and unique stations, some of them dating from 1871.

Most of these stations still serve commuters seven days a week. Most have open waiting rooms but no ticket agents.

Only Mahwah does not remain in its original location. The tracks are about 200 feet away.

The station at Port Jervis, New York, also housed the Delaware Division offices. Most of the pictures in this series were taken within the past two to three years and show current conditions of the stations.

Today we view the Rutherford, New Jersey, station, which was built in 1897. Shown are the exterior and waiting room.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: The Stately Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, NJ

May 30, 2016

DL&W Hoboken Terminal Built 1907

First of a Series

New Jersey is big on preservation and many communities have preserved and/or restored their train stations.

Except for Mahwah, Waldwick, Middletown and Port Jervis, all of these stations still provide their waiting rooms for daily commuters using New Jersey Transit trains.

Only Mahwah does not sit in its original spot. It is now located about 200 feet from the tracks it once served.

In this first of a five-part series, Jack Norris takes us on a tour of Erie Railroad and Erie Lackawanna passenger stations in New Jersey and New York on the former New York Division.

We begin with the Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey. This became the terminal for all EL passenger trains after the October 1960 merger of the Erie and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.

Lackawanna Terminal opened in 1907. The exterior is copper and the waiting room ceiling was made by Tiffany (yes, THE Tiffany).

The original clock tower was removed in the early 1950s due to it being unstable. The clock tower you see is a recreation that New Jersey Transit installed in 2008.

During Superstorm Sandy, 5 feet of sea water and mud filled this waiting room. That is about a foot or so above the ticket window counters.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Hoboken Terminal Entrance

Hoboken Ticket Windows

HobokenTiffany Ceiling