Posts Tagged ‘Erie Lackawanna motive power’

EL Monday: An F7A in Akron

January 23, 2023

It is 1967-1970 in Akron. Westbound Erie Lackawanna F3A No. 7091 has stopped, and I was very careful as I took this scenic photo.

The bottom image is the same train only the image has been cropped, which gives it a different look and feel from the original photograph.

The train is on the Voris Street crossing and looks like it is backing into McCoy Street Yard.

How strange to think in a few years Conrail would change all this. The 7091 was built for the Erie Railroad in February 1949.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: SD45s in Marion

January 16, 2023

It is the fall of 1968 and Erie Lackawanna Nos. 3625 and 3626 sit outside the diesel shop in Marion. Both units are EMD SD45s. The scene is the same in both images but one features a wider view and other a closer look.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Train Time in Kent

January 9, 2023

It is 1967-1968 in Kent. An eastbound Erie Lackawanna freight train whose lead unit is at West Main Street has just passed the passenger station hidden to the back right of the train.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Down at the Kent Station

January 2, 2023

Erie Lackawanna U25B No. 2506 is on the point of an eastbound passing the Kent passenger station in the middle to late 1960s. The 2506 was built by GE for the EL in September 1964. It was on the Conrail motive power roster until 1984.

The tip off that the photographer is standing by the Kent station is the boarding shelter on the west side of the tracks. In the approximate location of the boxcar is where a passenger car sits today. The Kent station is now a restaurant that has had several owners and names over the years.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: The Crew Was Not Happy

December 26, 2022

Here is another one from a day of Erie Lackawanna railfanning with Mike Ondecker. EL Alco PA1 No. 856 is in Kent in 1967 or 1968. The PA was one of the two westbound-facing locomotives in the lash-up with the other one also being a PA.

I can’t remember which was in the lead, but one of the two had no heat in the cab while the other had a cab window that would not close.

The two engines swapped places, and the second was put in the lead. A very unhappy crew made its way west.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Down Near Voris Street

December 19, 2022

Erie Lackawanna Alco RS3 No. 1036 is in Akron on Jan. 14, 1973. The image was made near Voris Street and the unit might have been working in nearby McCoy Street Yard.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Mail and Express Train in Akron

December 12, 2022

This is thought to be Erie Lackawanna mail and express train No. 3 shown on a cloudy day passing McCoy Street Yard in Akron in the late 1960s.

I managed to open up the f-stop enough to get some light on the side of the train thereby not making it entirely backlit and thus fooling me into initially thinking this was the morning westbound Lake Cities.

This is an easy mistake to make, since the EL only had one regular passenger train through Akron by the late 1960s, but this one isn’t No. 5.

I was told by one of my followers that this is the only photo he’s seen of a mail and express train on the EL, although such trains were common on mainline railroads through Northeast Ohio and they all looked pretty much the same in their consists of a long string of head-end cars followed by a rider coach on the rear for the crew.

Until July 1965 No. 3 used to be No. 7, the Pacific Express, which handled passengers until the Interstate Commerce Commission allowed the EL to cease handling passengers on No. 7 and its counterpart No. 8, the Atlantic Express, which was renumbered No. 4.

Nos. 7 and 8 were scheduled to depart late night from Chicago Dearborn Station (10:10 p.m.) and Hokoken, New Jersey (12:30 a.m) to make 24-hour runs across the Erie Railroad mainline.

The EL told the ICC that patronage of both trains was light and having to carry passengers forced the head-end heavy trains to operate on a rigid schedule and stop where there was no mail and express business.

The Pacific Express was scheduled to reach Akron in late afternoon. It and the Atlantic Express typically operated with one passenger coach, with No. 8 having lost its sleeping cars in 1964. Dining service had ended in 1963 on both trains when No. 7 also lost its sleeping cars.

It is amazing how a photo can bring the past to life. This image is at least 55 years old. I knew there were mail trains still operating in the late 196os but had forgotten about them. More than half a century does that since they were not often listed in the Official Guide.

The image also is reminder that at one time a host of Christmas packages moved by Railway Express instead of Federal Express, an airline and ground delivery service best known as FedEx.

Amtrak has pretty much left the package haulage business but intermodal trains handle some holiday package business on behalf of FedEx and its chief competitor United Parcel Service.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Running Long Hood Forward

December 5, 2022

Erie Lackawanna U25B No. 2513 leads an eastbound near Voris Street in Akron in August 1973. Both the 2513 and its trailing unit are running long hood forward. The 2513 was built in July 1965 by GE.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Smokin’ it up in Akron

November 28, 2022

Erie Lackawanna 2456 is westbound in Akron sometime between 1967 and 1972. This is an Alco C425, EMD F7B, GE U25B lash-up that is putting a ton of smoke in the air as it accelerates out of McCoy Street Yard and passes beneath Thornton Street.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Something to be Thankful for Today

November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Some of us may have wished to be able to “backstep” seven days to see an event covered in Trainorders.com, to borrow the “Lifeboat” and visit Roanoke in 1958 in order to enjoy some of the last days of steam, or even to step out of our warm apartment in the Dakota and photograph New York City’s railroads in the 1880’s. Odds are that we will never have the chance, but through photographic time travel, the past opens to us.  

As we share photos and videos, we invite others to stand beside us and see what we have seen. With movies and video, we can add both motion and sound. The feeling of “being there” becomes all the more real. I know that years ago, I never thought there would someday be a way to share photos, slides, movies, and videos globally, yet here we are in 2022 with this ability.

Here is an example…

It is an evening in September 1968 in Akron. I have just picked up two new lenses for my Mamiya C-3 twin lens reflex camera, and I want to try them out. My 1967 Volkswagen takes me to where Voris Street in Akron crosses the Erie Lackawanna, Baltimore & Ohio, and the Penn Central. Approaching me is a westbound EL freight. I hop out of the car, cock the shutter, check the f-stop and shutter speed, and manually focus. By now the train is upon me. Even though the day is cloudy, this works to my advantage because this train would have been backlit. I freeze into one position and press the shutter release.

It is only then that I realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime action photo. Here are an EL Alco C-425, Alco FB, an EMD F7B, an Alco PA, three EMD E8As, a freight car, and finally an EMD F3A.

Everything is not over, for I have to go home, carefully develop the negatives, and enlarge and print a photo.

Because the technology had not been invented yet, I had no way to make a photo such as what you see. This took an Epson scanner, Lightroom, and Photoshop to create this photo. Through the Internet you are standing next to me and enjoying the wonder of this scene. We look at each other and realize we have shared a never-to-be-repeated moment in time.

This is what photographic time travel is about.

As you post online, just think of all the family standing beside you in the world’s largest photo line, and nobody steps out and ruins your photo.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas