Posts Tagged ‘Erie Lackawanna’

Ex-Erie Station in Fair Lawn Being Renovated

April 18, 2017

The former Erie Railroad station in the Radburn section of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, is closing for four months for some badly needed TLC.

It is getting a new roof, ceiling and interior renovations. The station was built by the Erie in 1929 and replaced a small wood building.

The station sees about 1,500 commuters a day and is one of only a couple of former Erie stations that still has an agent, albeit only for morning rush hour Monday through Friday.

The station is styled in the Dutch style that matched many of Fair Lawn’s early homes.

Since the station is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places the appearance of the depot will not change.

The only significant change to the station was the addition of a platform canopy in the early 2000s. Compare the 1950s postcard view with the picture taken at the same angle in 2012.

The Radburn-Fair Lawn station has a special meaning for me; It is where I became a railfan.

In the ‘60s, when I was old enough to start wandering around town on my own I would go to the station every day after school and watch the trains roll by.

The Erie Lackawanna’s commuter trains were hauled by RS-3s and geeps. The train to Port Jervis was hauled by an E8.

In the early 1970s the commuter trains were replaced with brand new U34CH diesels and push-pull train sets.

The E’s would last on the Port Jervis runs a few more years. In those days the station still had a full-time agent who was there until 4 p.m.

I had many pleasant conversations with the gentleman. There was also a full-time section gang that had an office in the station, including a a kind old Italian gentlemen who would always talk to a young railfan.

My daily railfanning would end at 6:15 p.m. when the train pulled in and brought my father home from his job in New York City.

We would get in the car and drive home to become a complete family once again.

At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 14, the agent closed up the office and New Jersey Transit started removing the office equipment.

On Monday the station’s cozy waiting room fell silent. In about four months the refurbished building should be reopened and the waiting room and agent will be welcoming travelers once again.

I can’t wait to walk through her doors once again.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

A contemporary view of Radburn station.

Historic post card view of Radburn station.

When Pennsy Had a Yard in Akron

April 7, 2017

Perhaps you will have the same feeling of disbelief as I had when I looked at these two Mike Ondecker images.

Where was this heavily industrialized area? I didn’t know, but the sign on one of the factories matched a company in Cleveland, so I labeled this as Cleveland.

Much to my surprise, several railfans said this was Akron!

It was only upon close observation that I realized this was taken from a Firestone building.

On the left where a stone company now is located was once the Pennsylvania Railroad yard in Akron.

The building on the left is part of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Erie No. 517 is most likely bringing a cut of cars back to the Erie Lackawanna McCoy Street Yard.

This Akron of the early 1960s is totally unlike today’s railroad/industrial scene, but thanks to Mike these memories come alive again.

Article by Robert Farkas, Photographs by Mike Ondecker

 

In Memory of Michael Andrew Ondecker

March 13, 2017

Former Akron Railroad Club member Michael A. Ondecker, 69, died of a heart attack on Jan. 30.

Services were held at the Tallmadge Cemetery on March 3 with the Rev. Michael A. Matusz officiating. Donovan Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Mr. Ondecker was born on Dec. 21, 1947, the son of Andrew and Isabelle Ondecker. He is survived by a brother, Thomas, who resides in Florida.

A graduate of Kent State University, he was a retired railroader, having worked for the Erie Lackawanna on its power desk and in its intermodal traffic department.

At the time of creation of Conrail, his former EL boss hired him to work at the Grand Trunk Western. Mr. Ondecker later moved to a position in the intermodal traffic department of the Soo Line.

A resident of Tallmadge for the past 15 years, Mr. Ondecker was a volunteer with the Ohio Museum of Transportation, which collects transit buses that were used throughout Ohio.

He was a friend of ARRC member Robert Farkas, who said that Mr. Ondecker introduced him to railfanning in 1965.

They traveled together on nearly a decade of trips to such places as Birmingham, Alabama; Huron, South Dakota; and New Haven, Connecticut.

“Before his aunt loaned him her 120 roll film camera (decent lens but slow top shutter speed) in 1968, he took a few Instamatic photos,” Bob write in an email message. “The quality of the Instamatic photos was poor because of the camera. On the other hand, what he saw was incredible!”

Three of those photographs made by Mr. Ondecker accompany this post.

“Instead of purchasing a better camera with a high shutter speed, he basically stopped taking photos,” Bob said. “Instead he drove and I took the photos for both of us.”

In the top image, made with the Instamatic camera, EL No. 7354 (an Alco FA), an F3B, and other units are shown at an unidentified location. The image was probably created in the middle 1960s.

The middle image also was made with an Instamatic camera.  EL No. 858 (an Alco PA), an Alco FB, and an EMD F3B were captured in the same time period at an unidentified location.

In the bottom image, made with his aunt’s camera, Baltimore & Ohio No. 9131 (an Alco S-2) is in shown in downtown Akron in the summer of 1968.

EL Business Car Arrives at Pa. Short Line Railroad

March 11, 2017

Genesee Valley Transportation Company will use a former Erie Lackawanna business car that was sold last month.

EL No. 2 recently arrived in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Built by Pullman for the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the car later was sold to the Erie Railroad.

It has been privately owned by a series of owners since 1975.

One of those owners had it rebuilt to meet Amtrak standards for private cars and renamed it Phoebe Snow.

Most recently, No. 2 has been at the North Shore Railroad in Northumberland, Pennsylvania.

Genesee Valley operates four short line railroads in Pennsylvania and New York, including Delaware-Lackawanna, Depew Lancaster & Western, Falls Road, and Mohawk Adirondack & Northern.

What We’ve Lost over Time on the EL in Kent

February 18, 2017

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Sometimes when a railroad becomes a fallen flag, much of the rails and other infrastructure disappear and only memories are left. Compare this view of the Erie Lackawanna trackage in Kent in the late 1960s with what the Wheeling & Lake Erie operates now. We are looking toward West Summit Street and into downtown Kent. What a difference almost half a century makes.

Article and Photograph by Bob Farkas

 

Help Solve the Mystery of This Train’s Location

February 6, 2017

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Here is an Erie Lackawanna F3A, F7A, and BLW DS44-1000 taken in an unknown location most likely from 1967-1970. It is on a two-track line, quite possibly the main line. One of the trucks reads Fisher Foods. Thanks for any help on the location.

Photograph From Robert Farkas

Railroading as It Once Was: Just Another Day at RU Tower in Sterling on the Erie Lackawanna

January 25, 2017

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It’s just another normal hot August 1975 afternoon in Sterling. The Erie Lackawanna was doing its normal thing, too, as this eastbound train blasts past RU tower making a run for Wadsworth hill. In a few short miles it would be down to a crawl as gravity worked its magic.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Bob Cranks up His Wayback Machine Again

January 10, 2017
Erie Lackawanna 2512, a GE U25B

Erie Lackawanna 2512, a GE U25B

Akron Railroad Club member Bob Farkas has invited us over to his house for a party to celebrate the new year and to remember an old year.

After some socializing and snacks, he’s brought out his Wayback Machine and taken us back on the Erie Lackawanna on a winter day in Kent in the 1960s for a “from the same roll of film” show.

He said the images are from the same afternoon and are not in any particular order. Pass the popcorn and enjoy the show.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Louisiana & Northwestern 6036 boxcar

Louisiana & North-West 6036 boxcar

Erie R28 being used as a rider car

Erie R28 being used as a rider car

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EL 3613, 3609, both EMD SD45s

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie 24260 and Milwaukee Road boxcars.

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie 24260 and Milwaukee Road boxcars.

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EL 2452, an Alco C425; 2553, an EMD GP 35; and 6321, an EMD F7A

EL 2452, an Alco C425; 2553, an EMD GP 35; and 6321, an EMD F7A

CB&Q 28402 boxcar

CB&Q 28402 boxcar

EL 6321, an EMD F7A

EL 6321, an EMD F7A

This is my favorite image from the afternoon. EL 1051 and its train head west through the east end of the yard.

This is my favorite image from the afternoon. EL 1051 and its train head west through the east end of the yard.

 

Railroading as it Once Was: Erie Lackawanna Winter View in Scranton Felt Like a Railroad

January 5, 2017
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Even on a dull day a fresh-painted Erie Lackawanna unit stood out. This is Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1975. Typical of a locomotive service area back then, oil and sand were all over. White snow didn’t stay white very long. Goodies abound with not only the shiny Geep but other GP-7s, an Alco C-425, and transfer caboose T-14. Places like this just reeked railroad with the sights, sounds, and smells of an everyday working railroad. I feel blessed to have been able to visit places like this on the EL back then, to experience the “real deal.”

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as It Once Was: Legit Tagging

December 28, 2016

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Here is some legit tagging from May 1978. In 1975 Clipper Express let the West Town Community Youth Art Center of Chicago paint one of its TOFC trailers. There were several other Clipper Express trailers painted with various themes, too. This unit was on Conrail TV 98 eastbound on the former Erie Lackawanna in Akron.

Photograph by Roger Durfee