Posts Tagged ‘Hudson Ohio’

RRE Picnic Sunday in Hudson

August 10, 2021

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts will hold its annual picnic on Sunday (Aug. 15) at Colony Park in Hudson.

The club has reserved the park’s pavilion from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The park is located next to the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern and a footbridge leading from the park allows for an overhead view of trains. The ridge has a fence with large chain links, but a camera lens might fit between the links.

Lighting will be favorable during the duration of the picnic.

The club will provide hamburgers and hot dogs along with an assortment of condiments.

Members are asked to bring drinks, snacks, desserts and side dishes.

There is no refrigeration available at the park so members should avoid bringing items that might spoil if left open for a long period of time.

Guests and family members are welcome to attend. The park has playground equipment for children, a basketball court, soccer fields and baseball diamonds. There is also a walking trail.

There will be no regular RRE meeting in August. The next meeting is Sept. 10 and will feature a program by Jim Semon.

More Than Likely the Rails Will Become a Trail

February 22, 2021

It doesn’t have to be an either or situation although it probably will wind up being that.

For several years, the former Akron Branch of Pennsylvania Railroad between Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls via Stow and Silver Lake has been fallow, its rails rusting away and the right of way overgrown with weeds and brush.

Now there are competing plans for use of that right of way.

A company called Hudson & Southern Railway wants to revive rail service on the line.

But a group known as Trail Advocates of Summit County instead wants to see it transformed into a hike and bike trail.

In addressing the Hudson City Council late last year, the trail group, which also goes by the name TASCForce, made it clear it adamantly opposed allowing the trail line to be reactivated.

Among other things the group said trains are noisy, dangerous and interfere with traffic.

Trying to sound like populists, the group said a multipurpose trail would be a “higher and better” use of the right of way even though it was built as a railroad.

Allowing the right of way to revert to rail operations would allow “a very few railroad employees and some unpopular businesses entities to benefit,” the trail advocates said.

Some of the rhetoric that TASCForce has espoused is political posturing and yet it also reflects how upper middle class homeowners typically think about railroads.

A railroad is fine so long as it operates somewhere else. It is classic NIMBY thinking.

Lest you think that TASCForce members have a special dislike of trains, they also took aim at “heavy industries that require rail service,” which it called inappropriate for a suburban setting.

H&S has talked about providing service to a bulk transfer station but TASCForce dismisses this as unsuitable for “the office/warehouse/light manufacturing business parks that people expect to find in a residential area.”

Not only does TASCForce dislike the idea of trains in the neighborhood it doesn’t like heavy trucks, either.

Nor does TASCForce like the idea of the rail line being used for rail car storage as H&S has suggested.

TASCForce said suburban homeowners don’t want rail cars sitting in their backyards for months at a time.

What TASCForce is seeking to do is to pressure Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority, which owns much of the rail line, into renouncing the proposal to revive rail service and to instead seek authority from the Federal Transit Administration to allow immediate construction of the hike and bike trail.

Presumably, TASCForce would be opposed to any plan in which there would be a rail line and a trail.

It can be done and has been done in the Akron region. There is a trail alongside an unused former Erie Railroad line in Talmadage.

The Portage Hike and Bike Trail shares space with an active former Erie Rail line between Kent and Brady Lake that has rail service provided by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway.

The Portage trail is instructive because it is an example of what could be possible with the Hudson-Cuyahoga Falls line.

Rail traffic on the Kent-Brady Lake line is minimal, typically only operating on weekdays.

The situation with the Hudson-Cuyahoga Falls line is complicated. Akron Metro bought the rail line several years ago for potential commuter train use.

That prospect is unlikely to happen which is why the rail line has been inactive all this time.

Although the rail line has been abandoned, it has been railbanked meaning it is being preserved for potential future rail use.

The transit agency apparently has considered ideas in the past about reviving the line for rail use with the H&S proposal the latest proposal.

At one point a dinner train company proposed using the line but it never materialized. At the time, there was fierce opposition to that idea in Silver Lake.

Using the Hudson-Cuyahoga Falls rail line for anything other than rail service would require Akron Metro to get FTA approval.

Valerie Shea, director of planning and strategic development for Akron Metro, told a local newspaper the agency is planning to seek the FTA’s concurrence to use the rail line land and its surrounding right-of-way as a trail.

Trail advocates want to speed up that process and kill the H&S proposal ASAP.

Whether the backers of the H&S would be able to launch freight rail service is uncertain, something TASCForce has noted when it told the Hudson City Council the success of H&S is “far from certain.”

On this point TASForce showed its cards when it said allowing rail service could potentially delay for several years the development of trail on the right of way.

Some Hudson City Council members have spoken in favor of the rail to trail process.

Councilman Skylar Sutton said he wants to “keep a focus on rail-to-trail conversion.”

The city of Stow has won approval for $700,000 in funding to develop a trail.

It is not difficult to see why trail advocates covet converting inactive or lightly used rail line into trails.

They offer a liner piece of land well suited for a trail. You don’t have to mess with the expensive, sometimes difficult, and time-consuming process of land acquisition.

Not every homeowner along an inactive rail line is necessarily onboard with the idea of converting the property into a trail.

Some of those homeowners dislike having a trail in their backyard and have spoken against the idea of passing hikers, joggers and bikers being able to look into their homes.

But hiking and biking trails have become a sort of status symbol for upper middle class suburbs with affluent and well-educated homeowners who are politically connected and know how to manipulate government and regulatory processes.

For that reason alone I’d bet that more likely than not, the land hosting what was Akron’s first rail line is going to wind up being a trail rather than an active railroad.

When the Pennsylvanian Saw Daylight in Northeast Ohio

November 15, 2020

I enjoyed the few years that Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian ran through Ohio in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

I rode from Cleveland at least twice with family members to Harrisburg and return.

I also rode to Altoona, twice to Pittsburgh and several times just to Alliance. When I wasn’t riding I would be trackside to photograph, make video or just watch.

Here are some of my favorite trackside images of the Pennsylvanian in Ohio.

In the top image, the westbound train is arriving in Alliance where a group of us will board to return to Cleveland during an Akron Railroad Club outing on May 16, 1999.

Next up is a westbound at Hines Hill Road in Hudson on July 25, 1999, followed by the eastbound passing the former Pennsylvania Railroad station in Sebring on Sept. 9, 2001.

In the final image of the sequence, Marty Surdyk introduced me to the Garfield sag after we caught the Pennsylvanian  in Sebring on Sept. 9.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Blue and a Little Autumn Gold in Hudson

October 29, 2020

Norfolk Southern DC to AC conversion locomotive No. 4001 led westbound stack train 21Q through Northeast Ohio on Wednesday afternoon.

The blue-nose unit has passed through the area a few times in recent weeks, but was trailing rather than leading.

It is shown at Hudson at 1:55 p.m. en route to 47th Street Yard in Chicago.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

Biden Campaign Train Rolls in Ohio, Pennsylvania

October 1, 2020

Democratic presidental candidate Joe Biden rode the rails in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania on Wednesday on a train dubbed the Build Back Better Express.

Todd Dillon caught the campaign train in Hudson and reported that the consist included Amtrak P42DC Nos. 100 and 114; conference car 9800; Amfleet I coaches 82810 and 82985; Amfleet I food service car 43394; Viewliner II dining car 68012 (Harrisburg);  Amfleet I coach 82546; and theater car 10004 (American View).

The train departed Cleveland Wednesday morning where Biden had spent the night after his Tuesday debate with President Donald Trump, his Republican opponent.

An online report said the train arrived shortly before noon. Security was tight with the Secret Service, Alliance Police, Stark County Sheriff’s Department, Amtrak Police and Norfolk Southern Police on the scene.

The report said the train arrived under cloudy skies and operated as symbol P098.

During the Alliance stop, Biden disembarked and answered a few questions.

Another online report said the train arrived at the Amtrak station in Pittsburgh at 2:49 p.m., 29 minutes late.

A camera mounted on the American View provided live video scenes of passing trains and other scenery.

The train ended its journey in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Double Heritage Unit Friday in Northeast Ohio

September 26, 2020

On Friday Norfolk Southern sent two heritage units through Northeast Ohio.

Todd Dillon caught the New York Central H unit passing the former NYC depot in Olmsted Falls.

It was on the point of the 21Q headed for 47th Street in Chicago after originating in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Next he caught the Interstate H unit going through Hudson leading the 25V. The train originates in Elizabethport, New Jersey, and terminates at Landers Yard in Chicago.

Both units came through during the afternoon.

Ordinarily, Friday night would have been Akron Railroad Club meeting night for September. But that meeting was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

However, there was an impromptu ARRC meeting in Hudson with club president Dillon, Vice President Bill Kubas (shown on the ladder) and Tom Kendrick on hand in Hudson to get some photographs and video.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Quiet Please

October 19, 2018

There are a number of quiet zones in Northeast Ohio in which trains are prohibited from sounding locomotive horns except for safety or emergency reasons.

One of those spans straddles Hudson and Macedonia on the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern.

This sign in Maple Grove Park in Hudson reminds engineers that their train is entering the quiet zone.

It is not surprising that NS put up this sign, but I was a little surprised how far back from the tracks that it is.

I wonder if the maintenance of way crews periodically trim the vegetation threatening to block the view of the sign.

Baseball, Hot Dogs and Trains

July 25, 2018

CVSR train No. 34 approaches the Big Bend station, but no one wanted to get on or off.

Back in late spring Ed Ribinskas proposed that Marty Surdyk and I join him in attending a baseball game in Akron featuring the Class AA Rubber Ducks.

The Ducks, who are affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, were honoring former Cleveland Cavaliers star Mark Price that night and Price is Ed’s favorite former Cav.

As part of the festivities, the first 1,000 fans were to receive a bobble head doll of Price wearing a Rubber Ducks uniform with the same number he wore during his NBA career.

It would be my first trip to Canal Park in several years. The last time I was there the team was still named the Aeros.

We agreed to do some railfanning in the afternoon before the game.

The outing started at Marty’s house and from there we headed for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to chase a Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train.

We were driving along Riverview Road when Marty asked, “where are we going?”

I suggested we go to the Big Bend station in Akron, which is located in the Sand Run Metropark.

Big Bend is the only CVSR station where I’ve never photographed a train.

We easily found the station, which isn’t much, just a gravel platform lacking any signs identifying it as a CVSR stop.

The northbound train from Akron to Rockside Road arrived not long after we did. We got our photographs of it alongside a trail and then headed north in pursuit.

I was hoping that C424 No. 365 would be on the north end of the train as it had been the previous weekend. But that was not the case.

Instead, FPA-4 No. 6771 was on the point. That’s not bad because it features the V stripe on the nose.

The next photo stop was at Indigo Lake and after that we caught the train at Boston Mill.

I wanted to get the train passing the under construction CVNP visitor’s center.

Earlier, the National Park Service purchased a private apartment building and is gutting it to create the visitor’s center, which is expected to open in May 2019.

We continued to follow the train northbound, figuring to maybe getting it at Brecksville.

But Riverview was closed north of Jaite so the chase came to an abrupt halt.

We still had more than an hour to kill before heading to Akron and I suggested we check out Maple Grove Park in Hudson next to the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern.

Marty has been there but I haven’t. He wrote about it in a past issue of the Bulletin.

We arrived in the park just ahead of westbound intermodal train 25T, which was slowing to go around a train ahead that was getting a new crew.

The 25T would cross over to Track No. 2 once the eastbound 20E cleared CP 102. The two stack trains met in front of us.

We didn’t have a much longer wait before the train that was stopped, the 24W, got on the move eastbound.

In the meantime someone walking on the trail asked if we were trainspotters. Well, yes, we are, but I associate that term with British railfanning.

After passage of the 24W, it was time to head for Canal Park. The gates opened at 6 p.m. and we had a good half hour or more wait in line to get in.

It turned out that only 200 people got a Mark Price bobble head doll. The vendor had not sent the allotted 1,000 bobble heads so those who were among the first 1,000 into Canal Park but not in the initial 200 received a voucher to receive their bobble head at the Aug. 26 game against Harrisburg. They also received a free ticket to that game.

I didn’t care about the bobble head and had I been offered it I would have given it to Ed or said give it to someone else.

I had eaten a tuna salad wrap from Sheetz during the ride to Akron, but Ed and Marty went to the concession stand to get hotdogs.

The weather was pleasant for a baseball game and it was announced late during the game that it was the eighth sellout of the season.

Price threw out a ceremonial first pitch and signed autographs for fans during the first hour of the game.

The Ducks got the better of the Richmond Flying Squirrels by a score of 4-1, scoring three times in the seventh and once in the eighth.

Following the game was a fireworks display set to music by the Counting Crows. It was nice, but not the best fireworks shows I’ve seen.

It had been an enjoyable day filled with a few firsts for me and visits to four parks.

That gravel to the right of the train is the boarding platform for Big Bend station.

Here comes the train at Indigo Lake.

Boarding at Indigo Lake after a visit to Hale Farm.

Leaving Indigo Lake behind.

That old red building at Boston Mill will several months from now be the new visitor’s center for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Here comes the 25T at Maple Grove Park.

Eastbound 20E meets the 25T at Maple Grove Park.

NS stacker 24W was our last train of the day.

Seems like I’ve seen these guys somewhere before. Maybe it was even in Akron.

Mark Price throws out a first pitch. The ball is at the top of the frame.

The finale of the post-game fireworks show.

Railroading as it Once Was: One Day in Hudson

October 27, 2016

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A UCI train (Cleveland Electric Illuminating) has outlawed at Hudson on a cold February 1979 afternoon.

The caboose of a Conrail eastbound is just clearing the CEI units. Hudson station still had an operator at this point who controlled this busy location.

The Cleveland & Pittsburgh mains, the crossovers, the wye to the Akron Branch (several trains a day), and the westward and eastward siding switches were handled by the operator as well as the Servo machine.

Today this former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline is as busy as ever, but the wye is only used to spin power. The branch is out of service 400 feet south of the point switch.

The eastward siding is gone and the westward siding is stub-ended and little used.

The station has been leveled and the “Yellowbirds” are no longer Cleveland Electric units.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Outlawed in Hudson

June 30, 2016

Hudson

A trio of Alco C-628s on an ore empty have “outlawed” at Hudson in November 1976. While the leader has had the “CR” (Conrail) treatment applied, the two Lehigh Valley units are unpatched. Along with the Alcos the Hudson station and platform are gone, too.

Photograph  by Roger Durfee