Posts Tagged ‘Kent railroad stations’

Still a Kent Landmark

March 10, 2018

Kent still has three railroad stations standing and the one that served the Erie Railroad gets most of the attention.

That is understandable because it has been restored and converted into a restaurant.

Its location on a bluff overlooking the Cuyahoga River also means that it shows up a lot in images made of CSX trains on the New Castle Subdivision running along the river below the bluff.

And with its pleasing architecture and red brick exterior, the ex-Erie depot makes for a good photo subject.

Getting a lot less love and looking a lot less attractive is the former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station.

It’s a plain Jane frame structure located just off Summit Street. Many a photograph has been made of westbound trains passing this station, but it is not the “go to” shot to be had in Kent of CSX operations.

I’m not sure what use that CSX makes of this structure. Maybe it is used by the maintenance of way forces.

It hasn’t hosted a passenger since April 30, 1971, the last day that the B&O dispatched it own passenger trains.

Amtrak’s Broadway Limited and later the Three Rivers passed by this station for years, but never stopped to board or discharge passengers.

As can be see, vandals have used the depot as a canvass.

Yet on the day that I made this image, I noticed later a carload of Kent State students had shown up to use the station as a photo prop.

It is still something of a Kent landmark even if it isn’t the grand old lady in town.

B&O Action in Kent in the 1960s

September 29, 2016



Here are the first of a series of black and white images from Northeast Ohio taken during the late 1960s to early 1970s. Often ex-Akron Railroad Club member Mike Ondecker was with me when these images were taken.

In the top image, Chesapeake & Ohio No. 4011 is stopping at the Kent B&O passenger station in the late 1960s.

She is pulling the westbound Diplomat more than likely around Christmas because of the three E-units needed to power the train. After leaving Kent, her next stop is B&O’s Akron Union Station.

In the second image, eastbound B&O 6411 heads toward Kent on a winter day. This was taken from east of the B&O passenger station.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

How Do You Move an Old Depot? Very Carefully

July 30, 2014


The 1881 “original” Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway’s Kent depot was moved from its long time location next to the tracks on Sunday July 27.

Stein House Movers had the delicate task of moving this important piece of Kent history across the tracks and onto a vacant field not far from its original location.

In no particular order here are a few photos of the operation. The station was raised up after supports were placed under it, rolled over to the tracks, the wheels spun around, and then rolled north over the right of way and on to its final resting place.

A truck was used to tie onto the support structure (there was no trailer) and slowly pull the load north with some help from a Deere digger.

To those involved in moving this building, thank you, and a big thank you to Ted Klaassen Jr.,

who purchased it. Plans are to restore it to as close to its original appearance as possible.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee




















A Train, er, I Mean a Depot is Coming

July 29, 2014
The excursion train from Glenwillow to Kent on July 5 rolls past the former Wheeling & Lake Erie passenger station in Kent. It would be the last passenger train to pass the depot in the location where it had sat for 133 years.

The excursion train from Glenwillow to Kent on July 5 rolls past the former Wheeling & Lake Erie passenger station in Kent. It would be the last passenger train to pass the depot in the location where it had sat for 133 years.

On Sunday, July 27, it appeared as through the Kent depot was moving down the tracks as the station was maneuvered to a new location on the west side of the railroad.

On Sunday, July 27, it appeared as through the Kent depot was moving down the tracks as the station was maneuvered to a new location on the west side of the railroad.

Roger Durfee was on hand this past Sunday for the moving of the former Wheeling & Lake Erie passenger station in Kent to a new location. It turned out that the last train that he photographed passing that depot was, appropriately enough,  a passenger extra powered by Cleveland Commercial power headed for the Kent Heritage Festival on July 5. Additional photographs that Roger took of the depot’s moving day will be posted on this blog on Wednesday.

Photographs by Roger Durfee


Kent W&LE Station to be Moved Today

July 27, 2014


The former Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway passenger station in Kent is slated to be moved today to a new location. But it won’t be going far. It’s new home will be across the tracks from its current location.

Kent businessman Ted Klaassen Jr., the president of Components & Equipment International, agreed to buy the 133-year-old depot and to move it to his property.

The station, built in 1881, had been in danger of being razed in order to make room for expansion of Carter Lumber, which owns the property on which the depot current sits.

Klaassen plans to have the station rotated during the move so that the side facing the rails will continue to do so.

Workers from Stein House Movers prepared the station during the past week for its move today by digging out the earth around the foundation of the building.

Once the station is in place in its new location it will likely be used for storage, Klaassen said.

Moving the depot is expected to cost $15,000.

Kent Feed and Supply was the last tenant of the station, but it closed last year. Carter Lumber had in 2012 acquired the property on which the depot sits and worked with Kent groups interested in saving the depot. Otherwise, the lumber company had planned to demolish it.

The last scheduled passenger train to use the station was a Cleveland-Wheeling, W.Va., roundtrip that last operated on July 17, 1938.



Kent Railroad Depots In Danger of Demolition

June 3, 2014

The former Wheeling & Lake Erie depot in Kent was previously a feed store, but now faces possible demolition if the building is not sold.

Kent is fortunate to still have the three railroad passenger stations that once served this Portage County city, but two of them are in danger of being razed.

The former Wheeling & Lake Erie depot may be facing the wrecking ball unless a private investor comes forward soon to save it.

The depot, built in 1881, is located on West Main Street and features chipped red siding, dingy white doors, broken windows and a weathered foundation.

The depot has changed hands several times and most recently was used by Kent Feed and Supply, which closed last year.

Carter Lumber purchased the depot in 2012 with the knowledge that it would be turned over to it once it was vacated.

Carter Lumber used part of the depot property to enlarge its outdoor storage yard. In an effort to save the 133-year-old depot, Carter Lumber offered the structure to the City of Kent.

“We told Kent that if it has some kind of historic value, you’re welcome to salvage it,” said Chuck Price, vice president of construction/development at Carter Lumber.

The city, though, declined the offer.

“The problem from the public perspective is the building condition and previous use, all of which brought the city to the final conclusion that the city could not re-purpose the building,” said Kent Service Director Gene Roberts.

Carter isn’t planning to demolish the building just yet but likely will if no one else comes forward to preserve it.

Price said there has been some interest from at least one individual, who he declined to name, but it is uncertain if anyone will commit to saving or relocating the station.

Price said he expects to know more later this month.

“Not all buildings can be reused, and not all buildings can be saved,” said Sandy Halem of the Kent Historical Society, which originally formed in the 1970s to save the Erie Depot on Franklin Street when it was abandoned.

That building is owned by the KHS and space is leased to the Pufferbelly Ltd. restaurant and other entities, creating a revenue stream for the nonprofit organization.

The KHS doesn’t have the financial resources to take on the depot on West Main Street, but supports its preservation.

Halem, however, fears rough winter weather may have damaged the building’s aging foundation base, noting that it now might be impossible to move.

In the meantime, the future of the former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station in Kent also remains murky.

That structure, built in 1905, caught fire last April. CSX had been using it for storage, but the railroad has not revealed what plans it has for the structure.

A freight depot that once sat across from the B&O passenger station was demolished in 2010.