Posts Tagged ‘Massillon curved railroad bridge’

Conrail in Massillon

September 7, 2021

A westbound Conrail manifest freight crosses the Tuscarawas River in Massillon on Aug. 25, 1988. The smaller (now-removed) bridge carried the line used by the Nickel Plate Road/Norfolk & Western/Norfolk Southern trains to reach their freight station and team tracks along with a few industries.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: One Day in Massillon

December 12, 2020

Back on Aug. 21, 2012, Nickel Plate Road 4-8-4 No. 765 ran a ferry move from Pittsburgh to Bellevue as part of its return to its home in New Haven, Indiana.

I picked up Paul Woodring in Akron and we headed south to Massillon to begin a chase that would consume much of the day and end in Bellevue.

My goal was to recreate somewhat an image that the late Robert Redmond had made here in 1948. That image, though showed a Pennsylvania Railroad T-1 coming out of the bridge headed westbound. My photograph would feature a Berkshire-type steamer.

It was published in my book Canton Area Railroads.

There were a handful of other railfans waiting with us for the ferry move to come. From a photography standpoint, conditions were less than ideal.

The Fort Wayne Line curves northwestward here which meant the 765 and its train would be coming out of the sun, which in August is still pretty high in sky. It didn’t help that it was about mid day when the ferry move came through.

But those were the conditions I had to deal with to get the photograph.

There is something about getting a train coming out of a large through truss bridge with all of that steel and its orderly patterns and lines.

The Massillon bridge over the Tuscarawas River is among the few of its kind built on a curve.

Countless trains have crossed this bridge including such Pennsy Blue Ribbon Fleet trains as the Broadway Limited, the General, the Admiral, the Trail Blazer, the Liberty Limited and the Red Arrow.

Not only is the Fort Wayne Line through Massillon freight only today but there aren’t that many freight trains using it, either.

I got my photographs and admired the train but not for long. We didn’t have time to tarry for we planned to capture the 765 in other places, too.

1993 Excursion on R.J. Corman, Ohio Central

September 17, 2020

Ohio Central ran a day-long excursion on June 13, 1993, on R.J. Corman track that was once part of the Baltimore & Ohio.

The train ran from Canal Fulton on the Corman and got onto Ohio Central rails at Justus for the remainder of the trip to Coshocton.

The return trip was pulled by an Ohio Central diesel.

In the top image and the first two images below, former Canadian National 4-6-0 No. 1551 pulls the train through the Mace interlocking in Massillon.

The fourth photograph shows the train crossing the Wheeling & Lake Erie at Harmon just east of Brewster.

The fifth image was made at Justus where the connection to get onto the Ohio Central is just south of the diamond.

Next up the excursion train is shown about halfway between Sugarcreek and Baltic. This location is about 1.5 miles south of the Age of Steam Roundhouse, which had not yet been built when this trip ran.

The last image shows the return trip passing through Massillon as it nears Mace. In the background is the curved bridge over the Tuscarawas River carrying the Fort Wayne Line of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.

The far straight bridge over the river once carried the original W&LE mainline between Brewster and Orrville.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Here’s to Conrail

May 7, 2020

It was 44 years ago last April 1 that the Consolidated Rail Corporation began operating the remains of several bankrupt Northeast railroads including Penn Central and the Erie Lackawanna.

The coming of Conrail would ultimately lead to the abandonment of scores of branch lines and a few mains lines as well, including the former EL in Akron proper and in large swaths of western Ohio and northern Indiana.

For many railfan photographs, Big Blue was a major part of their life with some photographers having come of age as Conrail came into being.

Here is a look back at Conrail as many remember it once things had become settled.

In the top image GP40-2 No. 3364 leads a westbound Roadrailer in Massillon on May 22, 1997.

It is coming off the fabled curved bride over the Tuscarawas River.

In the middle photograph, SD35 No. 6019 is on the point of a westbound manifest freight leaving Alliance on the Fort Wayne Line in early 1988.

In the bottom photograph, SW7 8865 and SW9 9095 are working in Alliance on Aug. 19, 1986.

No. 8865 was built for the Erie Railroad in November 1950 while No. 9095 was built for the Pennsylvania in March 1951.

Photographs by Robert Farkas


Hallmarks of Penn Central in the Early Conrail Era

September 27, 2019

This classic scene of a train crossing the Tuscarawas River on the famed curved bridge in Massillon looks at first glance as though it might have been made in the Penn Central era.

But the date is June 3, 1978, and this is a Conrail train headed westward on the Fort Wayne Line of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.

Lead unit No. 6271 is an SD40 that was built new for Penn Central. By the time this image was made, though, the unit had become, shall we say, a bit battered and worn.

Note the CR initial stenciled on the nose of the 6271 and the second unit, SD40 No. 6329.

The 6329 should be familiar with this bridge having been built for the PRR as No. 6085.

The third unit, though, is wearing Conrail blue although it isn’t much visible.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

When Varnish Was Common in Massillon

July 14, 2017

Penn Central was still running passenger trains through Massillon, Ohio, in the late 1960s. Here is the westbound mid-afternoon Fort Pitt with PC 4292 on the point racing through the super-elevated curve, which actually comes through the bridge over the Tuscarawas River.

I believe it was October 1969 and the red “P”/white “”C” had only been painted on a handful of E units, making this a rarer photo.

Today a Norfolk Southern office car special sometimes gives a similar scene, but it is hard to imagine even in the late 1960s passenger trains such as this were somewhat common on this line.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas