Posts Tagged ‘PRR in Akron Ohio’

South Akron PRR Memory

March 4, 2020

Pennsylvania Railroad switch No. 8020 sits in the PRR engine facility by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company plant in 1966/1967.

The locomotive is a Baldwin DS44-1000 that was built in April 1949.

Notice the corner of Akron, Canton & Youngstown boxcar and an Illinois Central boxcar on the left while a small portion of industrial Akron is on the right.

No, I was not given permission to close 8020’s doors.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Something Out of the Ordinary in Akron

February 14, 2020

It is the late 1960s in Akron where the Pennsylvania Railroad or Penn Central is using Lake Terminal EMD SW8 No. 822 as a yard switcher in the yard northwest of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company plant.

In the top image, Lake Terminal 824 is in the yard in South Akron.

In the next image, Lake Terminal 822 is working while Lake Terminal 824 sits in the engine facility.

The third image was made more than likely soon after the Feb. 1 merger of the PRR and New York Central.

The fourth image shows one of the Lake Terminal switches with PRR SD45 No. 6178 at the Akron engine facility.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

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


Taking the Farkas Challenge: One Afternoon When Akron’s First Railroad was in its Final Days

August 1, 2016

Farkas Antibus

The first train chugged into Akron on July 4, 1852, amid much celebration. It came from Hudson on the Akron Branch of the newly-built Cleveland & Pittsburgh.

Akron’s first rail line eventually became part of the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad network and the Akron Branch was extended to Columbus.

Shown is a CSX rail train on the former Akron Branch on Sept. 30, 2001. It would be one of the last trains to use the line within Akron proper.

The image was made by Richard Antibus and is my nomination on his behalf for the Farkas challenge.

A CSX train is on these rails because the railroad had considered rehabilitating the Akron Branch and using it as a second mainline between AY (Arlington Street) and Cuyahoga Falls.

Instead, the Akron branch was abandoned and the rails were pulled up. The track remains in place between Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson, having been railbanked by Akron Metro. But those rails have been dormant for several years.

Likewise it has been a while since the PRR position light signals here have been used and one signal head has been turned to show that it is out of service.

The other signal was probably used as a “distant signal” in advance of AY, a role it will no longer be serving for much longer.

So much of Akron’s railroad history is “what used to be.”

Sic transit gloria mundi is a Latin expression that has been widely interpreted to mean “wordly things are fleeting.”

And so it would seem are railroad lines. The Akron Branch served Akron well for more than a century, so we wouldn’t necessarily call its existence fleeting.

Yet for those in the Akron Railroad Club who grew up in or near Akron, their acquaintance with the Akron Branch has been quite fleeting.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by Richard Antibus

Pure Pennsy in Akron

May 3, 2016


Virtually everything visible here belongs to the Pennsylvania Railroad, including Burro crane PRR 7446 is in the South Akron Yard yard behind the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

The buildings to the right of the crane are Firestone, and what is still being used of the old PRR roundhouse is visible under the boom of the crane.

It is a cloudy, cold December 1966 day in Akron. Soon there will be no PRR and, perhaps, the last occupant of the roundhouse will be ex-Reading 2102 (a 4-8-4) purchased by a group of investors and restored there.

Today this is a gravel company and all that is left of this scene is a slide or a memory.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Now it’s a Gravel Company

January 5, 2016


Between the Firestone plant and what is now the CSX mainline was the Pennsylvania Railroad’s engine facility and yard. In December 1966, this was a multi-track yard worked by Baldwin switchers. Today it is a gravel company. How sites change.

As for this slide, it was from my first roll of 35mm slide film. Thankfully, 49 years later it looks better than new through Lightroom and Photoshop processing.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas