Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Akron Ohio’

CSX in Akron Two for Tuesday

June 21, 2021

Here are two photos of CSX ES44AC-H No. 3033 heading an eastbound in Akron on May 24, 2014. 

In the top image can be seen in the background the former Saalfield Publishing building on the left and the Firestone Tire ex-headquarters building directly over the train. The bottom image was made a little closer to where the photographer was standing

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Getting Reacquainted With the Railroads of Akron on a Gorgeous Autumn Sunday Railfan Outing

November 27, 2016

A Wheeling & Lake Erie stone train takes head room on the trestle spanning the valley of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

A Wheeling & Lake Erie stone train takes head room on the trestle spanning the valley of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Good things happen when you go out on an autumn railfan outing with Roger Durfee.

I met up with my fellow Akron Railroad Club member in early November on a Sunday morning for some autumn railfanning around Akron.

We’ve done this in the past and I’ve come back with some very good autumn foliage images of trains images, some of the best I’ve made.

We had a plan of sorts that we didn’t quite wind up fully implementing because events kept interfering.

We didn’t know when we set out that morning that we’d have the opportunity to photograph three Wheeling & Lake Erie trains.

I’ve long said that I usually wind up getting the W&LE when I’m out looking for something else and that is what happened on this day.

Aside from capturing the W&LE, we also inspected the current state of affairs at Voris Street, found that the Amtrak station in Amtrak hasn’t changed much since the rail passenger carrier left Akron more than a decade ago, and took the time to visit the former AC&Y Building in downtown Akron.

We also stopped by Northside Station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to photograph a departing National Park Scenic train and visited Wingfoot Lake State Park to catch the arrival of Wingfoot Two on a flight from Columbus where it had helped TV cover the Ohio State-Nebraska football game on a Saturday night.

As mentioned in another post, we also visited Akron Junction to check out how things have changed there with CSX removing most of the tracks on the Valley Line level.

En route to Akron Junction we stopped so I could photograph the former Erie bridge over North Forge Street. The names of the cities that the Erie served have faded away, but the Erie herald is still prominent.

Did I mention that we caught CSX intermodal train Q137 at Market Street?

All in all, it was, as Roger remarked as it was winding down, a well-rounded day.

Here is a selection of photographs showing what we landed.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The first stop on our Sunday outing was the Gorge Metropark to photograph the remains of the bridge that once carried the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company interurban cars across the Cuyahoga River.

The first stop on our Sunday outing was the Gorge Metropark to photograph the remains of the bridge that once carried the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company interurban cars across the Cuyahoga River.

The CVSR National Park Scenic departs Akron station, which has been decorated for the Polar Express trains.

The CVSR National Park Scenic departs Akron station, which has been decorated for the Polar Express trains.

Here comes the Q137 past the site of the second Akron Union Depot. That is Perkins Street in the background.

Here comes the Q137 past the site of the second Akron Union Depot. That is Perkins Street in the background.

Shadows from a billboard creep over the lead unit of westbound Q137 as it approaches Market Street.

Shadows from a billboard creep over the lead unit of westbound Q137 as it approaches Market Street.

The last railroad to use this bridge was Conrail, but the Erie heritage is still quite visible.

The last railroad to use this bridge was Conrail, but the Erie heritage is still quite visible.

There are fewer tracks at Akron Junction now, but the coaling tower still stands.

There are fewer tracks at Akron Junction now, but the coaling tower still stands.

Moving out onto the trestle built decades ago by the Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

Moving out onto the trestle built decades ago by the Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

Contrary to appearances, this W&LE stone train is making a backup move on the CSX New Castle Sub.

Contrary to appearances, this W&LE stone train is making a backup move on the CSX New Castle Sub.

Catching this ABC transfer job approaching Voris Street was an unexpected bonus.

Catching this ABC transfer job approaching Voris Street was an unexpected bonus.

Crossing Voris Street, which is, tehnically, closed to vehicle traffic.

Crossing Voris Street, which is, tehnically, closed to vehicle traffic.

It took longer than we expected, but the ABC transfer job finally showed up in southeast Akron near Goodyear Boulevard.

It took longer than we expected, but the ABC transfer job finally showed up in southeast Akron near Goodyear Boulevard.

Another view of the ABC job as it returns to Brittain Yard.

Another view of the ABC job as it returns to Brittain Yard.

We waited until early afternoon to photograph at Rock Cut Siding the stone train we had seen earlier in the day.

We waited until early afternoon to photograph at Rock Cut Siding the stone train we had seen earlier in the day.

Here comes the third W&LE train of the day, but contrary to a post on Facebook it did not have a pair of "tiger stripes" for motive power.

Here comes the third W&LE train of the day, but contrary to a post on Facebook it did not have a pair of “tiger stripes” for motive power.

Cruising along the hedges along North Street near East High School.

Cruising along the hedges along North Street near East High School.

Wingfoot Two touches down at its base near Suffield across Wingfoot Lake as seen from Wingfoot Lake State Park.

Wingfoot Two touches down at its base near Suffield across Wingfoot Lake as seen from Wingfoot Lake State Park.

 

The Varied Motive Power of the W&LE

November 8, 2016

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The Wheeling & Lake Erie might not have many different type of models of locomotive power, but it does does have an array of locomotive liveries.

That’s because it will lease or acquire locomotives from various sources and not repaint them right away.

A good place to catch a W&LE train is at Summit Street in Akron. It is common for stone trains to be parked here for hours until a crew is called to take the train west.

Here are a couple of examples of what can be found in images made on separate days within the past month.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Paying Respects to Knight Cold Storage

September 9, 2016

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Now that the Knight Cold Storage, etc., building is demolished, I thought I’d pay my respects by sending a photo from 44 years ago. Erie Lackawanna No. 532 is eastbound on September 10, 1972. What a difference the years make.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Generations Apart

August 5, 2016

EL generations 2

EL generations 1

Here is some Erie Lackawanna heritage that is generations apart. The top photo of the Lackawanna heritage unit of Norfolk Southern was made in July 2016 at Macedonia while the bottom photo is from April 1976 in Akron. As luck would have it, both are leading two black painted units and both are EMDs. All the units in the 1976 photo are gone as are the ex EL tracks they are on.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Early Conrail Colors on the Former Erie Lackawanna Mainline in Akron

July 21, 2016

With U25B bookends, this colorful set of power heads east on the former Erie in Akron in July 1978. Most of the old buildings behind the train are gone now and all will be gone soon to make way for a highway project. The tracks the train is on are, of course, long gone.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: The Long Radio Antenna Apparently Wasn’t Doing the Job

June 23, 2016

WM in Akron

In what appears to be an effort to get better radio reception, a crew member leans out the window with his radio.

I guess that long antenna wasn’t doing the job. This is a westbound Chessie freight working Akron in September 1976.

That Western Maryland GP35 still looks pretty good a few years after the Chessie took control of the WM and scattering it’s power to the four corners of the system.

This unit is still with us today as CSX road slug No. 2295.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Conrail Wreck Train in Akron. These Trains Were Always Interesting

June 16, 2016

Conrail wreck train in Akron

A common sight during those first few years on Conrail was the relief train or wreck train as it was often called.

I’m not sure what had happened or where, but the entire train with crane and some cripples was eastbound at Akron in August 1978.

This train is on the former Erie and the blue GP9 is a former Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive. The trains were always interesting with gondolas full of track panels and wheel sets, and old converted passenger equipment.

The hook is in Conrail blue and I’m guessing it was the former Erie Lackawanna Brier Hill (Youngstown) hook.

To those who know Akron, this was before they turned those old Quaker Oats silos into a hotel . . . and before the EL was ripped out at this location.

The train has entered JO interlocking. Note the signal bridge.

The tracks to the left of the train were the joint Penn Central/Baltimore & Ohio mains, which was CR/Chessie System by this date.

Also note the elevated side track up in the weeds along that white building on the right, which at one time provided access to the oats yard up above.

It branched off the EL in the distance and reconnected with the B&O on the other side of JO.

I remember watching an eastbound detour train come off the EL main and up this siding to get to the B&O, but the grade and probably some slippery weeds stalled the train.

All that remains here today is the two former B&O/PC mains, which are now the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Taking the Farkas Challenge: A Frame of Reference Image of the Railroads of Akron

June 10, 2016

B&O passenger 3

If the image above looks familiar, it should. A cropped version of this photograph has appeared at the top of the Akron Railroad Club blog since the site was launched in March 2009.

It was made by the late Binford Eubank and I am nominating it as his contribution to the Farkas challenge of a favorite photograph of railfanning in Akron.

The image shows a westbound Baltimore & Ohio passenger train departing in June 1965. The station in the background belongs to the Erie Lackawanna.

In many ways this is the quintessential Akron railroad scene for most members of the ARRC.

If you were born following World War II, you came of age in the 1960s and whatever the railroad structure was at that time is your frame of reference for Akron and its railroads for all time.

That means that you always have known the city’s dominant railroad as the B&O. The second-most dominant carrier was the Erie Lackawanna, which used to be the Erie Railroad, but that was during a time when you were too young to remember much.

Just as you were becoming intimately familiar with those railroads, they changed. The B&O morphed into the Chessie System although, technically, it was still the B&O on paper and the letters “B” and “O” appeared on the sides of locomotive cabs.

The Erie Lackawanna became part of Conrail, which worked steadily to erase it.

And the passengers trains serving Akron went away. That depot shown in Ben’s photo was razed and the site is now a bank branch.

Even if you came of age in the 1970s, this scene is still your frame of reference because your parents and their friends spoke of railroad operations during the era when this image was made. It is how you came to understand the railroads.

Change has a way of forcing people into being pragmatic and accepting that things are not the way they used to be.

Yet scenes such as this one are the foundation upon which understandings of the history of a city’s railroads are based, rooted in statements of facts prefaced with the phrase “used to be” as in that used to be the old B&O. The Erie Lackawanna used to run there. There used to be passenger trains here.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by Binford Eubank

Taking the Farkas Challenge: Roger’s Pick

June 8, 2016

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Roger Durfee has decided on a “winner” for his entry in the Farkas Challenge.

As for the image of Norfolk Southern’s Lackawanna heritage locomotive pulling a CSX train past the site of the former Erie Lackawanna yard in downtown Akron, he said, “It comes close.” I’ll let Roger explain the choice that he made.

“You are correct about one thing, though. Picking just one is a near impossible task. Where do I even start?

“The last years of the EL and Penn Central? The Conrail and CSX merger years? Local interest like the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad? There’s just too much!

I even thought about one of those train and blimp ones. I finally settled on the one photo I used to compare the [NS] 1074 one with.

“It includes the EL and shows all the tracks still in and used. Downtown Akron is the backdrop. To me it shows the last days of Akron as the railroad town I first discovered. Within a few short years the entire scene would drastically change.”

Photograph by Roger Durfee