Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Clinton Ohio’

Flashback Friday: 37 Years Apart in Clinton

May 14, 2021

These photographs were made in about the same location in Clinton 37 years apart. In the top image Baltimore & Ohio GP40-2 No. 4150 has a westbound in hand in February 1983. In the bottom image, CSX ES44AC-H No. 3134 leads intemodal train Q137 westbound on Feb. 17, 2020.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

When I think of Clinton

March 5, 2020

I spent many a day watching and photographing CSX trains in the part of Clinton, Ohio, that used to be Warwick.

I always think of Clinton as a bucolic kind of place with enough scenery to make it interesting.

When Clinton comes to mind so do images such as this one made by Bob Farkas on Feb. 17.

The CSX New Castle Subdivision heads generally southwestward out of Akron and even dips virtually due south behind turning to head northwestward at Warwick.

That bend to the west-northwest is in downtown Warwick, such as the downtown is.

Shown is GP38-3 No. 2000 running long hood forward with the D750 coming eastbound around the curve.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Get It While You Can

January 24, 2020

It is the afternoon of May 15, 1998, in Clinton (Warwick).

Ohio Central has sent its coiled-steel train to Warwick where it has been put in the eastbound siding.

Now the OHCR power is waiting on R.J. Corman tracks for the CSX train bringing back the empty coiled-steel cars to be taken south.

In the top photograph, the view is looking south at OHCR GP9 No. 91and OHCR GP38AC No. 2175 with its Operation Lifesaver lettering with Warwick Tower in the background.

The tower was out of service as an interlocking tower but used by maintenance of way workers.

The bottom photograph shows a side view of both locomotives with the roof of Warwick shower showing above the 2175.

Today OHCR no longer interchanges with CSX at Warwick, and OHCR is no longer owned by Jerry Jacobson.

This is just another reminder to photograph the familiar while there is time.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

CSX in Warwick

November 15, 2019

Here are three images taken in Warwick on Nov. 6, 2019.

In the top image CSX GP38-2 No. 2707 is westbound with train D750.

When D750 works Jones Chemical on Vanderhoof Road in New Franklin, the single track and therefore the whole CSX New Castle Subdivision mainline is blocked until the D750 is done.

In the middle image, CSX AC44CW No. 411 has Q277 westbound through the small park in Warwick.

In the bottom image CSX SD70MAC No. 784 is eastbound near the former Warwick Tower. This unit was built for Conrail in May 1998.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

34 Enjoy ARRC Picnic at Warwick Park

August 1, 2017

Chef Martè places the first burgers on the grill.

Thirty-four Akron Railroad Club members and guests munched on picnic food Sunday at Warwick Park in Clinton while watching CSX trains on the adjacent New Castle Subdivision.

A few brave souls risked getting a food-borne illness by eating the unrefrigerated potato salad that someone brought.

In the approximately 12 hours that at least one club member was at the park, CSX sent 12 trains through town.

That was more than the record low of nine but far short of the record high of 21. But it’s the CSX New Castle Sub and long lulls are synonymous with that route.

The train count included two sightings of local D750 which left the yard for Akron at 2:40 p.m. and returned at 6:45 p.m. The crew had gone to work in late morning switching cars in the Warwick yard.

The train count also included two eastbound empty coal trains, two westbound auto rack trains, two westbound intermodal trains, a westbound coke train, an eastbound steel train and one manifest freight in each direction.

Aside from a Norfolk Southern unit trailing in the motive power consist of the Q352, we didn’t see any foreign power.

The highlight or lowlight of the day, depending on your perspective was the Q299 going into emergency a short distance east of Warwick.

That tied up the mainline for a good hour. The culprit was a broken air hose six cars from the rear of a very long empty auto rack train.

A trainmaster came out to check on the stalled train and the IO dispatcher informed the crew that three departments, mechanical, engineering and transportation, were interested in the incident.

At one point the trainmaster asked the conductor over the radio if the engineer had done any damage to “my train.”

No, the conductor said in response. It was just a separated air hose. Still, there was something threatening in the tone of voice of the trainmaster.

As the conductor was walking back to the head end, he encountered a skunk and asked his engineer for advice. The response was that if riled up a skunk will spray you.

Back at the park, master grill chef Martè fired up the grill around noon. Don Woods received the first burger. As in the past there were a variety of chips, salads and desserts.

The weather was as good as it’s ever been for an ARRC picnic and quite a contrast with last year when a thunderstorm rolled through as we were getting ready to eat.

The picnic wrapped up with a game of H-O-R-S-E on the basketball court involving Marty, Richard Antibus and Paul Havasi.

Marty won the game, but none of the three contestants will ever be confused with a more famous Akron basketball player, a guy by the name of James.

By the time the game mercifully ended the players had put up enough bricks to earn a union card and start a second career and enough air balls to leave a crowd horse from chanting “air ball, air ball, air ball” had this been an actual game.

But it was great fun, which is what the annual picnic is all about.

James Leasure (left) scoops up, gasp, potato salad as Dave Shepherd dresses his burger at the condiments table. In the background Bill Kubas ponders the offerings.

Rich Antibus (center) explains to chef Martè and Jim Mastromatteo how many CSX trains we can expect to see once the late afternoon flurry gets underway on the New Castle Sub.

The photo line is in place in the shade of a large tree to photograph D750 as it heads to Akron.

Ron McElrath (left) and Tom Kendra made video of CSX manifest freight Q352.

An Early Foray Into Digital Photography

December 7, 2016

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Do you remember your first digital camera? I inherited my Dad’s 3MP Kodak when he passed away in April 2004. I had bought it for him for Christmas 2003 not knowing he had so little time left.

Warwick has really changed since 2004 as can be seen here. Norfolk Southern 8410 leads a two-unit lash up eastbound through Warwick on April 23, 2004.

This was one of my very first digital photos. Since the Kodak didn’t have manual controls, I upgraded to a 4MP Olympus. I felt I was at the head of the digital revolution!

Article and photograph by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: Finding a Pure Erie Lackawanna Power Set Passing Warwick Tower

October 13, 2016

EL at Warwick

Right from the get go Conrail started routing trains off the former Erie Lackawanna main, using a connection built between the Penn Central and EL in Akron to access the former PC Ft Wayne Line in Orrville using the Cleveland-Akron-Columbus between the two.

As power was being mixed up real fast, one of my early goals was to catch a set of EL power passing the Penn Central tower at Warwick (Clinton) along that CA&C route.

I figured that would show the merger as good as anything.

Anyway, after several tries and trains in the first couple weeks of April 1976 I got lucky and caught a pure set of EL power passing the former PC tower. Mission accomplished.

Today the tower still stands and is used by CSX signal people, but the track the train is on is long gone. Photograph scanned from a Kodacolor negative.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Day With CSX on the New Castle Sub in Clinton

August 12, 2016

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L394 passes one of the handful of Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals that still stands on the New Castle Subdivision of CSX.

Last month the Akron Railroad Club held its annual picnic in Warwick Park in Clinton, Ohio, which has hosted many club gatherings in past year although none since 2014.

I got there early, but found myself in the middle of a four-hour lull on the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

Things began to move around 10:15 a.m. when the first of four consecutive westbounds came down from Lambert on the single track that extends between Warwick and Akron.

Meanwhile, two eastbounds were waiting for the westbound parade to clear up.

Traffic for the rest of the day was here and there, which is to be expected on the New Castle Sub. The traffic mix was typical of the line with its array of container, manifest, auto rack and coal trains.

Motive power was a variety of wide-cab units with narrow cabs being rather scarce. It was an all CSX parade with no rent-a-wreck motive power observed. Just one train had “foreign” power.

There did seem to be a flurry in early evening when I spotted the only “foreign” power of the day. Here is a selection of what came by during ARRC picnic 2016.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Another view of the L394 moving out onto the single track as it heads toward Akron.

Another view of the L394 moving out onto the single track as it heads toward Akron.

The crew of the Q388 watched four westbounds pass before it got a clear signal at Warwick. It is shown passing the power for the local that is based at Warwick.

The crew of the Q388 watched four westbounds pass before it got a clear signal at Warwick. It is shown passing the power for the local that is based at Warwick.

A westbound intermodal train crosses Chippewa Avenue and skirts Warwick Park.

A westbound intermodal train crosses Chippewa Avenue and skirts Warwick Park.

Three manifest freights were part of the westbound parade in late morning. Shown is Q353.

Three manifest freights were part of the westbound parade in late morning. Shown is Q353.

The sides of this car of lumber appear to be bulging as the westbound manifest freight rounds the curve west of Second Street.

The sides of this car of lumber appear to be bulging as the westbound manifest freight rounds the curve west of Second Street.

After the rain stopped, the Q016 made an appearance. No trains passed through the rain.

After the rain stopped, the Q016 made an appearance. No trains passed through the rain.

The rear of the Q016 passes Warwick Park.

The rear of the Q016 passes Warwick Park.

The nose of a westbound as seen through the trees of Warwick Park.

The nose of westbound U700 as seen through the trees of Warwick Park.

Looking down Chippewa Avenue as a westbound Herzog ballast train rumbles through town.

Looking down Chippewa Avenue as a westbound Herzog ballast train rumbles through town.

I liked how in this image the head end is enveloped in shadows but the low sunlight is glinting off the trailing auto rack cars.

I liked how in this image the head end is enveloped in shadows but the low sunlight is glinting off the trailing auto rack cars.

When I really wanted a westbound due to the late day sunlight, CSX came through with a coal train.

When I really wanted a westbound due to the late day sunlight, CSX came through with a coal train.

An eastbound train of empty coal hoppers.

An eastbound train of empty coal hoppers.

An eastbound intermodal train approaches Chippewa Avenue. Usually, the intermodal trains are gone before evening arrives.

An eastbound intermodal train approaches Chippewa Avenue. Usually, the intermodal trains are gone before evening arrives.

Colorful containers on a late day eastbound intermodal train.

Colorful containers on a late day eastbound intermodal train.

The last train of the day that I photographed also had the only foreign power of the day, a Union Pacific unit on a westbound auto rack train.

The last train of the day that I photographed also had the only foreign power of the day, a Union Pacific unit on a westbound auto rack train.

I was driving toward home on Clinton Road when I noticed a nice sunset. Of course I had to get out and capture it.

I was driving toward home on Clinton Road when I noticed a nice sunset. Of course I had to get out and capture it.

The Diplomat Won’t Be Running Next Sunday

July 17, 2016

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Next Sunday when the Akron Railroad Club gathers at Warwick Park in Clinton, Ohio, for its annual picnic, we’ll be seeing trains pass by on the adjacent mainline of the Baltimore & Ohio.

Although the B&O’s Diplomat to Chicago is scheduled to pass through Warwick in daylight hours, we won’t be seeing it. Nor will we be seeing Chesapeake & Ohio E8A No. 4011.

You see the Diplomat was discontinued west of Akron in January 1970 and the B&O tracks are now owned by CSX.

But ARRC member Robert Farkas through the courtesy of his WABAC machine has given us a glimpse of what we might have seen had we gathered in the park some 50 years ago.

He writes: “Since this is photo is 48 years old, I can’t reshoot this with the passenger cars also in view.

“After all, a WABAC machine is expensive to keep up and to operate for only one image.

“It is a cold Dec. 22, 1967, in Warwick, as the B&O Diplomat heads west near the tower. The track to the right is the now-removed Pennsylvania Railroad line to Orrville and then Columbus.”

We may not be seeing the Diplomat or any other passenger train during our picnic in Warwick, but we’ll find some time to talk about what once in this railroad junction village in southwest Summit County.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Railroading as It Once Was: Special Memories of My 40-Year Ride With Conrail From 1976-1999

April 12, 2016

Conrail GP30 No. 2222 at Clinton in March 1979.

Conrail GP30 No. 2222 at Clinton in March 1979.

This month marked the 40th anniversary of Conrail’s creation, an event that changed the railroad scene in the East forever.

I was lucky enough to be along for the entire existence of Big Blue from April 1, 1976, until June 1, 1999.

I watched the railroad go from a struggling combination of struggling bankrupts to a lean, mean transportation machine, driven in part by the 1980 deregulation of the nation’s carriers.

I’ve tossed together a few photos I’ve taken over the life of the railroad, some from the rainbow era, some from the middle and later part of its existence. You can view these images at my DigitalDurf pages on Facebook at

In that group of images is my first “ConRail” photo, a trio of Lehigh Valley U-boats on ex-Penn Central rails posing in front of the Firestone factory in Akron on Day 3 of Conrail operations. That photo was just the beginning of thousands of frames of film and Kodachrome I would take over the years.

My last image of Conrail isn’t on film, though. It’s a scene etched in my mind.

A month after the two SD80MAC images seen in my gallery were made, I found myself working for Conrail.

After a while in the brakeman/conductor ranks, it was off to engine school at Conway in late April 1999. As it turned out, that would be the last class Conrail would have.

I graduated a few days before “split day” when Conrail was divided between NS and CSX, and I was ETing on the helpers out of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

I was working an afternoon helper on May 31, 1999, and had already made one shove up and over the mountain to Johnstown. We got the call to shove a train back up the west slope, our ticket home.

It was a routine run, up and over in smooth fashion. By the time we were moving down the mountain toward Alto it was dark.

The op came on and said to cut off at Slope and we’d follow down and head into Rose Yard for relief.

I let our SD40-2 pair drift into the train a bit to take in slack, hit the hydraulic pin lifter (we were using helper link), then feathered the independent just enough to distance us from the train ahead.

I remember watching the blinking EOT as it moved ever farther ahead and thinking I’ve just pushed my last Conrail train.

Little did I know the changes that would start the next day, but for me that evening wasn’t just another day of moving freight on Big Blue; it was the culmination of years of watching struggles, heartaches and eventual success of a railroad few were giving any chance to make it back in ’76.

It was a great adventure, one that I feel blessed to have had a front row seat to.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee