Posts Tagged ‘railroad tracks’

Used to be a Yard Here

June 15, 2018

The Erie Railroad once had a large yard, roundhouse and shops in Kent. All of that is gone now and has been for many years.

This view is looking northeastward at the area where the yard used to be.

The one track left is owned by Portage County and used by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway to serve a tar company in Kent and cardboard box company in Ravenna.

It can be difficult to imagine that at one time at all hours of the day men worked here sorting freight cars and servicing engines.

The beginning of the end was when the Erie gave up steam locomotive power in the early 1950s, but the decline sharply accelerated after the Erie Lackawanna decided to do in Marion much of the work done in Kent.

Today, trees and brush grow where there used to be yard tracks. Rather than the sound of bumping freight cars and shrieking steel wheels there is the blowing wind and whatever ambient noise is emanating from the city.

The Portage Hike and Bike trail skirts the edge of the complex and it was from that trail that I made this image.

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Meet Me at Interstate 90

May 30, 2018

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited meets a westbound CSX auto rack train beneath the bridge carrying Interstate 90 over the CSX Erie West Subdivision at the State Line exit on the border of Pennsylvania and New York just outside North East, Pennsylvania.

The auto rack train has Union Pacific motive power and a cut of manifest freight.

No. 48 was operating 43 minutes late when it left Erie, but the New York section made it to Penn Station in New York less than 10 minutes late.

NS OCS Passes through NE Ohio

May 25, 2018

On Wednesday the Norfolk Southern office car special came through Northeast Ohio. I caught it at Alliance. I was about to head home when I heard a report that the Central of New Jersey heritage unit was leading NS train 15V. This train takes the Fort Wayne line at Alliance. I went to Louisville where I got him at the MP94 signals which are still a Pennsylvania Railroad design.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Whole Lotta Locomotives Rolling Along

April 13, 2018

Last Saturday during the annual Dave McKay Day of the Akron Railroad Club in Berea, all cameras were out as manifest freight 17N approached on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

On the point was the GoRail locomotive. But the rest of the motive power consist held some interest, too.

Immediately behind the GoRail unit was a former CSX locomotive with a line drawn through its markings. It is now a lease unit owned by a locomotive leasing company.

The motive power consist itself was out of the ordinary long, comprised of seven units. Perhaps 17N was ferrying locomotives as well as cargo.

PC Heritage Unit in Altoona

March 20, 2018

Todd Dillon writes that he took a trip to Pennsylvania last weekend and managed to catch the Penn Central heritage locomotive leading Norfolk Southern train 20W at Alto tower in Altoona.

Yesterday on this site we had a PC train being led by New York Central locomotives. Today we feature an NS train with a PC lookalike unit.

One of these days we’ll feature an actual PC train with an actual PC locomotive.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

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.

Yes, Watch Out for the Trains

March 2, 2018

The Michigan Department of Transportation and Amtrak have been working to boost train speeds on the Chicago-Detroit corridor, particularly on track in Michigan, that both entities own.

MDOT owns the rails between Kalamazoo and Dearborn and over the past couple of summers has sponsored track work designed to enable faster running.

One small indicator of that work is this sign in Chelsea, Michigan, located next to the former Michigan Central station, which is now owned by a local historical society.

Getting Amtrak here at 80 mph or any speed remains on my “to do” list for 2018. There is double track because there is a passing siding here.

Chelsea, located between Ann Arbor and Jackson, is not a stop for Amtrak’s Wolverine Service trains, but it was a stop for the Michigan Executive commuter train that Amtrak operated through Jan. 13, 1984, when the state ended its funding of the service.

Michigan transportation officials and rail passenger advocates have been trying to resume commuter rail service ever since.

When Jointed Rail Was Quite Common

February 19, 2018

Here is another memory for the blog. A Baltimore & Ohio trailer train heads east through Kent in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The Erie Lackawanna passenger station can be seen on the hill in the middle left. Notice all the jointed rail that was normal back then.

Winter Afternoon in Peninsula

January 30, 2018

It had been a while since I’d been able to get out with my camera. Car troubles and other matters had kept me at home as winter fell on Northeast Ohio in early January.

More than a week into the month, I finally got everything squared away and was able to get out of the house to go do some winter photography.

I had plans to go watch a college basketball game in Akron on a Tuesday night so I left the house early and stopped by Peninsula to see what I might find.

I knew better than to expect to catch a train on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. That operation was on hiatus until later in the month. But you can still do a lot without a train.

Several years ago I photographed the Peninsula train station during winter when it had icicles hanging on it. That was not the case on this day because the sun had melted them.

A step box on the platform had accumulated some snow and the platform area had footprints made by visitors to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Snow no longer covered the rails, but in the late day sunlight the ties on the siding were barely visible as the snow had that sunken look.

At the far north end of town sat a baggage car that had been used as a prop when the Polar Express trains were operating before Christmas. Beneath that car was bare ground.

There weren’t many people around on this day. It was still cold and winter is not a time of year when many people want to visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

 

No Trains Here Today

January 27, 2018

The Grand River Railway operates irregularly and probably not at all on Sundays.

So when I visited Grand River, Ohio, a while back in search of winter photographs, getting a train wasn’t on my expectation list.

We were actually hoping to find a switch engine out in the open that the GRR had been leasing, but it was nowhere to be seen near the Morton Salt Plant where the railroad stores its motive power.

But the trip wasn’t a bust because while in Grand River the town to make some images of the ice-covered Grand River the river, I liked how the snow was covering up the rails in some places.

The top image was made at a grade crossing that leads to a city park and a few private businesses. It has been a while since a train ran here.

The middle image is looking toward the street running in “downtown” Grand River. Note Pickle Bill’s restaurant on the right, whose entrance is by the tracks. Also note the boats in winter storage in the distance.

The bottom image was made from River Street, which ascends a hill alongside the tracks. The view is looking southeastward.