Posts Tagged ‘Ravenna Ohio’

Stepping Back to the Conrail Era

June 13, 2021

We’re feeling blue today so let the wayback machine take us to a time and place where blue locomotives were common. CR GE C39-8 No. 6006 is eastbound in Ravenna in July 1986. This unit would later be on the Norfolk Southern locomotive roster.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Conrail Monday: Two Bygone Relics in Ravenna

March 29, 2021

Conrail SD60 No. 6812 leads an eastbound manifest freight in Ravenna in June 1986. It is passing the since removed former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Dashing Through the Snow in Ravenna

December 24, 2020

There is still some snow left on the tracks of the CSX New Castle Subdivision a day or two after a winter storm passed through the area in March 2008.

Shown is an eastbound auto rack train approaching the Diamond Street crossing in Ravenna.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Generational Lineup

October 9, 2020

The railroad probably didn’t intend it this way, but the motive power consist of this CSX train is in perfect order.

On the lead is a CSX GP15-1 No. 1523 followed by units in the liveries of Chessie System and Baltimore & Ohio.

What’s perfect here is that the ordering of the locomotives mirrors their historic evolution from B&O to Chessie to CSX.

The train is  west of Ravenna in June 1988.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Menards Gets Grant to Rebuild Ravenna Rail Spur

July 17, 2020

Plans to develop a distribution and manufacturing center in Ravenna for Menards got a boost this week when the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a $175,000 to the home improvement retailer to be used to rebuild a rail spur to the site.

Menards plans to spend $51.7 million to build a truss plant, bagging plant, transload operation, and a crossdock distribution facility in Ravenna.

It will be served by Wheeling & Lake Erie subsidiary Akron Barberton Cluster Railway operating over track once used by the Erie Railroad.

Officials have said the facility will create 90 new jobs.

Menards has said the facility will serve stores in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The track to be rebuilt extends for a little more than a mile.

Earlier this month the Ravenna Planning Commission approved the plans for the facility, which will be located on 62 acres off Ohio Route 88.

The company will build trusses at the site and ship them by rail. The rail line will also be used to bring lumber to the facility.

Menards representatives have said the facility is needed because it is adding or has plans to open new stores in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The Ravenna facility is expected to supply 30 to 35 stores although initially it will serve just 15 to 18 stores.

Construction of the Menards facility is expected to begin in 2021 and take a about year to complete.

In the meantime, the Ravenna City County has taken the first steps toward approval of a variance for a riparian (wetland).

The council is expected to approve the variance at its August meeting.

The variance includes a “notice of intent” permit to disturb more than one acre from the state, and a “nationwide permit” dealing with the wetland.

Menards also is seeking permits from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Chessie Two for Tuesday

July 14, 2020

It’s a two for Tuesday and our feature attraction is a pair of trains with Chessie System painted locomotives.

In the top image Chessie System SD50 No. 8588 leads a train east of Ravenna on May 12, 1986.

This was actually a Baltimore & Ohio unit although it sported Chessie colors.

In the bottom image, there is no mistaking GP35 No. 3541 as a B&O unit. It is leading an eastbound train at Boughtonville on March 13, 1982.

The trailing unit in this train, though, is wearing Chessie colors.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Light, Shadows and Fall Foliage in Ravenna

July 9, 2020

I ran across this slide as part of my search for the past campaign yesterday. It was a hot and humid day so I had an incentive to stay inside in the air conditioned comfort to look at old slides.

The date of this image is Oct. 28, 2005. The Akron Railroad Club met that night and it would be the penultimate meeting we had at the carriage house of the Perkins Mansion of the Summit County Historical Society.

Ed Ribinskas probably was with me when I made this image. It was late in the day and the light was warm as it typically is in late October.

Shown is a westbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight rounding the curve in Ravenna on the Cleveland Line.

The fall foliage is past its peak but there is still plenty of color left in those trees to make for a pleasing image.

Although I had forgotten about this particular photograph, I had not forgotten about this outing because of a dramatic image I made on the CSX New Castle Subdivision in Ravenna after I got this photo on NS.

As the sunlight was about to drop out of sight, a westbound train showed up at just the right moment.

Using a Baltimore & Ohio color position light signal and a block limit sign as props, I made what I still consider one of my best late day light photographs.

No wonder that I had forgotten about getting anything on NS.

It would turn out that that 2005 outing in Ravenna would be one of the few times I would photograph there before an ARRC meeting.

We explored other locations and finally settled on watching trains most of the time before ARRC meetings in Bedford.

Menards Center Would Increase ABC Traffic

May 11, 2020

Traffic on the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway line through Kent and Ravenna would increase if the city of Ravenna is able to lure a Menards distribution center.

The center is being planned for a site along Ohio Route 88 on 62 acres of land.

A recent news story in the Record-Courier indicated that to land the Menards facility Ravenna officials acquired five parcels of land along the highway including one with a building now used by Astra Products to make vertical blinds.

Menards would use the Astra Products site to manufacture trusses and concrete blocks.

The distribution center is expected to eventually serve 35 stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Ravenna economic development director Dennis West said Menards needs to transport its products by rail and will use a former Erie Railroad line operated  by the ABC.

The ABC, which is a subsidiary of the Wheeling & Lake Erie, will build a spur into the Menard’s facility.

ABC currently serves the Chestnut Commerce Center in Ravenna.

The $51 million Menard’s distribution center in Ravenna was first proposed four years ago.

The Ravenna City Council has approved a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement for Menards.

The tax abatement also has been approved by the Ravenna Board of Education and is awaiting approval by state and county officials.

West said if all goes according to plan construction will begin next year and the center will open in 2022.

It is expected to employ 90 with an estimated payroll of $3.498 million a year.

Although Menards would not be paying taxes, Ravenna Councilman Rob Kairis said the income tax from that payroll will mean about $90,000 per year in income tax revenue for the city.

The center will initially support 10 retail centers.

Near Miss in the H Unit Lottery

May 15, 2018

National Train Day wasn’t too bad depending on where you were.

Railfans in Rochelle, Illinois, got treated to two of Union Pacific’s heritage units on the same train.

Closer to home something unusual started to unfold. The Lehigh Valley heritage unit was leading an eastbound intermodal spotted at Chesterton, Indiana, early that morning.

That’s isn’t so unusual. We typically get more than our share of heritage engines in Northeast Ohio on Norfolk Southern.

Also that morning the NS Honoring First Responders unit was leading an eastbound CSX freight. This turned out to be the S370 which takes the New Castle Sub through Akron.

As both were still hours away I settled in at Rootstown to railfan Norfolk Southern yet still be close enough to jump over to CSX if need be.

As the day progressed I relocated to Ravenna where the two lines cross on a bridge.

Checking on the progress of both trains, it was going to be close. I began hoping for an over and under meet which is difficult enough but with two special painted engines that’s like hitting the lottery.

Well, the Lehigh Valley arrived first and the 9-1-1 engine came within 10 minutes. I didn’t get an over and under but I did get the two engines at the same location. Not a bad day at all.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

The Whistle Was Too Close to be NS

January 4, 2017



These were taken on the spur to the Rock Tenn plant a Ravenna with an iPhone. We were out on the bike trail when I heard a whistle too close by to be Norfolk Southern. They were pulling two boxcars up the line switching to pull in the siding by Oakwood Street. I got these two photographs of the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway on the return journey.

Photographs by Jeffrey Smith