Posts Tagged ‘sic transit gloria mundi’

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