Posts Tagged ‘Switch engines’

Railfan Dream Location in Akron

February 23, 2023

Mike Ondecker and I were in Akron on a morning in 1967 or 1968. Pennsylvania Railroad switch engine No. 9115 is eastbound on the eastbound Baltimore & Ohio main that is shared with the Pennsy between Arlington Street in Akron and Warwick Tower in Clinton.

Perhaps the crew is going to interchange cars with the B&O at Akron Junction.

On the next track is the westbound B&O Diplomat making a station stop.

Beyond the Diplomat is the Erie Lackawanna passenger station. Notice the man at the open window. What a railfan’s dream location this was.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

When the Pennsy Worked in Akron

September 4, 2022

Pennsylvania Railroad switcher No. 7819 is shown in Akron in late 1966. That makes the original slide close to 56 years old. My how things have changed with the Akron railroad scene during that time.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Critter in Toledo

April 21, 2022

This unnumbered “critter” was spotted at the W.A. Koppers plant in Toledo on July 21, 1982. We don’t know anything about its background, but the Kopper website describes the company as “an integrated global producer of carbon compounds, chemicals, and treated wood products for the aluminum, railroad, specialty chemical, utility, rubber, steel, residential lumber, and agriculture industries.” It is headquartered in Pittburgh.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Two for Tuesday: Outside Cotter Merchandise

June 1, 2021

Here are two photos of Cotter Merchandise Storage switcher No. 1231 outside the company’s fence in Akron on May 12, 2021.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Another One From Cincinnati

September 3, 2020

It is either 1969 or 1970 in Cincinnati where Cincinnati Union Terminal No. 24, a Lima 750 horsepower switcher, is in storage along with some sister units. You can tell what part of Ohio someone is from if you ask them to describe the initials CUT. It could be Cincinnati Union Terminal or it could be Cleveland Union Terminal.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Getting A Closer Look

June 17, 2020

The top image was made in the late 1970s in the yard on Conrail in Canton.

NW2R No. 9174 is working the east end of the yard with a transfer caboose.

The photographer decided to crop the original image to zoom in on the locomotive and the caboose.

Although he said the cropped images are of lesser quality there is nothing “lesser” about getting a look at something we can’t easily see anymore except in a museum or maybe on a backwater short line railroad.

Photographs by Robert Farkas


Switchers for a Saturday

March 28, 2020

Railroad photographers are fond of coining terms that mesh well with days of the week. So you might have signal Saturday or tower Tuesday.

We’re going to carry out that theme today with a pair of switch engines to highlight our Saturday.

In the top image is Cotter Merchandise Storage’s prior switcher (unnumbered GE) is working in Akron on Nov. 13, 2009.

In the bottom image, we’ve traveled to Titusville Pennsylvania to the Oil Creek & Titusville short line railroad to view it Alco S2 No. 75.

The tourist railroad operates on former Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

South Akron PRR Memory

March 4, 2020

Pennsylvania Railroad switch No. 8020 sits in the PRR engine facility by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company plant in 1966/1967.

The locomotive is a Baldwin DS44-1000 that was built in April 1949.

Notice the corner of Akron, Canton & Youngstown boxcar and an Illinois Central boxcar on the left while a small portion of industrial Akron is on the right.

No, I was not given permission to close 8020’s doors.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Catching Up With the Union Railroad

March 21, 2018

I also caught last weekend during my trip to Pennsylvania a Union Railroad train climbing Dravosburg grade on Sunday morning. Notice it’s a mainline but both tracks are jointed rail. Also the tracks are weathered from heavy sand use. Finally, a caboose brings up the rear. All Union trains still use cabooses. It’s a throwback to old school railroading in this modern era.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

When I See a Grain Elevator, I Think of Marty

November 13, 2016


One in a periodic series of images I made last summer

If I never saw Marty Surdyk again, I’ll always have something to remember him. Many times when I see a grain elevator I think of him because he has a fondness for such facilities that he has spoken about many times.

That is quite an accomplishment for a guy who grew up in a suburb of Cleveland and can be said to be a city boy.

But somewhere along the way Marty became fascinated with grain elevators and likes to photograph them with trains at every opportunity.

I was in Bellevue when I had a “Marty moment.” There are a couple of silos next to the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum that were part of a grain elevator complex that is no longer in service and some of it has been razed.

The silos appear to be on museum property for a couple of pieces of the museum’s rolling stock were parked on what used to be a track that served the facility.

The locomotive is an Alco S-5 that used to be owned by Cargill, a company that describes itself as a provider of food, agricultural, financial and industrial supplies.

Cargill owns a lot of grain complexes and has its own fleet of switchers. This unit was last assigned to Cargill’s Michigan Division although I do not know where it once worked.

But a little online research found that it was built in June 1964 for the Boston & Maine.

It might have had another owner other than B&M and Cargill judging by some markings bleeding through the black paint.

I don’t know where in Michigan or anywhere else this unit worked while active for Cargill’s Michigan Division.

But in Bellevue on this June day, it was attached to a passenger car painted in what appears to be the last passenger livery of the Great Northern Railway.

I couldn’t help but think of Marty as I made this series of images.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders