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AC_Tower_Trainsheet_May_9_1974.jpg   Original: 1000 by 1327 pixels - Current: 1000 by 1327 - 100%
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From: Philip Albano palbano AT earthlink DOT net
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 08:48:27 -0600 (GMT-06:00)
Subject: 1974 AC Tower trainsheet
"AC_Tower_Trainsheet_May_9_1974.jpg" - image/jpeg, 1000x1327 (24bit)

Here is a 1974 trainsheet from AC Tower Marion, Ohio for comparision with the 1970 trainsheet posted last week: There have been some big changes in 4 years. Amtrak has taken over most of the nation's long distance passenger trains and there are no longer any passenger trains through Marion. The EL declared bankruptcy in 1972 due to the damage done by Hurricane Agnes and is trying to reorganize as a private system on an income basis under section 77 of the Bankruptcy Act. As the recession of 1974-1975 deepens and freight traffic revenues drop, EL trustees will decide in January 1975 that the EL cannot be successfully reorganized as an independent carrier and will ask the U.S. Railway Association to be included in the planning under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973. This will ultimately result in the abandonment of the main line to Chicago. But for now on May 9, 1974, AC Tower's trainsheet shows a lot of freight traffic.

EL eastbound symbols include a combined CO/MF74, TC100, PB100, NY100, NY98, PN98, 2ndNY100, 62 with F7 7134 (Marion - Cleveland train), two BH78s (BH78 is for Brier Hill yard, Youngstown), DN98 (Dayton train), MF74 (sometimes humorously referred to as "Mighty Fine 74", a phrase attributed to veteran Erie/EL engineer, Johnny Kessler) with E8 812, FB4 with RS-3 1029 (train for Fisher Body plant at Harding Yard near Mansfield, Ohio) and NE74.

EL westbound symbols include MD97 2560(Dayton Branch train that originated at Meadville and changed crews at AC), FB5 1033(westbound train from Fisher Body), 61 2512 (Cleveland - Marion train), ACX99, CX99, NE97, another MD97 2454 that also changed crews at AC, BM7 (Buffalo - Marion) that evidently was running short on time and was put in the siding at Martel Tower (RM), CNW97 2462, DN97 2552(another Dayton train), PB99, 61 with E8 828, MC3 (Meadville - Cleveland), 93 with E8 831 (not in freight schedule, probably originated at Meadville or Youngstown and terminated at Marion), RI97 3607(crew outlawed), SC99 E8 809(from Scranton), BN99 3613(outlawed at AC), NY99 3645, plus numerous yard engine moves. You can see how the domino effect comes into play at AC with the heavy westbound traffic. It just took one "event" to totally screw up your railroad. And remember, this trainsheet does not include the N&W or C&O trains!

Track equipment moves are shown in red ink such as Tamper 9005 going to GSA (General Services Administration, where the UPS facility was located) HRC (High Rail Car) 3303 going from MED (Marion Engineer Depot, the site of today's new intermodal facility operated by trucking company Schneider National) to Burt Tower (BU) Galion, Ohio.

Some other abbreviations used include:

Ave: stands for Kenton Ave. the first road crossing west of AC Tower and where the yard lead connects to the interlocking,

SRN: South Marion on the Dayton Branch - old Erie freighthouse. Note that 1016 came from there and went back to Kenton Ave.

R: Ready - time train was reported ready to go.

CC: Change crews

EXT: Referred to the westbound extension lead, commonly called "the Oklahoma" (no idea where this name came from). This was often used for yard engine headroom if there was a westbound train approaching the tower or on in the interlocking. They could also access the N&W transfer from the extension.

WB to HF: If move was noted as an eastbound move (such as the 7468 in the eastbound column) it was from the PC westbound main west of Kenton Avenue (PC served the Whirlpool plant from this track) onto the eastbound thru the plant to their freighthouse (HF) east of AC. If the move was noted as a westbound move, it would have been from the EL westbound track (east of AC into the tracks at HF, the PC freighthouse.

MCM: McMillan feeds, the soy bean plant which the EL served. It was east of AC. On the westbound column, 1021 is shown going to and coming back from McMillan.

RM: Martel Tower

Trains running against the current of traffic are also shown in red ink. PB99 ran against the current of traffic from Burt Tower Galion, Ohio to AC Tower. Penn Central trains ABF3 (Advance BF3) and VO5 are shown departing AC Tower in red ink as both ran against the current of traffic from AC to Ridgeway, Ohio.

Notice that both PB99 (from the eastbound main) and BM7 BOTH cleared AC at the same time, 1050hrs. The only way this could be possible was that the BM7 went into the yards via the Oklahoma to the C&E lead with the PB99 being crossed over through the west crossovers to the westbound main. The 1st trick man, Dale Hoffman was having a busy morning!

During this era, Penn Central locomotive problems were common. Rich remembers No.316, a PC mail/express train which was usually 5-6 mail/baggage cars with a rider coach and powered by a single F7 got him real good one night. Usually this train was expedited across our territory due to the nature of the train but that night Rich had to hold him at Kenton Ave account an EL 100 reported ready. Held 316 for about 20 minutes and when he was finally released, it looked like an Alco taking off....really smoked bad. But that wasn't the worst of it. He got up to AC, just past the C&O diamonds and DIED! Everything was blocked except the westbound EL tracks. The Marion Run (PC local) was halfway to Ridgeway so their dispatcher brought him back to Marion to pull 316 into the PC siding. All told, AC was blocked for about 90 minutes. C&O and N&W north and southbound trains were stacked up everywhere. Couple of delays for EL eastbounds but the westbounds got in OK. This happened around 630pm and things were back to normal about 11pm when the 3rd trick man got there. Just wasn't a good night!!!

R.M. \"Rich"\ Tubbs and Philip Albano


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