Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Rusty Reminder of the Past

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akron-erie-bridge-x

There is something comforting about seeing a relic of the long ago past even if it is just a rusty hulk of its former self. I have had a lifelong interest in history and finding such relics is a way to see and almost touch something that I never was able to experience in its prime.

Such is the case with old railroad bridges that still wear the markings of a past owner. As this is posted in December 2016, it has been 56 years since the Erie Railroad operated its last train.

In October 1960 it merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western to form the Erie Lackawanna. Even that road has been gone now for 40 years.

Much of the former Erie in Northeast Ohio has been abandoned. Some rails are still in place, but have been out of service for many years.

Motorists traveling on North Forge Street in Akron, Ohio, can see a daily reminder of the Erie. This bridge carried the Chicago route of the Erie over Forge Street in an area known as Akron Junction and sometimes called Old Forge. All of the mainline railroads serving Akron crossed over Forge Street in a two-block area with the Erie being the westernmost of them.

Today the former Erie bridge is silent. As best I can tell from looking at an overhead view on Bing Maps, there may be one set of tracks on the bridge. But otherwise the rails have been removed.

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