Atlantic & Great Western

Making Tracks

Not far from my childhood home is a rail bed that once belonged to the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad. Many of my summer afternoons were spent patiently waiting along the rails for a glimpse of the local shortline freight train to pass. Those lazy afternoons gave me time to imagine what it would have been like to see a mighty A&GW train rumble pass.

Recently I discovered this great photo of an A&GW steam locomotive. Back in 1865, when this photo was taken, the railroad operated on rails with a 6ft gauge (the space between each rail).


This 4-4-0 steam locomotive entered service in 1865. The65,000 pounds locomotive’s drivers were 66″ with 16″x24″ cylinders.

Full Steam Ahead

Today those same rails are a standard 4′ 8.5″ and operated by a subsidiary of the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad. The ABC, as the little railroad is known, is what remains of the former Akron & Barberton Belt.  Years ago I created an archive of information about this little railroad. It was recently updated and can be found at


Father of three amazing boys and husband to their wonderful mother. Advocate for non-traditional education, and an outspoken critic of public schools.

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