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AKRON BARBERTON CLUSTER RAILWAY COMPANY PURCHASES LINES FROM CONRAIL AND AKRON & BARBERTON BELT RAILROAD

 AKRON, Ohio, July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Akron Barberton Cluster Railway Company (ABCR) today acquired more than 52 miles of rail lines from Conrail (NYSE: CRR) and the Akron & Barberton Belt Railroad (A&BB). ABCR will begin operating the lines at 11:59 p.m. today (July 20).
 ABCR acquired nearly 33 miles of rail lines in Medina, Portage and Summit counties from Conrail: the Akron Secondary between Cuyahoga Falls and Warwick, the Freedom Secondary in Kent, and the Rittman Secondary between Kenmore and Wadsworth.
 From the A&BB, the ABCR acquired more than 19 miles of lines in Summit County: the Akron Extension, the Barberton Belt Line, the Barberton and Southern Branch, and the Fairlawn Extension.
 "We look forward to serving Akron area rail freight customers," said William E. Frey, President of the ABCR. "By managing the former Conrail and Akron & Barberton Belt lines as a single system, we are confident we can provide the best possible rail freight service to our customers."
 Frey added that the new railroad will offer employment to A&BB employees.
 Charles N. Marshall, Conrail's Senior Vice President-Development, said: "We're pleased that Conrail has been able to sell its area lines to a company dedicated to providing good local rail service. We hope to continue to serve the region's rail freight users through Conrail's connections with CSX Transportation and the Wheeling & Lake Erie and, through them, with the new Akron Barberton Cluster Railway."
 Les Ashley will serve as General Manager of the new railroad. He is an expert on Akron area rail operations, serving in a variety of positions with the A&BB from 1974 to 1990.
 ABCR is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wheeling Corporation, which also owns the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company (W&LE). ABCR will operate as a terminal switching carrier and will interchange with W&LE and CSX Transportation.
 The Akron & Barberton Belt Railroad Company is 50 percent owned by Conrail, 25 percent owned by CSX Transportation and 25 percent owned by the W&LE.
 Conrail, with corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, operates a 12,200 mile rail freight network in 12 Northeastern and Midwestern states, the District of Columbia, and the Province of Quebec.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/20/94
 /CONTACT: Les Ashley of Akron Barberton Cluster Railway, 216-745-4431, or Richard W. Husband or Robert T. Sullivan of Conrail, 215-209-4594/
 (CRR)


CO: Conrail Inc.; Akron Barberton Cluster Railway Company; Akron &
 Barberton Belt Railroad ST: Ohio, Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU: TNM


MK -- PH036 -- 7756 07/20/94 18:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 20, 1994
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