The northbound Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad excursion train pauses at Peninsula during its stop. Four Akron Railroad Club members rode the CVSR on Sunday.
Four Akron Railroad Club members turned out at the Rockside Road depot of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Sunday morning, March 25, and spent a day traveling in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Marty Surdyk, Rick Houck, Todd Vander Sluis and Craig Sanders boarded the 10 a.m. departure. We had plenty of company. Hundreds more boarded as part of two special excursions that were also offered on Sunday. The most popular of those was an Easter bunny trip. The other was a maple syrup festival. All of the passengers for the specials rode the same train.
ARRC members rode the scenic train to Botzum, the train’s temporary southern terminus while a bridge is replaced south of Smith Road near Akron. Reportedly, the bridge will be finished by Easter.
After a nearly 30 minute layover in Botzum, we reboarded the train and disembarked in Peninsula where we were met by member Paul Woodring.
After photographing the departure of the train we had just ridden, the ARRC contingent adjourned to the Winking Lizard for lunch and plenty of rail tales.
At 2 p.m., the southbound excursion train arrived and we members boarded to go to Botzum again. Paul did not join us, but instead paced the train for a short distance along Riverview Road. We rode from Botzum back to Rockside Road.
Along the we were treated to a variety of bird activity, even spotting an eagle’s nest and an eagle sitting atop a nearby tree. But there were no deer or beaver to be scene. A park service volunteer, though, did come through the train with pelts from a beaver and coyote.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the story told by the trainman about how Indigo Lake got its name. We can’t give the story away just yet, but it gave us an idea for a new initiation rite for new members. Hint: “In they go.”
Motive power for the train was FPA-4 No. 6771 northbound and RS-18 No. 1822 southbound. Our coach, No. 169, was originally a 12 roomette sleeper built for the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was later rebuilt into a commuter coach and saw service for MARC commuter trains in Maryland before being purchased by Akron Metro.
It formerly operated on the CVSR as the Spirit of Summit. Yes, Marty, it’s true. You rode in a former Pennsy car.
Photographs by Craig Sanders
ARRC member Todd Vander Sluis (left) looks at his photos while relaxing aboard a CVSR excursion train Sunday during a club outing. To the left of Todd is Marty Surdyk and behind him is Rick Houck.