Steam Returns to the CVSR

Central Ohio Railroad steam locomotive No. 1293 steams and smokes its way south as it approaches the overpass on Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Central Ohio Railroad No. 1293, formerly the Ohio Central 1293 and before that Canadian Pacific 1293, made a return appearance to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Saturday (Sept. 8, 2012).

The 4-6-2 Pacific-type steam locomotive led a 40th anniversary excursion special on the CVSR from Rockside Road station in Independence to Indigo Lake.

However, the 1293 developed mechanical problems while doing an apparent runby at Indigo Lake. The locomotive’s throttle stuck open and the drivers began spinning wildly. Engineer Tim Sposato had to open the cylinder cocks, center the reverse gear and dump the fire.

For safety reasons, CVSR crew members cleared onlookers from the vicinity of the locomotive as the engine crew was working on it.

The 1293 and its train — which had a CVSR diesel locomotive on the north end — then departed for Fitzwater Yard. The passengers had already disembarked and begun making their way to a gala celebration at Hale Farm that was scheduled to last well into the evening.

A second special train also operated from Akron to Indigo Lake with passengers bound for the anniversary event. The CVSR website on Saturday morning listed the event as sold out. The least expensive ticket was $95.

It was an unexpected development in what to that point had been an apparent flawless run of the 1293 on the first of what is scheduled to be several excursions during September on the CVSR.

A brunch train will still operate on Sunday (Sept. 9) but without the 1293. That train, scheduled to leave from Brecksville, will be all diesel.

The 1293 is not expected to cool down completely until Sunday at which time crew members can inspect it to determine what happened and what needs to be done to fix it.

The 1293 and its train, which included the dome car Emerson and the observation-lounge Saint Lucie Sound, had departed Rockside Road at 5:15 p.m.

It moved along at a deliberate pace and a number of fans were trackside with cameras to record the journey. Lighting conditions presented some challenges due to the partly cloudy conditions. Although there was good late day sunlight at Pleasant Valley Road, we got skunked by clouds just south of Jaite and again at Everett.

We were rewarded, though, with good sun light most of the time at Indigo Lake. What we expected to be a few static shots there turned into quite something else.

Among the other Akron Railroad Club members who turned out to photograph the 1293 were Dennis Taksar, Alex Bruchac, Don Woods, Dave Shepherd and David Mangold.

The 1293 is scheduled to operate again on the CVSR next Saturday (Sept. 15) on an almost total track tour trip from Brecksville to Canton and return.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The 1293 and its train steams along southbound just south of Jaite.

The 1293 backs up at the Indigo Lake station as passengers and crews watch.


The 1293 and its train began a runby of sorts. Shortly after this image was made, the locomotive experienced mechanical problems that would sideline it the next day.


The cylinder cocks of the 1293 are open as the crew tries to determine why the engine began to experience mechanical problems. The scene is reflected in the still water of Indigo Lake.

All of the equipment used by the 1293, which is owned by ARRC life member Jerry Joe Jacobson, has been relettered as the Central Ohio Railroad. Shown is tool car “Conneaut.” at Indigo Lake.

Engineer Tim Sposato strikes a pose for the photographers shortly after the 1293 arrived at Indigo Lake.

A crew member dumps some more of the fire during a brief stop at Boston Mill after the train had departed Indigo Lake en route to the Fitzwater shops.

Having dumped some more of the 1293’s fire, the train is now proceeding northward as the 1293 is shrouded a bit in steam at Boston Mill.

Remains of the fire from the 1293 cool on the CVSR tracks at Boston Mill. The train can be seen in the distance heading north.

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