Snow in the Valley

The sunlight through the trees casts an interesting shadow pattern on the undisturbed snow as the northbound afternoon CVSR Scenic train approaches Brecksville.

The sunlight through the trees casts an interesting shadow pattern on the undisturbed snow as the northbound afternoon CVSR Scenic train approaches Brecksville.

There’s snow and then there’s deep snow. No sooner had I set out from the parking lot in Brecksville toward the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tracks when I found myself ankle deep in it.

It wasn’t that long of a walk so I trudged ahead with the objective of photographing the northbound Scenic train crossing Chippewa Creek.

The snow was even deeper on the other side of the creek. I fell once when my mind was going in one direction but my body in another.

But it was worth it because the snow had not been spoiled by human footprints or other activity. It was as pure a scene as I could expect to find in Northeast Ohio and with little imagination reminiscent of being in an isolated spot in the woods of Minnesota, Michigan or Canada.

Another photographer also hiked through the snow, but he chose to photograph from the creek whereas I wanted to be able to get coming and going shots.

It was getting to be late afternoon and the sun was low enough that much of the track was in shadows. Yet the sun streaming through the trees created an interesting effect of shadows across the rails.

The bridge over Chippewa Creek was in open sunlight, which is probably why that other guy chose to go down to the water level. He would get a nicely lighted side view.

During the winter the Scenic doesn’t stop at Brecksville station, so I had to guess as to when it would arrive there. The only scheduled stop between Akron and Rockside Road in Independence is Peninsula.

I was happy to see a spot of yellow when the Scenic came into view. That meant that the black LTEX 1420 would not be on the lead. Try photographing that locomotive in shadows.

Instead, the 1822, an RS18u that had been built in May 1958 for Canadian Pacific, was on the point. The trailing unit was No. 800, the FPA-4 built in March 1959 for Canadian National, and painted in a Baltimore & Ohio livery.

I can only hope that this motive power consist combination will continue to run a little longer.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Seeing the 1822 on the point was a most welcome sight.

Seeing the 1822 on the point was a most welcome sight.

The 1822 passes a snow-covered hillside just before crossing Chippewa Creek. The horn is sounding and the bell ringing for the crossing at Brecksville station.

The 1822 passes a snow-covered hillside just before crossing Chippewa Creek. The horn is sounding and the bell ringing for the crossing at Brecksville station.

Crossing Chippewa Creek on a sunny day that made it feel warm.

Crossing Chippewa Creek on a sunny day that made it feel warm.

The Ohio Route 82 bridge looms in the background as the 800 brings up the rear of the northbound Scenic at Brecksville.

The Ohio Route 82 bridge looms in the background as the 800 brings up the rear of the northbound Scenic at Brecksville.

The Scenic rounds a curve at Brecksville, thus enabling a side view of the entire train. Not the deep ruts cut by the train as it rolled through the snow.

The Scenic rounds a curve at Brecksville, thus enabling a side view of the entire train. Not the deep ruts cut by the train as it rolled through the snow.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Snow in the Valley”

  1. Bob Farkas Says:

    Beautiful images. Your last one captures the CVSR and its relation to the valley superbly. The train is dwarfed by the bridge and surroundings, yet the train is seen in its entirety. By taking the photo from this location, the image gives the feeling of “miles to go” – that this is not the train’s destination but the viewer is watching one frame taken out of an old movie.
    Bob

  2. James L.Leasure Says:

    Craig,
    Nice clear nice pictures and nice clear air!
    Jim

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