Security at the photo runby location at Boston Mill on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this year was the tightest I had ever seen.
Three and sometimes four police vehicles were stationed along Riverview Road to keep those without a ticket from venturing into the fenced off area to watch Nickel Plate Road No. 767 do its runbys.
Police also kept bystanders on the west side of Riverview, although this practice was not uniformly enforced.
I can’t speak for the runbys held on Saturday, Sept. 17, but on Sunday, Sept. 18, just one Peninsula police cruiser was on hand and that officer was primarily occupied with maintaining traffic on Boston Mills Road.
No one objected when bystanders stood or sat along the guard rail on Riverview closest to the tracks beyond the end of the fenced off area.
But the weekend of Sept. 24-25 was a different story. That was when police were out in force and traffic cones with signs proclaiming “no parking, temporary police order,” were placed along Riverview well north and south of Boston Mill.
CVSR officials seemed determined to ensure that those without tickets were confined to either Boston Park or the parking lot of the Boston Mills ski resort on the west side of Riverview.
During the first runbys of the day, I had noticed fellow Akron Railroad Club member Robert Farkas photographing the runbys while standing by a Peninsula PD cruiser.
The last photo runbys on Saturday ended up taking place much later than expected due to the CVSR Scenic train running upwards of 45 minutes late.
By the time the passengers were unloaded at Boston Mill, it was well past 6 p.m. The good news, though, is that there was really sweet light bathing the train.
I parked in the ski resort lot at the north end and walked up to the guard rail where I and a railfan from Pennsylvania struck up a conversation with a Peninsula police officer.
He was friendly and we had a nice talk, much of which focused on the appeal of a steam locomotive.
The officer said that in his three years on the force he had never been assigned to steam train at Boston Mill duty, so he was looking forward to seeing the 767 put on a show.
We explained to him how the runbys worked and he seemed to appreciate us telling him that.
As the NKP 767 began its charge southward for the first runby, the officer reached into his pocket, pulled out a smart phone and prepared to photograph it.
He saw me put my camera up and started backing up a bit to get out of my photo. Actually, my plan was to photograph a portion of the runby with the officer in the scene getting his photos.
While I appreciated his courtesy, I had wanted him to stay where he had been.
About the time the 767 reached our position, a guy pulled up on a motorcycle and stopped along the guard rail nearest the tracks.
The officer walked over to the motorcyclist and advised him to either move on or park in the ski resort lot.
By the time the officer got back to his position the train was past. We assured him he would get another crack at it.
Interesting, the officer said he was upset that his photo op had been interrupted. But he had been professional about it. He did, after all, have a job to do.
The officer was able to get his photos of the second runby and I was able to get my photo of the officer and NKP 767.
I showed it to him, got his email address and sent him a copy of the photo on Monday. He thanked me in a return email.
You’ve probably seen those programs called breakfast with a cop or even shopping with a cop. I can now say I’ve been railfanning with a cop.