Well, That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard that CVSR Nos. 6777 and 6771 Should Be

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad FPA4 Nos. 6771 and 6777 trail as they roll northbound past the golden rod field along Riverview Road between Boston Mill and Jaite.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad FPA4 Nos. 6771 and 6777 trail back-to-back as they roll northbound past the golden rod field along Riverview Road between Boston Mill and Jaite.

My apologies to Carly Simon for stealing a line from one of her best-known songs. But I couldn’t resist because as I looked at the top image that accompanies this post I kept thinking that this is way that these units should look and next thing you know one of my brain cells decided to pull up that Simon song and put it on continuous play.

I posted on Saturday night the images that Akron Railroad Club members Roger Durfee and Bob Farkas made last Saturday of the debut of No. 6777 in the V stripe livery that the CVSR rolled out last year on No. 6771.

Unlike Bob and Roger, though, I didn’t know about the new look 6777 when I set out for the CVSR.

My plan was to meet fellow CVSR member Peter Bowler for lunch at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula at 1 p.m. to copy some photographs that he is contributing to my CVSR book that is in the works.

When Saturday morning proved to be a sunny day, I called Peter and suggested we move the lunch up by an hour and then do some railroad archaeology work afterward, namely hiking in and finding the bridge over the Cuyahoga River on the rail spur that led to the paper mill at Jaite.

Peter had things to do so he could only meet me 15 minutes earlier. I decided to leave the house early enough to catch the northbound CVSR National Park Scenic train at Brecksville or Jaite.

I figured to post an image of it with a story about the opening of the 2017 CVSR season.

As I got into my car I got a text from ARRC member Todd Dillon saying that the 6777 and 6771 were running as a matched pair.

I didn’t know until I made the going away shot at Jaite that the 6777 had recently been repainted into the V stripe livery.

Let me tell you that new paint job glistened in the sunlight and I knew that Peter and I would be chasing it that afternoon.

Peter had not been railfanning for more than a month and had a brand new Nikon camera he wanted to try out. He needed to get out for the day.

With time to kill before meeting Peter for lunch, I went for a walk on the towpath trail out of Peninsula. Peter got done early with his errands and called me on my cell phone as I was walking back to toward town to let me know he had arrived.

The National Park Scenic had already arrived as we stepped out of the Winking Lizard after finishing lunch, which for me featured a chicken quesadilla and a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale draught beer. We also put away a bag of popcorn.

The sunshine was gone and would not return for the rest of the day. At best we had filtered sunlight.

We made some images in Peninsula and went to find that bridge over the Cuyahoga, a story that will be the subject of a future post.

For the afternoon northbound chase, we wanted a side image and elected to set up at the golden rod field along Riverview Road between Boston Mill and Jaite.

How striking that matched pair would have looked in late day sunlight had the clouds not moved in.

There is one no insignificant difference between the 6777 and 6771. The 6777 has a bright metallic trim around its front windows. On the 6771 that trim is painted black. The metallic trim makes the 6777 stand out in direct sunlight.

The CVSR will be operating Saturday only through late February. We can only hope that the 6777 and 6771 stay together on the south end of the train during that time.

But operating three locomotives on a train is the not SOP of the CVSR. It typically only puts two locomotives together on the south end during the autumn foliage season.

I hope the 6777 and 6771 stay together. I have plans for other images I want to make of this dynamic duo.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Looking sharp at Jaite.

Looking sharp at Jaite.

Trailing as the first northbound trip of the season passes through Jaite.

Trailing as the first northbound trip of the season passes through Jaite.

Look at the front windows and you will see a difference between the 6771 and the 6777.

Look at the front windows and you will see a difference between the 6771 and the 6777.

Posing in Peninsula.

Posing in Peninsula.

Throttling up out of Peninsula en route to Akron.

Throttling up out of Peninsula en route to Akron.

A crew member looks back from the cab of 6777 in Peninsula to check on how passenger boarding is going.

A crew member looks back from the cab of 6777 in Peninsula to check on how passenger boarding is going.

New hoses dangling in front of the 6777 in Peninsula.

New hoses dangling in front of the 6777 in Peninsula.

The 4241 was on the north end of the Scenic. It has been a while since I've seen a Scenic with all locomotives wearing CVSR colors.

The 4241 was on the north end of the Scenic. It has been a while since I’ve seen a Scenic with all locomotives wearing CVSR colors.

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