CVSR Launches Edu-Trainment Car

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has launched its Edu-trainment car, which is designed to appeal to families with children.

The car, which is operating on the National Park Scenic through Sunday (Oct. 27), was created from the former Sharon Inn, which was originally built for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

CVSR officials told the Akron Beacon Journal that in recent years the Sharon Inn had been cannibalized for parts.

The car was subsequently rebuilt after being stripped down to its bare metal shell.

Funding for the rebuild came from the CVSR’s ongoing capital campaign.

The Edu-trainment car ran for the first time on Oct. 16. Once it completes its last run for 2019, it will be sidelined until returning in January 2020 when the Scenic resumes operations.

Bobby Dinkins, CVSR’s vice president of development and marketing, described the car as a “traveling kids museum on a train.”

He said the railroad created the car because some families found it a challenge to keep young children entertained during a three-hour trip. The car offers a place for families to retreat to during CVSR excursions.

The interior was designed by Karen Katz, who has done design work for the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

It includes benches for parents to sit and watch their children play or take in the educational displays, including a map of the railroad’s route with magnets shaped like train engines to move about, train tables and small train replicas.

The carpet resembles a railroad track with pieces of hardwood floor mixed in to resemble the rails and blue circle lights in the ceiling representing the sky.

Exhibits were placed by windows to encourage children to view the nature of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and let in natural light.

“We wanted to connect the inside with the nature outside,” Katz said.

Other features include child-friendly bathrooms, a private baby feeding room and padded cubbies for children to read train-related books from a small library as well as look out the window.

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