Posts Tagged ‘Boston Mill’

A Fascination With Steam in the Valley

September 16, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will conclude its visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this weekend with a series of excursions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It arrived on the CVSR during the first week of the month and has already pulled several trips that drew hundreds of passengers and spectators.

For many, the attraction of watching the big Berkshire-type locomotive in action is scenes like the one above of the 765 putting on a show for a photo runby.

This image was made on Sept. 14, 2014, at Boston Mill. That used to be where the photo runbys were staged.

Boston Mill has changed in the past two years with the CVSR station having been moved further south and a new visitors center having opened in a former apartment building.

If you’ve been following the story line this week of Ed Ribinskas’ series about steam at Boston Mill you’ve seen and read about those changes.

The 765 will be moving on soon although not before spending some time in Bellevue at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum later this month.

We probably can expect to see the 765 back in the Valley next year but those things are never guaranteed. Every time the 765 comes back you need to approach its visit as though it might be the last.

But, oh, the memories and photographs you’ll make that will always stay with you.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

A Renewed Fascination With Boston Mill: 4

September 16, 2021

Last Saturday the weather was ideal as I made my way to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to make the final series of images that would conclude my series on steam motive power at Boston Mill.

I talked with several people who had no idea what was coming and they did wait around for the Nickel Plate Road 765 to arrive.

There were no white chains, no “keep out” or “no parking signs,”; it was just the normal signs that are always up.

Cars were parked at spots on Riverview Road like the old days and they were not bothered.

The top image shows the 765 passing through Boston Mill at 10:30 a.m. The middle image shows the afternoon trip at 2:37 p.m.

Both of these excursions had originated at Rockside Road station in Independence.

The third image shows FPA-4 No. 6777, which provided motive power when the train was operating northbound.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Renewed Fascination With Boston Mill: 3

September 15, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 has been a September visitor to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad since from 2010 except for 2012 and 2020.

What will become the Cuyahoga Valley Visitor Center in late 2019, was still apartments when these photographs were made in September 2013.

Note the Boston Mill station/shelter on the northwest corner of the road crossing, the former site of Cleveland-Akron Bag Company.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Renewed Fascination With Boston Mill: 2

September 14, 2021

Following the 1990 operating season, steam motive power was absent from the Cuyahoga Valley Line until 2007. 

In the interim the CVL renamed itself the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and acquired a fleet of diesel locomotives.

It also opened a station at Boston Mill on the site of a former factory.

September 2007 saw the return of steam operations when former Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293, owned by Jerry Jacobson, pulled some excursions.

The 1293 returned returned the next year and again in September 2012.

The top image shows the 1293 passing through Boston Mill on Sept. 18, 2007. The middle image shows the former general store that at the time this image was made on Sept. 29, 2012, had been converted into apartments.

The final image was made by the CVSR station on Sept. 30, 2012.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Renewed Fascination With Boston Mill: 1

September 13, 2021

Earlier this summer I visited the recently opened Cuyahoga Valley Visitor Center in Boston Mill with Marty Surdyk and more recently with my wife, Ursula.

The history of the area is fascinating and to this day still changing. 

The photos in this post are all on the site of the former Cleveland-Akron Bag Company factory.

Workers made flour sacks and roofing paper from 1905-1923. The factory closed and was torn down.

The Visitor Center is housed in what once was the company general store.

Long after those events this location is still changing. Between 1975 and 1990 when I was riding and volunteering on the Cuyahoga Valley Line I’ve been able to see changes still.

These photos are from that time period, all at the location of that factory.

As you know this was the location of the Boston Mill station stop for the CVSR for many years until recently.

Aside from former Grand Trunk Western 4070 made in 1984, 1989 and 1990, we also see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus train when it was here for shows at the former Richfield Coliseum in November 1985.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Got Stopped by a Train on the Way to a Ballgame

May 24, 2021

Here is the newest station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Ed Ribinskas and Marty Surdyk were on their way to a baseball game in Akron when they got “stopped” by a train here.

Of course they didn’t mind and they got their cameras out to record it.

You will recall that there has long been a Boston Mill station, but it was located further north of the present location. The currently location is opposite of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitor’s center.

After getting their photographs, Ed and Marty continued to Canal Park to watch the Akron Rubberducks defeat the Reading Fightin Phils 13-1.

That’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon in May.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

New Horses On the CVSR

November 13, 2020

This week the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad received a new set of power just in time for the Polar Express trains. Horizon Rail Nos. 6421 and 2328, a former CSX slug set, are on lease to the CVSR. I caught up with the southbound ferry move at Boston Mills and again at Peninsula.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be

October 2, 2018

For the Boston Mill photo runbys of the last excursion of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 during its two-week visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the photographers were given a treat.

FPA-4 No. 6777, which was coupled on the north end of the train to the Silver Solarium dome-observation car, was dropped off and the train ran past the crowd with the observation car uncovered.

It was the first time to my knowledge that the CVSR did that during the 765’s visit since the first excursion a week earlier for CVSR volunteers and members.

CVSR trains operate in pull-pull fashion with motive power on both ends of the train. Thus sightings of the Silver Solarium operating uncovered are bound to be rare.

Thomas Returns to CVSR this Weekend

May 19, 2017

Thomas the Tank Engine is returning to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this weekend with trips from Boston Mill station on Saturday and Sunday.

Thomas will make a return visit on May 26-28, also departing from Boston Mill station.

The CVSR said that only those who have purchased Thomas tickets or a site ticket will be allowed into the boarding and festival area at Boston Mill. A site ticket grants admission to the Boston Mill station area, but does not include the half-hour train ride.

The site will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include magicians, bounce houses, balloon artists, live entertainment and railroad displays.

Fares are $18 for all trips on Friday and $20 or $22 for Saturday and Sunday trips.

The $20 tickets are good for the 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. trips.  The $22 tickets are for the 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. trips.

Passengers are advised to arrive at the site an hour before departure time.

Outside the Fences: The Boston Mill Experience With a Steam Train for Those Without a Ticket

December 31, 2016

Hey, it shows the steam engine, right? But for a serious photographer this would not be considered a good image beyond its documentary value.

Hey, this image shows the steam engine, right? But for a serious photographer this would not be considered a good image beyond its documentary value. Nonetheless, it does show something.

First of two parts

Plastic orange fences, multiple police officers watching the crowd, and people standing all over the place and getting in your photos.

Such is the reality of being at the Boston Mill station of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for steam in the valley if you do not have a ticket to ride the train.

The 2016 steam season seemed to have set records for how strict security could be to keep photographers without tickets away from the tracks.

In fact, it seemed to tighten from one weekend to the other. What was OK the first weekend wasn’t allowed during the second weekend.

Let me say up front that I have no problem with the CVSR limiting access to the prime real estate to ticketed passengers.

Although the 2016 trips were reported to have sold out, there is still an economic issue involved. If anyone could get into the photo area at the station, then what incentive do people have to buy a ticket?

Besides, the CVSR marketing materials suggested that ticketed passengers would get something that those without tickets didn’t have.

They did, sort of, but that depends on how you look at it. In past years, those without tickets were allowed to roam free at Boston Mill during the photo runbys.

You can get some decent photographs at Boston Mill, but the best images to be had are elsewhere along the CVSR in places open to everyone.

In fairness, CVSR and Cuyahoga Valley National Park officials also are concerned with safety issues.

When you have the type of crowds that were drawn to Boston Mill this year there is the potential for someone to do something foolish.

The orange plastic fencing around the perimeter of the Boston Mill station wasn’t new this year. What was new was that the fencing extended along the tracks south of the station in an effort to keep people from walking down the tracks to stake out photo locations. That probably was a safety precaution.

Some of the security this year, though, was overkill, particularly placing “temporary no parking” signs along Riverview Road well out of view of the photo runby site.

But, again, I wasn’t upset about that because there are plenty of other places to photograph the steam train other than at Boston Mill.

The images that I’ve presented with this post are designed to show the downside of photographing at Boston Mill when you are confined to the non-ticketed zone.

You have to stand in Boston Park on the south side of Boston Road or in the parking area for the ski resort west of the tracks.

Police were strict the second weekend about keeping people from crossing Riverview to stand along the orange fencing and/or the highway guardrails.

None of these security measures mean much if all you want to do is watch the train go by. I saw people sitting in lawn chairs doing just that, some of them elderly.

But what is a serious photographer to do under such conditions?

One approach is to take the view that you are documenting an event. The crowds, the security and the less than ideal photo angles become part of the story if not the story.

All of the images that accompany this post were made with that in mind.

Next time I’ll suggest some strategies for coming away with some good images despite all of the barriers in your way by making the situation work to your advantage.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

In past year, you could have walked up to and shot over that security fence. But not this year.

In past years, you could have walked up to and shot over that security fence. But not this year.

Even with a telephoto lens it is tough getting a good image of the crowd interacting with the crew without that orange fencing getting in the way.

Even with a telephoto lens it can be tough getting a good image of the crowd interacting with the steam locomotive crew without that orange fencing getting in the way.

This what you are up against in Boston Park, crowds of people, poles and wires.

What you are up against in Boston Park? How about crowds of people, poles and wires.

This does OK, I suppose in showing the smoke plume of the NKP 767 and the roadway that stood between the photographers and the tracks. Police and CVSR personnel made sure that those without a ticket did not cross Riverview Road as the train approached.

This photo does OK, I suppose, in showing the smoke plume of the NKP 767 and the roadway that stood between the photographers and the tracks. Police and CVSR personnel made sure that those without a ticket did not cross Riverview Road as the train approached.

It's not a terrible image, but not a good one, either.

It’s not a terrible image, but not necessarily a good one, either.

I was trying to convey a sense of the photo line, but it didn't work out that well because of the distance I had to stand behind them.

I was trying to convey a sense of the photo line, but it didn’t work out that well because of the distance that I had to stand behind them. Such is life outside the fences.