Posts Tagged ‘Boston Mill’

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.

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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.

Railfanning NKP 767 With a Cop

September 30, 2016
The Peninsula police officer was able to get his photo during the second runby of NKP 767 at Boston Mill on Saturday evening.

The Peninsula police officer was able to get his photo during the second runby of NKP 767 at Boston Mill on Saturday evening.

The Peninsula officer was unable to photograph the first runby because he had to shoo a motorcyclist away as the train ran past.

The Peninsula officer was unable to photograph the first runby because he had to shoo a motorcyclist away as the train ran past.

Does getting our shadows qualify this photograph as a selfie? That is my shadow on the left.

Does getting our shadows qualify this photograph as a selfie? That is my shadow on the left.

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.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Sunday Afternoon at Boston Mill Between Storms

June 6, 2016

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On a chance I ventured down to the Boston Mill station on Sunday afternoon hoping for some sun between the storms. My timing was perfect.

Photographs by Roger Durfee