Posts Tagged ‘Cuyahoga River’

On the West Side of the Kent Dam

May 4, 2022

Here is a September 2007 memory from Kent. An eastbound passes the dam on the Cuyahoga River just south of the West Main Street Bridge. The dam by now was strictly for decoration as the channel of the river had been diverted to flow freely through town.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

NKP 765 Won’t See Akron in May

March 26, 2022

There will be no steam excursions from Akron in May and resumption of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad service to the city is not expected until July.

The change in operating plans was prompted by erosion of the bank of the Cuyahoga River to within three feet of the tracks north of Boston Mill.

The National Park Service, which owns the tracks, is overseeing a riverbank stabilization program to shore up the bank.

The erosion occurred in early March following heavy rains. Since then CVSR has been operating only from Rockside Road station in Independence.

The steam excursions, to be pulled by former Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, will now operate out of Rockside Road for all trips.

Trips are scheduled for May 13-15 and 20-22. Schedules have been changed on the CVSR website to reflect the changes.

In a news release, CVSR said it is contacting those who purchased tickets for excursions from Akron’s Northside station.

Those who wish a refund of their fare must notify CVSR by March 29. Otherwise, the CVSR will rebook them on a trip from Rockside Road.

The 765 is owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and usually visits the CVSR in the fall.

The CVSR news release said the timeline of work for the riverbank stabilization program is still being worked out.

CVSR Suspends Service to Akron, Peninsula

March 9, 2022

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has cancelled its National Park Scenic train through May.

In its place, it will offer a replacement, the National Park Flyer, which will operate on Saturdays and Sundays for one-and-a-half hour trips from Rockside Road station in Independence. The Flyer will not operate to Peninsula or Akron.

The schedule change was prompted by erosion of the bank of the Cuyahoga River north of Boston Mill where the tracks run close to the river for a short stretch.

National Park Service officials said last weekend that erosion from recent rains has reached to within a few feet of the tracks used by the CVSR.

The Park Service owns the track, which passes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Park officials said it will take weeks to complete work to stabilize the river’s banks where the erosion occurred near the Columbia Run picnic area just north of the Boston Mill ski resort.

In an email message distributed on Tuesday morning, the CVSR said the Cleveland Dinner  & Event Train will continue to operate on Fridays. Also still operating are such theme experiences such as Ales on Rails and caboose rides.

Trains depart from Rockside Road station on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. and noon. The dinner and event train departs Rockside Road at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Riverbank Erosion Prompts CVSR Curtailment

March 6, 2022

Erosion of the bank of the Cuyahoga River has prompted the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to cut back operations to between Peninsula and Akron.

The National Park Service is undertaking an emergency stabilization effort to shore up the river bank in an area near the Columbia Run picnic area north of Boston Mill in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

However, the work is expected to take weeks to complete.

NPS officials said in a news release that the erosion occurred as a result of recent rains and reached within three feet of the ballast of the track used by CVSR trains.

The track is owned by the Park Service. As part of the repair process, engineering must be performed before the bank can be stabilized.

NPS spokeswoman Pamela Barnes said the erosion progressed quickly. She said park staff routinely monitors the riverbank.

 “The river is a dynamic system, and it is constantly changing,” park officials said in the news release.

Cleveland From Atop Terminal Tower

November 26, 2021

In March 1969 and again in early 1973 the late Joe Farkas, made a series of photographs of railroad operations in Cleveland from atop Terminal Tower.

He most likely was using a 50mm lens because he did not have a zoom at that time.

Consequently all the railroads are small, but they are there.

He also captured a Great Lakes freighter and, of course, some of the many bridges over the Cuyahoga River.

You can see such detail as where the wires once had been for Cleveland Union Terminal electrics and the rapid transit line out to the airport.

There is much to see here including much that is no longer. Cities are in a constant state of evolving even if the pace of change seems glacial at times.

Photographs by Joe Farkas

Another Chilly But Sunny Dave McKay Day

May 31, 2021
The first train of the day was an eastbound NS stack train.
The second train was an eastbound CSX train.
The Herbert C. Jackson with some familiar Cleveland landmarks behind it makes it way upriver on the Cuyahoga River.
The Reading heritage unit leads the 21E at Hudson.

The annual Akron Railroad Club Dave Mckay Day at Berea was chilly but had sunny skies all day. 

Four members attended including Bill Kubas, Paul Woodring, Dave Kachinko and myelf.

I counted 21 trains during the time I was there which was 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It was a fair mix of NS and CSX traffic although NS had a few more trains.

No heritage units went by although NS 4001, one of the Blues Brothers, trailed on the 12Q.

The Reading heritage unit did lead westbound 21E but that didn’t show up until after 8 p.m.

After leaving at 3 p.m., I went downtown to do some boat chasing. The Herbert C Jackson was heading upriver and I caught it several times. 

I also ran into Roger Durfee during this chase so that made five ARRC members out today.

After that I went to Hudson and caught three more trains including the aforementioned 21E with the Reading heritage.  That brought the day’s total to 24 trains and one lake boat.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Steam Saturday: The Classic Brecksville Image

April 10, 2021

It is the classic Brecksville photograph. A train coming south on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the Ohio Route 82 and the Cuyahoga River reflecting it all.

In this image, we’ve gone back to Oct. 2, 1982, when the CVSR was known as the Cuyahoga Valley Line and former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 was the main attraction.

The river and Route 82 bridge are still there but the 4070 lies disassembled in Cleveland undergoing what could best be termed a slow and long-term restoration to operating condition.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

CVSR FPA-4 Two for Tuesday

November 17, 2020

Today’s two for Tuesday features Montreal Locomotive Works FPA-4 locomotives on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in different liveries and eras.

In the top photograph No. 14 is shown along the Cuyahoga River during a railfan excursion on May 17, 1997.

Several current and former Akron Railroad Club members were aboard this excursion, which covered the length of the line between Akron and Independence.

The train made several stops for photo runbys and railroad volunteers posed in various scenes for the photographers.

In the bottom image, No. 6777 is approaching Northside station in Akron on Feb. 2, 2017. By now the unit has been given a new livery featuring a chevron stripe on the nose.

No. 6777 was built in March 1959 for Canadian National and is, in fact the No. 14 shown in the top image.

At some point the CVSR reverted it back to its original CN roster number.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Chasing Train 291 on NS in July 1997

November 4, 2020

In July 1997 Marty Surdyk, his brother Robert, and Ed Ribinskas chased train 291 on Norfolk Southern’s ex-Nickel Plate Road mainline.

This train was known for its New York, Susquehanna & Western motive power on most days.

The chase began in North East, Pennsylvania, and ended in Vermilion

Here is a sampling of images from that chase that included stops in North East, Swanville (Pennsylvania), Cleveland the Vermilion.

At Swanville, the tracks cross Walnut Creek, in Cleveland they cross the Cuyahoga River and in Vermilion they span the Vermilion River.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

NS to Leave Drawbridge Up Most of the Time

July 24, 2019

Norfolk Southern has agreed for now to keep its lift bridge over the Cuyahoga River in a raised position unless rail traffic is imminent.

The move comes after an incident in which the bridge was down for several hours, which effectively closed the river to almost all marine traffic.

The Goodtime IIII reportedly missed a trip out to Lake Erie and other boaters were reported to be furious.

Railroad officials said the bridge was in the down position on that day due to track maintenance.

Boaters have complained for years that having the bridge in the down position creates delays and safety issues.

Tom Werner, NS vice president of corporate communications, said the railroad has not decided if the new policy will be permanent.

A high-ranking NS manager who knows the bridge well is working with the operations department to come up with a permanent plan for operating the bridge.

Werner said dispatchers who know the intricacies of the bridge, including its quirks, left the company when dispatching operations were centralized in Atlanta last year.

When the bridge is down during warm weather for extended periods of times, flotillas of boats congregate on both sides of it.

Once the bridge is raised, those boats begin to move and, owners of businesses along the river say, crate dangerous wake.

Impatient boat operators tend to gun their engines in anticipation of being able to race out to the lake or back down the river from the lake.

Historically, control of the bridge was in the hands of an operator at Drawbridge Tower.

But three years ago that control was transferred to dispatchers along with control of the track crossovers near the bridge.

There are still bridge tenders at Drawbridge who raise or lower the bridge upon orders from the dispatcher. The bridge is manned around the clock seven days a week.

When the New York Central was still in existence, dispatchers had the option of leaving Drawbridge 1 in the up position and routing trains around the Lakefront Wye to the Big Four and across Drawbridge 2 to Linndale. But that route is no longer possible due to track abandonment.

Nautica Entertainment, which operates anther sightseeing boat, the Nautica Queen, said its captains are encouraged by the change in policy.

Laurie Dittoe of Great Lakes Water Sport, which rents kayaks, boats and jet skis,  told Cleveland.com that last Saturday was at least 50 percent better than the week before.

“Sunday was not as good as the curtain stayed closed for about 90 minutes at one point. BUT, to be fair there was a pretty steady dose of trains running throughout that time frame,” she said. “We did see much improvement.”