Posts Tagged ‘Cuyahoga Valley National Park’

CVSR Begins Explorer Program

July 21, 2022

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this week launched its Explorer program for bikers, hikers and kayakers in the the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The program replaces the Bike Aboard program that operated during the summer and fall for many years.

It enables hikers, bikers or kayakers to ride the National Park Scenic one way to begin or after ending their trek in the park.

Hikers and bikers pay a $5 fee for each trip while kayakers pay $10 for a single seat kayak or $15 for a double-seat one.

A season pass is available for $50 and provides unlimited rides. The program will operate through Oct. 31.

CVSR serves three main boarding stations: Rockside in Independence, Peninsula and Akron Northside.

The stations at Canal Exploration Center, Brecksville, Boston Mill, Indigo Lake and Botzum are considered flag stops with passengers needing to wave to the locomotive engineer to indicate they want the train to stop.

In an advisory, CVSR said passengers should use both hands to wave at the engineer to indicate they want to be picked up.

The Scenic is operating twice times a day on Wednesday through Sunday except on Sunday when it operates three three times a day.

Trains leave Rockside Road southbound at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.. They are scheduled to arrive in Akron at 10:30 a.m., 2:40 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. the 5 p.m. departure from Rockside Road and 6:30 p.m. arrival in Akron is a Saturday-only train.

Northbound trains depart Akron at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and are scheduled to arrive at Rockside station at 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The 7 p.m. departure from Akron and 8:30 p.m. arrival at Rockside is a Saturday-only train.

CVSR to Resume Akron Service July 16

July 12, 2022

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad said today it will return to operating the full length of its route on July 16.

Trains have been operating only eight miles south of Rockside Road station in Independence due to erosion of the bank of Cuyahoga River in early March.

Railroad officials said the erosion had reached to within a few feet of the CVSR tracks.

Heavy rains caused the erosion near the Columbia Run picnic area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The location is between Boston Mill and Jaite.

In a news release, CVSR said it will reinstate the full summer schedule of the National Park Scenic. The Scenic will operate five days a week, skipping Monday and Tuesday.

Also being reinstated will be the Explorer program, formerly known as Bike Aboard. The Explorer program allows passengers to bring aboard bicycles and kayaks. That program will resume on July 20

CVSR said those who have purchased tickets for an excursion starting July 16 or after will be contacted by email with updated information on their planned journey. This will not apply to those holding tickets for the Cleveland Dinner & Event Train.

Ticket sales for trips from Akron and Peninsula will begin July 13 at 9 a.m. and can be purchased at cvsr.org.

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.

CVSR Two For Tuesday

November 10, 2020

This week’s two for Tuesday features a pair of images of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in action on Oct. 21, 2009. In the top image the National Park Scenic was caught near Akron. In the bottom image it is crossing a creek near Brecksville. In both images the train was headed northbound.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

CVSR Extends Service Suspension to Oct. 1

April 30, 2020

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Wednesday said it is canceling all trains operations until Oct. 1.

The tourist railroad that operates between suburb Cleveland and downtown Akron through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, had earlier suspended trains operations in mid March due to the COVID-19 pandemic

“As we look to an uncertain future with respect to this situation, CVSR must make decisions now,” said CVSR President and CEO Joe Mazur in a statement.

Mazur said it was a difficult decision to forgo operations during the busy summer months but said large gatherings are unlikely to be safe for some time.

“We look forward to welcoming our passengers and volunteers when the time is right,” he said.

In a news release, the CVSR said it will continue to monitor the pandemic throughout the summer and determine if it is safe to operate trains in the fall.

The release also contained a statement from park superintendent Craig Kenkel agreeing with the decision to suspend train operations through September.

CVSR said it will issue refunds to passengers who purchased advance tickets and plans to automatically extend all active memberships and appropriate benefits by the number of months the railroad will be closed.

Although the release did not address the fate of the annual steam in the valley program, it seems likely it will not operate this year.

In past years the CVSR has operated steam in the valley in September so that it did not encroach upon the busy fall foliage season.

In most years steam in the valley has featured former Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

This will not be the first time that rail service through the Cuyahoga Valley has not operated during the summer since the then-named Cuyahoga Valley Line emerged in 1975.

Service was cancelled or all of 1986 and 1987 after CSX abandoned the valley line and negotiations played out for the Park Service to buy the tracks.

The 1990 season didn’t get started until July 21 due to mechanical problems that sidelined former Grand Trunks Western 2-8-2 No. 4070.

Tourist Railroads Shut Down, CVNP Trails Still Open

March 19, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a host of closings, including tourist railroads and the Steamtown National Historic Site.

Steamtown said it will be closed until further notice but did provide a link on its website for a virtual visit.

Among the tourist operations that have suspended operations are the Nevada Northern Railway, Durango & Silverton, and the Aurora Winter Train of the Alaska Railroad.

Florida intercity passenger rail service Brightline said it will reduce service but is still offering 18 weekday trains and 14 weekend trains, while maintaining hourly service during commuter rush-hour periods.

Closer to Northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has suspended operations into April.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has closed its Boston Mill Visitor Center, but a notice on the park’s website indicates that trails and restrooms remain open.

All park programs scheduled in the coming days have been canceled.

Also closed are operations of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park including the Trail Mix store in Peninsula, the Hines Hill campus and the Happy Days Lodge.

The closures, which will extend for the next eight weeks, include cultural arts events, performances, lectures and privately hosted events. Operations at the Environmental Education Center and Stanford House are also suspended.

CVSR Summer Event Ticket Sales Begin This Week

February 23, 2020

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will begin selling tickets this week for theme event trains operating between May and August.

These include family-oriented events, Ales on Rails, the Grape Express, cocktail trains, murder mystery trains, evening train rides and dinner and breakfast service.

Ticket sales for CVSR members at the brakeman level and above start on Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. while ticket sales to the public begin at 10 a.m. on Feb. 28.

CVSR memberships levels vary from $50 to $1,500 per person.

The benefits with each membership class vary and but include such things as complimentary tickets to ride the National Park Scenic, discounts on concession purchases, early access to Polar Express ticket sales, complimentary upgrades to a higher class of service aboard the Scenic, and unlimited access to certain services.

The latter include bike aboard, hike aboard and run board services.

Those who plunk down $1,500 for the Saint Lucie Founder level get one private use of the observation-lounge car Saint Lucie Sound on one regularly scheduled Scenic trip.

Through April 26 the Scenic will be operating on Saturday and Sunday only although the train will not run on Easter Sunday (April 12). Starting May 2 service will increase to Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The summer schedule of operating Wednesday through Sunday will begin on June 3 and run through Aug. 30.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday during that period the Scenic will operate three roundtrips per day between Akron and Rockside Road in Independence (suburban Cleveland).

CVSR Hosting Slate of October Theme Trains

September 28, 2019

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is offering a variety of theme trains in October, including the return of the Fall Flyer.

The Fall Flyer is a two-hour excursion that will operate on a non-stop schedule to enable passengers to view the fall foliage colors of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The trains will operate every Saturday and Sunday during October and offer upper dome car and luxury seating options.

Tickets range from $25 to $35 per person depending on the class of service selected.

Departures from Rockside Road station in Independence are at 2 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Departures from Akron Northside station on Sundays will be at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Other theme train experiences being offered during October include a series of two-hour Family Fun Loops excursions that have various themes designed to appeal to children.

Tasty Treats will depart Rockside Road station on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. and from Northside station at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 6.

Passengers will be able to decorate and of course eat cupcakes. Tickets are $25 for those who want to decorate and eat cupcakes and $15 for those who don’t want a cupcake.

Another set of Family Fun Loop trips will feature pumpkin decorating with arts and craft supplies.

Those trains depart Rockside Road on Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. and from Northside station at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 20. Passengers are encouraged to come wearing Halloween costumes.

Tickets are $30 per person for decorators and $20 per person for helpers, who will not receive a pumpkin.

Super Royal Halloween trains will leave on Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m. from Northside station and Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. from Rockside station.

The trips will feature story telling, singing and a treat with a princess. Onboard will be Warrior Woman, Patriotic Hero, La Princesa, and Amulet Princess.

Tickets are $35 per person and the event is recommended for all ages.

The Family Fun Loops trips will wrap up with A Very Beary Costume Party.

The rides will feature instruction on how to decorate a stuffed animal. All participants will receive a bear and dress it in a costume.

Trains depart on Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. from Rockside Road station and on Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m. from Northside station.

Tickets are $30 for builders, which includes a stuffed animal, and $20 for helpers.

Also slated for October are night excursions that will depart Rockside Road station at 7:30 p.m. on every Friday of the month.

Recommended for ages 3 and older, these excursions feature a two-hour train ride.

Trivia games will be held onboard led by a host with prizes awarded to the top three teams.

On Wednesdays in October the CVSR will host Read Aboard outings leaving at 9:45 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. from the Peninsula depot.

Recommended for ages 3 and up, children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket but must sit on a parent’s or guardian’s lap.

Tickets range from $8 to $10. Aboard the train during the two-hour ride there will be a story time and craft and activities.

On all of the October theme excursions beverages, snacks and merchandise will be for sale in the concession car.