Posts Tagged ‘Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’

Steam Saturday: Almost Past Jaite

April 7, 2023

Central Ohio 4-6-2 No. 1293 (formerly Ohio Central 1293) is southbound on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Jaite on Sept. 29, 2012. The former Canadian Pacific steam was hau ling Steam In The Valley 2012 excursions. In the image above, it has almost passed the ex-Baltimore & Ohio train order station.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

CVSR 14 in Peninsula

April 6, 2023

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad FPA-4 No. 14 is shown in Peninsula on Aug. 24, 1996. Built by Montreal Locomotive Works for Canadian National, it had roster number 6777, which it retained after being assigned to VIA Rail Canada. CVSR has since restored the 6777 roster number.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

CVSR to Return May 5

April 6, 2023

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad plans to return to service on May 5, operating between Akron and Peninsula.

Tickets will go on sale on April 7 at 9 a.m. Trains will depart Akron at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Departures from Peninsula will be at 11:10 a.m. and 1:40 p.m.

It will be the first time the CVSR has served Akron in nearly a year. Service was suspended last year after flooding eroded the banks of the Cuyahoga River near the CVSR tracks.

No trains have operated anywhere on the CVSR since last month.

The trains will have various seating options including seats in two dome cars.

To buy tickets go to

CVSR Eyes Peninsula-Akron Service

March 31, 2023

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is eyeing resumption of service between Peninsula and Akron. No date for the service inauguration has been announced.

Last weekend the tourist railroad received permission to move a train set from its Fitzwater maintenance site to Peninsula in preparation for instituting the service.

In a post on its Facebook page, the CVSR said the move was allowed by the National Park Service after an independent engineering firm determined it was safe to operate an equipment move over an area along the Cuyahoga River where erosion is threatening the tracks.

CVSR shut down service in early March due to those erosion concerns. The problems with erosion date from last year and cancelled most service on the line last Fall.

The annual holiday trips featuring Santa Claus operated only between Rockside Road station in Independence and Fitzwater.

Erosion Concerns Sidetrack CVSR Again

March 6, 2023

Erosion issues have once again knocked the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad out of service.

On Friday the CVSR said it has suspended all operation after receiving the results of soil monitoring along its track.

“Ongoing geotechnical soil monitoring in recent weeks identified increasing erosion along the 26-mile scenic and educational railway in Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” the railroad said in a statement.

The tourist railroad had been planning to resume operating its National Park Scenic on March 3 after suspending it last October.

During November and December the CVSR operated some trains between Rockside Road in Independence and the Fitzwater maintenance facility.

Passengers who purchased tickets for cancelled trips may contact the railroad for refunds.

The CVSR’s statement, which also was issued with the National Park Service, hinted that restoration of service may take several weeks.

The statement said officials are hoping to retore operations along the 26-mile former Baltimore & Ohio line by summer. The tracks run alongside the Cuyahoga River for much of that distance.

“We are going to do everything we can to allow the train to return to normal operations as soon as possible,” Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Lisa Petit said. “We ask for continued patience while we complete construction projects to stabilize the tracks near the river. In the meantime, we appreciate CVSR’s flexibility in adjusting operations.”

NOACA Pushing Extending CVSR Into Cleveland

February 5, 2023

A Northeast Ohio transportation planning agency is trying to revive a long-held dream of having the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad serve downtown Cleveland.

The Plain Dealer recently reported that the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is working with other agencies to what needs to be done to enable CVSR trains to travel the 11 miles from the tourist railroad’s northern terminus in Independence into Cleveland.

The idea has been studied before and has been around for more than 20 years. A major stumbling block to extending the CVSR into Cleveland is that CSX owns the former Baltimore & Ohio tracks that excursion trains would need to use.

Once part of the B&O’s Valley Line, the track north of Independence remains an active freight line. There are no freight operations over the track used by the CVSR between Rockside Road station in Independence and downtown Akron. That track is owned by the National Park Service.

NOACA coordinates transportation planning in Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga, and Medina counties.

Executive Director Grace Gallucci said the agency plans to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study of extending the CVSR northward, possibly to Tower City Center on the southwest corner of Public Square.

“We all have enthusiasm for the project,” Gallucci said. “We’re going to get this done. To be able to put together a railroad taking people from the inner city to the national park would be fantastic.”

She said the study is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete. Any infrastructure improvements the study recommends could be funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

As for the cost of the feasibility study, Galluci said that will be shared by the partnering agencies. She did not say how much the study will cost.

Those agencies are still working out their respective contributions to the study.

Lisa Petit, the superintendent of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, told The Plain Dealer creating a car-free connection between the park and Cleveland is a major motivating factor behind the renewed effort to extend the CVSR into downtown Cleveland.

She noted that Northeast Ohio has been designed primarily for access by car rather than transit.

This has resulted, Petit said, in lack of transportation between the park and “certain neighborhoods and communities around us.”

U.S. Census data shows that 22.4 percent of Cleveland households don’t have a car. The state median is 6.2 percent.

Joseph Mazur, CVSR president, said previous efforts to extend the railroad’s trains into Cleveland have failed, most recently in 2008.

NOACA has listed extending the CVSR into downtown Cleveland as among a dozen “major projects’’ eligible for federal funding.

The agency defines a major project as one costing $12 million or more to complete.

CVSR to Resume Operating Feb. 3

February 2, 2023

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad said this week it plans to resume operating on Feb. 3.

Since last October the CVSR has been limited to operating over for miles between Rockside Road station in Independence and the Fitzwater maintenance facility.

The curtailed operations were due to erosion along the bank of the Cuyahoga River in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where the tracks run along the waterway.

Pamela Barnes, the track was closed until potential safety risks could be better understood. She said the track was evaluated by a geotechnical engineer and park officials decided that train operations could resume.

The first operation to resume will be the Cleveland Dinner and Event Train on Feb. 3. That will be followed by an Ales on Rails excursion on Feb. 10 and a Grape Escape wine tasting train on Feb. 11.

The National Park Scenic is slated to resume operating on March 4.

However, Barnes said that depending on conditions operations may be modified.

Park officials said the track closure is a separate issue from a riverbank stabilization program being undertaken at eight locations in Summit and Cuyahoga counties.

In an unrelated development, travel website Travel Lens has named the CVNP as the second best national park in the United States.

The site ranked parks base several on factors including number of recreational visitors, entrance fee, distance to the closest city and percentage of park reviews that mention the word “beautiful.” CVNP received a score of 8.16 our of 10.

The study said CVNP had 2.76 recreational visitors with 35 percent of them describing the park as “beautiful.”

Topping the list was Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park received a score of 8.16 out of 10.

CVSR Featured in Tom Hanks Movie

January 26, 2023

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Brecksville station is featured in the recently-released movie A Man Called Otto.

The Tom Hanks film from Sony Pictures Entertainment was released earlier this month and has done well with Midwest older moviegoers.

As reported by The Plain Dealer, the movie tells the story of a Baby Boomer grump played by Hanks, who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife.

Most of the movie was filmed in Pittsburgh, but the CVSR is featured in a scene in which Hanks’ son, Truman, playing a younger Otto, boards a train at the Brecksville station.

“Having a Tom Hanks movie filmed in our cars at our railroad and in the [Cuyahoga Valley] national park has been huge for us,” CVSR President Joe Mazur told The Plain Dealer.

The cast also includes former Shaker Heights state legislator and Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, who plays a stroke victim named Reuben.

Mazur said five Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad cars were used during the one-day shoot, with Truman’s scene involving him leaving the station and riding Car 15 car southbound toward Akron.

“Truman was very friendly,” Mazur said. “He took pictures with the volunteers and staff. They were overjoyed by how warm everyone was because it doesn’t always have to be that way.”

The scene was filmed last May 3.  “The folks who really are train buffs loved the fact that a [CVSR] car was in “Otto,’” Mazur said. “There will be people who will want to get on the car just to check it out.”

Steam Saturday: Jaite Memories

January 21, 2023

Seeing Todd Dillon’s article and photos of Nickel Plate Road 765 at Vaughn Road on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at Jaite prompted me to look through my files for same location favorites.

Morning photos were preferred on the east side of the tracks and afternoon from the west side. All these photos as Todd’s were are from the east side.

This location is probably now the favored spot since the Ohio Route bridge in Brecksville is so grown in with trees and brush.

Looking through old photos the only photos I have of Grand Trunk Western 4070 are from the west side of the tracks.

From top to bottom, the images were made on Sept. 29,2012; Sept. 14, 2013; Sept. 7 2014, and Sept. 26, 2016.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Tale of Two Photographs

January 20, 2023

Here are a couple photos of Nickel Plate Road 765, both taken at Jaite on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. They are from 2021 the last year of fully running trips to Akron.

While similar — they are from the same runby — there are some differences and I have thoughts on what makes for a good photo.

The first image is closer to the camera. The 765 fills the frame and the sun has risen to fully light the side of the engine. 

Another photographer is also taking pictures and I worked him into my photo for human interest.

Many times we tend to shun people being in our train photos particularly other railfans but it isn’t always possible to work them out.

An old saying is when you have a bunch of lemons make lemonade that applies here.  

This is a good photo and I am pleased with the result but let’s look at the second photo. The engine is farther back and we have more of the scene.

The railroad crossing and the two former Baltimore  & Ohio railroad buildings are visible. The 765 is a litter further back in the scene than I would like. Having the engine on or just about to enter the crossing would be ideal or would it? 

Take a look at the shadow that covers the second building.  This is caused by 765 itself and its smoke plume.

If the train was on or near the crossing the shadow would engulf both buildings. In fact I have that photo, this being a sequence of pictures and that is exactly what happened.  

I find that I prefer the second photo even though both turned out well. The first photo is more of a three-quarter wedge while the second shows more of the total scene. 

And the ideal or what I thought would be the ideal photo turned out to be a dud in my view.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon