Posts Tagged ‘Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’

Schneider 2017 CVSR Volunteer of Year

March 10, 2018

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has named Craig Schneider as its 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

A volunteer since October 2010, he has surpassed 8,000 hours of volunteer service of which 1,303 were recorded in 2017.

He was chosen for the award by a committee of his peers, who each year select a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in service to the railroad.

Schneider volunteers every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Fitzwater Maintenance Yard, working an eight hour shift.

He also has served as a mentor to fellow volunteers by managing projects and showing them how to work safely.

A CVSR news release said that Schneider has been integral in the preparation of the fleet for the upcoming season.

At Fitzwater he has done everything from locomotive repair to passenger car interior work. Among his recent work has been building cabinets in the concession cars to better display merchandise, reupholstering the seats in car No. 164 and configuring car No. 169 to be used as a Bike Aboard! car.


30 Years Gone From VIA

March 7, 2018

Do you realize that VIA Rail Canada took its FPA-4 locomotives out of service 30 years ago? Yet two of them were on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s National Park Scenic train last Saturday.

The top and middle images were taken in Peninsula while the bottom photograph was made in Akron as Baltimore & Ohio No. 800 was being towed north.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

NKP 765 Plans CVSR Trips, Chicago Excursions

March 6, 2018

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 is planning to come to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this year although no dates have yet been announced.

That news was buried in the last sentence of a news release announcing an excursion for the 765 in Chicago on Sept. 15 and 16.

The release said that the CVSR excursions were being planned for “later this year.”

As for the Chicago trips, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society said the Berkshire-type steam locomotive will pull trips named the Joliet Rocket over former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific trackage between Joliet, Illinois, and Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station twice daily on both days.

The society said that each trip will have food, cocktails and live music. Passengers are encouraged to dress in vintage-style clothes

FtWRHS members may begin buying tickets on April 2 with sales opening to everyone else on April 4. No ticket prices have been disclosed.

The Chicago excursions drew more than 2,500 passengers in 2017 from 30 states.

FtWRHS Vice President Kelly Lynch said this year’s excursions will have a longer layover time, an improved catering service and more dome cars.

The society said the Joliet Rocket will be among the 765’s last mainline excursions until it installs positive train control technology on the locomotive.

The Chicago excursions will use tracks owned by Chicago commuter rail agency Metra.

CVSR Volunteers Exceeded 2017 Goal

February 21, 2018

Volunteers on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad contributed 104,221 hours in 2017, surpassing the goal of 100,000 hours.

That was an increase of nearly 11,000 hours over 2016 with more than 5,000 of that increase occurring in the fourth quarter.

The CVSR last year served more than 200,000 passengers aboard its various trains that operate between Akron and Independence in the Cleveland suburbs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Train Time at Rockside Road

February 10, 2018

The National Park Scenic departs from Rockside Road station in Independence.

The Rockside Road station in Independence is the northernmost outpost on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

National Park Service ownership of the tracks ends shortly north of the Rockside Road bridge.

In theory, Rockside Road is the closest station to my home. But I seldom photograph the CVSR there because it is not much of a photogenic place and I can’t as easily set out to chase trains from there as I can from other locations on the CVSR.

Last September, though, I ventured to Rockside Road to board a steam excursion train pulled by Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765. Before the steam train left, the first National Park Scenic of the day arrived in the station on a deadhead move, boarded passengers and left for Akron.

The Scenic ferry move from Fitzwater Yard arrives at Rockside Road.

Boarding bikers and their bicycles as a car passes overhead on Rockside Road.

Passengers look for their car to board.

A CVSR trainman walks to his post.

CVSR To Operate as Scheduled

January 20, 2018

Despite the shutdown of non-essential government services, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad said it will operate today as scheduled.

The railroad posted on its website a notice that the National Park Scenic and special events trains set for Jan. 20 and Jan. 21 will operate under an agreement with the National Park Service during the government shutdown.

During the last government shutdown, which occurred in October 2013, CVSR trains were sidelined due to the closing of national Parks.

In its notice, the CVSR suggested that passengers arrive 30 minutes prior to departure time at their designated station.

The National Park Scenic has been on hiatus since late November and the last CVSR train to operate was the Polar Express on Dec. 21.

The special train scheduled for Sunday will depart from Akron Northside Station at 7:30 p.m. and feature several events, including beer tasting, a murder mystery, a wine tasting, and a ghost stories event. Some of these events are sold out, but tickets remain for passengers who simply want to take a train ride at night without ghosts, beer, wine or murders.

Warm Memories of NKP 765 on the CVSR

January 10, 2018

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 cruises along the Cuyahoga River where it runs parallel to the tracks along Riverside Road north of Boston Mill station. Alas, the vegetation is obscuring most of the river.

I have many motivations for making photographs, but chief among them is to relive later something about which I have fond memories.

There are some experiences in life that seem warmer when you look back on them than they did at the time you actually experienced them.

It wasn’t that you didn’t enjoy it at the time, but some experiences have that ability to bring sunshine to a cloudy day, warmth to a cold day, and happiness to a trying day.

Such is the case with memories of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 plying the rails of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The big Berkshire has run on the CVSR enough times that many railfans in Northeast Ohio have grown complacent about it. It is no longer a “must see and photograph” event for them.

Maybe so, but every time it comes I remind myself that it might not happen again. And how often can you see a mainline steam locomotive in operation?

This galley of photographs includes images that didn’t quite fit the story line of my previous postings about the NKP 765 that I wrote last September.

I purposely saved them for winter when cold temperatures and snow storms would have us pining for the warmer days of late summer and early fall.

All of these images take me back to an outing I won’t soon forget and will always remember with fondness.

Along Riverside Road during the Akron Railroad Club picnic at the Valley Picnic Area on the other side of the road.

Southbound at Hillside Road during the second excursion of the day from Rockside Road station.

Arriving at the CVSR’s Rockside Road station. Ultimately, it’s all about having an experience that can’t easily be had anymore.

The photo line captures memories to be cherished later as the NKP 765 arrives at Rockside Road station.

Greetings from the fireman’s side. Note the tribute to the late Jerry Jacobson.

The NKP 765 crew waves to the crowd waiting to board at Rockside Road station.

CVNP Begins Construction of Visitor Center

January 10, 2018

A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week for what is being billed as the first full-service visitors center in the 44-year history of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Although eight people engaged in a ceremonial turning of a shovelful of dirt, the new visitor’s center actually will involve renovating what had been a privately-owned apartment building adjacent to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tracks just south of the Boston Mills station.

The visitor’s center is projected to cost $5.9 million and open in spring 2019.

It will supplement and not necessarily replace the nearby Boston Store visitor’s center, which will remain open but be given a new focus.

Park officials do not consider smaller-scale facilities at the Hunt House and the Canal Exploration Center to be visitor centers.

Once opened, the Boston Mills Visitors Center will be described as the main stop for park visitors to learn about attractions and activities inside the 33,000-acre park.

The CVNP was created in late 1974 as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation area.

Now one of 59 national parks, CVNP drew more than 2.4 million visitors last year, ranking it 12th in attendance among the national parks.

CVSR Names Engine After Retired Mechanic

January 6, 2018

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has named locomotive No. 1822 after Fred Daigneau, who retired last year after working for the railroad as a mechanic for 17 years.

In a news release, the CVSR said that Daigneau has signed on to become a volunteer engineer.

The 1822 is an Alco RS18u that was originally built for the Canadian Pacific in May 1958. It was acquired by the CVSR in fall 1998.

The CVSR in the meantime is in its early January hibernation. The National Park Scenic will resume operations on Jan. 20, operating on Saturdays between Rockside Road Station in Independence and Akron.

There will be two roundtrips departing Rockside at 9 a.m. and 12:50 p.m., and from Akron Northside station at 10:55 a.m. and 2:50 p.m.

NKP 765 Eyes 2018 Excursions

December 29, 2017

No trips have been announced, but the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society is making plans to run its Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 on the road in 2018.

Vice President Kelly Lynch told Trains magazine that the society is planning excursions that it hopes will take the Berkshire locomotive to Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri.

“About half of the possible locations are places to which we have been before, but some of them are new,” Lynch said. “We had been considering going to some of these destinations in 2017, but we ran out of time to do the marketing. It didn’t look like we were going to have our ducks in a row soon enough to allow for that if we had tried those additional excursions in 2017.”

This past year the NKP 765 pulled trips on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Northeast Ohio and on Chicago’s Metra commuter rail line between Joliet, Illinois, and Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station.

The reference to planning trips in Ohio combined with Lynch’s comments suggests that the 765 will be back on the CVSR next year.

Traditionally, the 765 has operated on the CVSR in September.