Posts Tagged ‘Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’

CVSR Steam Trip Tickets on Sale July 10

July 9, 2018

Nickel Plate 765 steams into the Rockport Road station to begin an excursion on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad last September.

Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday (July 10) for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s 2018 steam in the valley excursions behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

The first trip on Sept. 21 is for the enjoyment of CVSR members and volunteers and will depart Rockside Road Station for an evening outing featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cash bar service and live entertainment.

Public trips will leave from Rockside Road Station on Sept. 22 and 28 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Trips will depart from Akron Northside Station on Sept. 23 and 29 at 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Tickets are $25 (coach), $35 (open window coach), $40 (table car seating), $50 (lower dome car) and $65 (upper dome level).

Seating will be assigned in all classes except coach and open window coach.

The trips will last for about two hours and include a photo runby at Boston Mill.


Christmas Coming to CVSR in July

July 2, 2018

Santa Claus is coming early to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad when it hosts Christmas in July excursions.

The family-friendly excursions will operate July 21-22 and July 28-29, featuring summer bingo, limbo, and the hula hoop freeze dance.

Children will be able to a letter to Santa, who will be stopping by for a visit. Each passenger will receive a cookie and one non-alcoholic beverage.

Tickets are available for seating in a table car or in the Saint Lucie Lounge car. The train departs at 3:40 p.m. from Peninsula Depot.

Tickets are $25 for table top seating and $35 for executive seating in the Saint Lucie Sound.

The festivities will also include a Christmas dinner train on July 27 catered by Creekside.

The menu will include three courses starting with a garden salad with rolls butter and crackers.

The main course will feature a choice of ham or turkey with gravy plus trimmings, or vegetable lasagna alfredo. A red velvet mini cake tower will round out the meal.

The dinner train will depart at 5:40 p.m. from Peninsula. The event is not recommended for children younger than 14 and a child’s meal will not be available. Tickets are $45 per person.

As part of the Christmas in July event the CVSR is holding a photo contest.

Participants in any of the events are encourage to post their images to Facebook or Instagram and tag them Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to enter. Photos can also be sent to

The contest is open between July 21-31. Two winners will be chosen and contacted for prizes by the end of the week.

The first-place winner will receive four open air train car tickets for Steam in the Valley while the second-place winner will receive tickets to the Great Lakes Science Center.

Four photographs per person may be submitted and any additional photos will not be considered for judging. There is a limit of one prize per person.

Photos can be of the train, families or Santa, but no entries will be considered that were made on the rails.

Photographs will be judged on creativity, adherence to theme, originality, and quality. Photographers submitting entries agree to give CVSR consent to use their photographs on social media, promotional materials and the organization’s website.

Contestants must be at least 18 year of age and agree that their name, social media handle, and any associated caption can be used by the CVSR.

Cleveland Clinic to Sponsor Bike Aboard!

June 29, 2018

The Cleveland Clinic has agreed to sponsor the Bike Board! service of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The Clinic said the program that allows bicyclists to ride their bikes and take a train ride in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be incorporated into its Let’s Move It initiative.

More than 22,000 people participated in the Bike Aboard! program in 2017.

As part of the partnership, Bike Aboard! riders, CVSR members and volunteers will receive a LifeStyles fitness pass for Cleveland Clinic Akron General Health and Wellness Centers.

Cleveland Clinic employees will be able to buy discounted Bike Aboard! passes for $3 per person by showing their employee badge at any of CVSR’s boarding locations. The regular price is $5 per person.

In other CVSR news, Elizabeth I. Loveman has been named to the railroad’s board of trustees.

Loveman is vice president and controller for NACCO Industries, which she joined in December 2012.

In her present position, which she has held since 2014, Loveman is responsible for financial reporting, internal control, and taxes for the company.

She also worked at Deloitte and Touche as an auditor from 1995 to 1999.

“I have fond memories of riding the train with my son and I am excited to be a part of the railroad’s future,” Loveman said in a statement.

Loveman received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Cleveland State University in 1995 and is a certified public accountant.

Cranking Up My Not So Far Way Back Machine

June 16, 2018

When Akron Railroad Club member Bob Farkas cranks up his way back machine he usually has in mind going back to the 1970s or earlier.

When I dive into my version of a way back machine I tend to have a much shorter focus in time.

I recently launched a project of reviewing some my older digital images with an eye toward processing and posting some that got overlooked shortly after they were made.

I decided to start with July, August and September of 2011, a period of time that incorporated the first three months that I started doing digital photography.

I was all over the visit that September of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 when it came to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and pulled a series of excursions.

The image above was made on Sept. 17. The 765 was pulling a trip headed for Canton that was billed as a “total track tour.”

I was waiting for it on the Old Station Road bride that is now part of the towpath trail.

What caught my attention about this photograph is the FL9 that is trailing on the train and will bring it back north later today.

The CVSR used that FL9, a former Amtrak and New Haven unit, between 2009 and early 2012.

It was paired with NKP 765 during its September 2011 visit, which would turn out to be the waning days of No. 484’s tenure in the Valley.

No. 484 at the time was owned by F.P. Flynn but has since moved on to working in Canada.

Another notable fact about this train is the presence of two dome cars. The dome with the blue, gold and gray paint was named Emerson at the time and had just been joined by the former Silver Bronco, which was already wearing CVSR colors.

The ex-Silver Bronco assumed the Emerson name for a while before reverting to its original Denver & Rio Grande Western name.

The blue, gold and gray dome in this train is a former Great Northern car than ran on the CVSR between 2009 and 2011.

As I processed this image I also noticed something that had escaped my attention at the time.

Can you find the Akron Railroad Club member in this photo? He is standing  next a tripod with a video camera and has a still photo camera around his neck. Look a little to the left of the Buckeye crossbuck at the grade crossing.

It is Paul Wooding who was part of the impromptu photo line.

CVSR to Fete Dads This Weekend

June 14, 2018

To honor the region’s fathers, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is offering free rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to Dads who board a National Park Scenic train with one purchased adult or child coach ticket.

The offer is valid for up to two free adult coach tickets per household. After two free coach tickets, any additional passengers must buy tickets.

Regular ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children (ages 3-12). Children ages 2 and under do not require a ticket but must sit on a parent’s or guardian’s lap.

The offer is not valid for ticket upgrades and is not valid with any other promotional offer. It is also subject to ticket availability.

The CVSR is also offering a drinks with Dad promotion on Saturday and Sunday, departing from Rockside Station in Independence at 4:50 p.m.

Passengers buying a ticket for the promotion will receive one complimentary beer and four appetizers. A cash bar will be available throughout the duration of the trip, which is open only to those age 21 and older.

In the meantime, the CVSR has implemented its summer schedule, which will be in place through October.

Trains will operate daily except Monday, departing Rockside Road at 9 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. and from Akron at 10:45 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays a third round trip will run, departing Rockside Road at 4:50 p.m. and Akron at 6:35 p.m.

Here Comes Thomas to the CVSR

May 18, 2018

Thomas the Tank Engine returns to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this weekend with trips on Saturday and Sunday.

The engine from the Island of Sodor will be back on May 25, 26 and 27 to offer half-hour rides from Boston Mill station.

Aside from Thomas, there will also be magicians, bounce houses, balloon artists and vendors at the station site and in a large tent across Riverview Road at the Boston Mills ski resort. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the Thomas trains will cost $18 for all trips on May 25 and range from $20 to $22 for weekend trains depending on the departure time chosen.

Trains will depart at 9:30 a.m, 10:30 a.m, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The CVSR said the Day Out With Thomas event is suitable for children of all ages. Also on hand will be his buddy Sir Thopham Hatt, Controller of the Railway on Sodor.

Ticket will be required of all passengers age 2 and older. Children under age 2 do not need a ticket provided they can sit on a parent’s or guardian’s lap during the train ride.

Aside from the train ride, the fares include access to a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment, including storytelling and video viewing, an imagination station with arts and crafts, and a model train display tent.

No outside food or beverage will be permitted into the site or on the train. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase at the site along with a variety of Thomas merchandise.

Memories of My First CVSR Trip

May 17, 2018

My first photograph of a Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train came during a railfan event. It would be another decade before I saw the CVSR again.

Twenty-one years ago today I saw and rode the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for the first time.

I was a passenger on a railfan special that traveled the length of the CVSR.

I don’t remember how I learned about this event. Maybe I read about it in The Plain Dealer.

At the time I didn’t belong to any railroad clubs and the only railfans I knew were a few guys I regularly saw in Berea.

I bought my ticket by phone and during that conversation the ticket agent asked if I also wanted to buy a cab ride. Sure, why not.

Aboard that day were at least three Akron Railroad Club members: Marty Surdyk, Robert Farkas and the late Dave McKay. There may have been others.

Little did I know that photographs made by Marty and Bob on this day would later turn up in book I would publish about the CVSR.

Although I don’t remember it, my rail travel logs indicate the event started at Boston Mill station with the train being pulled to Rockside Road station by RS3 No. 4099.

It would be my first and only time to see that locomotive, which in the CVSR’s early diesel era was one of its workhorses.

At Rockside Road, we got off and did one of many photo ops staged for us by the crew.

This one involved the conductor and two crew members comparing watches and train orders on the platform.

There was also a handing up of train orders at Jaite, a scene of a pickup truck and tractor waiting at a rural road crossing that was located at Szalay’s Farm, and a “farmer” handing up milk cans to a crew member in the baggage section of the combine.

There were photo runbys at various places, including just south of Pleasant Valley Road, along the Cuyahoga River just south of Fitzwater Yard – although it wasn’t a railroad shop at the time – and at Brecksville to get the classic Ohio Route 82 bridge shot.

For the latter, the CVSR got permission from the National Park Service to cut down vegetation growing along the bank of the Cuyahoga River so as to afford a more open view of the train.

There probably were other photo runbys, but I don’t remember where they were. I knew virtually nothing about the CVSR of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in those days.

The train arrived in Akron at the site of today’s Northside Station and we rode buses to the Spaghetti Warehouse to have lunch.

It was one of two times I’ve eaten there. The other time occurred in summer 2013 when fellow ARRC member Paul Woodring and I were scouting for a place to hold the first end of year dinner.

My cab ride came during the last segment of the event. I don’t remember where I got on at, but it probably was at Indigo Lake.

I rode in the cab of FPA-4 No. 14, which today is CVSR No. 6777. The other FPA-4 in the motive power consist was No. 15, which today is CVSR No. 6771.

At the time, CVSR locomotives had a red, black and gold livery that heavily emphasized the gold. It has since been revised to emphasize black on the flanks.

The railfan event was one of just two times that I’ve seen lounge-observation car Saint Lucie Sound operate uncovered.

Most of the time, the observation end of the former Florida East Coast car is covered by a locomotive due to trains operating with motive power on each end.

I don’t recall us being allowed into the Saint Lucie Sound during our trip.

It would be just over a decade before I again rode and saw the CVSR. I’ve been trying to make up lost ground ever since in documenting the CVSR.

There is much I’ve missed that I could have recorded. I arrived in Northeast Ohio three years too late to see former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 light Mikado No. 4070 on the then-named Cuyahoga Valley Line.

I missed the Delaware & Hudson look-alike livery era even though it played out during my earlier years here.

The photographs I made of that railfan trip from 1997 are my only ones of CVSR locomotives in that first red, gold and black livery.

Given that the CVSR has moved to nearly all year scheduled operations on weekends, it would be difficult to duplicate this event.

It would have to be done on a weekend in the off-season and that would not encourage ridership.

Like so many railfan events, it was a good things that I did it when I did.

Comparing watches at Rockside Road station.

Creating a farm road scene at Szaly’s Farm.

Coming into Peninsula during my cab ride.

We were able to see Saint Lucie Sound operate as it was designed to operate.

Handing up train orders at Jaite.

CVSR Wins Grant to Restore Coach

May 15, 2018

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is among the winners of a grant from the Emery Rail Heritage Trust.

The CVSR will receive $10,000 for renovation of coach No. 162.

Other grant recipients included $30,000 to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society for installation of positive train control on Nickel Plate Road No. 765 and $10,000 to the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation for coach window repairs.

Two Pennsylvania-based organizations also received grants including $10,000 to Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad for work on Reading Coach No. 1158 and $10,000 to the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust for an
ADA-compatible palace car restoration project.

The Trust awarded grants totaling $212,500 to 19 organizations, including three to help defray the cost of PTC systems.

John H. Emery, a long-time Chicago resident and avid railroad enthusiast who loved to ride trains, established the trust to preserve rolling stock and infrastructure from what he considered to be the Golden Age of Railroads from the 1920 to 1960.

Applications for the next round of grants are due in February 2019.

Organizations may receive grants in only three years of every five More information is available at

Stand Here, Kids

April 14, 2018

A father instructs his two young children to stand on a step box at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad station in Peninsula so that he can photograph them next to the train. By the looks of things, the boy isn’t quite sure that he likes this idea.

The CVSR National Park Scenic is operating twice a day on Saturday and Sundays throughout April. The schedule will expand next month.

Ron McElrath Offering NE Ohio Railfan Events

April 14, 2018

Akron Railroad Club member Ron McElrath is sponsoring two days of railfan activities in Northeast Ohio on May 25-26 that includes a dome car ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and a tour of the Age of Steam roundhouse near Surgarcreek.

The dome car excursion will run on May 25, departing Akron Northside Station at 10:55 a.m. and returning at 2:30 p.m.

That will be followed by a visit to the Pennsylvania Railroad Doodlebug Memorial in Cuyahoga Falls and the former Erie Railroad station Kent.

Dinner will be at a rail-themed Mexican restaurant followed by attending the May ARRC meeting.

On Saturday, participants will travel to the Age of Steam roundhouse. Proper footwear is required.

A tribute DVD to Jerry Joe Jacobson, who founded the roundhouse, will be given to tour participants.

Lunch will be on your own in Sugarcreek followed by a visit to the Warthers Carvings Museum.

Ticket for the two-day events are $179 per person. A Saturday-only ticket is also available that includes the AOS roundhouse tour.

Ron  has arranged rooms at the Courtyard Marriott in Akron at a special rate of $119 per night. The hotel is one block from the CVSR station.

To buy tickets or reserve a spot on the tours, contact Ron at 330-630-9817 after April 26. He can also be reached at