Posts Tagged ‘CVSR 1822’

Coming Into the Akron Station

November 20, 2019

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s National Park Scenic is moments away from arriving in the station in Akron.

The train is about to cross the bridge over Cascade Locks and the Ohio & Erie Canal in downtown Akron.

The dusting of snow on the bridge helps to create a contrast between light and dark in this late autumn image made last Saturday (Nov. 16).

The Scenic has just two more Saturdays to run in 2019. It will go on hiatus after its Nov. 30 trips with the Polar Express taking over the railroad through Dec. 21.

The CVSR posted a notice on its website that all Polar Express trips have sold out and no waiting list is being maintained.

Tickets might become available as customers who purchased refund insurance return their tickets.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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.

Skirting the Swamp

October 14, 2017

Last month I posted some images made of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 passing a swamp located south of the Brecksville station o n the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

I had walked along the tracks to reach that location. But the steam locomotive wasn’t the only thing I photographed there.

I also captured the CVSR diesel on the north end of the train, RS18u No. 1822, and some passenger cars.

Note how the smoke in the bottom image is still hanging in air back near the Brecksville station. It almost looks like the 765 is still there.

Autumn Day Out With the CVSR

November 29, 2016
The National Park Scenic depart Peninsula amid peak fall colors in early November.

The National Park Scenic departs from Peninsula station amid peak fall colors in early November.

Autumn is probably the favorite season of the year for the managers of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroads.

It’s trains are stuffed full of leaf peepers wanting to get a look at the autumn foliage along the 25-mile route between Akron and Independence.

And just as soon as the foliage season is done the Polar Express season begins. The trains featuring the children’s Christmas tale account for 20 percent of the CVSR’s annual ridership.

Is it any wonder that the railroad looks forward to the end of the year?

I, took, look forward to autumn on the CVSR, but for a different reason. Some of my best images of that railroad have been made in October and early November.

And between runs of the National Park Scenic, there is autumn glory to photograph in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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Peninsula as already been decked out to become the North Pole for the Polar Express trains.

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The first of three images of the southbound Scenic coming through an S curve north of Brecksville station.

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Horizon Rail No. 8420 leads the National Park Scenic at Brecksville.

Horizon Rail No. 8420 leads the National Park Scenic at Brecksville.

Passing the leaf-covered path to the Brecksville station.

Passing the leaf-covered path to the Brecksville station.

CVSR 1822 is framed by an arch of the Ohio Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley.

CVSR 1822 is framed by an arch of the Ohio Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley.

FPA No. 6771 leads the last Ales on Rails train of the year through Brecksville.

FPA-4 No. 6771 leads the last Ales on Rails train of the year through Brecksville.

The Baltimore & Ohio tribute FPA-4 No. 800 brings up the rear of the Ales on Rails train at Brecksville.

The Baltimore & Ohio tribute FPA-4 No. 800 brings up the rear of the Ales on Rails train at Brecksville.

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Getting Reacquainted With the Railroads of Akron on a Gorgeous Autumn Sunday Railfan Outing

November 27, 2016
A Wheeling & Lake Erie stone train takes head room on the trestle spanning the valley of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

A Wheeling & Lake Erie stone train takes head room on the trestle spanning the valley of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Good things happen when you go out on an autumn railfan outing with Roger Durfee.

I met up with my fellow Akron Railroad Club member in early November on a Sunday morning for some autumn railfanning around Akron.

We’ve done this in the past and I’ve come back with some very good autumn foliage images of trains images, some of the best I’ve made.

We had a plan of sorts that we didn’t quite wind up fully implementing because events kept interfering.

We didn’t know when we set out that morning that we’d have the opportunity to photograph three Wheeling & Lake Erie trains.

I’ve long said that I usually wind up getting the W&LE when I’m out looking for something else and that is what happened on this day.

Aside from capturing the W&LE, we also inspected the current state of affairs at Voris Street, found that the Amtrak station in Amtrak hasn’t changed much since the rail passenger carrier left Akron more than a decade ago, and took the time to visit the former AC&Y Building in downtown Akron.

We also stopped by Northside Station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to photograph a departing National Park Scenic train and visited Wingfoot Lake State Park to catch the arrival of Wingfoot Two on a flight from Columbus where it had helped TV cover the Ohio State-Nebraska football game on a Saturday night.

As mentioned in another post, we also visited Akron Junction to check out how things have changed there with CSX removing most of the tracks on the Valley Line level.

En route to Akron Junction we stopped so I could photograph the former Erie bridge over North Forge Street. The names of the cities that the Erie served have faded away, but the Erie herald is still prominent.

Did I mention that we caught CSX intermodal train Q137 at Market Street?

All in all, it was, as Roger remarked as it was winding down, a well-rounded day.

Here is a selection of photographs showing what we landed.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The first stop on our Sunday outing was the Gorge Metropark to photograph the remains of the bridge that once carried the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company interurban cars across the Cuyahoga River.

The first stop on our Sunday outing was the Gorge Metropark to photograph the remains of the bridge that once carried the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company interurban cars across the Cuyahoga River.

The CVSR National Park Scenic departs Akron station, which has been decorated for the Polar Express trains.

The CVSR National Park Scenic departs Akron station, which has been decorated for the Polar Express trains.

Here comes the Q137 past the site of the second Akron Union Depot. That is Perkins Street in the background.

Here comes the Q137 past the site of the second Akron Union Depot. That is Perkins Street in the background.

Shadows from a billboard creep over the lead unit of westbound Q137 as it approaches Market Street.

Shadows from a billboard creep over the lead unit of westbound Q137 as it approaches Market Street.

The last railroad to use this bridge was Conrail, but the Erie heritage is still quite visible.

The last railroad to use this bridge was Conrail, but the Erie heritage is still quite visible.

There are fewer tracks at Akron Junction now, but the coaling tower still stands.

There are fewer tracks at Akron Junction now, but the coaling tower still stands.

Moving out onto the trestle built decades ago by the Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

Moving out onto the trestle built decades ago by the Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

Contrary to appearances, this W&LE stone train is making a backup move on the CSX New Castle Sub.

Contrary to appearances, this W&LE stone train is making a backup move on the CSX New Castle Sub.

Catching this ABC transfer job approaching Voris Street was an unexpected bonus.

Catching this ABC transfer job approaching Voris Street was an unexpected bonus.

Crossing Voris Street, which is, tehnically, closed to vehicle traffic.

Crossing Voris Street, which is, tehnically, closed to vehicle traffic.

It took longer than we expected, but the ABC transfer job finally showed up in southeast Akron near Goodyear Boulevard.

It took longer than we expected, but the ABC transfer job finally showed up in southeast Akron near Goodyear Boulevard.

Another view of the ABC job as it returns to Brittain Yard.

Another view of the ABC job as it returns to Brittain Yard.

We waited until early afternoon to photograph at Rock Cut Siding the stone train we had seen earlier in the day.

We waited until early afternoon to photograph at Rock Cut Siding the stone train we had seen earlier in the day.

Here comes the third W&LE train of the day, but contrary to a post on Facebook it did not have a pair of "tiger stripes" for motive power.

Here comes the third W&LE train of the day, but contrary to a post on Facebook it did not have a pair of “tiger stripes” for motive power.

Cruising along the hedges along North Street near East High School.

Cruising along the hedges along North Street near East High School.

Wingfoot Two touches down at its base near Suffield across Wingfoot Lake as seen from Wingfoot Lake State Park.

Wingfoot Two touches down at its base near Suffield across Wingfoot Lake as seen from Wingfoot Lake State Park.

 

Colorful Autumn Sunday on the CVSR

October 26, 2016
The Cuyahoga River looms behind CVSR No. 1822 as it makes it way southbound toward Boston Mill.

The Cuyahoga River looms behind CVSR No. 1822 as it makes it way southbound toward Boston Mill.

I went to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park last Sunday in search of autumn color. What I found was a mixed bag.

There were places where the foliage was at its peak. There were places where most of the leaves were gone.

And then there were places where the leaves were still quite green, most notably on the hillsides surrounding Peninsula.

Nonetheless, the park had the look of fall and it even had the smell of fall. It was a good day to be out.

I didn’t get to the park in time to catch the first southbound Scenic train, so I drove along Riverview Road scouting for color.

Unlike in previous years, the Scenic did not have a double-headed motive power consist. RS18u No. 1822 was pulling on the south end while Horizon Rail GP10-1 No. 8420 was on the point on the north end.

You can count on the Scenic running late during the fall foliage season due to the high number of leaf peepers and bicyclists aboard.

Yet the first pair of trips of the day ran pretty much on time. That was the case with the second trip of the day until it got to Brecksville.

Brecksville is a popular bike stop and the Scenic starting losing time from there southward.

One of the most colorful locations was at Everett where a number of trees at their peak color stood on the west side of the tracks.

Otherwise it was a matter of finding spot color. I skipped Brecksville because the trees around the station are past peak and the forest north of the Ohio Route 82 bridge had yet to reach its peak.

Likewise, I bypassed Peninsula because the rich colors that I know can be found there every year have yet to show up.

So it was a matter of getting the 1822 next to a colorful tree near Ira Road and a small stand of color near the Valley Picnic Area south of Peninsula.

I also tried something new at Jaite, shooting down Vaughn Road looking west toward the grade crossing.

That shot would have worked better with the first southbound trip when the sun was more to the east.

It also works best if there are no vehicles waiting at the crossing. That was the case when the train arrived. Then I saw an SUV approaching from the east.

The driver must be a photographer because he or she stopped behind me so that I had a clear road leading to the crossing.

I had to get back home by 3 p.m. so I didn’t spend as much time in the valley as I would have liked.

With any luck at all there will be more sun and plenty of color this weekend.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Everett proved to be the most colorful location that I found on the CVSR on this day.

Everett proved to be the most colorful location that I found on the CVSR on this day.

Finding some spot color north of Ira Road.

Finding some spot color north of Ira Road.

Along Riverview Road near the Valley Picnic Area.

Along Riverview Road near the Valley Picnic Area.

This is an angle I've never tried at Jaite before Sunday.

This is an angle I’ve never tried at Jaite before Sunday.

Looking west down Vaughn Road at Jaite.

Looking west down Vaughn Road at Jaite.

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The Cuyahoga River winds along the CVSR tracks near Columbia Run Picnic Area.

Chasing that NKP 767: Part 2

October 6, 2016
Had the sun been out when the steam train rolled by East Pleasant Valley Road, that goldenrod field might have looked brilliant.

Had the sun been out when the steam train rolled by East Pleasant Valley Road, that goldenrod field might have looked brilliant.

My second day of chasing Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 767 began as a case of déjà vu all over again.

It was Saturday, Sept. 24, and the excursions were leaving from Rockside Road station in Independence.

As had been the case the previous Sunday, it was cloudy when I arrived at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tracks.

I had arranged to meet my friend Adam Barr at Jaite, where he left his car, and we headed to East Pleasant Valley Road.

I’ve photographed there once, in 2012 when Jerry Jacobson’s Canadian Pacific No. 1293 was running in the Valley.

The fields west of the tracks were filled with goldenrod and it would have made a brilliant image had the sun been out. The upside, though, was good going away images of CVSR FPA-4 No. 6771.

Akron Railroad Club members Todd Dillon and Peter Bowler were on the bridge when I arrived.

After getting what we wanted at Pleasant Valley, we headed south on Riverview Road, not really sure where we wanted to go. We decided to get the train crossing Furnace Run by Szalay’s Farm.

Those plans got interrupted when we saw a cluster of railfans by the Ohio Turnpike bridge.

We figured they knew a good photo spot so I pulled out and we ran over join them.

They were a group of young guys from Virginia who didn’t know the CVSR as well as I thought they did.

The photo location here was not that great and I didn’t get anything worth sharing.

The Virginia gang raced back to their car and peeled out like they were chasing a fire truck.

The previous Saturday, the first excursion of the day out of Rockside had gone to Akron and done its photo runbys on the return trip.

But just after we got back in my car, I turned on my scanner and learned that the steam train would meet the CVSR Scenic in Peninsula and follow it back to Boston Mill.

I didn’t plan to photograph the runbys. I wanted to watch and enjoy the 767 at work.

Photographers can get so caught up in getting that perfect image that they forget to enjoy what they are photographing.

I sat in my car and pretended to be at a drive-in movie not unlike that famous O. Winston Link photo of a couple watching a movie at the drive-in as a Norfolk & Western steam train passes by.

I did my “drive-in movie” plan for the first runby, but couldn’t resist making photographs of the second runby.

We scouted Furnace Run, but decided instead to do the open field south of Everett Road.

Afterwards, we went to Peninsula, which was even more crowded than usual because there was a front porch festival going on.

Musicians were playing on the front porches of business and homes. That included the train station.

Our plan was to have lunch at the Winking Lizard and photograph the meet of the steam train and the Scenic.

I was barely able to find a place to park in the overflow lot for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Winking Lizard had a 25 to 30 minute wait for a table.

We put our name on the list but lucked out and got two seats at the bar where we ate and enjoyed a pint of Thirsty Dog Brewing’s Barktoberfest.

My chicken quesadilla had not yet arrived as the meet loomed, so Adam told me to go out and get my photos and he would stay at the bar. The meet occurred about 15 minutes late.

I got my photos, but there were people jumping into my shot.

After finishing my lunch I took Adam back to Jaite. He had to pick up his daughters from a day school they attend on Saturdays.

The clouds had moved out and I wanted to try East Pleasant Valley Road again.

The steam train was supposed to leave Rockside at 3, but didn’t get away until about 3:30.

I got the images I wanted and headed down Riverview with the idea of getting a side view of the locomotive across the goldenrod field north of Boston Mill.

I saw cars parked on the west side of Riverview, but didn’t know if there might be a small ditch in the grass that I couldn’t see.

There is a parking area near a pond just south of the goldenrod field and there was space to park there, but I knew there was a substantial drop off from the pavement of the road to the gravel of the parking area.

That wouldn’t be a problem if I had a big arse pickup truck, but I don’t and I didn’t want to risk potential damage to my small car.

I pulled into a small road a little farther south, but by now the 767 was bearing down on me. There was no time to walk or even run to where I wanted to be. Darn!

I pulled into the ski resort at Boston Mill. A week earlier, the photo runbys for the second excursion from Rockside had been done on the way to Akron.

Given what had happened earlier in the day, I figured the steam train would, again, follow the Scenic back to Boston Mill.

I turned on my scanner and waited. When I heard the 767 announce that it was leaving Peninsula yard limits, I knew I was in trouble.

I had parked near an exit and was able to get out onto Riverview just fine, but the combination of the festival in Peninsula and a dozen guys chasing the steam locomotive resulted in the worst traffic jam I’ve ever experienced leading to the traffic light at Riverview and Ohio Route 303.

I wasn’t hearing the NKP 767 talking on the radio so I didn’t know where it was.

I still didn’t know where the 767 was when I finally got out of Peninsula. The lack of photographers standing along Riverview was not a good sign.

An even more ominous sign was that I was able to get a parking space at Indigo Lake.

I had missed the southbound run, but I waited it out at Indigo Lake, getting a reflection shot of the 767 trailing as the train went north.

It wasn’t as good as what I had made the previous Sunday, but it was still a nice image.

People were making photos northward down the tracks by the Indigo Lake station. I was surprised to see the NKP 767 sitting a short distance away. It was still sitting there when I drove up Riverview.

I parked at Everett and had plenty of time to get into position for a bonus location.

I got my photos and headed north again on Riverview. The steam train was loafing along and I was able to easily get ahead of it.

I parked at the Valley Picnic Area – where the ARRC would be having its 767 picnic the next day – and walked to the tracks.

It took awhile before the train came into view and it stopped just after clearing the Riverview Road diagonal crossing.

I would later learn that the Scenic was running about 45 minutes late due to heavy bicycle traffic.

I was told that at one point the baggage car was full and there were 400 bikes on board.

After getting my second bonus location shot, I went to Boston Mill. The steam train still wasn’t there.

With the sun at a low angle, I was able to get some good images during the runbys.

There was one last chance to get the goldenrod field shot that I had missed earlier in the day.

Alas, the sun was below the trees and hills when I arrived. There was an area south of the pond that still had sunshine so I worked with it, getting what turned out to be a better image than I had expected.

The goldenrod field would have to wait for Sunday. There was still time.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Nearing East Pleasant Valley Road with the late morning trip out of Rockside Road.

Nearing East Pleasant Valley Road with the late morning trip out of Rockside Road.

One of better smoke shows that I would see NKP 767 produce during its time on the CVSR. The afternoon trip is approaching Pleasant Valley Road.

One of better smoke shows that I would see NKP 767 produce during its time on the CVSR. The afternoon trip is approaching Pleasant Valley Road.

About the duck beneath Pleasant Valley Road in the afternoon.

About the duck beneath Pleasant Valley Road in the afternoon.

Cameras are out at Everett and everywhere else the NKP 767 ran on the CVSR.

Cameras are out at Everett and everywhere else the NKP 767 ran on the CVSR.

Rolling south at Everett with the first excursion of the day. Unlike a week earlier, the train did not go all the way to Akron Northside station.

Rolling south at Everett with the first excursion of the day. Unlike a week earlier, the train did not go all the way to Akron Northside station.

I interrupted my lunch to go out and get this image of the meet between NKP 767 and CVSR 1822.

I interrupted my lunch to go out and get this image of the meet between NKP 767 and CVSR 1822.

It was still a nice reflection shot at Indigo Lake even if the NKP 767 was running backward.

It was still a nice reflection shot at Indigo Lake even if the NKP 767 was running backward.

Stopped north of Indigo Lake station while trying to kill time due to a late running CVSR Scenic train.

Stopped north of Indigo Lake station while trying to kill time due to a late running CVSR Scenic train.

Getting the NKP 767 crossing Everett was a bonus location.

Getting the NKP 767 crossing Everett was a bonus location.

A few railfans watch the train as it rolls away from Everett.

A few railfans watch the train as it rolls away from Everett.

I liked the shadows and light that I was able to get at my second bonus photo op, this one along Riverview Road near the Valley Picnic Area.

I liked the shadows and light that I was able to get at my second bonus photo op, this one along Riverview Road near the Valley Picnic Area.

Vanishing into the patchwork of light and shadows along Riverview Road south of Peninsula.

My last photo of Saturday, Sept. 24, of NKP 767 what wasn't I had in mind but turned out to be surprisingly good. Maybe it is better than what I wanted to get.

My last photo of Saturday, Sept. 24, of NKP 767 what wasn’t I had in mind but turned out to be surprisingly good. Maybe it is better than what I wanted to get.

 

Chasing that NKP 767: Part 1

October 5, 2016
The northbound ferry move of the steam train meets the southbound Scenic in Peninsula in late afternoon on Sunday, Sept. 18.

The northbound ferry move of the steam train meets the southbound Scenic in Peninsula in late afternoon on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Heavy clouds ruled the skies as I made my way southward on Interstate 271 toward the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Would the overcast conditions keep some photographers away from the second day of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 operating as No. 767?

When the news broke that the 765 would be operating on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad as No. 767 I figured the number of trackside photographers would increase because of the novelty factor.

In recent years many guys seem to have had a “been there, done that” attitude toward NKP 765 on the CVSR. Hard core steam aficionados turned out, but casual photographers stayed home.

There were photographers track side on Sunday, Sept. 18, but not as many as I had expected.

My first stop was Indigo Lake where I sought to duplicate an image I made in 2010 during the first visit of NKP 765 to the Cuyahoga River Valley. It was the first time I had seen the 765 in action other than the time in 1993 when it ran as Chesapeake & Ohio No. 2765.

As I arrived, the clouds were breaking up. It would be sun and clouds the remainder of the day.

From Indigo Lake I went to Boston Mill where it’s tough to get a good image due to the fences and other security designed to keep those without tickets confined to Boston Park south of the CVSR station or on the west side of Riverview Road.

I tried to be creative, getting a view that no one else apparently considered.

I was able to create my top human-interest photo of the day, showing a boy with a bottle of soda sitting next to his grandmother as the train backed up to return to Boston Mill station.

I posted those images on the ARRC blog earlier. The images that accompany this post are my “best of the rest” photos from Sept. 18.

My general strategy was to duplicate my favorite images of past years of NKP 765.

That was an impossible objective given how places I’ve photographed the 765 during its visits in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

After the runbys, I went to Jaite to photograph the train going in both directions. I saw former Akron Railroad Club member John Puda, who I had not seen in a few years.

Every visit of the NKP 765/767 is a little different. A signature trait of the 2016 excursions was how each trip involved meeting the CVSR Scenic in Peninsula twice.

That enabled me to get ahead of the train to Deep Lock Quarry on its return to Akron. If I had to choose one photo location to capture a steam train on the CVSR, this would be it.

The steamer is coming upgrade and working. The sound show is magnificent. It’s also a steep uphill climb from track level to the parking lot

I spent the break between excursions in Peninsula where I would get the steam train meeting the Scenic at 1:45 p.m.

It would be tough – if not impractical – to get the photograph I really wanted, which was a straight-down-the tracks shot of the locomotives nose by nose.

A steam locomotive in Peninsula always attracts a crowd and some daisy picker will jump out in front of you. What I accomplished was reasonably close to what I wanted.

The downside of photographing in Peninsula is that it takes time to get out of town.

The Scenic has you blocked, the route out of town is circuitous, and there is heavy traffic to navigate.

I was able to get one of the photo runbys at Boston Mill. I was even able to sit just inside the guardrail on the east side of Riverview beyond the fenced off area.

That perspective would not be available the following weekend due to a heavy police presence, so it was good that I took advantage of it on this day.

I chatted with fellow ARRC member Todd Dillon who would be the only current club member I would see all day. A few other ARRC members were trackside, but I didn’t see them.

After the runby, I motored to Brecksville, getting the coming and going of the train at the Chippewa Creek bridge.

I had enough time to get to Indigo Lake, but had to park in the trailer park because the Indigo Lake lot was filled.

The conditions on this day were among the best I’d seen with the water calm  enough to produce a nearly perfect mirror image.

I guessed the steam train would deadhead to the CVSR’s Fitzwater maintenance facility after unloading passengers at Akron.

I was correct and my last photo op of the day was the meet with the Scenic in Peninsula, the fifth time during the day that that occurred.

I stuck around to photograph the Scenic leaving and spotted former ARRC member Gary Spencer in the vestibule of a car on the Scenic.

A day that began with unfavorable weather ended with nearly ideal conditions. Somehow the rain in the region stayed away during the afternoon.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Well, of course, I had to get an image of NKP 767 with the iconic Ohio Route 82 bridge in the background at Brecksville.

Of course, I had to get an image of NKP 767 with the iconic Ohio Route 82 bridge in the background at Brecksville.

The onlookers are along the fence on the trail to Deep Lock Quarry as the NKP 767 approaches.

The onlookers are along the fence on the trail to Deep Lock Quarry as the NKP 767 approaches.

A wave from one crew member as the train made its ways south at Jaite.

A wave from a crew member as the train makes its ways south at Jaite.

Passing through Jaite.

Passing through Jaite.

I liked how the engineer and fireman were visible in this image at Boston Mill during a photo runby. Getting closeups like this often the best photo ops available there.

I liked how the engineer and fireman were visible in this image at Boston Mill during a photo runby. Getting closeups like this is often the best photo op available there.

My first look at NKP 765 as NKP 767 was at Indigo Lake. I chose this location because this was where I had photographed NKP 765 in action on the CVSR for the first time back in September 2010.

My first look at NKP 765 as NKP 767 was at Indigo Lake. I chose this location because this was where I had photographed NKP 765 in action on the CVSR for the first time back in September 2010.

NKP 767 leaves Indigo Lake behind in a cloud of coal smoke.

NKP 767 leaves Indigo Lake behind in a cloud of coal smoke.

Labor Day Wanderings: Part 1

September 6, 2016
Most of my railfanning moves on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend were done in pursuit of NS 80xx, the Southern heritage locomotive, which I've seen just once before.

Most of my railfanning moves on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend were done in pursuit of NS 80xx, the Southern heritage locomotive, which I’ve seen just once before.

Many guys take advantage of the Labor Day weekend to make an out of town railfanning trip. I got out of town during the holiday weekend, but not for an overnight adventure. I spent two days railfanning in my “backyard.”

The plan for Saturday was to pick up my friend Adam and head to Alliance. He needed to be back by 3 p.m. to take care of child care duties and after than I would head down to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for the final day of operation of the Saturday-only bike train.

Adam and I had talked on Friday about going over to southwest Pennsylvania to find DC to AC conversion unit No. 4000, which on Friday morning had been reported on HeritageUnits.com as being in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

But by early Saturday there had been no updates on the 4000 and traveling to Pennsylvania seemed risky because the 4000 might have moved on in the middle of the night and no one had seen it.

There was a report on HU about the Southern heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern heading west on the point of train 740. Another report said the Erie H unit was in the motive power consist of an eastbound 64T going through Lima.

They would both pass through Alliance so that was the place to be. We were going around Ravenna on Ohio Route 14 when Adam’s phone dinged with an update from HU reporting that the Southern H unit had just passed through Alliance. Now what?

I’ve seen NS 8099 just once and Adam thinks it is one of the more attractive NS heritage units. It had been out of service for several weeks due to mechanical issues.

I turned south on Ohio Route 44 and headed for Interstate 76. The new plan was go to Massillon to catch the 740 and the 34T and 740 at Mace from Cherry Road NW bridge.

I had shot the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit from this bridge on the day of the Akron Railroad Club picnic this past July.

We made good time cruising westward and managed to avoid delays in the construction zones in Akron.

Adam had just gotten his phone during the past week and no sooner had that happened, but the manufacturer issued a recall because of the danger of the phone catching fire.

That led to a lot of joking about how Adam’s phone would blow up in his hand, the flash of light would momentarily blind me and I’d crash into something. And we would miss the heritage units.

Few of that model phone have actually caught fire and those that did did so while the owner was recharging the battery. So long as Adam didn’t try to charge the battery we were safe.

An online report indicated that the 64T was following NS train 170, which had gone into emergency west of Orrville.

The Fort Wayne Line is single track between Mace and Orrville and we played guessing games as to whether the 740 would meet the 170 at Orrville or at Mace.

We also learned that the NS 4000 was in Conway and planned to lead a coal train west on the Fort Wayne line. That looked to be an afternoon move. The New York Central heritage unit was leading a train eastward on the Sandusky District. So, the day was filled with colorful possibilities.

The 170 was going through Mace when we arrived and all I could manage was an image of the rear of the train passing the PRR position light signals.

Railfan Matt Arnold arrived not long after we did. I’d never met Matt before Saturday, but had long admired his photographic work of the Wheeling & Lake Erie. He is a talented young photographer who often railfans with his Dad.

Matt said the 740 was moving slowly, which suggested the 64T would go through Mace first.

That plan was confirmed when an R.J. Corman northbound unexpectedly showed up and keyed up the Pittsburgh West dispatcher.

To our surprise, the dispatcher said the Corman train would go through Mace south to north immediately after the 64T passed through.

The Erie H unit was second of two units, trailing a Union Pacific locomotive. The R.J. Corman train had two units.

I’ve photographed Ohio Central trains a number of times on the former Baltimore & Ohio line in Massillon at Mace, but gotten the Corman there just once while chasing an OC train during the ARRC picnic at Warwick Park.

After the Corman train cleared Mace, the westbound signal for Track 2 went to clear, which is only the second time I’ve seen that indication at that signal.

Although I’ve been to Mace several times over the years, I’ve rarely seen an NS train there. I was never there during the Conrail era.

The Pittsburgh West dispatcher called the 740 crew and said he was ready for them at Mace.

It took awhile but the 740 came into view with NS 8099 on the lead. The lighting was not favorable for a westbound coming into Mace, but I did what I could with what I had to work with.

After getting the train coming image, I dashed across the road and got a side shot and a couple of going away views.

We still had some time before I had to take Adam home. It was at this point that things started falling apart.

Matt had received a phone call from a contact saying the Corman train was going to drop its cars and go to Wooster.

But I neglected to ask him where the cars were going to be dropped. I presumed it would be in Massillon, but it might have been Warwick.

I decided to chase the 740 to Orrville and figured the Corman train would be behind it.

The route to Orrville was slow going and the 740 easily got ahead of us. I ducked down a country road to a grade crossing but nothing was in sight.

I heard the 740 call a clear signal in Orrville and realized we were too late.

We waited in Orrville for about an hour but the Corman train never showed up. Either the information about going to Wooster was incorrect and/or they had gone to Warwick first.

We also learned that the NS 4000 was bad ordered in Conway with flat spots. Either those got worked out right away or the report was in error.

As it turned out, the NS 4000 became the trailing unit on the 64T, the UP unit was removed in Conway and the Erie H unit became the leader.

I felt rather dejected as I took Adam home. Had I gone to Warwick we might have caught the Corman train leaving there. It has been a good five years since I’ve photographed the Corman.

I had better luck on the CVSR later in the afternoon. Aside from photographing the last run of the Saturday bike train, I was curious as to what motive power was running on the CVSR these days.

It turned out that the Scenic train had Horizon Rail 8420 on the north end and the Baltimore & Ohio 800 on the south end.

The bike train had the newly repainted 6771 on the north end and the 1822 on the south end. I was glad to see the 6771 because I like the spiffy new livery adorning it.

I got both trains at Indigo Lake and caught a break when the Scenic had a longer than usual dwell time in Peninsula.

The conductor had told the engineer of the 8420 that there might be several people in wheelchairs in Peninsula and if so the train would need to follow a special operating plan.

As I drove north with the intention of getting the bike train at Jaite, I saw the Scenic sitting at Boston Mills station.

I would get both of them at Jaite. With that objective accomplished I headed for home and made plans for another day of holiday railfanning on Sunday.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The last cars on train 170 were tank cars. The train is moving onto track No. 1.

The last cars on train 170 were tank cars. The train is moving onto track No. 1.

The R,J. Corman train approaches the Cherry Street NW bridge. It had a red board at Mace.

The R,J. Corman train approaches the Cherry Street NW bridge. It had a red board at Mace.

Here comes the 34T with a UP in the lead splitting the PRR position signals at Mace.

Here comes the 34T with a UP in the lead splitting the PRR position signals at Mace.

A closeup of the Erie heritage locomotive. Yeah, it's trailing, but I don't get to see it often.

A closeup of the Erie heritage locomotive. Yeah, it’s trailing, but I don’t get to see it often.

I've always like the sight of uniform looking unit trains, particularly when they are snaking through switches and curves.

I’ve always like the sight of uniform looking unit trains, particularly when they are snaking through switches and curves.

The two units of the R.J. Corman train are on the move.

The two units of the R.J. Corman train are on the move.

The Corman train has the signal at Mace. I've never seen an indication like this. One light is green and other either amber or lunar.

The Corman train has the signal at Mace. I’ve never seen an indication like this. One light is green and other either amber or lunar.

The Corman train is about to briefly the NS Fort Wayne Line and move through a pair of switches.

The Corman train is about to briefly the NS Fort Wayne Line and move through a pair of switches.

Going south to north at Mace.

Going south to north at Mace.

At last the 740 made its way through Mace. Seeing four trains here in just over an hour was unusual.

At last the 740 made its way through Mace. Seeing four trains here in just over an hour was unusual.

Horizon Rail GP10 No. 8420 is back in service and the blue loaner unit has apparently returned for assignment elsewhere. It was nice to see while it lasted.

Horizon Rail GP10 No. 8420 is back in service and the blue loaner unit has apparently returned for assignment elsewhere. It was nice to see while it lasted.

Reflections of a CVSR coach in the waters of Indigo Lake.

Reflections of a CVSR coach in the waters of Indigo Lake.

CVSR 800 at Indigo Lake station.

CVSR 800 at Indigo Lake station.

The 1822 was the south unit on the bike train on its last day of operation.

The 1822 was the south unit on the bike train on its last day of operation.

Boarding the bike train at Indigo Lake.

Boarding the bike train at Indigo Lake.

As much as anything, I made this image to get the old truck waiting at the grade crossing for the northbound Scenic.

As much as anything, I made this image to get the old truck waiting at the grade crossing for the northbound Scenic.

A B&O "heritage unit" passes the former B&O train order office in Jaite.

A B&O “heritage unit” passes the former B&O train order office in Jaite.

Another photo op with the new look CVSR locomotive livery, this time at Jaite.

Another photo op with the new look CVSR locomotive livery, this time at Jaite.

The last scheduled bike train of the season is on the last leg of its last trip to Brecksville.

The last scheduled bike train of the season is on the last leg of its last trip to Brecksville.

 

Searching for Flowering Trees Next to the CVSR

May 11, 2015
A touch of pink along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill by the Columbia picnic area.

A touch of pink along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill by the Columbia Run picnic area.

Spring has been late this year and as a result many trees that would have flowered in mid to late April are still in full bloom as the calendar moves to the middle of May.

With temperatures on Saturday in the high 80s, it was a good time to get out and look for flowering trees next to a railroad track.

Making images of trains in scenes that say “spring” can be more challenging than finding good autumn foliage.

Although all trees get buds, many do not flower. We have no shortage of trees along the railroad tracks in northern Ohio, but most of them are not the flowering type.

I thought my best bet would be to check out the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. I wasn’t expecting to find redbuds or flowering magnolias, but I hoped to find some trees with white flowers.

And that was mostly what I found, although even then those type of trees were not in plentiful supply.

So I worked with what I found, the best of which was at the Indigo Lake station.

The CVSR won’t go to daily except Monday and Tuesday service until early June, but they have resumed the Bike Aboard! service, meaning that trains now stop at stations that were bypassed during the winter. The CVSR during May has also begun operating on
Fridays.

I was pleased to see that the Baltimore & Ohio tribute locomotive was still leading trains southward as it did during the winter. Leading northward trains was the 1822, an Alco RS18u. They looked good amid the new green of spring in the trees.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Yes, spring is here after the long winter. This is my favorite image of the day.

Yes, spring is here after the long winter. This is my favorite image of the day.

A man goes about his Saturday chores as the southbound Scenic leaves Boston Mill and passes a few  golden flowering trees.

A man goes about his Saturday chores as the southbound Scenic leaves Boston Mill and passes a few golden flowering trees.

The last time that I was at Deep Lock Quary there was deep snow on the ground.

The last time that I was at Deep Lock Quarry there was deep snow on the ground.

A small flowering trees adds a touch of white to the green of the trees leafing out just north of Brecksville staion.

A small flowering trees adds a touch of white to the green of the trees leafing out just north of Brecksville station.

Bikers board at Indigo Lake on a great day to be in the park.

Bikers board at Indigo Lake on a great day to be in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.