Posts Tagged ‘CVSR 800’

Elevated View of the CVSR

October 31, 2018

There are very few places to photograph trains on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from above.

Rockside Road soars over the tracks immediately north of Rockside Road station in Independence, but if you photograph there you are looking southward toward the sunlight.

Trains rarely venture north of the bridge so opportunities to get images there are rare as well.

On the southern end of the railroad, the Y bridge in Akron is situated just to the east of Northside station.

In past years, you could get good images with a telephoto lens. But to prevent jumpers, the city put up fences on the Y bridge.

The only bridge between those points carries East Pleasant Valley Road over the tracks.

It doesn’t have a fence, but it also doesn’t have sidewalks. In theory, you could park on the side of the road, but that is a dicey proposition.

I’ve always parked by the gate where Riverview Road is now cut off. It’s a safe place to park, but located some distance from the bridge.

That’s why I’ve seldom photographed from Pleasant Valley except when Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 is in town.

The photograph above was made on one such occasion. It shows the National Park Scenic that preceded the steam train.

In looking at my photo archives, I determined that I’ve only photographed CVSR trains from the Pleasant Valley bridge once when I wasn’t there to get the NKP 765.

It’s a viable photo location, but one that takes some work.

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

Where Have You Been CVSR 365?

October 30, 2017

CVSR Alco C420 No. 365 leads the National Park Scenic at Brecksville station on Oct. 21.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad locomotive No. 365 was the railroad’s first locomotive that I ever photographed.

The date was June 19, 2004, and the location was at the Lincoln Highway station in Canton. It would be the southern-facing unit on a trip I made to Akron, which was the second time that I rode the CVSR.

I would encounter No. 365 a few times in subsequent years, but I wasn’t making many images of the CVSR then.

No. 365 was on the north end of an Akron Railroad Club CVSR excursion of Sept. 22, 2007, behind Ohio Central steam locomotive No. 1293. The 365 pulled us back to Rockside Road station from Botzum.

The C420 would perform the same duties a year later on Sept. 27 on another ARRC outing on the CVSR behind OC 1293, this time returning us to Rockside from Indigo Lake.

The 365 began life in June 1965 when it was built by American Locomotive Company for the Seaboard Air Line.

It would later work for Seaboard Coast Line, the Louisville & Nashville and a handful of short-line railroads before being acquired by the CVSR in 2001.

No. 365 was a CVSR mainstay until 2010 when it was sidelined with a bad generator.

The 2012 CVSR annual report said the 365 was awaiting being sent out to be rebuilt with “green technology.”

But it didn’t move until June 2013 when CVSR interchanged it to the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Akron en route to Ohio Locomotive Works in Lorain.

The W&LE handed the 365 off to Norfolk Southern in Bellevue, which took it to Lorain.

For the rest of 2013, the 365 underwent a thorough rebuilding. That work continued through September 2014 when the unit began getting a new paint job in the current CVSR livery.

Photographs made by Fred Stuckmann and posted at rrpicturearchives.net documented the rebuilding of the 365. It was displayed at an open house held in late September 2014 at OLW.

Among those on hand to view the 365 on that day was Siegfried Buerling, one of the men who incorporated the Cuyahoga Valley Preservation and Scenic Railway Association in February 1972.

And then it is was though the 365 vanished into thin air. No more photographs of it were posted online and the unit apparently still needed more work.

In the intervening years, the CVSR leased motive power from LTEX and Horizon Rail but no word emerged on the 365.

A couple of weeks ago I heard a report that the 365 was back in the Valley. I don’t know how long it has been there.

I didn’t see it when a CVSR train I rode in mid September went past the Fitzwater yard and shops. Maybe it was inside getting prepared for revenue service.

I finally caught up with the 365 in Brecksville on Saturday, Oct. 21. Fellow ARRC member Todd Dillon had caught the 365 the previous day.

On the north end of the Scenic was B&O No. 800. Gotta say that it’s good to see you again 365.

 

 

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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Another Round of CVSR With Autumn Foliage

November 5, 2016
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad meets the Cuyahoga River north of Boston Mill along Riverview Road.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad meets the Cuyahoga River north of Boston Mill along Riverview Road.

I spent the afternoon before the October Akron Railroad Club meeting in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

I had gone down there to see if the fall foliage had reached its peak around Peninsula. It had not.

So I went to Howe Meadow to intercept the northbound National Park Scenic of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The color here was nice, yet not as intense as it has been in past years. Maybe it is just an off year for autumn leaves.

I had plenty of time to get up to the Columbia Run Picnic Area, park and walk along Riverview Road to the opening where a bend in the Cuyahoga River almost touches the tracks.

I had photographed at that location the previous Sunday when RS18u No. 1822 was on the south end of the Scenic.

But on Friday the 1822 had been replaced by FPA-4 Nos. 800 and 6771. It was the first time I’d seen a double-headed set of locomotives on the Scenic since late autumn 2015.

There figured to be enough light left to catch the last southbound trip of the Scenic to Akron but I had time to kill.

I checked out the ledges overlook, which was even more spectacular than I had thought it might be. And it was easy to reach.

My last photo op with the CVSR was at Indigo Lake. I stood up on small hill on the west side of the tracks to get the train against the background of fall foliage on the east side of the rails.

All in all it was a good afternoon of autumn photography.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

At the far northeast corner of Howe Meadow. I photographed this same locomotive in this last location in 2015, although from a slightly different angle.

At the far northeast corner of Howe Meadow. I photographed this same locomotive in this last location in 2015, although from a slightly different angle.

The curve coming into Indigo Lake is a nice place to photograph in the fall.

The curve coming into Indigo Lake is a nice place to photograph in the fall.

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Coming into the station at Indigo Lake.

An Alco doing what an Alco does when it accelerates. It makes a dense cloud of black smoke.

An Alco doing what an Alco does when it accelerates. It makes a dense cloud of black smoke.

The Scenic is just about to stop for the station at Indigo Lake, which is out of view to the left.

The Scenic is just about to stop for the station at Indigo Lake, which is out of view to the left.

Horizon Rail GP 10 No. 8420 looks good amid a backdrop of fall foliage and a reflection from the late day sun.

Horizon Rail GP 10 No. 8420 looks good amid a backdrop of fall foliage and a reflection from the late day sun.

South End of the CVSR Scenic

November 5, 2016

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October was a month of variety for the motive power assigned to the south end of the National Park Scenic of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

You generally found either RS18u No. 1822 or FPA-4 No. 800 on the point, but depending on what day you were out there might or might not be a trailing unit.

On Friday, Oct. 28, No. 800 had as a running mate FPA-4 No. 6771. The next day, the trailing unit was C424 No. 4241, which earlier this year was knocked out of service due to a fire.

The 800 and 4241 are shown working together in Akron (top photograph) and Peninsula (middle photograph). The 800 is working solo in the bottom photograph showing the Scenic arriving at Northside Station in Akron.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

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.

 

Don’t Like the CVSR Motive Power? Come Back Tomorrow for it Will Have Changed Yet Again

June 6, 2016
CVSR 6771 will never look any sharper or its paint any brighter than it did last weekend when it made its maiden trips after getting a new paint job. It is shown at Brecksville on late Sunday afternoon.

CVSR 6771 will never look any sharper or its paint any brighter than it did this past weekend when it made its maiden trips after getting a new paint job. It is shown at Brecksville on late Sunday afternoon.

I went down to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad last Friday afternoon to see what motive power was pulling the National Park Scenic train. It had been several weeks since I had been down there.

CVSR earlier this year issued two news releases about the rebuilding of FPA-4 No. 6777 and I was hoping that it might be out on the road by now since it was supposed to be road tested in May.

I set up at Indigo Lake and when the train came into sight I was pleased to see CVSR No. 800, the Baltimore & Ohio tribute locomotive, on the point of a southbound train. The last time I visited the CVSR No. 800 was facing north.

The bad news was that the locomotive facing north was Horizon Rail No. 8420, a GP10 painted black aside for a wide white stripe on its flanks.

On Saturday afternoon, fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee emailed a series of photographs of the new look FPA-4 No. 6771. I wasn’t aware that it had been in the shop for repainting, let alone that it would emerge with a slightly different livery.

No. 6771 made its first revenue service voyages on Saturday, June 4, the day after I visited the CVSR. That new livery looks sharp with its V-shaped stripe on the nose.

I knew I had to get down there on Sunday to see and photograph it. I was driving along Riverview Road when I saw the Scenic in my rear view mirror and the southward-facing unit had a yellow nose, not a blue one.

No. 800 had been the southward facing locomotive on Saturday, but on this day C424 No. 4241 had replaced it. No. 6771 was still the northward-facing engine.

I got photographs of the train in various locations, dodging a deluge during a thunderstorm that moved through Peninsula shortly after the northbound Scenic departed.

It was the kind of day that went from sun to heavy clouds and back to sun again. The weather, like CVSR locomotive assignments of late, is subject to change and sometimes for the better.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

No. 6771 sees its reflection at Brecksville.

No. 6771 sees its reflection at Brecksville.

Passengers are waiting to board at Indigo Lake. For the first time in a long time, both locomotives assigned to the Scenic had the gold, red and black livery.

Passengers are waiting on Sunday to board at Indigo Lake. For the first time in a long time, both locomotives assigned to the Scenic had the gold, red and black livery.

Catching a few rays of sunlight at Indigo Lake.

Catching a few rays of sunlight at Indigo Lake. It was my first look at the new CVSR livery.

About 10 minutes after getting this image the skies opened and dumped rain in buckets on Peninsula.

About five minutes after getting this image the skies opened up and dumped rain in buckets on Peninsula.

No. 4241 trails at Brecksville. I have not seen it for quite some time.

No. 4241 trails at Brecksville and sees its reflection in a puddle. I had not seen the MLW C424 for quite some time.

Zooming in on the nose of CVSR 6771 at Botzum.

Zooming in on the nose of CVSR 6771 at Botzum.

CVSR No. 800 passes wild flowers at Indigo Lake. It was nice to see it facing southward again.

CVSR No. 800 passes wild flowers at Indigo Lake on a Friday afternoon. It was nice to see it facing southward again.

Will this be the last time that I see Horizon Rail 8420 on the CVSR? Probably not, but if it that is all right with me.

Will this be the last time that I see Horizon Rail 8420 on the CVSR? Probably not, but if it is that is all right with me.

2 Closed Roads Foiled My CVSR Chase

February 26, 2016
Horizon Rail No. 8420 does its best to imitate a steam locomotive as it approaches Brecksville station.

Horizon Rail No. 8420 does its best to imitate a steam locomotive as it approaches Brecksville station.

Saturday, Feb. 20 was one of those rare winter days when you just had to be out. The forecast called for temperatures in the high 50s and mostly sunny skies.

I decided to stay local and started my odyssey on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

For some reason I decided to photograph the first southbound Scenic of the day at Jaite.

But Riverview Road was closed just south of Brecksville because of high water and I didn’t have time to figure out a detour route to Jaite. I settled for catching the train at Brecksville station.

I then figured out an alternate route to get to Jaite, but of course by the time I got there the Scenic was long gone. I was able to get ahead of it because it makes a stop in Peninsula.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to photograph the train passing the pond by the motorcycle club at the corner of Riverview and Smith roads.

Shortly before the train arrived, a lone Canada goose walked out onto the still-frozen pond, which gave the images a little more interest.

My plan was to drive into Akron and photograph the train at Northside station.

But Merriman Road was closed south of the crossing of the CVSR tracks so I abandoned that idea in favor of moving on to my next photo spot. Next time.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

During the winter, the CVSR Scenic does not stop at Brecksville station.

During the winter, the CVSR Scenic does not stop at Brecksville station.

The Saint Lucie Sound is a regular on the Scenic, but the caboose is not.

The Saint Lucie Sound is a regular on the Scenic, but the caboose is not.

The side of car "Spirit of Summit" catches the mid-morning sunlight as the Scenic passes through Brecksville.

The side of car “Spirit of Summit” catches the mid-morning sunlight as the Scenic passes through Brecksville.

Maybe this Canada goose is a railfan. If so, he must have been disappointed not see any Canadian Pacific rolling stock. But the trailing unit did used to belong to Canadian National.

Maybe this Canada goose is a railfan. If so, he must have been disappointed not to see any Canadian Pacific rolling stock. But the trailing unit did used to belong to Canadian National.

A good side view of the Saint Lucie Sound, which still lacks its CVSR markings other than the lettering.

A good side view of the Saint Lucie Sound, which still lacks its CVSR markings other than the lettering.

The goose is still wandering around as the Baltimore & Ohio tribute locomotive lumbers past.

The goose is still wandering around as the Baltimore & Ohio tribute locomotive lumbers past.

Role Reversal on the CVSR

February 3, 2016
Now facing south on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Horizon Rail No. 8420.

Now facing south on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Horizon Rail No. 8420.

Because CVSR No. 800 has always seemed to face south I must have thought that it always would.

Because CVSR No. 800 has always seemed to face south I must have thought that it always would.

All roads lead to the Silver Bronco or at least maybe in Peninsula.

All roads lead to the Silver Bronco or at least maybe in Peninsula.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad began its 2016 operations more than two weeks ago. I was in Akron last Saturday so I made a trip over to the Valley to see what was running.

The same locomotives that I saw pulling CVSR Scenic trains last fall are still pulling trains this winter, but with a twist.

CVSR No. 800, the Baltimore & Ohio FPA-4 tribute locomotive, is now facing north. Facing south is Horizon Rail GP10 No. 8420, which the CVSR has leased.

I don’t know why the locomotives were turned. There’s probably a reason for it and maybe it’s a good one.

What I do know is that I’d rather have the 800 facing south because the light is always better for a south-facing locomotive on a north-south railroad.

But I’ll make do the best I can this winter and spring until either the 800 gets turned or another more colorful unit replaces the 8420.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders