Posts Tagged ‘CVSR Fitzwater Yard’

Steam Saturday: Remembering a 2010 Night Photo Shoot

October 23, 2021

Let’s take a trip back to September 2010. Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 has arrived on the property of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for the first of what has turned out be an almost annual ritual.

Someone – I don’t remember who – arranged with CVSR officials for a night photo shoot of the 765 at the CVSR’s Fitzwater Shops, where the Berkshire-type locomotive spends its time between excursions.

Night photo shoots used to be a thing with some railfan photographers back in the day.

The photographers would set up their cameras on tripods and one member of the party would run around the object of the photographs – usually a locomotive – firing off a series of flashbulbs while the camera shutters were held open on the bulb setting.

The late O. Winston Link is well-known for having used a similar technique to record the final years of steam operations on the Norfolk & Western.

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts used to engage in night photo shoots here and there. One memorable one occurred in Youngstown on Jan. 14, 1977, to mark the end of the Cleveland-Youngstown commuter train on the former Erie Lackawanna route.

That photo shoot is remembered in Trackside Around Cleveland 1965-1979 with Dave McKay.

Another memorable night photo shoot occurred Sept. 10, 1988, in Brecksville when the then-named Cuyahoga Valley Line staged Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 along the Cuyahoga River with the iconic Ohio Route 82 bridge in the background.

That night is recalled in my book Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in an Edward Ribinskas photograph.

Fast forward 22 year to the evening of Sept. 16, 2010. RRE and Akron Railroad Club members brought their cameras and tripods to Fitzwater at dusk to photograph the 765 with two CVSR FPA-4 locomotives.

There was a small fee charged for the event with the proceeds going to the CVSR if I remember correctly.

CVSR trainmaster and director of operations Larry Blanchard brought the 6777 and 800 out of the shop and posed them with the 765, which was not in steam on this evening.

We picked our spots and set up our cameras and awaited the command of “open them up.” Then someone ran around firing off a flash gun a few times.

I was still a slide film shooter in 2010 and although my results were satisfactory not all of the images I made were necessarily top quality. In some instances light from the open shop doors cast a yellow glow over the scene despite the use of daylight balanced flash bulbs.

It was my first and thus far only night photo shoot in which flash bulbs were used.

The night photo shoot at Fitzwater would be the last of its kind staged by the RRE.

There are still photographers out there who use flash to create night photographs but they use strobes rather than flashbulbs.

During the most recent visit of the 765 to the CVSR, a night photo shoot was staged at Northside Station in Akron, but the lighting was provided by floodlights rather than flashes.

I’m not sure that the CVSR would allow the RRE/ARRC to replicate today what happened on that September 2010 evening at Fitzwater. Whatever the case, nothing like it has happened since, which makes these images all the more valuable and memorable.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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.


November 11, 2017

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad owns four FPA-4 locomotives. All were built in 1959 for Canadian National by Montreal Locomotive Works under license from Alco.

If you’ve followed the CVSR over the years, you’ve seen and photographed Nos. 6771, 6777 and 800. The latter wears a Baltimore & Ohio livery while the other two have in the past two years been repainted into the CVSR’s sharp-looking V-stripe livery.

Then there is the 6767. It arrived on the property in March 2001 after being acquired from a previous owner in North Carolina.

No. 6767 was in rough condition when it arrived on the CVSR. It had sat on static display outside a business.

The unit was found to have a seized prime mover due to a stack being left uncapped, thus exposing the engine to the elements.

Nonetheless, CVSR 6767 had been repainted by 2005 from its VIA Rail Canada markings to the CVSR livery.

Numerous photographs have been posted at of the 6767 sitting at Fitzwater Yard and Shops, but none showing it pulling a train on the road.

I caught the 6767 in May 2014 sitting by itself on the siding in Peninsula and looking quite the worse for wear.

One report I saw was that the 6767 had been stripped of its parts and was to be converted to a cab car.

Apparently, the 6767 was moved to Ohio Locomotive Works in Lorain where it was stripped down to its framework. This is the same shop that rebuilt CVSR C420 No. 365.

Back in September, though, I spotted the 6767 at Fitzwater. Something has happened that brought the 6767 back home and it looks nothing like a cab car

I don’t know the story behind that or the plans for its future. What I can easily see is that this locomotive working on trains anytime soon and maybe not at all.