Posts Tagged ‘CVSR steam excursions’

Steam Saturday: Almost Past Jaite

April 7, 2023

Central Ohio 4-6-2 No. 1293 (formerly Ohio Central 1293) is southbound on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Jaite on Sept. 29, 2012. The former Canadian Pacific steam was hau ling Steam In The Valley 2012 excursions. In the image above, it has almost passed the ex-Baltimore & Ohio train order station.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

NKP 765 Won’t See Akron in May

March 26, 2022

There will be no steam excursions from Akron in May and resumption of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad service to the city is not expected until July.

The change in operating plans was prompted by erosion of the bank of the Cuyahoga River to within three feet of the tracks north of Boston Mill.

The National Park Service, which owns the tracks, is overseeing a riverbank stabilization program to shore up the bank.

The erosion occurred in early March following heavy rains. Since then CVSR has been operating only from Rockside Road station in Independence.

The steam excursions, to be pulled by former Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, will now operate out of Rockside Road for all trips.

Trips are scheduled for May 13-15 and 20-22. Schedules have been changed on the CVSR website to reflect the changes.

In a news release, CVSR said it is contacting those who purchased tickets for excursions from Akron’s Northside station.

Those who wish a refund of their fare must notify CVSR by March 29. Otherwise, the CVSR will rebook them on a trip from Rockside Road.

The 765 is owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and usually visits the CVSR in the fall.

The CVSR news release said the timeline of work for the riverbank stabilization program is still being worked out.

Steam Saturday: Lot of Memories in This Image

December 18, 2021

My first encounter with Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 was in August 1993. I had just moved to Cleveland to take a new job and had seen that there would be a steam excursion from Akron to Pittsburgh and return.

I don’t remember how I heard about it but I ordered a ticket for a Sunday trip while I was still living in State College, Pennsylvania.

The locomotive for that trip was the 765 although it was disguised as a Chesapeake & Ohio locomotive. My next encounter with the 765 would occur 17 years later when the Berkshire-type steam made its first visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

I missed it during its first weekend of operation but vowed I would not miss it during its last weekend. I bought a ticket for the morning trip out of Akron.

Another first occurred that afternoon when I chased the 765. At that time I didn’t know that much about the CVSR territory and had made relatively few photographs of its operations. But by 2010 that had begun to change.

I surprised myself in being able to catch the 765 in multiple locations including the image above made at Howe Meadow. The photo runbys that year were conducted at Indigo Lake. The 765 would come as far as Howe Meadow before backing up to reboard passengers.

A handful of other fans were on hand here as well. There is something about this image I’ve always liked. Much of it has to do with the pleasant memories associated with that day. But another element is symbolic. The 765 is passing out of the darkness of the shadows and into the late afternoon light. In a way this chase represented my own coming out of the darkness with the 765.

When it returned the next year I was ready and chased and photographed it on multiple occasions.

Fast Forward to September 2018. The 765 was back in the Valley just as it had been in every year previous except 2012. I had a ticket for a trip out of Akron that would be the last one for the 765 on its 2018 visit.

That would turn out to be my last encounter to date with the 765 anywhere. I didn’t plan it that way, but there seems a certain symmetry to how my last experience with the 765 on the CVSR mirrors in many ways my first one.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Steam Excursions to Disrupt CVSR’s National Park Scenic

September 17, 2019

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is cancelling operations of its National Park Scenic on days that steam trains are operating over the next two weekends.

The Scenic will not operate on Sept. 21, 22, 28 or 29. On Sept. 20 and 27 the Scenic will operate the first two of its scheduled scheduled roundtrips between Rockside Road station in Independence and Akron.

That means that bike aboard service will not be available on Sept. 20 and 27 after 4:35 p.m.

The steam trains are being pulled by Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, which is owned and operated by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

Trips will operate during daylight hours from Rockside Road on Saturdays and from Akron on Sundays.

Other trips are slated for Fridays and Saturday evenings.

In past years, the steam trips were scheduled to meet the Scenic in Peninsula. The Scenic would take the siding to allow the steam train to pass.

In the past two years, though, the schedules were set so that the steam excursions and the Scenic did not have to pass each on on the road.

That typically meant that the steam train would back beyond the station at Rockside or Akron while the Scenic arrived, did its station work and then departed.

The steam train would follow the Scenic a half our or more later.

Sampling Ed’s Sunday NKP 765 Chase Album

September 26, 2018

Akron Railroad Club member Edward Ribinskas was among several ARRC members who turned out last Sunday to photograph and watch Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 as it pulled excursions out of Akron.

The weather was much improved over Saturday’s mostly cloudy to overcast skies, but clouds continued to linger into the late morning hours.

Ed first caught NKP 765 in the Sand Run Metropark near the CVSR Big Bend station  in Akron as it was pulled backward during the day’s first excursion.

He and his wife Ursula watched the photo runbys at Boston Mill and then returned to Sand Run to catch the 765 pulling the return trip to Akron (top photo).

The National Park Scenic was also operating as scheduled so Ed made a few images of it as well.

For the afternoon excursion, Ed caught up with the 765 as he and Ursula were walking around in Peninsula. Here is a sampling of Ed’s Sunday photographs.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Images From Friday’s NKP 765 Excursion

September 24, 2018

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 passes spectators on the platform of the Canal Exploration Center in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 is visiting the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this month to pull a series of excursions.

The first of those ran last Friday and was limited to CVSR volunteers and members. Public excursions ran over the weekend and three more public excursions are set for the weekend of Sept. 28, 29 and 30.

I almost didn’t get down to the Valley for last Friday’s trip. Rain moved in about the time I was about to leave home and a glance at the radar showed that a relatively small, but intense, area of rain was moving into the region where I wanted to photograph.

I made the trip anyway and was glad that I did for an unexpected reason.

As I stood on the platform at the CVSR’s Canal Exploration Center station I saw Dave Beach and he told me that dome-observation car Silver Solarium had been uncovered on  the rear of the train as it backed up to Rockside Road station from the Fitzwater maintenance facility.

That raised the prospect that when the excursion train left Rockside, the Silver Solarium would be operating the way it was designed to run.

Sure enough that was the case, which made getting photographs of the NKP Berkshire feel of secondary importance.

I had not intended to chase the train after it passed CEC station, but I couldn’t resist getting more images of an uncovered Silver Solarium.

I figured — correctly as it turned out — that a diesel would be on the north end of the excursion train during the Saturday and Sunday trips.

This was a rare opportunity to make photographs of the fabled California Zephyr tail car.

CVSR had placed all three of its dome cars in consecutive order on the rear of the train. That might not necessarily be a common sight after next weekend’s steam excursions.

I caught up with the excursion train again along Riverview Road south of Peninsula near the Valley Picnic area.

It didn’t rain during my time photographing and chasing the train but it was cloudy. So photography conditions were less than ideal.

But so often with photography you need to work with what you have and do what you can with it.

Operating conditions on the CVSR being what they are, views such as of the Silver Solarium are likely to be rare.

The 765 puts on a show as it cruises along Riverview Road south of Peninsula.

All three CVSR dome cars were assigned to the steam excursion train. They are (left to right) Silver Solarium, Silver Lariat and Silver Bronco.

Warm Memories of NKP 765 on the CVSR

January 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steam is Back in the Valley

September 15, 2017

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 made kicked off a two week stay on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad late Friday afternoon with an excursion for CVSR members and volunteers.

The steamer left Rockside Road Station at 5:30 p.m. for a three-hour trip that included a cash bar, snacks and a chance to see the big Berkshire up close before sun set.

The photographs above were made of the south trip south of Brecksville.

The 765 will be back in action with two public excursions from Rockside Road station on Saturday and two trips from Akron on Sunday.

NKP 765 to Run on CVSR Next 2 Weekends

September 13, 2017

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 will be back on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this weekend, offering weekend excursions and a few extras.

New this year will be a Friday excursion for CVSR members and volunteers that will leave Rockside Road station at 5:30 p.m. It is scheduled to return at 8 p.m.

During the two-hour round trip, passengers will be treated to hors d’oeuvres, cash bar service, and live entertainment from the 1940s.

There will be a brief de-boarding for a sunset view and run-by of the locomotive.

Also new this year is a program that enables the public to buy throttle time or fireman time during a short run from Fitzwater Yard to Brecksville station. Those “tickets” are reportedly sold out.

Two-hour public excursions will be run on Sept. 16, 22 and 23 from Rockside Road station and on Sept. 17 and 24 from Akron.

Boarding times for trains departing from Rockside Road on Saturdays are at 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. On Sept. 22, the excursion will depart Rockside Road at 6 p.m.

Boarding times from Akron are 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. All excursions will feature a photo runby at Boston Mill station.

Ticket are $25 for coach seating, $30 for an open widow coach, $38 for deluxe (table car), $40 for the dome car lower level; and $50 for the upper dome car.

The CVSR website said that the railroad will not disclose the location of the steam train to any non-ticket holders.

Park rangers will be on patrol and the park has suggested that non ticket holders consider watching the train at Station Road Bridge or Botzum.

Those locations have probably been suggested because they offer expansive parking lots.

A review of the schedule for the CVSR’s National Park Scenic suggests that unlike in past years the steam train will not meet the Scenic in Peninsula.

This presumes that the excursions will be two hours in duration as advertised and that the steam train can operate behind or ahead of the Scenic.

Tickets on Sale for NKP 765 Trips on CVSR

June 22, 2017

Tickets are now on sale for excursions behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, which will return to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for two weekends in September.

The Berkshire-type locomotive, which was built by Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio, will pull excursions on Sept. 16 and 23 from Rockside Road station in Independence and on Sept. 17 and 24 from Akron Northside station.

Each trip will be two hours in duration and feature a photo runby at Boston Mill station.

Boarding times will be 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at Rockside Road station and 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. in Akron.

New this year will be a Friday excursion that will be open only to CVSR members and volunteers. That trip will depart Rockside station at 5:30 p.m. and feature a 1940s theme. NKP 765 was built in 1944.

Passengers aboard the Friday trip will be served complimentary hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available along with live entertainment from the period. There will be a photo runby during the excursion.

Tickets for the public trips are $25 for coach seating, $30 for an open-window coach, $38 for deluxe seating in dining car, $40 for Silver Bronco first class seating and $50 for Silver Bronco dome section seating.

Tickets can be purchased online at