Posts Tagged ‘CVSR steam trips’

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.

Some of My Faves of NKP 767 on the CVSR

October 24, 2016

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I got out twice last month to chase Nickel Plate Road No. 767 when it ran on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

In this post, I’ll show three of my best images from my chase of Sept. 25. That was the day that the Akron Railroad Club had its picnic at the Valley Picnic Area.

The day began early with a drive to Jaite to catch the ferry move of the train from the Fitzwater maintenance facility to Akron.

It was cool and foggy that morning and the 767 was putting out a lot of steam and smoke. The top image shows the ferry move passing the restored train order station at Jaite.

I returned to Jaite to photograph the first passenger trip back to Akron, which is shown in the middle image. The smoke show wasn’t too bad, either.

For the last trip of the day back to Akron, I drove to Merriman Woods to catch the train at milepost 43. While there I saw fellow ARRC member Roger Durfee.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Roger’s Favorite NKP 767 Photographs

October 10, 2016

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While I didn’t do much with the Nickel Plate Road No.767, a.k.a. as 765,  this year, mostly due to being out west, I did manage two photos I liked. The top one shows the locomotive and its train coming into Peninsula and the other image is at MP 43 in Akron in a nice “rods down” action grab.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

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.

Railfanning NKP 767 With a Cop

September 30, 2016
The Peninsula police officer was able to get his photo during the second runby of NKP 767 at Boston Mill on Saturday evening.

The Peninsula police officer was able to get his photo during the second runby of NKP 767 at Boston Mill on Saturday evening.

The Peninsula officer was unable to photograph the first runby because he had to shoo a motorcyclist away as the train ran past.

The Peninsula officer was unable to photograph the first runby because he had to shoo a motorcyclist away as the train ran past.

Does getting our shadows qualify this photograph as a selfie? That is my shadow on the left.

Does getting our shadows qualify this photograph as a selfie? That is my shadow on the left.

Security at the photo runby location at Boston Mill on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this year was the tightest I had ever seen.

Three and sometimes four police vehicles were stationed along Riverview Road to keep those without a ticket from venturing into the fenced off area to watch Nickel Plate Road No. 767 do its runbys.

Police also kept bystanders on the west side of Riverview, although this practice was not uniformly enforced.

I can’t speak for the runbys held on Saturday, Sept. 17, but on Sunday, Sept. 18, just one Peninsula police cruiser was on hand and that officer was primarily occupied with maintaining traffic on Boston Mills Road.

No one objected when bystanders stood or sat along the guard rail on Riverview closest to the tracks beyond the end of the fenced off area.

But the weekend of Sept. 24-25 was a different story. That was when police were out in force and traffic cones with signs proclaiming “no parking, temporary police order,” were placed along Riverview well north and south of Boston Mill.

CVSR officials seemed determined to ensure that those without tickets were confined to either Boston Park or the parking lot of the Boston Mills ski resort on the west side of Riverview.

During the first runbys of the day, I had noticed fellow Akron Railroad Club member Robert Farkas photographing the runbys while standing by a Peninsula PD cruiser.

The last photo runbys on Saturday ended up taking place much later than expected due to the CVSR Scenic train running upwards of 45 minutes late.

By the time the passengers were unloaded at Boston Mill, it was well past 6 p.m. The good news, though, is that there was really sweet light bathing the train.

I parked in the ski resort lot at the north end and walked up to the guard rail where I and a railfan from Pennsylvania struck up a conversation with a Peninsula police officer.

He was friendly and we had a nice talk, much of which focused on the appeal of a steam locomotive.

The officer said that in his three years on the force he had never been assigned to steam train at Boston Mill duty, so he was looking forward to seeing the 767 put on a show.

We explained to him how the runbys worked and he seemed to appreciate us telling him that.

As the NKP 767 began its charge southward for the first runby, the officer reached into his pocket, pulled out a smart phone and prepared to photograph it.

He saw me put my camera up and started backing up a bit to get out of my photo. Actually, my plan was to photograph a portion of the runby with the officer in the scene getting his photos.

While I appreciated his courtesy, I had wanted him to stay where he had been.

About the time the 767 reached our position, a guy pulled up on a motorcycle and stopped along the guard rail nearest the tracks.

The officer walked over to the motorcyclist and advised him to either move on or park in the ski resort lot.

By the time the officer got back to his position the train was past. We assured him he would get another crack at it.

Interesting, the officer said he was upset that his photo op had been interrupted. But he had been professional about it. He did, after all, have a job to do.

The officer was able to get his photos of the second runby and I was able to get my photo of the officer and NKP 767.

I showed it to him, got his email address and sent him a copy of the photo on Monday. He thanked me in a return email.

You’ve probably seen those programs called breakfast with a cop or even shopping with a cop. I can now say I’ve been railfanning with a cop.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Getting Up Early to Chase NKP 767 Ferry Move

September 27, 2016

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On Sunday morning I chased the inbound ferry move of Nickel Plate Road No. 767/765 to Akron. I first set up at Peninsula where the sun was just hitting the treetops and filtering through in a couple places.

It was a bit on the chilly side, about 55 degrees, but that is good for producing steam. When 767 did come through it was belching steam and smoke as if it was hauling a hundred cars of a manifest freight.

One photo of the sequence is my favorite of the entire two weeks of steam in the valley 2016 as the sun hit the locomotive just right.

After that I chased it all the way to Akron getting, some grab shots along the way. Most weren’t very good but one at the farmers field across from Salzays market did turn out well.

I caught it a few more times but the spots weren’t very good for photos so I tried the video function on my camera instead.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Burgers, Dogs and Steam in the Valley

September 26, 2016
The photo line is in place as Nickel Plate Road No. 767 tails on the afternoon trip from Akron.

The photo line is in place as Nickel Plate Road No. 767 trails on the afternoon trip from Akron.

Twenty-seven Akron Railroad Club members and guests ate hamburgers and hot dogs on Sunday afternoon while watching the passage of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 767.

The Ohio-built Berkshire-type locomotive pulled its final schedule of trips to wrap up a two-week stay on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The ARRC held a picnic at the Valley Picnic Area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park south of Peninsula and those who were there for the full four to five hours of the picnic got to see the 767 pass by three times. They also saw the CVSR Scenic train roll past an equal number of times.

It was the club’s first autumn picnic and the weather could not have been any better. There were sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s and low humidity.

We were prompted in part to hold the picnic as a way to eat down leftover inventory from the July picnic and as a way to celebrate the visit of the steam locomotive.

No. 767 is actually NKP 765, which has visited the CVSR in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The 767 number was attached to the locomotive earlier this summer when it was the feature attraction at an event at its New Haven, Indiana, home to publicize the proposed Headwaters Junction rail-themed park that will be built in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In the 1950s, NKP 767 participated in a ceremony to mark the completion of the elevation of the Nickel Plate tracks through downtown Fort Wayne.

The city asked the railroad to donate the 767 for display in Lawton Park, but the railroad sent No. 765 instead, albeit with its numbers changed to 767.

When the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society restored the locomotive to operating condition in the late 1970s, it reinstated the 765 number.

The CVSR excursions if this month were the first to feature NKP 765 running as NKP 767.

The weekend excursions were reported to have been sold out and fans came from far and wide to see the 765 operate as 767.

ARRC member Paul Woodring reported that he spoke with two railfans from Denmark who were making their fifth railfanning trip to the United States.

Such was the attraction of seeing a mainline steam locomotive show what it could do.

If Nickel Plate Road 765 comes back to the CVSR in 2017 will we have another picnic? We just might no matter what roster number the 2-8-4 operates with.

Lining up at the serving table to dress the burgers and pick up a few other food items.

Lining up at the serving table to dress the burgers and pick up a few other food items.

Larry Luther (left) and Jeff Troutman (right) check out the images that Ed Ribinskas made of the Nickel Plate Road 767 earlier in the day.

Larry Luther (left) and Jeff Troutman (right) check out the images that Ed Ribinskas made of the Nickel Plate Road 767 earlier in the day.

Chef Marte, a.k.a. Marty Surdyk works his magic with the grill.

Chef Marte, a.k.a. Marty Surdyk works his magic with the grill.

Don Woods also made a photograph or two of the picnic bunch.

Don Woods also made a photograph or two of the picnic bunch.

Paul Wooding (left) and Steve Heister compare notes about railroads.

Paul Wooding (left) and Steve Heister compare notes about railroads.

Some of those at the picnic posed for a group photograph. They are (from left) Denny Tharp, Paul Tait, Tom Goughnour, Todd Dillon, Todd Vander Sluis, Ed Ribinskas (kneeling), Jeff Troutman, Marty Surdyk, Craig Sanders, Rick Houck Roger Durfee, Paul Woodring and Steve Heister. (Photograph by Larry Luther)

NKP 767 Takes the Cuyahoga Valley by Storm

September 19, 2016
En route to Akron during he second trip of the day, the Nickel Plate Road 767 provides a reflection at Indigo Lake.

En route to Akron during the second trip of the day, the Nickel Plate Road 767 provides a reflection at Indigo Lake.

Nickel Plate Road 765, which these days is wearing number 767, stormed up and down the Cuyahoga River valley  on Saturday and Sunday as it returned to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for the sixth time in the past seven years.

Saturday’s trips dodges rain showers. Sunday was dry, but alternating between sun and cloud.

I spent Sunday chasing the 2-8-4 Berkshire type seeking to recreate images that I made in some of my favorite locations in previous years.

The number 767 added a new touch to those images. Also  new on the locomotive is a Mars light mounted above the headlight.

It looked good, yet the full effect would probably show up better in darkness.

Here are is a selection of some of my favorite images from the Sunday chase.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Crossing Chippewa Creek in Brecksville.

Crossing Chippewa Creek in Brecksville.

Meeting the Scenic train at Peninsula. This scene played out five times on Sunday.

Meeting the Scenic train at Peninsula. This scene played out five times on Sunday.

Heading my way at Jaite.

Heading my way at Jaite.

Putting on the usual show at Deep Lock Quarry. It is my favorite place to get the steam locomotive because it sounds great here working uphill.

Putting on the usual show at Deep Lock Quarry. It is my favorite place to get the steam locomotive because it sounds great here working uphill.

The crew of the NKP 767 during the second photo runby of the second trip of the day at Boston Mill.

The crew of the NKP 767 during the second photo runby of the second trip of the day at Boston Mill.

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Shrouded in its own smoke during the morning northbound run at Indigo Lake station.

New on the nose this year are new numbers and a Mars light.

New on the nose this year are new numbers and a Mars light.

A bottle of soda, a steam locomotive and grandma next to you. It doesn't get much better than this for a youngster.

A bottle of soda, a steam locomotive and grandma next to you. It doesn’t get much better than this for a youngster.