Posts Tagged ‘CVSR trains’

CVSR to Resume Operating Feb. 3

February 2, 2023

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad said this week it plans to resume operating on Feb. 3.

Since last October the CVSR has been limited to operating over for miles between Rockside Road station in Independence and the Fitzwater maintenance facility.

The curtailed operations were due to erosion along the bank of the Cuyahoga River in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where the tracks run along the waterway.

Pamela Barnes, the track was closed until potential safety risks could be better understood. She said the track was evaluated by a geotechnical engineer and park officials decided that train operations could resume.

The first operation to resume will be the Cleveland Dinner and Event Train on Feb. 3. That will be followed by an Ales on Rails excursion on Feb. 10 and a Grape Escape wine tasting train on Feb. 11.

The National Park Scenic is slated to resume operating on March 4.

However, Barnes said that depending on conditions operations may be modified.

Park officials said the track closure is a separate issue from a riverbank stabilization program being undertaken at eight locations in Summit and Cuyahoga counties.

In an unrelated development, travel website Travel Lens has named the CVNP as the second best national park in the United States.

The site ranked parks base several on factors including number of recreational visitors, entrance fee, distance to the closest city and percentage of park reviews that mention the word “beautiful.” CVNP received a score of 8.16 our of 10.

The study said CVNP had 2.76 recreational visitors with 35 percent of them describing the park as “beautiful.”

Topping the list was Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park received a score of 8.16 out of 10.

CVSR Two for Tuesday

January 17, 2023

Here are two Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad photos for a Tuesday. The images show an early CVSR locomotive livery.

In the top image, CVSR FPA-4 No. 15 is southbound in Brecksville in August 1996. On the north end is CVSR Alco RS3 No. 4099 (cx-Delaware & Hudson 4099).

The same train is shown in the bottom image in Peninsula.

CVSR trains are currently on hiatus but will return starting in February. A notice posted on the CVSR website said the Cleveland Dinner and Event train will resume running on Feb. 3. The National Park Scenic will return on weekends starting March 4.

The notice did not say of much of the CVSR those trains will cover. Much of the CVSR south of Fitzwater maintenance yard is out of service due to erosion issues along the Cuyahoga River.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

July 2022 Scenes from Akron

November 10, 2022

Here are three images made in Akron on July 30, 2022. In the top image, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad FPA-4 No. 6771 is southbound approaching Akron Northside Station as the train crosses over the remains of the Ohio and Erie Canal.

In the middle image, the 6777 is is being towed south and will be the lead unit on the northbound trip.

In the bottom image Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-2 No. 7006 is on the connecting track between CSX and the W&LE. In a few minutes the former CEFX unit will pull forward bringing its train onto the Wheeling. Then it will back down to Brittain Yard.

The Wheeling acquired the 7006 in December 2015 and quickly pressed it into revenue service.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

CVSR Akron North Pole Trains Shifted to Rockside Station

October 28, 2022

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s North Pole Adventure trains that were to have departed from Akron in November and December have been shifted to the northern end of the line.

A notice posted on the railroad’s website indicated that trains that had been set to depart from Akron will now depart from Rockside Road Station in Independence due to track closures.

The National Park Service, which owns the track used by the CVSR, closed a significant portion of the route earlier this month due to erosion near the Columbia Run Picnic area north of Boston.

As a result, departure times have also changed. Trains that had been slated to leave Akron at 7 p.m. will now depart Rockside Road at 5:30 p.m.

Trains that had been scheduled to depart Rockside Road at 7:30 p.m. will now leave at 8 p.m. Seat assignments remain unchanged for all North Pole Adventure trains.

The notice did not say directly say if North Pole Adventure riders will still visit the North Pole.

In past years, the North Pole has been the Peninsula station where volunteers dressed as elves greeted the trains. The station also had Christmas-themed decorations.

However, Peninsula is several miles south of the area where the Cuyahoga Riverbank erosion has occurred.

An alternative could be to set up the North Pole at Brecksville station, Jaite, or the Fitzwater maintenance facility.

The notice, which was presented as a letter from Santa Claus told Akron ticket holders, “you will have more time with me.”

It went on to say, “And for the first time, you will ride with me to see my North Pole workshop up close with all of my elves hard at work making all of your holiday dreams come true.

“Along the way, onboard elves will ensure you have plenty of hot chocolate and cookies and your letters to me will be delivered directly through the North Pole Postmaster.”

That suggests Santa will board the train at Rockside rather than at the North Pole in Peninsula and that an abbreviated North Pole will be set up somewhere along the route.

The trip time will be 75 minutes. Akron passengers who are unable to travel to Rockside station will offered a refund of their fare.

In a related development, the CVSR said it is placing additional tickets for North Pole Adventure trains on sale for 5:30 p.m. departures.

The North Pole Adventure will operate Nov. 11-12, Nov. 25-30, and Dec. 1-21. Coach tickets are $45 per person for weekday trips and $47 per person for weekend trips.

Other seating classes include Deluxe ($65 and $67), executive St. Lucie ($85 and $87), executive Solarium ($85 and $87), first class ($90 and $92), and premium ($75 and $71).

More information is available at

CVSR Extends Cancellations Through November

October 19, 2022

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has cancelled all National Park Scenic, Fall Flyer, Bike Aboard, Hale Farm, Explorer Program, and Family Fun Loop services through Nov. 6.

The Cleveland Dinner and Event train will continue operating on Friday nights through Oct. 28. A Veteran’s Day special planned for Nov. 10 will operate between Rockside Road station in Independence and the Fitzwater shops and yard.

The CVSR announcement also said that at this time it still expects its North Pole Adventure excursions to begin operating as scheduled on Nov. 11.

The cancellations began last weekend after the National Park Service closed a portion of the tracks used by the CVSR due to erosion of the bank of the Cuyahoga River.

That issue first surfaced last spring where the tracks run close to the river north of the Boston Mill station near the Columbia Run picnic area.

That led to the cancellation of service to Peninsula and Akron between early March and July 16. During that period, the CVSR was limited to using eight miles of track from Rockside Road southward.

The Park Service, which owns the track used by the CVSR, has hired an engineering firm to oversee stabilization work in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including along the railroad.

Train Time in Peninsula on the CVSR

September 22, 2022

Here are five images made of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operations in Peninsula on Aug. 19, 2022.

In the top image FPA-4 No. 6771 leads the southbound National Park Scenic into town.

Alco C420 No. 365 is on the north end of the train. The former Seaboard Air Line unit was given a new engine a few years ago.

From the baggage car, crew members are unloading water craft that will ply the nearby Cuyahoga River.

Note that the 365 is dedicated to a former chairman of the trustees of the CVSR.

The bottom image shows the southbound Scenic as it leaves Peninsula.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Now Named for Fred

April 29, 2022

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad RS18u No. 1822 is shown being towed north in Akron on May 23, 2015. The unit was built for the Canadian Pacific but has been a CVSR mainstay for several years. It was named for Fred Daigneau in November 2021 upon his retirement from the railroad’s mechanical staff after a 17-year career there. Daigneau has since agreed to serve as a volunteer locomotive engineer.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

B&O 800 Two for Tuesday

February 22, 2022

Here is a pair of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad FPA-4 No. 800, better known for its Baltimore & Ohio livery. The photographs were made on Sept. 6, 2013.

The views include passing under the Ohio Route 82 bridge in Brecksville and near Akron.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

National Park Scenic in the Snow

February 10, 2022

Last Sunday I did a quick chase of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

After a major snowstorm Thursday and Friday things were pretty much cleared out by Sunday.

CVSR ran a plow train on Friday and with the regular runs of the National Park Scenic on Saturday I did not expect to have any snow buildup at crossings.

Imagine my surprise when the train hit a snow bank at Boston Mills.  It was not a very large one but it still made for a nice photo.

The train itself was covered in ice and snow reminding me of Snowpiercer, a dystopian novel in which the earth has been covered in a global freeze and the last survivors ride a train that circles the planet once a year. 

This has been adopted into a movie and most recently a TV show. As with most sci-fi works you must suspend disbelief (like who maintains the track for instance?) but otherwise are enjoyable programs.

Anyhow I thought you might enjoy these.

Article and Photographs byTodd Dillon

Short Timer on the CVSR

January 24, 2022

Over the past several years the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has supplemented its motive power fleet by leasing locomotives from leasing firms LTEX and Horizon Rail.

Those units typically operate on the CVSR in whatever livery they came in and at best have a CVSR emblem attached to them.

Shown is a former BNSF GP30u leased from LTEX and that ran on the CVSR in 2013. Built for the Santa Fe as a GP30, BNSF never repainted this locomotive into its own colors or painted over the Santa Fe markings.

By the time LTEX 2436 reached the CVSR, those Santa Fe markings and heralds had been painted over. But otherwise, the 2436 still looked like a former Santa Fe engine.

This image was made on March 3, 2013, during a snow shower at Boston Mill station as the 2436 pulled a northbound National Park Scenic, running long hood forward.

On the south end of the train was LTEX GP15-1 No. 1420, which railfan photographers loved to hate because of its solid black livery. The 1420 would have a longer tenure on the CVSR than the 2436 and was still in service more than a year later.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders