Posts Tagged ‘NKP 765’

CVSR, NKP 765 Crew Give Boy Ride of a Lifetime

October 18, 2018

A 7-year-old Mineral City boy was treated to a cab ride and piloting Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 last month after the locomotive’s owners learned of the life-threatening ordeal he had recently survived.

Stephen Comer suffered a stroke while playing in a soccer game last June and lost his ability to move and speak.

Doctors later determined the stroke, which is rare for a child, was an acute ischemic stroke with a complete blockage of an artery in his brain. Doctors believe it was caused by a viral illness.

While being flown by helicopter to the Cleveland Clinic his mother, Nicole Cavall, pointed out the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tracks below.

The CVSR is one of Stephen’s favorite places and the boy is also a steam fan.

Stephen underwent emergency brain surgery and later regained his ability to speak and move. He has fully recovered from his stroke other than losing some of his memory.

Staff of the CVSR and Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, learned of Stephen’s ordeal and offered him the opportunity to ride in the 765’s cab.

He was given a slot in the “throttle time” program, making him the youngest person to participate in an event that allows participants to operate the Berkshire-type locomotive for a short distance.


Another Sunday with NKP 765

October 4, 2018

The ferry move to Akron steams though Brecksville.

Steaming through Sand Run Metropark in Akron during the ferry move on Sunday morning.

The last excursion of NKP 765’s two-week stay on the CVSR blasts through Jaite en route to the photo runbys at Boston Mill.

Ursula and I arrived at Ohio 82 in Brecksville close to 8 a.m. to catch the ferry move of Nickel Plate 765 and its train to Akron.

We were able to set up first at the white chains since the rest of the crowd hadn’t shown up yet.

I decided photographing from the Station Road bridge with the reflection or what used to be a

reflection shot because of the tree growth and the Route 82 arches.

By the time the train showed up at about 8:55 a.m. the crowd of photographers next to us and behind us was substantial.

We made it to Big Bend with about three minutes to spare. The traffic light at Merriman and Portage Path was the big culprit.

After the train passed I hurried  to the car to get to mass at a church I found on Portage Path in Cuyahoga Falls.

The bottom photograph is the after trip from Akron coming south at Jaite. I was standing right along the chain.

Pleasant View at Pleasant Valley Road

October 1, 2018

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad hosted an early evening excursion on Friday of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

Fellow Akron Railroad Club members Edward Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman joined me in chasing the steamer before the ARRC meeting.

We first encountered the Berkshire and its train at the Canal Exploration Center station as it made a ferry move to Rockside Station.

Then it was off to West Pleasant Valley Road where we waited along with several other railfans on the bridge over the CVSR tracks.

The 765 put on a fine show as it charged southward with a train that included all three of the CVSR’s dome cars.

We hoped to catch up with the 765 one more time after leaving Pleasant Valley, but those efforts were hamstrung by heavy traffic.

By the time we were able to safety cross Pleasant Valley on foot and hoof it back to my car, which I had parked at the gate where Riverview Road is closed, the 765 was too far ahead of us.

I broke off the chase by Szalay’s Market. By that time, the excursion train had reached Indigo Lake where it executed its photo runbys.

Backing past Hillside Road during the ferry move from Fitzwater Yard to Rockside Road.

A trio of dome cars followed by FPA-4 No. 6777.

Steam Returns to the Valley This Weekend

September 28, 2018

Nickel Plate Road 765 presents an impressive sight as it climbs the hill into Akron. It is shown passing through the Sand Run Metro Park during its ferry move on Sunday morning.

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will pull another round of excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this weekend.

The schedule includes a trip from Rockside Road tonight (Sept. 28) at 5:30 p.m. and from Rockside at 9:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Trips out of Akron are scheduled to depart on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Last weekend saw the 765 execute the same schedule. Here is a gallery of some of my favorite images of the Berkshire-type locomotive in action during its first weekend.

Everyone stops to watch a steam locomotive. NKP 765 steams through the Sand Run Metropark in Akron on Sunday morning during its ferry move to position itself for the day’s trips.

Snaking around a curve in the Sand Run Metropark in Akron on late Sunday morning.

Cameras are out as NKP 765 approaches the CVSR’s Big Bend station in the Sand Run Metropark in Akron as the first excursion of Sunday returns to the Rubber City.

Running backward northbound at Bath Road during the Sunday afternoon excursion.

Getting some reflection in the Cuyahoga River during the Saturday afternoon trip.

Executing another photo runby at Boston Mill.

The afternoon trip on Saturday approaches West Pleasant Valley Road. I was the only photographer on the bridge waiting for the train.

Coming with a head of steam over Columbia Run along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill on Saturday. On Sunday a Peninsula cop keep railfan photographers off the grassy area where this image was made.

The first southbound run of the day on Saturday morning is underway as the 765 skirts the Cuyahoga River near the Canal Exploration Center.

What to Make of More Stringent 765 Security

September 28, 2018

It probably was inevitable that after a woman was struck and killed in Colorado last July by Union Pacific 4-8-4 No. 844 that security surrounding the visit of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September would be tight.

The woman who was killed was standing on the ties as the Northern-type steamer passed through Henderson, Colorado. An Adams County sheriff’s investigation concluded that the woman appeared to be more focused on her phone’s screen than watching for an oncoming train.

What happened in Colorado could happen in Ohio, so the CVSR, the National Park Service, the Summit County Metroparks and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society ratcheted up security to levels never seen during previous visits of steam locomotives.

Volunteers from the CVSR and FtWRHS were stationed at grade crossings.

Temporary no parking signs were posted on Riverview Road between Columbia Run Road and Everett.

White plastic chain rope was set up at popular viewing locations such as Brecksville and Jaite. Those chains were present at Boston Mill in the area reserved for passengers to watch the runbys, thus making it difficult to get clear views of the steamer.

At the Deep Lock Quarry trail south of Peninsula, two Summit County Metropark rangers kept photographers from crossing the tracks and standing on the east side.

No one wants to see someone killed who is standing too close to the tracks out of ignorance or recklessness.

Although that has never happened during a visit of the 765 to the CVSR, some people, I suppose, have to be saved from themselves.

Nonetheless, I keep thinking about my favorite Robert Frost poem, The Oven Bird and its last lines: “The question that he frames in all but words. Is what to make of a diminished thing.”

It was nice to see the Nickel Plate Berkshire again and we in Northeast Ohio are fortunate to be one of two places where the 765 will operate this year.

Yet I couldn’t help but remember how during previous years security was not as tight and photographers had more freedom to stake out photo locations.

Those involved in security for the NKP 765 excursions would say it is all about safety, but if you could get them to go beyond their broad talking points, they would acknowledge that their sense of risk aversion has increased over what it was in the past.

When it comes to safety, authorities like to paint with broad rather than fine brushes. I understand that. The CVSR, park agencies and FtWRHS have much to lose if there is an incident in which the 765 strikes someone, resulting in death or a crippling injury.

Yet something has been lost and chasing after the 765 was not as enjoyable as it used to be.

Enforcement of the security measures was inconsistent and at times baffling.

At Deep Lock Quarry, I started to stand next to a photographer with a long telephoto lens who was up against the wood fence.

A Metroparks official motioned me over and said, “stand on this side” as he pointed toward the edge of the paved trail. I don’t know what that was about but it wasn’t about safety.

As has happened in previous years, a Peninsula cop sat in his cruiser on the east shoulder of Riverview Road at Boston Mill and sped northward whenever someone crossed the highway to stand near the guard rail closest to the tracks toward the north end of the ski resort.

Watching that cop shoot down Riverview to pounce on some unsuspecting photographer was comical at times.

But there was nothing funny about what happened to a teen on Sunday afternoon who crossed the road to make photographs.

The cop raced down the road and yelled at him over his SUV’s external loudspeaker in a voice loud enough to be heard clearly several hundred feet away.

Get back in the far parking lot! It was not a polite but firm “please get back on the other side of the road” command. The officer acted as though this teen’s transgression was a personal affront.

I will never forget the look on the young man’s face as he trudged back to his mother’s car.

Moments earlier an officer was camped on the west shoulder of Riverview just north of the Columbia Run picnic area and keeping photographers from crossing the road to photograph from the grassy area between the east shoulder of Riverview and the tracks. On Saturday it had been OK to stand in that grassy area.

As the 765 was abeam his patrol vehicle, he took off southbound on Riverview, getting into the images of some photographers. He could have delayed moving for 10 or 15 seconds, but didn’t.

Safety is a conundrum for the CVSR, which operates in a public park on tracks it doesn’t own.

The railroad seeks to balance the needs of safety with the desire of more than a thousand people to watch something they rarely get to see.

Fact is the CVSR, the FtWRHS and the park agencies want people to come out to watch the steam locomotive. But they also want to restrict how they can do that.

The level of security that came with this year’s 765 visit probably will be the norm for future 765 visits as well as excursions behind mainline steam locomotives elsewhere.

There were still locations where you could get clear views of the 765 and its train without getting hassled or feeling as though you were under surveillance.

The plastic chains at Jaite afforded photographers good views of the 765 coming or going to the north. During my visit to Jaite, CVSR and FtWRHS personnel watched the crowd, but no one told anyone where to stand so long as you stayed behind the chains.

Two fans I spoke with during the weekend contrasted some of the behavior they observed with the behavior of Metra police officers when the 765 ran trips between Joliet and Chicago. Both fans described the Metra officers as friendly and courteous.

Railfan photographers understand the need for security and crowd control when a steam locomotive visits. They understand that legitimate safety and crowd control needs sometimes will impinge upon where and how photography can be done. But a little consideration still goes a long way.

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

Riding in the Silver Lariat

September 25, 2018

I had the chance to ride the Silver Lariat on the afternoon trip in the Valley on Saturday with Ursula and our former brother in law but still good friend Karl and his wife Laura.

Even though we were herded like cattle for the photo runby, I still got some decent shots. It helped that we had three runbys and Nickel Plate Road No. 765 always looks and sounds great. It was a sold out train.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

One of three photo runbys executed at Boston Mill.

An on the ground view of Silver Lariat during the photo runby at Boston Mill.

The view of Boston Mill from the dome section of Silver Lariat.

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.

NKP 765 Ferrying in Cleveland

September 21, 2018

Since the ferry move of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was at night and through the wee hours of the morning I didn’t have to go out to Bellevue to get it.

This year was a different way to get to the valley. These photos are after the train was turned on the wye at Rockport. These photos are at Brookpark Road and the Chevy plant and B&O crossing.

The top photo shows the 765 crossing Brookpark on the connection from the Belt line to the B&O yard.

Photos two through five show the train backing on CSX (B&O/CL&W) to cross the belt line and continue on the CL&W where it parallels Interstate 71 to RD and connecting to the Valley still on CSX but facing the proper direction.

What was gratifying with the move was the cooperation of CSX and no diesel whatsoever.

Photos six through eight show the 765 backing on the CL&W to connect with the CT&V at RD at Jennings near Harvard, still on CSX.

The last photo shows the train at Willow (Brookpark Road and Interstate 77).

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas



NKP 765 Makes Ferry Move in Darkness

September 20, 2018

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 made its ferry move to Northeast Ohio today largely under the cover of darkness.

Reported sightings on indicate that the steamer left the facility of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in New Haven, Indiana, around 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

It had reached Latty, Ohio, by almost 9:30 p.m. Leipsic at 10:14 p.m., Fostoria at 11:30 p.m. and Bellevue at 12:25 a.m.

There may have been a service stop there because the 2-8-4 was reported there as late as 1:34 a.m.

The most recent sighting posted on the website was at 2:29 a.m. at Vermilion.

There was an unconfirmed report that the ferry move was to have been made on Wednesday but was delayed to due to signal problems on the NS Fostoria District.

The FtWRHS Twitter feed seemed to substantiate that report, saying Norfolk Southern was dealing with signal outages.

The Twitter feed also said the 765 arrived at Rockport Yard. The Tweet was sent at 8:14 a.m. A report on said the steamer was at Rockport Yard at 5:30 a.m.

NKP 765 is slated to pull excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad over the next two weekends.

The first of those is scheduled to depart from Rockside Road station in Independence at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Various videos posted online and reposted on the FtWRHS Twitter feed showed the ferry move to Fort Wayne earlier this week.

In the consist were the two dome cars the CVSR recently purchased. The cars, the Silver Solarium and Silver Lariat, are all silver and have the California Zephyr name in their nameplate.

The Silver Lariat is slated to be in the consist for the steam trips being offered on the CVSR.