Posts Tagged ‘NKP 767’

Steam Sunday: When NKP 765 Was NKP 767

June 14, 2020

For its September 2016 appearance on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 carried roster number 767.

There is a story behind that. When the Nickel Plate donated a steam locomotive to the City of Fort Wayne it said it was No. 767.

The city has asked for the 767 because it had been the locomotive to lead the first trip on the elevated railroad right of way in downtown Fort Wayne in the 1950s.

But when workers began restoring the 767 to operating condition they discovered that it was actually former NKP 765.

The 2016 trips on the CVSR have thus far behind among the few that 765 has made disguised as the 767.

In the top photograph, it is shown at Jaite on Sept. 24, 2016.

It is shown that same day in the middle image at Boston Mill during a photo runby for passengers.

The bottom image was made on Sept. 25 in Peninsula.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Warm Memories of NKP 767 in the Valley

January 28, 2017
Nickel Plate Road No. 765, operating as No. 767, approaches Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765, operating as No. 767, approaches Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday, Sept. 24.

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Reflecting on past steam trips in the Valley at Indigo Lake.

I waited for quite a while to get the NKP 767 crossing the Cuyahoga River north of Peninsula.

I waited for quite a while to get the NKP 767 crossing the Cuyahoga River north of Peninsula.

Now that winter is here and the warm days of summer and early autumn in 2016 are just another memory, how about some warm memories to take the chill out of the air?

Here are three images of Nickel Plate Road 767 — which is actually NKP 765 — when it was running on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad last September.

All were among my favorite images of the NKP 767 in action, but for various reasons they didn’t make the cut when it came time to post those photographs.

But I kept them with the idea of posting them during the winter. Perhaps NKP 765 willl return to the CVSR in 2017, but that remains to be seen. If it does come back as NKP 767?

Even if it doesn’t, we’ll always have our memories and photographs of when it was the 767.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Outside the Fences: The Boston Mill Steam Train Experience For Those Without a Ticket

January 1, 2017
With a telephoto lens, good positioning and anticipation, you can come away with some good human interest images such this one of a young girl being helped off the train.

Combine a telephoto lens, good positioning and skillful anticipation and you can come away with good human interest images such this one of a young girl being helped off the train. Her small stature in contrast to the wheels gives a sense of size and proportion.

Second of two parts

I like photographic challenges. In my previous post, I wrote about how the strict security measures imposed by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at Boston Mill station during the photo runbys of Nickel Plate Road No. 767 last September limited where photographers could go in ways that had not been the case in previous years.

Unless you had a ticket, you had to contend with orange plastic fences, large crowds and highway guard rails.

The security was designed to keep people away from nearby locations along the tracks that were some distance from the station. That had not been done in past years, but was taken to a higher level in 2016.

I spent time during the September 2016 visit of Nickel Plate Road 767 in the “ticketless zone” in Boston Park and in the ski resort parking lot on the west side of Riverview Road.

I wanted to see what I could do within the limitations that the railroad and park officials had thrust upon me.

The first thing I decided to do was to live with guard rails and a little bit of orange fencing.

It wasn’t ideal, but being in the ski resort parking lot provided a wider perspective than is available to the passengers at the station.

They had to deal with large, dense crowds. I looked for places away from the crowds and found them.

That was how I came up with an interesting angle on the east side of the tracks along Boston Road. I got the nose of the NKP 767 with the crowd of passengers and the ski resort in the background.

That image wasn’t as ideal as I would have liked due to a grade crossing signal control box getting in the way and the tight angle forced by a line of trees to my right.

However, it was a view that few other photographers thought to try and it was better than most anything I could have gotten in Boston Park.

Some of the most promising images to be had at Boston Mill are human interest photographs.

With a telephoto lens, you can zoom in on the engine crew, get shots of the passengers disembarking, and capture those still on the train during the runbys.

My favorite human-interest image of the two weeks that I chased NKP 767 was obtained at Boston Mill in this manner.

I’ve already posted that photo, but it showed a young boy sipping a bottle of soda while seated next to his grandmother in one of the open-window coaches as a look of wonder crossed his face.

Ultimately, what to do with the restrictions at Boston Mill for those outside the ticketed passenger zone comes down to what type of photography you do and how creative you are.

If you are only interested in the train coming at you, then you’d be better off to buy a ticket so you can get a straight-on shot of that.

If you are unwilling to shell out for a ticket, you could go to any number of places in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to photograph the steam engine as rolls past.

If, though, you are interested in documenting the broader story and the environment that surrounds the annual two-week visit of a steam locomotive to the CVSR, then there are opportunities waiting at Boston Mill. You just have to study the scene and try some things.

Some of your efforts won’t work out quite the way you had hoped, but you might be surprised at how a little creative thinking and working the angles can yield a better image than you might have imagined was possible.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

By the time that NKP 767 ended its time on the CVSR, I had starting to get the hang of photographing across Riverview Road. There are decent to good images to be made there.

By the time that the NKP 767 ended its time on the CVSR, I was starting to get the hang of photographing across Riverview Road. There are decent to good images to be made there.

You look past or over the guard rail, this is a pretty decent photo of the NKP 767 charging past. And the guard rail isn't really blocking anything, just adding a touch of clutter.

You look past or over the guard rail, this is a decent photo of NKP 767 charging past. The guard rail isn’t blocking anything, just adding a touch of clutter.

I had not planned to photography this runby, but couldn't resist getting a portrait of my friend Adam Barr getting a video of the runby with his smart phone.

I had not planned to photograph this particular runby, but couldn’t resist getting a portrait of my friend Adam Barr doing video of the runby with his smart phone.

My intent was not to capture the train so much as to show how people on the west side or Riverview seek to capture it. The larger environment is part of the story, too.

My intent was not to capture the train so much as it was to show how people on the west side of Riverview seek to photograph it. The larger environment is part of the story, too.

Not everyone disembarks fro the steam train during the photo runby. Watch the windows for you might get a good human interest image of those still aboard.

Not everyone disembarks from the steam train during the photo runbys. Watch the windows and you might get a good human interest image of those still aboard.

Sometimes you can get a clear angle. Sure, the locomotive is not coming toward me, but it is still putting on a show even though it is backing up.

Sometimes you can get a clear angle of the train. Sure, the locomotive is not coming toward me, but it is still putting on a smoke show even though it is backing up. The image was made at the east side of the Boston Road grade crossing.

By standing back and then zooming in with a telephoto lens, you can get the crew at work.

By standing back and then zooming in on the locomotive cab with a telephoto lens, you can get the crew at work.

The angle was tighter than I would have liked, but I was pleased overall with this take made from the east side of the tracks where far fewer people were standing.

The angle was tighter than I would have liked, but I was pleased, overall, with this image that I made on the east side of the tracks where far fewer people were standing.

Outside the Fences: The Boston Mill Experience With a Steam Train for Those Without a Ticket

December 31, 2016
Hey, it shows the steam engine, right? But for a serious photographer this would not be considered a good image beyond its documentary value.

Hey, this image shows the steam engine, right? But for a serious photographer this would not be considered a good image beyond its documentary value. Nonetheless, it does show something.

First of two parts

Plastic orange fences, multiple police officers watching the crowd, and people standing all over the place and getting in your photos.

Such is the reality of being at the Boston Mill station of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for steam in the valley if you do not have a ticket to ride the train.

The 2016 steam season seemed to have set records for how strict security could be to keep photographers without tickets away from the tracks.

In fact, it seemed to tighten from one weekend to the other. What was OK the first weekend wasn’t allowed during the second weekend.

Let me say up front that I have no problem with the CVSR limiting access to the prime real estate to ticketed passengers.

Although the 2016 trips were reported to have sold out, there is still an economic issue involved. If anyone could get into the photo area at the station, then what incentive do people have to buy a ticket?

Besides, the CVSR marketing materials suggested that ticketed passengers would get something that those without tickets didn’t have.

They did, sort of, but that depends on how you look at it. In past years, those without tickets were allowed to roam free at Boston Mill during the photo runbys.

You can get some decent photographs at Boston Mill, but the best images to be had are elsewhere along the CVSR in places open to everyone.

In fairness, CVSR and Cuyahoga Valley National Park officials also are concerned with safety issues.

When you have the type of crowds that were drawn to Boston Mill this year there is the potential for someone to do something foolish.

The orange plastic fencing around the perimeter of the Boston Mill station wasn’t new this year. What was new was that the fencing extended along the tracks south of the station in an effort to keep people from walking down the tracks to stake out photo locations. That probably was a safety precaution.

Some of the security this year, though, was overkill, particularly placing “temporary no parking” signs along Riverview Road well out of view of the photo runby site.

But, again, I wasn’t upset about that because there are plenty of other places to photograph the steam train other than at Boston Mill.

The images that I’ve presented with this post are designed to show the downside of photographing at Boston Mill when you are confined to the non-ticketed zone.

You have to stand in Boston Park on the south side of Boston Road or in the parking area for the ski resort west of the tracks.

Police were strict the second weekend about keeping people from crossing Riverview to stand along the orange fencing and/or the highway guardrails.

None of these security measures mean much if all you want to do is watch the train go by. I saw people sitting in lawn chairs doing just that, some of them elderly.

But what is a serious photographer to do under such conditions?

One approach is to take the view that you are documenting an event. The crowds, the security and the less than ideal photo angles become part of the story if not the story.

All of the images that accompany this post were made with that in mind.

Next time I’ll suggest some strategies for coming away with some good images despite all of the barriers in your way by making the situation work to your advantage.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

In past year, you could have walked up to and shot over that security fence. But not this year.

In past years, you could have walked up to and shot over that security fence. But not this year.

Even with a telephoto lens it is tough getting a good image of the crowd interacting with the crew without that orange fencing getting in the way.

Even with a telephoto lens it can be tough getting a good image of the crowd interacting with the steam locomotive crew without that orange fencing getting in the way.

This what you are up against in Boston Park, crowds of people, poles and wires.

What you are up against in Boston Park? How about crowds of people, poles and wires.

This does OK, I suppose in showing the smoke plume of the NKP 767 and the roadway that stood between the photographers and the tracks. Police and CVSR personnel made sure that those without a ticket did not cross Riverview Road as the train approached.

This photo does OK, I suppose, in showing the smoke plume of the NKP 767 and the roadway that stood between the photographers and the tracks. Police and CVSR personnel made sure that those without a ticket did not cross Riverview Road as the train approached.

It's not a terrible image, but not a good one, either.

It’s not a terrible image, but not necessarily a good one, either.

I was trying to convey a sense of the photo line, but it didn't work out that well because of the distance I had to stand behind them.

I was trying to convey a sense of the photo line, but it didn’t work out that well because of the distance that I had to stand behind them. Such is life outside the fences.

October ARRC eBulletin Features NKP 767, Autumn on the CSX New Castle Subdivision

October 25, 2016

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It was just about a month ago that Nickel Plate Road No. 765, wearing number 767 was steaming up and down the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The Akron Railroad Club even got out on the last Sunday of the 767’s operation for a picnic in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The October 2016 issue of the ARRC eBulletin takes a look back at the visit of NKP 767 with photographs made by ARRC members Roger Durfee, Todd Dillon, Ed Ribinskas and Craig Sanders.

Also in the October issue is a photo feature on autumn on the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

It is not too late to subscribe to the eBulletin or to obtain back issues, including the September 2016 issue that had coverage of the history of NKP 765 on the CVSR.

A subscription and back issues free. Send an email to ARRC President Sanders at csanders429@aol.com if you wish to subscribe or obtain a back issue.

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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

Sanders Photo Published in Railfan & Railroad

October 21, 2016

A photograph made by Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders of Nickel Plate Road No. 767 meeting a Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train in Peninsula last month has been published in the November 2016 issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine.

ARRC logoThe image shows NKP 767 next to the Scenic train as it waited in the siding by the Peninsula depot. The photograph was made on Sept. 18.

It was published on Page 8 of R&R in the Mainline Railnews section.

R&R associate editor and art director Otto M. Vondrak saw the image posted on Sanders’ Flickr page and asked to use it.

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