Posts Tagged ‘Steam on the CVSR’

Steam Saturday: NKP 767 in the Valley

July 1, 2022

We are at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Steam in the Valley event of 2016.  Here are a couple of photos of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 on Sept. 24. For that year the locomotive ran with roster number 767.

In the top image the 767 is at Boston Mill before performing a southbound runby. The bottom image was made in Peninsula and the 767 is being towed north past the regular CVSR excursion train.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

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.

Riding That 765 Train (Part 2)

October 4, 2017

Nickel Plate Road 765 backs up at Rockside Road station. I got better images of the Berkshire-type engine here than I did at the photo runby site at Boston Mills.

Second of two parts

A handful of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad personnel were on the ground as the excursion train pulled by RS18 1822 came into Boston Mills station and stopped.

At last I would get to experience life inside the cattle pen as Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 executed its photo runbys.

Having that experience wasn’t my primary reason for buying a ticket to ride behind the 765. But I did wonder what it would be like.

On the CVSR website, would-be passengers are told that they will get to watch the 765 do a runby at a secure location.

If you are standing outside the photo runby site fence, you’ve learned the meaning of the word “secure.”

If you dare cross Riverview Road to stand on the fringe of the orange plastic fence, either a CVSR official or a police officer will shoo you back to the other side of the road.

As I stood in the cattle pen, I saw a couple guys cross the road toward the far north end of the ski resort.

A Peninsula police officer saw it, too, and raced to the scene in his cruiser with the emergency lights on.

Although my train was not sold out, it did have a large crowd and it takes time to unload a few hundred people.

I was among the first people off the train, in part because my car had a small number of passengers.

A CVSR volunteer instructed us to stand behind a line of small orange cones.

That was the extent of the instructions that we received. For that matter, there was no announcement over the PA or by the car host about the photo runby. It was as though CVSR personnel figured that everyone knew what was going on.

The line of orange cones stretched back toward the Boston Mills station and was set up on an angle.

I avoided the far north end of the line, which was where many people congregated.

I heard the CVSR volunteer tell those there that the 765 would make two runbys. She asked those toward the front to get down and after the first runby to trade places with those in the back.

People were nearly shoulder to shoulder where I was standing, but I didn’t feel overly crowded.

I didn’t expect to get great photographs during the runby. One reason I had wanted to ride the afternoon trip was because the lighting would be better. The sun would be on the west side of the tracks.

Although the runbys for my excursion were performed at about 11:15 a.m., the lighting still favored the east side of the tracks.

But the west side of the train was not in deep enough shadows to mar the images by making it difficult to see the detail of the locomotive.

Many who got off the train were not photographing, just watching. Among those who did photograph, many of the images – and maybe most of them – were made with smart phones.

It used to be that “ordinary” people made photographs with point and shoot digital cameras. Now they use smart phones.

Not as many people clustered around the cab of the 765 as I expected. Instead, most people found a place in the photo line and stayed there.

There was a construction project underway across the road and shortly before the 765 began backing up for the first runby I heard that safety squawk that construction vehicles make in reverse.

I wasn’t doing video so it didn’t bother me. But I know guys who would have gone ballistic upon hearing that sound.

The beep, beep, beep was short lived and not repeated during either runby.

The runbys were nice, but not overly spectacular. I thought the 765 put on a better show when pulling into Rockside Road station earlier that morning.

I’ve also seen better smoke displays from the locomotive at other places along the CVSR.

But most of those in the photo line weren’t looking for a spectacular display of steam and smoke.

They wanted to see the big engine run by, which is what it did, twice. Many have probably never seen such a sight.

About the only advantage to being inside the Boston Mills cattle pen from a photography standpoint is being able to see the 765 coming straight at you.

There is a curve north of Boston Mills and inside the viewing area is the best place to see that without any obstruction.

Boston Mills also offers an open field, but that’s nothing that you can’t find in other places along the CVSR if you know the territory.

I didn’t have any trouble with heads or arms getting in the way of my views and everyone was well behaved.

The runbys complete, it was time to get in line and back on the train.

The rest of the trip was routine. We stopped at Fitzwater Yard to pick up the afternoon on-board crew members.

I lingered on the platform after disembarking at Rockside Road station.

The 765 and its train would go north of the station to make room for the Scenic inbound from Akron.

By now it was almost 12:30 p.m. Clouds were forming, but it was still sunny as I got my last photographs of the 765 as it backed northward.

As it turned out, the afternoon trip was 25 minutes late leaving Rockside due to late passengers and other issues I wasn’t on hand to observe.

That trip only went as far south as Peninsula and by the time the photo runbys at Boston Mills were executed, the skies had turned mostly cloudy.

It had been an enjoyable experience riding behind the 765 even if I never saw it while it was pulling the train. But I knew it was there.

The CVSR is one of the few places where the 765 can operate. Every year there is talk about the 765 going to various unspecified places, but those trips seldom seem to materialize.

This year the 765 has run on Metra in Chicago and on the CVSR. No fall excursions have been announced of which I am aware.

Many Northeast Ohio railfans have probably become indifferent toward the 765 running on the CVSR. Been there, done that.

The Berkshire-type locomotive has been a regular fixture on the CVSR since 2010 except for a couple of years.

Yet I always treat each appearance of the 2-8-4 as its last because some day that might be the case.

Disembarking at Boston Mills for the photo runbys. I’ve made many photographs over the years of people getting off from the outside perspective, but never from the on the train perspective.

Getting a photograph of the NKP 765 backing up for the first of two photo runbys at Boston Mills.

Here comes the first photo runby.

Not everyone disembarked at Boston Mills for the photo runbys. They enjoyed waving and taking in the scene.

The second photo runby is getting underway as the 765 charges southward toward the waiting crowd.

Blowing the whistle at Boston Mills. The 765 crew paid tribute to the late Jerry Jacobson by placing his name on both sides of the cab.

Time to get back on board the train following the runbys. We’ll need that step box.

He’s wearing a NKP hat, sitting in a former NKP coach and riding behind a NKP steam locomotive.

Reviewing the video that they made on their smart phones of the 765.

A pair of youthful photographers watch for the steam engine at Hillside Road.

Lending a helping hand to a detraining passenger at Rockside Road.

A wave from my car host as the train leaves the station at Rockside Road.

Parting Images of NKP 765

September 26, 2017

We could not have asked for a better day from a weather standpoint than what we had this past Sunday.

Although Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 was making its final public trips on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that day, chasing the Berkshire-type locomotive was not in my plans.

Instead, I was going to explore some new territory for me in Northeast Ohio.

But I made it a point to at least get down to the CVSR to catch the morning ferry move to Akron.

I was hoping for foggy conditions as had occurred last year, but that wasn’t to be. Although the temperatures for Sunday were going to climb into the 80s, it was still somewhat cool in the morning.

I know from previous years that cool mornings in September often yield a nice smoke and steam show from the 765 during its first outing of the day.

The ferry move left Fitzwater shops and yard just before 9 a.m. I was waiting in Brecksville just south of the station.

The 765 did not disappoint. It put forth one fine show as it chugged past, sounding as good as it looked.

NKP 765 Puts on Another Great Show

September 25, 2017


Here are three images of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 southbound on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this past Saturday. All three photos were taken in Jaite with the top and middle images taken in the morning and the bottom image taken in the afternoon.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

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

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.


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.

Steamin’ the Northern End of the CVSR

September 29, 2012

Central Ohio Railroad No 1293 passes the Brecksville station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Saturday afternoon. It was the second of two trips between Rockside Road station and Boston Mill.

Central Ohio Railroad No. 1293 powered two roundtrips on Saturday between Rockside Road Station and Boston Mill on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Photo runbys were performed during both trips at Boston Mill.

The trips replaced a murder-mystery trip that was originally scheduled to run late Saturday afternoon but which was canceled due to, reportedly, poor ticket sales.

Mostly sunny skies greeted the 4-6-2, which was built as Canadian Pacific 1293. The locomotive was making its first public trips since pulling excursions between Akron and Indigo Lake two weeks ago.

The 1293 will have its finale on Sunday when it pulls two roundtrips out of Akron to Indigo Lake and back. The steamer will reportedly return to its home in Sugar Creek on Monday.

Sunday’s trips will cap a month of steam on the CVSR. The first of those was conducted on Sept. 8 as part of a CVSR 40th anniversary celebration.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The Ohio Route 82 bridge looms in the background as the 1293 steams southward en route to Boston Mill.

Soaking up some mid-day sunlight between runs at Boston Mill.

An admiring crowd snaps photographs and looks over the 1293 at Boston Mill.

Clouds put a damper on the first photo runby at Boston Mill Saturday afternoon. But sunshine returned in time for the second as the 1293 builds up a head of steam as it approaches Boston Mill.

Putting on a smoke show while charging past the crowd.

It’s not October yet but some trees have already begin to show off their fall color. The 1293 is backing up toward Rockside as it passes an early turning maple tree at Jaite.

Steam Returns to the CVSR

September 9, 2012

Central Ohio Railroad steam locomotive No. 1293 steams and smokes its way south as it approaches the overpass on Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Central Ohio Railroad No. 1293, formerly the Ohio Central 1293 and before that Canadian Pacific 1293, made a return appearance to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Saturday (Sept. 8, 2012).

The 4-6-2 Pacific-type steam locomotive led a 40th anniversary excursion special on the CVSR from Rockside Road station in Independence to Indigo Lake.

However, the 1293 developed mechanical problems while doing an apparent runby at Indigo Lake. The locomotive’s throttle stuck open and the drivers began spinning wildly. Engineer Tim Sposato had to open the cylinder cocks, center the reverse gear and dump the fire.

For safety reasons, CVSR crew members cleared onlookers from the vicinity of the locomotive as the engine crew was working on it.

The 1293 and its train — which had a CVSR diesel locomotive on the north end — then departed for Fitzwater Yard. The passengers had already disembarked and begun making their way to a gala celebration at Hale Farm that was scheduled to last well into the evening.

A second special train also operated from Akron to Indigo Lake with passengers bound for the anniversary event. The CVSR website on Saturday morning listed the event as sold out. The least expensive ticket was $95.

It was an unexpected development in what to that point had been an apparent flawless run of the 1293 on the first of what is scheduled to be several excursions during September on the CVSR.

A brunch train will still operate on Sunday (Sept. 9) but without the 1293. That train, scheduled to leave from Brecksville, will be all diesel.

The 1293 is not expected to cool down completely until Sunday at which time crew members can inspect it to determine what happened and what needs to be done to fix it.

The 1293 and its train, which included the dome car Emerson and the observation-lounge Saint Lucie Sound, had departed Rockside Road at 5:15 p.m.

It moved along at a deliberate pace and a number of fans were trackside with cameras to record the journey. Lighting conditions presented some challenges due to the partly cloudy conditions. Although there was good late day sunlight at Pleasant Valley Road, we got skunked by clouds just south of Jaite and again at Everett.

We were rewarded, though, with good sun light most of the time at Indigo Lake. What we expected to be a few static shots there turned into quite something else.

Among the other Akron Railroad Club members who turned out to photograph the 1293 were Dennis Taksar, Alex Bruchac, Don Woods, Dave Shepherd and David Mangold.

The 1293 is scheduled to operate again on the CVSR next Saturday (Sept. 15) on an almost total track tour trip from Brecksville to Canton and return.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The 1293 and its train steams along southbound just south of Jaite.

The 1293 backs up at the Indigo Lake station as passengers and crews watch.


The 1293 and its train began a runby of sorts. Shortly after this image was made, the locomotive experienced mechanical problems that would sideline it the next day.


The cylinder cocks of the 1293 are open as the crew tries to determine why the engine began to experience mechanical problems. The scene is reflected in the still water of Indigo Lake.

All of the equipment used by the 1293, which is owned by ARRC life member Jerry Joe Jacobson, has been relettered as the Central Ohio Railroad. Shown is tool car “Conneaut.” at Indigo Lake.

Engineer Tim Sposato strikes a pose for the photographers shortly after the 1293 arrived at Indigo Lake.

A crew member dumps some more of the fire during a brief stop at Boston Mill after the train had departed Indigo Lake en route to the Fitzwater shops.

Having dumped some more of the 1293’s fire, the train is now proceeding northward as the 1293 is shrouded a bit in steam at Boston Mill.

Remains of the fire from the 1293 cool on the CVSR tracks at Boston Mill. The train can be seen in the distance heading north.