Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad logo.png
Engine 6777.jpg
LocaleCuyahoga Valley National Park
from Independence to
Akron OH
Dates of operation1972 or 1973–Present
PredecessorChessie System
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length51 miles (82 km) leased from National Park Service and via trackage rights over former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Headquarters1664 Main Street/Route 303, Peninsula, Summit County, Ohio
Websitehttp://www.cvsr.com/
Route map
Cleveland Union Terminal (B&O)
Brooklyn (B&O)
Willow (B&O)
South Park (B&O)
Rockside
Canal Exploration Center
Alexanders (B&O)
Brecksville (B&O)
Jaite (B&O)
Boston Mill (B&O)
Peninsula Depot (B&O)
Everett (B&O)
Indigo Lake
Ira (B&O)
Botzum (B&O)
Old Portage (B&O)
Big Bend
Akron Northside (B&O)
to Akron CT&V Depot (B&O)
to Akron Union Depot (B&O)
Akron Junction (B&O)
East Akron (B&O)
Krumroy (B&O)
Myersville (B&O)
Aultman (B&O)
North Canton (B&O)
Canton Lincoln Highway
Canton (B&O)
North Industry (B&O)
East Sparta (B&O)
Sandyville (B&O)
Mineral City (B&O)
Valley Junction (B&O)

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a Class III railroad [1] operating diesel-electric and steam-powered[2] excursion trips through Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley, primarily through the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park.[3]

History[edit]

CVSR Brecksville Station, set against the scenic Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga River Valley, is one of several stations modeled after historic train stations within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Based on a track bed and rails originally laid down around 1880, right-of-way ownership transitioned over the years from Valley Railway to Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railroad (CT&V), to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to the Chessie System. Currently, the National Park Service own the rails and right-of-way within Cuyahoga Valley National Park. CVSR co-operates with Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway (WLE) on operation of the railroad track south of CUVA to Canton. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operates their excursion trains in co-operation with both the NPS & WLE.[4][5]

The history of trains in the Cuyahoga Valley stretches back more than 100 years. In 1880, the Valley Railway began operations, transporting coal to Cleveland, Akron, and Canton from the Tuscarawas River Valley and providing passenger service along the way. After a decade of operation, the Valley Railway became part of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. In the 20th century, competition from automobiles, trucks, and buses caused the decline of both freight and passenger service. Interest in the line was renewed in 1972 as a scenic excursion route and the Cuyahoga Valley Preservation and Scenic Railway Association was born.

Accidents[edit]

CVSR engine 365 sits at the Canton Lincoln Highway Station.
Flood damage to CVSR tracks north of Bath Road.
Cuyahoga River flooding CVSR tracks north of Vaughn Road.
CVSR staff load and transport bikes with a Bike and Hike ticket.

The CVSR has had a few accidents in recent history including most recently hitting a car at a crossing. A person died in 2004 after being hit by train 1822 during a Polar Express excursion.[6][7]

On June 18, 2009, an automobile collided with a weekday train at an ungated crossing with no warning lights. The driver of the car was not expecting the train as he thought it only ran at weekends.[8]

On July 13, 2012, a southbound CVSR train struck an eastbound car at the Portage St. crossing in northern Stark County. The elderly female driver was killed.

On October 30, 2015 a woman got hit by the CVSR 800 in Peninsula, OH

Today[edit]

Originally known as the Cuyahoga Valley Line, the scenic railroad now operates as Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR).

Future[edit]

Several Ohio and Erie Canal-oriented organizations in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Summit County are pushing for extension of CVSR operations farther North along the Canal corridor into Cleveland. Some other organizations have been researching the feasibility of commuter rail operations between Akron-Canton and Cleveland.

From the current CVSR Rockside station, (other railroads') existing tracks follow the West Bank of the Cuyahoga River to along: Valley Belt Road, Bradley Road, Jennings Road, Steelyard Drive, Holmden Avenue, Quigley Road; Crossing over the Cuyahoga River on the railroad draw bridge near Quigley and West 3rd., then follow the east bank of the Cuyahoga River to Canal Road near Commercial Road, ending up along Canal Road between Ontario Avenue and West 2nd. Street.

One of the big issues to be resolved would be scheduling and controlling access since the tracks through Cleveland and Newburgh Heights are used by freight train traffic, and much of the route above is single track with limited sidings.

Schedule[edit]

CVSR's schedule varies with seasonal demands. Currently, CVSR operates on Saturdays in January-February, Saturdays and Sundays in March-April, Fridays-Sundays in May and Tuesdays-Sundays in June through October. In November, the scenic train runs on weekends only due to The Polar Express. One train makes daily round-trips from Independence to Akron, which takes about 3 hours (1½ hours one-way).

Scenic excursions[edit]

CVSR offers scenic trips along the path of the Valley Railway.

The Polar Express[edit]

Around mid-November and continuing through mid-December, the CVSR provides special Polar Express themed excursions both during the day as matinees and in the evenings. The excursions are only offered out of Rockside and Akron Northside stations. Children (and even adults) are encouraged to ride in their pajamas. Elves greet passengers at the door and help them find their seats. While underway, the elves read the story of the Polar Express, serve hot chocolate and cookies, play games, and sing Christmas songs. Both trains eventually end up at the "North Pole". On the return trip, each child gets a surprise visit from a very important jolly fellow.

Bike Aboard[edit]

For $5 a bicyclist may ride the train one way from any one of CVSR's 9 stations. The bike is loaded onto a re-purposed baggage car and bikers are seated in a car directly following it. Similar programs are in place for hikers and walkers for a slightly different price. The Bike Aboard program is only offered from April through October.

Train to Canton[edit]

In summer 2003, CVSR began service between Akron and Canton. CVSR provides service between Akron Northside Station and Canton Lincoln Highway Station. Passengers will have approximately 4½ hours to visit some of the city's unique attractions, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Classic Car Museum, and William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. Unfortunately, the tracks between Akron and Canton will not support passenger trains at a reasonable speed to allow CVSR to serve Canton. The last regularly scheduled trains to Canton were in the summer of 2012. The end of the Canton trips occurred in 2012, mostly due to track conditions between Arlington Rd. and Mayfair Rd. ”Center Section". Also lack of ridership, equipment, and lack of money to bring tracks up to passenger train standards & maintenance.

Flooding[edit]

Flooding caused by heavy rains in July 2003 damaged the tracks throughout the park and forced the cancellation of these runs for the remainder of the 2003.

List of stations[edit]

Stations
Address
[9][10]
ElevationA[›] NearbyB[›] Points of Interest Image
Rockside 7900 Old Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 598 feet (182 m) GCRTA Routes 51C (Rockside Rd) and 77F (Brecksville Rd) bus connection; Eleven Mile Lock 39; Thornburg Station (food)
Canal Exploration Center Canal Road & Hillside Road, Valley View, Ohio 44125 611 feet (186 m) Canal Visitor Center, Twelve Mile Lock 38
Brecksville 13512 Station Road, Brecksville, Ohio 44141 635 feet (194 m) Station Road Bridge; Pinery Dam & Feeder, and Lock 36; Whiskey Lock 35 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge.jpg
Boston Mill 7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264 663 feet (202 m) Boston Store Visitor Center, Boston Lock 32, Lonesome Lock 31, Wallace Lock 33, Boston Mills Ski Resort, food Boston Mill station.jpg
Peninsula Depot 1630 West Mill Street, Peninsula, Ohio 44264 693 feet (211 m) Peninsula Visitor Center, Peninsula Lock 29, Peninsula Feeder Lock 30, Deep Lock 28 and Quarry, food
Indigo Lake Riverview Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264 [11] 739 feet (225 m) Hunt Farm Visitor Center, Beaver Marsh, Pancake Lock 26, Johnny Cake Lock 27 Cuyahoga Valley National Park 15.jpg
Howe Meadow stop[12] 4040 Riverview Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264 741 feet (226 m) Hunt Farm Visitor Center, Everett Road Covered Bridge
Botzum 2912 Riverview Road, Akron, Ohio 44313 754 feet (230 m) Niles Lock 24, Mudcatcher Lock 25 (Station located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
Big Bend 1337 Merriman Road, Akron, Ohio 44313 782 feet (238 m)[13]
Akron Northside 27 Ridge Street, Akron, Ohio 44308 885 feet (270 m) Mustill Store, Quaker Square, National Inventors Hall of Fame a.k.a. Inventure Place Akron Northside - CVSR.jpg
Canton Lincoln Highway 1315 Tuscarawas Street West, Canton, Ohio 44702 1,029 feet (314 m) McKinley Memorial Mausoleum, Canton Museum of Art, First Ladies National Historic Site
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Overview
TypeScenic Passenger Railway
SystemCuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
LocaleIndependence and Valley View, Cuyahoga County;
Akron and Peninsula,
Summit County; Canton,
Stark County, Ohio
TerminiRockside Station, Independence, Cuyahoga County and
Canton Lincoln Highway Station, Canton, Stark County, Ohio
Akron Northside Station,
Summit County, Ohio
Stations10
Services2
Operation
Opened1972 or 1973
OwnerCuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Operator(s)Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
CharacterClass III railroad
Technical
Line length51 miles (82 km)
Track length51 miles (82 km)
Number of tracks1 to 3
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Highest elevation571 feet (174 m)

Equipment[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - Locomotives
Manufacturer
Model
Description
ALCO American Locomotive Company Alco C420
ALCO American Locomotive Company ALCO RS-3 Road/Switcher
Budd Company RDC-1 Rail Diesel Car
Budd Company RDC-9 Rail Diesel Car
MLW Montreal Locomotive Works MLW C-424
MLW Montreal Locomotive Works MLW FPA-4
MLW Montreal Locomotive Works RS-18 Road/Switcher

Cars[edit]

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - Cars
Number
Name
Type
Heritage
Notes
1 St. Lucie Sound Observation/bar/sleeping/lounge car ex-Florida East Coast Railway Acquired 1995. Features etched glass. Used in charter trains.
89 Lonestar Dining car Rebuilt by CVSR Rebuilt in 1993 from circus train car. Originally built for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and named "Shenango".
110-114 Lightweight coaches ex-Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway, exx-New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, exxx-Penn Central Transportation Company, née-Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Built 1939 Budd Company. Acquired 1994. Streamlined. Car 110 is the only car in service, but NOT in regular service. As of 05/28/2014
161-169 Coaches ex-MARC Train Leased from METRO Regional Transit Authority.
688 Head end power car ex-Amtrak Rebuilt by Amtrak from a 1951 troop kitchen. Has two Detroit Diesel 271 engines and two 375-KW generators.
727 Invacare Combine car ex-Central of Georgia Railway Acquired 1995. Used for handicapped accessibility.
727 ADA Car Combine car Used for handicapped accessibility.
1105 Emerson Dome car This car was originally built for the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Originally named the Silver Bronco for use on the California Zephyr. The car later saw service on the Rio Grande Zephyr until 1983. Acquired 2011.
2914 Coach ex-New York Central Railroad Built 1948 by Budd Company. NOT in regular service
3450 Baggage car ex-Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Built 1940s Budd Company. As of 05/28/2014 IS used in regular "Bike-A-Board" (copyright cvsr 2014), service.
6217 Coach ex-Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Built 1947 by Budd Company. Acquired 1996. NOT used in regular service as of 05/28/2014
8700 Dining car ex-Amtrak, née-Southern Pacific Transportation Company Built 1950. Used on the Auto Train. Acquired 2002.
9084 Baggage car ex-Grand Trunk Western Railroad Built by American Car and Foundry Company. Acquired 1992. As of 05/28/2014 is NOT used for the "Bike-A-Board" service.
5 Boxcars
2 Flatcars
Zephyr four historic Zephyr railcars four-car Zephyr train set consists of two Vista Dome cars, a sleeper car and a baggage car[14]

[15]

Management[edit]

  • Raymond Labuda, Board Chairman
  • Joe Mazur, President/CEO
  • James E. Virost, Treasurer
  • Leslie Hoffman, Financial Director
  • Kimberley Gillan-Shafron, Vice President, Marketing and Community Alliances

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

^ A: Elevation or Altitude approximations obtained through Wiki ToolServer GeoHack link to United States Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset:
Where "-Longitude" is the degrees in decimal with the "W" suffix replaced by a "-" prefix
"Latitude" is the degrees in decimal without the "N" suffix.
^ B: "Nearby" means within a mile walk or so, one-way.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roster of Equipment". Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09.
  2. ^ "Steam Returns to the Cuyahoga Valley". Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14.
  3. ^ "CVSR". Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
  4. ^ "Recreation - CVSR". Cuyahoga Valley National Park, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 2008-06-21.
  5. ^ "Partnerships - CVSR". Cuyahoga Valley National Park, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior.
  6. ^ "Railroad Safety Statistics 2004 Annual Report" (PDF). Federal Railroad Administration, United States Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
  7. ^ "Railroad Safety Statistics 2005 Annual Report" (PDF). Federal Railroad Administration, United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-07-28.[dead link]
  8. ^ CR Rae (June 19, 2009). "Train accident in Springfield Township". The Suburbanite. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  9. ^ "Directions". Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
  10. ^ "Cuyahoga Valley National Park - map" (PDF). National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-25.
  11. ^ "Domestic Names - Search". United States Board on Geographic Names, United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  12. ^ "Directions". Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14.
  13. ^ "Cuyahoga Valley National Park - map". Summit County Engineer Viewer.
  14. ^ Hlavaty, Kaylyn (2018-09-13). "Historic railcars arrive from California as newest addition to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad". newsnet5. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  15. ^ "Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - Equipment Roster". Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-12-01.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]