Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Steam in the Valley and Much More
By Giles Kennedy
Family and Travel Columnist, Columbus Wired
(Originally posted on the Ohio Railroader; partner website for rail travel, history, and hobby)
My family had visited the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad many times since my daughter Hannah was born.
This particular trip on September 17th; with the visiting Nickel Plate Berkshire Steam Locomotive #765, was very special.
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (owner of NKP 765) and CVSR have had a great relationship the past several years.
CVSR and NKP 765 fans alike came out in droves for the recently renumbered engine; its original number 767.
On top of the budding fall scenery and seeing a live steam locomotive; it was a magical event for all to see.
Our trip started at Independence Rockside Station. This is one of the many boarding stations along the Cuyahoga Valley.
These rides have a tendency to sell out. In fact, the 3:00 train was late due to the previous trip finishing its run. It featured as on our trip a “photo run by” at Boston Mills. It is north of Peninsula in Boston Township; right next to the regional ski resort/sports center.
Upon boarding both the National Park Towpath Trail and CVSR parking lots were packed. They were full of railfans from around the country; as well as Cuyahoga Valley faithful who knew of the steam train.
We purchase tickets on the “Lone Star”; one of many restored deluxe streamline coaches. It was once a circus train coach. It has ties to the CVSR, a former Baltimore and Ohio railroad; as this car was a B&O original.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers many levels of coaches and prices on “Steam in the Valley” as well as their regular service.
Please visit their website for more details.
Once we boarded our seats, my family ran into many families and railfans who loved trains.
The service by the CVSR train crew was amazing. Once we got to Boston Mills; the railfans who wish to take pictures disembarked. Those who wish to remain on the train, stay on the cars. Both had a great experience.
The weather this day was overcast. This allowed the plumes of steam and exhaust from the side bars and pistons to create a great effect. NKP 765(767) roared by Boston Mills like a magical steam dragon, looming through the valley.
If you get a chance this year or next; board the “Steam in the Valley” rides.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers many other special trains for kids and adults alike.
“Ales and Trails”, “Wine Trains”, “Fall Harvest Trains”, “Polar Express” rides are available. Please, again; refer to their website for information, fares and availability.
Any trip to the Cuyahoga Valley is worth a family adventure. Please see my article from 2015 for local attractions. It has a great overview of a great family trip all year around.