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The Silver Bronco Vista Dome coach, shown here on the California Zephyr in 1967.

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CVSR logo
The Silver Bronco Vista Dome coach, shown here on the California Zephyr in 1967.
The Silver Lariat Dome Coach.
The Silver Solarium Dome Observation car.

The Silver Lariat Dome Coach.

By Jcesare at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11408469

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The Observation Lounge on the Silver Solarium.

​David Brossard [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad No. 6777.

By Cards84664 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74777406

The Silver Solarium Dome Observation car.

David Brossard [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Observation Lounge on the Silver Solarium.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad No. 6777.

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

History
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.

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.

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

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

The Polar Express
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
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
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
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 season.

Equipment Roster
Locomotive

Road number: 365

Manufacturer/Model: ALCO C420
Type: Road Switcher
Date built: June, 1965
Origin: SAL No. 124

Road number: 4241

Manufacturer/Model: MLW C-424
Type: Road Switcher
Date built: January, 1966
Origin: Canadian Pacific No. 4241

Road number: 6771

Manufacturer/Model: MLW FPA-4
Type: Dual purpose passenger-freight
Date built: February, 1959
Origin: Canadian National No. 6771

Road number: B&O 800  

Manufacturer/Model: MLW FPA-4
Date built: 1959
Origin: Canadian National No. 6780

Road number: 6777

Manufacturer/Model: MLW FPA-4
Date built: 1959
Origin: Canadian National No. 6767

Road number: 1822

Manufacturer/Model: MLW RS-18
Type: Road Switcher
Date built: 1958
Origin: Canadian Pacific No. 8779

Passenger Cars

Coach Cars

​​Road number: 6217

Year Built: 1947
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: ex-Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, originally Seaboard Air Line.

The following cars, Nos. 161-169, were all built for the Pennsylvania Railroad as part of a fleet of 21 roomette sleeping cars. They were rebuilt in 1963 as 76-seat coaches, and in 1991 they were rebuilt by MARC to their current 80-seat configuration. In 2000, these cars were all owned by Akron Metro and leased to the CVSR. Ownership of the cars were all transferred from Akron Metro to CVSR on October 29, 2013.

Road number: 161

Name: Steven W. Wait
Builder: Budd
Year Built: 1949

Road number: 162

​Name: Mary S. & David C. Corbin
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

Road number: 163

​Name: Siegfried F. Buerling
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

Road number: 164

Name: ​Jesse Angell Hall
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

Road number: 165

​Name: George Washington Cooper
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

Road number: 166

​Name: Renner Percy Family
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

Road number: 167

Name: Simon Perkins
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

​​Road number: 168

Name: Clarence Reinberger
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company

Road number: 169

​Name: Spirit of Summit
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company​

Baggage and Cafe Cars

Road Number: 1129

​Type: Baggage Car
Year Built: 1947
Builder: Pullman Company
Heritage: Originally built for the Northern Pacific Railway.

Road Number: 3450

Type: Baggage Car
Year Built: 1942
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: Built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Road Number: 8700

Type: Cafe Car
Year Built: 1950
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: Originally built for the Southern Pacific as a Bar-Lounge car on the Sunset Limited.

Road Number: 8704

Type: Cafe Car
Year Built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: Originally built for the CB&Q as a Parlor Car. It was rebuilt in 1968 as a 44-seat Snack Bar Coach. This car now has a generator.

Lounge and Dining Cars

Road Number: 1

Name: St. Lucie Sound
Type: Lounge/Observation Car
Year Built: 1946
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: Seaboard Air Line
Notes: Features preserved hand-etched glass dividers and display cases.

Road Number: 3125

Name: Paul Revere
Type:  Parlor Car
Year Built: 1951
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: PRR Senator and Congressional
Notes: Rebuilt to original cafe-lounge Pennsylvania motif.

Road Number: 3126

Cuyahoga Inn
Type: Lounge Car
Year built: 1949
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: PRR
Notes: Used for special events and excursions.

Zephyr Passenger Cars

Name: Silver Lariat

Type: Vista Dome Coach
Builder: Budd 
Year Built: 1948
Heritage: CB&Q California Zephyr
Notes: Features the restored original mural Pony Express by Mary Louise Lawser.

Name: Silver Solarium

Type: Dome/Sleeper/Observation car
Builder: Budd 
Year Built: 1948
Heritage: CB&Q No. 377, California Zephyr.
Notes: Observation lounge seats 11 in classic railroad lounge chairs, the Vista Dome seats 24 in booth seating at tables. 

Name: Silver Bronco

Type: Vista Dome Coach
Builder: Budd
Heritage: D&RGW No. 1105, California Zephyr, Rio Grande Zephyr.
Year Built: 1948
Notes: Features the painting Central City by Mary Louise Lawser.

Name: Silver Rapids

Type: Sleeping car
Builder: Budd 
Heritage: PRR transcontinental sleeper, California Zephyr.
Year Built: 1948
Notes: Features eight roomettes that seat two, and six double bedrooms that open up to form three suites that seat four. 

Name: Silver Peak

Type: Baggage car
Builder: Budd
Heritage: FW&D (CB&Q) Texas Zephyr
Year Built: 1940
Notes: Originally Jim Crow-era coach/dormitory/baggage car on the Texas Zephyr, converted to full baggage car.

ADA Cars

Road Number: 105
Year Built: 1952
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: Boston Maine Railroad RDC-3 with an RPO section, a baggage room, and a passenger seating area.
Notes: Prime mover removed and converted to regular coach in 1982. ADA standard doors added in 2009.

Road Number: 727

Name: Fort Mitchell
Year Built: 1947
Builder: Budd Company
Heritage: Central of Georgia Railway combine baggage/passenger car.
Notes: Converted by Northern Railcar Company to a 36-seat wheelchair accessible coach in 1998, converted to ADA standards in 2012.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Overview
Locale: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Independence and Valley View, Cuyahoga County; Akron and Peninsula, Summit County; Canton, Stark County, Ohio

Type: Scenic Passenger Railway
Termini; Rockside Station, Independence, Cuyahoga County and Canton Lincoln Highway Station, Canton, Stark County, Ohio, Akron Northside Station, Summit County, Ohio
Stations: 10
Services: 2
Operation
Opened: 1975
Owner: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Operator: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Character: Class III railroad
Technical
Line length: 51 miles (82 km) leased from National Park Service and via trackage rights over former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Track length: 51 miles (82 km)
Number of tracks: 1 to 3
Track gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Highest elevation: 571 feet (174 m)
Dates of operation: 1975–Present
Predecessor: Chessie System
Headquarters: 1664 Main Street/Route 303, Peninsula, Summit County, Ohio
Phone Toll Free: 1-800-468-4070
Phone Local: 330-439-5708
Official Website:
http://www.cvsr.com/

See also:

Heritage Railways

Railroads of the U.S.A.