For a limited time, a piece of history has found it’s way to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and you are going to want to take a ride.
Both celebrating 50th anniversaries in 2022, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society have once again teamed-up to bring the historic Nickel Plate Road Steam Locomotive No. 765 to the Valley.
Built in 1944 and standing 15 feet tall, weighing 404 tons, this 14-wheeled locomotive can go over 70 miles per hour according to Chuck Young, the locomotive fireman. The day of my tour, Mr. Young was helping maintain the delicate balance between heat and water, the two vital components that create the steam and the necessary pressure, which in turn moves the train. Why does a locomotive need a fireman you ask? The coal is shoveled into a fire box the size of a 10×10 foot room. 93 sq. feet. It’s basically a fire breathing dragon.
Over 1000 gallons of water and a ton of coal is needed every 10 miles. The locomotive can hold 22 tons of coal and 48,000 gallons of water, allowing for 253 miles between fueling. No. 765 is quite a marvelous machine.
Chuck also shared that 80 locomotives were originally built for the Nickel Plate Railroad. Out of those 80 only six are still in existence, and No. 765 is the only one that is was still in operation today. Making the journey from Fort Wayne to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that much more special.
Like so many other Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society volunteers, No. 765 lured Mark Tobin to become a train engineer after having been a commercial pilot. Mark shared his knowledge of the cab and we talked about the sightline an engineer has in front of the train. Mark then invited me to sit in the engineer’s seat, blow the whistle and experience an engineer’s view of the track, which is basically zero. A very good reason why you should never get close to a moving train or the tracks.
To learn more about the history and restoration of the Nickel Plate Road Steam Locomotive No. 765, visit fortwaynerailroad.org/nickel-plate-road-no-765/. It is quite an interesting article.
In 1972, Siegfried Buerling, founded the rail road as a way to transport visitors between the Cleveland Zoo and Hale Farm & Village. Learn more here.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) transports 200,000 visitors a year through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The CVSR currently maintains 29 passenger cars and 6 locomotives.
The CVSR uses 26 miles of the original 70 miles of track than ran from Cleveland to Zoar.
The CVSR is ranked one of the top train excursions in the country.
1500 volunteers help keep the train running.
Steam in the Valley tickets and events.
Steam in the Valley 2022 runs May 13-5 & 20-22. Tickets range from $25-$70 depending on the seating class. Tickets for special events range from $75-$135 depending on the seating class. The train departs from the Rockside Station in Independence, Ohio.
This year’s events include a Family Friendly Train Car, Night Photoshoots, Steam in the Valley Excursions, Dinner on the Train, Murder Mystery, Canvas and Wine on the Rails, and Cocktails on the Rails. As of May 13th, many of the special events had limited tickets.
To purchase tickets or for more information, visit cvsr.org/steam/. For additional questions, customer service can be reached at 330.439.5708, Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.
Article and photos, unless noted by: D. Rock, MyOhioFun.com
Diane Rock is the owner and editor of MyOhioFun.com, NorthernOhioTourism.com and the Tea Cup Rescue Society. She is an avid baker, gardener, Little Free Library owner, who loves to read and travel. She spends most of her days sharing her love of things to do in Ohio, as well as creating destinations and itineraries for group tours and individual travelers.
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Editor’s note: Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws.
Disclosure: I was invited to media day by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. All opinions are my own.
***Disclosure: My Ohio Fun receives compensation from advertising banners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***