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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad back on track for 2021 season

Posted at 7:46 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 19:46:08-04

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is back on track for the 2021 season.

The scenic rides began operating three days a week on May 1, Friday through Sunday, and five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, beginning in June.

“We’re excited to back on the rails,” said Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Marketing Manager Katelyn Gainer. “We run several rides throughout the year, so being shut down was hard from a business perspective.”

Trains will depart from Akron Northside Depot, Rockside Depot in Independence and Peninsula Depot in Peninsula.

The explorer program, which also resumes on May 1, is the bike aboard program that encourages visitors to get off the train and explore their park. Visitors can purchase a season-long pass or one-time pass to ride the train then bike, kayak, hike or run the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

“If you have a kayak or bike, we load that for you. You don’t have to worry about it. We’ll drop it off for you,” Gainer said. “A lot of people from Cleveland like to ride the train down to Akron and then bike or hike their way back.”

The railroad has locomotives as old as 50-years old, rail cars pushing 70-years-old and CVSR’s California Zephyr domed-dining car was once dubbed the “most talked about train in America.”

“I think one of the things people don’t realize when they’re riding with us is how old our rail cars and locomotives are,” Gainers said. “Our California Zephyr, we have four of the original 77. It was built in 1948. It was the way to travel back in the day.”

More than 1,200 volunteers help greet guests and assist passengers with questions on the rail journeys.

Due to COVID-19, seating capacity will be capped at 50%.

Staggered seating arrangements have been made to ensure groups are 6 feet apart. Masks that cover the nose and mouth are required while boarding and during the ride unless a guest is eating or drinking.

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