Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Today we took the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic railroad. 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. However, interest in the line was renewed in 1972 as a scenic excursion route. The train shares the valley with the river and the former canal bed (see yesterday's entry). We took the train from Akron Northside station up to the Canal Visitor Center, where we got off, and had about 50 minutes to look around, then rejoined the train heading south and stopped at the village of Peninsula, where we had about 3 hours to have lunch in one of the restaurants, look around the town and go for a walk on the towpath trail. Whilst on the train there is an audio tour to listen to, Voices of the Valley, with stories about different aspects of life in the Valley - for example the challenges of living on the Western Reserve frontier, the experiences of African American canal boat captain John Malvin, and how people have transformed the Cuyahoga River and its surrounding valley from an environment suffering from generations of neglect to the beautiful valley it is today. On June 22, 1969, an oil slick and debris in the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to environmental problems in Ohio and elsewhere in the United States. The valley has come a long way in 40 years.
One year ago: "There was a crooked man...."