Release Date: August 21,2018

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad powers ahead with campaign

Nation’s only nonprofit railroad operating in a national park becomes rare steward of original Zephyr railcars;
Funds raised will help
supportacquisition of four historic Zephyr railcars;
Fundraising campaign continues to enhance and preserve the fleet

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) marked a major accomplishment in its first-ever capital campaign with the acquisition of four historic Zephyr railcars. This addition to the fleet enables CVSR to provide new programming and experiences within Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including 360-degree views in two of the Vista Dome cars, and offer a new heritage rail experience that exemplifies cross-country travel during the 1940s-1960s.

CVSR’s ongoing capital campaign began in late 2016. Through the generous support of individuals, corporations and foundations CVSR’s vision to expand, enhance, and preserve its fleet will create new programs for visitors of all ages and backgrounds as they experience the beauty and wonder of Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s river valley, canal, and historic villages.

“The acquisition of the Zephyr railcars was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said President and CEO Joe Mazur. “We not only are preserving history, but giving hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to have one more way to travel through and experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

The four-car Zephyr trainset consists of two Vista Dome cars, a sleeper car and a baggage car. CVSR already owns the Silver Bronco, another Vista Dome observation car that was part of the original California Zephyr trainset. With this acquisition, CVSR becomes one of the nation’s few railroads in possession of four cars from the original California Zephyr fleet.

The Zephyr railcars, which currently are located in Los Angeles, will be transported via Amtrak and arrive in Cuyahoga Valley in mid-September. The public’s first opportunity to ride these historic railcars will be at Steam in the Valley, where they will be pulled by the Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765. The Zephyr cars will remain on the train being pulled by the 765 for the duration of the Steam in the Valley event (September 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 & 30). They will then be used for CVSR’s excursions and special events.

In addition to the acquired Zephyr cars, this first-ever campaign includes:
•    The addition of an Edu-trainment Car that will provide interactive exhibits, programming, and activities for children ages birth to 12 years of age
•    An upgrade to an existing dining car to ensure ADA accessibility
•    The preservation of CVSR’s fleet of vintage railroad equipment representing the post-war streamlined railroad era

“We are committed to preserving and improving our fleet so that visitors from Northeast Ohio and around the world continue to have the opportunity to create shared family memories while experiencing history aboard vintage train cars as they travel through Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” continued Mazur.