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Photo by Shane Wynn
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Photo by Shane Wynn
Railroads seem to be a long forgotten source of transportation in this area. However, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) is keeping the tradition alive. If you’re in the Downtown Akron Area and are up for a little adventure and beautiful scenery, the CVSR is just what you’ve been waiting for.
After much success with the railroad in the Cleveland area, CVSR has teamed up with Downtown Akron Partnership to continue making Akron bike-friendly.
Bike Aboard! is one of the most popular programs. People can ride their bikes along the Towpath Trail, and stop at one of the stations to flag down a train. For $3 they can put their bike aboard the train and ride back to their starting point.
Kim Shafron, the director of customer experiences, says to catch a ride, all you have to do is wave your hands in the air.
“All you have to do is flag down the train with both hands and one of our staff members will put the bike on and off and you hop in,” she says.
She is excited for Bike Aboard! because so much is going on in downtown Akron and people are starting to see the need to have more transportation without cars.
“There’s [so much] worry about where to park and how to get out and it’s so easy because the station takes care of everything,” she says. “You can get on the train with your children and their strollers — it’s easy transportation.”
This summer, visitors won’t even need to worry about bringing their bikes with them when heading downtown. Bike rentals are a new addition.
Christine Vadala, the business development manager for CVSR, says that they are still working on the location of the rental bikes.
“We’re working with the city right now to plan the actual locations of the bikes. They’ll probably be located right outside the station to the left of our depot [in Northside],” she says. “You’ll walk up to the station and you can ask for a bike rental, which you can use with Bike Aboard! Once onboard, someone would ask how long they expect to have the bike and it would be priced accordingly.”
Riders also have the option of getting an all-day pass to hop on and off the train at various stations with the purchase of the National Park Scenic Coach Ticket.
Nature lovers can enjoy a three-hour birds-eye-view of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with the purchase of the Premium First Class or Premium Upper Dome ticket, while enjoying complimentary coffee, tea, water and a snack.
“It’s something about a train that is very nostalgic, romantic and hopeful,” Vadala says. “And I think it’s our responsibility to bring that to this generation. Everyone will have a different experience.”
For more information on ticket prices and train schedules visit, www.cvsr.com.