Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad – Peninsula, Ohio - Atlas Obscura

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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

A throwback train ride transports passengers through one of the lesser-known national parks in the country.  


Trundling along tracks originally laid in 1880 to transport coal up and down northeast Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley, these diesel-electric and steam-powered locomotives no longer transport coal, but rather, passengers looking to experience the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by rail.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has been operating since 1975, offering visitors a unique chance to step back in time to the glory days of train travel. The standard ride aboard the train is a 3.5-hour trip through the entire park, running between the town of Independence and the city of Akron. You can choose from a variety of classes, but Executive Class and Upper Dome Class are most enticing.

The former offers seating in the newly restored Saint Lucie Sound car, a luxury lounge car from the days when streamlining was all the rage. The Upper Dome cars offer panoramic views under a glass dome, so passengers can take in the rivers, trees, and wildlife of the area. The route operates year round, but the railroad also hosts an abundance of unique experiences outside of the normal schedule, such as murder mystery solving, mixology classes, and wine tasting while painting. If you want to see the park up-close; not from a train window, bring your bike aboard, hop off the train when you want to explore, and hop back on when you’re ready to go home. 

Know Before You Go

You can buy tickets at the ticket booth in the Peninsula Station, or book them on the website, where you'll also find descriptions of the different rides and special events. 

It is best to book tickets online despite the $4 fee. The dome car and other desirable seating sell out weeks in advance during the Summer.

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July 3, 2019

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