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Edition #94, January 15, 2009

Dome Portrait

Photographer: Dave Hyman

                                                                            Photo by Dave Hyman

Dome Portrait

The day started innocently enough with a planned trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from Canton to Cleveland and back, a 9-hour, 105 mile, leisurely ride behind 4 vintage Alco locomotives. I arrived at the Canton Lincoln Way station at 8:00 am for the 9:00 am departure, plenty of time to soak up the sun and make a few shots of the train. Shortly after I got there the staff showed up and began making the train ready. The engineer fired up the two Alco locomotives and pulled one of them to the rear of the train for a “push - pull” operation.

At 8:30 am it was time to open the ticket office and Nancy greeted the passengers who were showing up. By this time there were plenty of passengers waiting to board the train. I waited until Nancy got them through and then bought my ticket to Cleveland. There was no rush for me to get in line as I am practically a member of the staff, and as Nancy would say “He’s everywhere!” The passengers were all finding their seats and I decided to ride in the crew car compartment. It makes no difference to me; I’ve made this trip before. At 9:00 am the train pulled out and we made our way out onto the mainline.

As we made our way through the Canton Parks Nancy made the concession car ready, checking the drinks, turning the coffee machine on and making the sandwich display, while the conductors and trainmen came back to the crew car and started doing the paperwork.

The trip went smooth and uneventful as we laughed and joked our way up to Akron. We made good time and pulled into the Akron Northside station a little early. The interchange at Akron is a little messy as it is a single line from Canton to Cleveland and the trains have to do forwards and backwards dance to pick up and drop off passengers and pick up supplies.

Some 20 minutes later the train from Cleveland arrived and to my great joy the B&O FPA-4 unit was leading it in. I don’t know why, but this unit seems to get my attention as it is still proudly wearing B&O colors. As if that was not enough, right behind it was the CVSR’s newly acquired Dome Car. It’s now time for me to “pull rank” and secure a seat in the dome. After a couple minutes and some well-placed words in the right ears, it was arranged. With 10 cars in today’s train, each being 80 feet long, the walk back to the dome car through the train seemed to take forever. Soon after, the passengers came in and the dome seats filled quickly. Strangely enough, the lower deck seats were all empty.

After a few minutes we pulled out of Akron Northside station and headed onwards towards Cleveland. A couple miles down the track and enjoying the first ride in a dome car it was time for me to go to “work”. There was only one choice of lenses for this situation, an 18-35 mm. Everyone was enjoying the ride so I took advantage of that and shot some photographs of the people. I turned my attention to the lower level and went down to take some interior shots for the CVSR’s archives. By this time we were half way to Cleveland and I was done with the interior shots so I just went back up to the dome and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

At Cleveland I had a choice to make, get off the train and spend 3 hours doing nothing or, just make the trip back. I opted to make the trip back without getting off. As I had already made enough shots of the interior of the dome car I just sat in my seat and concentrated on getting more people shots. That’s when this shot presented itself to me and I quietly fired one off ………

Dave Hyman

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