Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Acquires a bit of history with four Zephy cars

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Acquires a bit of history with four Zephy cars

Beacon Journal/ | By Craig Webb, August 15, 2018

Four iconic rolling pieces of railroad history will soon call the Cuyahoga Valley National Park home.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad announced Wednesday that it has acquired four Zephyr railcars for $1.5 million.

The purchase includes two sleek stainless steel passenger railcars that offer scenic 360-degree views from a dome.

Railroad officials say the California Zephyr cars are iconic and exemplify the glamor of cross-country travel from the 1940s to the 1960s as the train made the run between San Francisco and Chicago.

The 2,525-mile trek would take some 2½ days while passengers enjoyed the views from the observation domes and ate in dining cars equipped with full kitchens and tables with linens and china.

Its fleet of 77 cars were sold to various companies, private owners or scrapped when the Zephry ended its run.

The four cars were purchased with money raised by a capital campaign started in 2016 that leveraged individual, corporate and foundation money.

They were part of a private collection and used for excursions across the country.

“The acquisition of the Zephyr railcars was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” The scenic railroad’s President and CEO Joe Mazur said in a statement. “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.”

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Lynee Bixler