Stories from our Rocky River and Cleveland area trips and our positioning move to Altoona, Pennsylvania.
If not for the cellphones and digital cameras, the scene at the old Rocky River railroad station on Motherâ€™s Day might have been reminiscent of another time.
As during the heyday of the Nickel Plate Railroad, in the 1930s and 1940s passengers mingled with onlookers as they awaited steam locomotive No. 765, pulling the â€œNickel Plate Limitedâ€ on a 110-mile round trip to Bellevue, Ohio, and back.
According to Beachcliff Market Square marketing manager Bill Brink, one of the passengers, tickets for the excursion, which ran from $99 to $249, sold out within three days. â€œThey started with over 300 and soon had that many on the wait list,â€ Brink said. More restored cars were added, and the final passenger roster topped 650.
For Bellevue residents Dennis and Angie Ruck, it was a back-and-forth kind of day, as they got up at 5:30 a.m., made the hour-and-a-half trip to Rocky River to ride the train home, then back to Rocky River, where another drive to Bellevue awaited. â€œWeâ€™ve always wanted to take the train,â€ said Dennis Ruck, adding that this was to be their first trip on a steam engine. He added that he has lived in Bellevue for 18 years and has never visited the Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum â€“ the destination for the day, where a box lunch would be served.
â€œThat puff of steam is so awe-inspiring,â€ commented Perrin Vezi, who along with her husband Dave is a veteran train traveler. â€œThe steam engine is so animated,â€ Dave Vezi commented.