Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nelsonville, OH: Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad Depot and Cabooses

(Satellite)  (Updates: photos of the service area,      Hocking Valley Railroad)

I wondered when I took this picture if my viewfinder was accurate. This picture teaches me that it skews to the left. I had very carefully framed it from just beyond the coupler on the right to just beyond the gift shop on the left. Now I need to frame a little bit to the right of the scene I want. (Why did I cut it so close you ask? I was running out of parking lot and the ends of this scene aren't exactly critical so it made a good test subject.) The snow plow has its own MoW posting.
20170416 8470, cropped
As I crossed their tracks on Hocking Parkway, I took a picture away from their depot to catch the seven passenger cars they used for the two Easter Bunny Train & Egg Hunt runs the day before. Fortunately it was closed on Easter so that I could get photos without worrying about people or cars being in the shot.
This is an overall view of the public area taken in the other direction. On the right is the depot. The building we see from the parking lot is a gift shop.

A street view indicates that they vary the cars featured by the parking lot except that it probably always includes the "billboard caboose."
The other side of that caboose still has a B&O paint scheme. HVSR uses a remnant of the Hockey Valley Railroad between Logan and Nellsonville, OH.

I deliberately included the water spout in the photo below because it is the first time I have seen one preserved. I have seen preserved wooden water tanks and pictures of standpipes, but this is the only one I currently know of that still exists. I carefully positioned the pipe between the cabooses to obstruct the couplers rather than the paint schemes.

As if my research "todo" list was not already too long, there used to be a Hocking Canal. I'll bet it went from Athens to the Ohio River instead of Columbus. Railroads not only made canals obsolete, in Ohio they changed they transportation arteries from north/south between Lake Erie and the Ohio River to east/west between the farms of the west and the urban markets of the east.
The depot still sells tickets, but now for the scenic railroad.
One of the trains they run is an All Caboose Train. So they have some more preserved cabooses.

Some of the cabooses have an "owned by" indication on them. So evidently they will store, maybe even maintain, your caboose for you if you let them use it in their train.

These are the details concerning the Family Lines System caboose that was painted on in the lower-right corner.

You can even have your own caboose (friction bearings).
When I took a shot  of the depot from the other side, I included the static display by the parking lot so that you can see how it ties together. Note the passenger cars pictured above are in the background.
This is the backside of the depot. You can see the asymmetric design of one side being the passenger waiting room and the other being for baggage/mail/package express handling. But it has been extensively remodeled because all of the freight doors have been removed. I assume the smaller side was the waiting room and it is now office space while the freight side is now a waiting room. (It was closed when I visited so I could not confirm the interior layout.)

The is a close up of the caboose cut. It also includes part of the two galley commuter cars that they have in storage. But it appears the galley cars need some TLC (tender loving care) before they can be put into service.

One side of the boxcar promotes a music festival, and...
...the other side promotes the town.
A street view I captured below shows that they also vary the caboose lineup. Notice the BN caboose. And they did not have this boxcar on display in 2011.

Street View

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