PENINSULA --- The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad recorded the highest annual ridership in the history of the organization with 214,063 passengers in 2016.
CVSR recorded the highest passenger counts for both its scenic excursions and special event trains in its 44-year history. Ridership of the National Park Scenic excursions reached an all-time high at 117,478.
CVSR's popular Bike Aboard! program attracted 23,911 participants -- another record for the railroad.
The Polar Express, a holiday tradition that has continued in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for 23 years, remains one of the most highly-demanded programs in the greater Cleveland area. This past year, more than 42,000 passengers climbed aboard the CVSR to experience the magic of the Polar Express.
"The staff and volunteers of CVSR are pleased that so many people chose our trains as a way to experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park," said Kim Gillan-Shafron, vice president of marketing and community alliances.
CVSR introduced a variety of special events, which have attracted visitors both locally and nationally. In 2016, CVSR offered several new programs for families, including Read Aboard, the first summer reading program aboard the train; and Royalty on the Rails and the Superhero train, excursions for children to meet and greet with their favorite characters on the train.
CVSR continues to offer popular beer and wine tastings each month, regular dining excursions, murder mystery trains and special four-course dinners featuring renowned chefs and restaurants in Cleveland.
"Our diverse program offerings for all age groups and our dedicated volunteers were key drivers enabling our record year," said Craig Tallman, president and CEO.
Train rides resume Jan. 21. The coach ticket, an all-day pass, is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Visit www.cvsr.com for the train schedule and upcoming special events.