My brother and I went on the CVSR this past weekend. Most of the people working it are volunteers. This is great, except we kept running into ones that lead us in the wrong directions or just weren't very helpful. We asked which car to enter on and was given a vague way in the general direction to our right and told "that one." We were lead in the opposite direction to the food car and ended up finding it on our own. One conductor was very helpful and sat near us and pointed things out to us and explained about the areas we were going through. There isn't a lot of great scenery, but everything is very lush and green. We saw two eaglets and their nest which was a highlight. You have the option of getting off and shopping in one area and then re-boarding later.
If I were to do this trip again, I'd probably pay the few extra bucks for first class and go in the fall when all of the colors are in full bloom. Decent ride for the price though.