Saturday, August 15, 2009

I thought this was supposed to be a SCENIC railroad?

My husband and I went for a ride on a local “scenic railroad”, accompanied by my new coworker Debbie and her husband Kevin.  We started with lunch at Ralph’s Cafe right around the corner... yummy! Excellent food, excellent atmosphere, and good prices.  That was honestly the best part of the day!

When we arrived at the historic railroad station, this is what we saw.  The engine looked nice but the converted boxcar and the exterior of the coach were in sad, sad shape!  The front of the building was ok but the back was in need of some help.   Hopefully this is a good year for donations...

















We sat around in the back yard for a bit, on the only available seating... some “rail bikes” that they use for 4 mile (round trip) excursions on a set of closed tracks.  It was in the 90s and sunny, with high humidity, so after a few minutes I started to feel a little sick and had to move to the shade.  That meant sitting on the platform and leaning back against the building, because there were no benches.

When the conductor called All Aboard, which we were actually a bit surprised he bothered with given that there were only 10 passengers, we optimistically opted for seats in the boxcar so that we could have a good view of the scenery.  Here’s Deb and Kevin, aren’t they cute in their matching shirts?








At every road crossing, this guy had to drive ahead in his little red pick-up truck to stop traffic for us.  Not much traffic in this part of Maine, but it’s the law.  It was fun to watch him run to his truck and speed off, trying hard to make it to the next crossing before us!









Since the engine was right next to us, each road crossing was LOUD.

Remember I mentioned this was a “scenic” railroad?  Well, mostly the scenery was just trees.  Since I was feeling a little sick from the heat, and a little more sick from the motion of the train, watching the trees go by wasn’t a high point of my day.  It seems to make motion sickness worse.  This was actually the only pretty scenery on the whole trip, which lasted somewhere around 1.5 hours.








When we got to the turn around point, we saw that it wasn’t another station (as we’d thought), it was just a short section of siding track where the engine could disconnect and go around next to us to get to the other end of the train.  Not sure why they didn’t just drive back by pushing the train instead of pulling it, especially since the engine had driven in reverse the whole way.

On the way back, I walked up to the coach to see what that was like.  I wish I’d ridden there the whole way; it was a much smoother ride and with all the windows open it was surprisingly cool.  Still no scenery though!

Anyway... that was our day.  Pretty sure we won’t bother going back!

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