Saturday, September 01, 2007
Today we re-visited a train museum and took a short ride on vintage coaches pulled by a big black diesel engine. We last visited 2 years ago, when A was close to the age G is today. A was VERY excited to return.
The Mid Continent Railway Museum is located in the town of North Freedom, WI (pop. 649). It is a great place to visit - manned and maintained by an all volunteer crew - full of engines, coaches, freight cars, many renovated, many currently being refurbished, and many interesting remnants.
"The museum has 14 steam and 6 diesel locomotives, and over 100 other pieces of rolling stock. The Museum has the largest collection of wooden passenger cars in the US as well as six of only seven surviving wooden boxcars built by Mather Stock Car Company."
We went into the station to buy our tickets, about 30 minutes before our train headed out. That gave us time to explore the grounds right around the depot. As we walked to see many massive trains in the yard, the engine that was to take us was pulling in to couple up with the coaches. The volunteer on the ground waved his hand signals to the engineer and we stood yards away as they locked and connected the brakes. We wandered a bit to view a bit of railway history until it was time to board.
The coaches are in nice shape, and each ride is accompanied by a volunteer conductor who shares his breadth of knowledge about the history of not only the museum and the trains & train cars themselves, but also the line. It existed originally as a spur which was used for shipments from the mines at LaRue.
At the end of the line we exited to chat with the engineer and watch as they took the engine around to the other side for the return.
After returning from our ride, we walked through the shed that displays many beautifully refurbished and furnished vintage train cars.
A has always loved trains and absorbs facts like a sponge. G mainly wanted to follow his big brother around. He did enjoy going up and down and up and down the stairs in the shed to see into the cars, and both boys LOVED futilely attempting to operate a hand car (check out G's facial expression below!).
What a fun day!
Posted by denise at 10:46 PM