Fifty-one years old and I've never been on a train! That changed last weekend with, of all things, a request from our daughter to have her "little" (6'1" tall) brother come spend the weekend with her at Texas A&M University. Now, my wife and I love our children, but when they are willing to give us a weekend by ourselves--well, that's a no-brainer! The next dilemma was what to do? After a little thought, Donna came up with the idea of riding the Texas State Railroad. It turned out to be a great day! If you want to see all the photos I've uploaded, click this link. Otherwise, I'll put a few of my favorites up in here.
I like this photo of the engineer waving before the trip.
The woods of Northeast Texas reflected in the window of the car we rode in for the first part of the trip.
After awhile we went to the open car that had no windows. Here's Donna with her head out the window.
And here I am. In the wind. After I spent so much time that morning trying to get my hair fixed just right!
When we got to Rusk the passengers had lunch while the train crew got things "turned around." Through a "wye" and a series of switches, they turned the engine around and coupled it to the opposite end of the cars. So those of us who were in the front on the way from Palestine to Rusk were in the back on the return.
The TSRR has a train at each station, which are about 30 miles apart. About halfway between the stations, the westbound train pulls onto a siding while the eastbound train passes. Donna got this photo of a young lady who has obviously done this ride before!
I like this shot of the engineer climbing up on the train after the ride. They definitely baby these locomotives, as can be seen by the rag in his right hand. He's climbing into the cab, about to take the locomotive to it's storage facility. Time was of the essence since there was a heavy rainstorm bearing down on us. Soon after this photo was taken, the heavens opened up and it started dumping. I don't how much rain we got, or what the rainfall rate was, but I checked the radar summary chart and the tops of the storm over us were in excess of 50,000 feet. Hey...you can take the pilot away from the radar...but (with the magic of technology) you can't keep the radar away from the pilot!