Saturday, February 21, 2009

Florida Railroad Museum

Tonight while we ladies did some digital scrapbooking, the guys took the kids on a hobo train ride in Parrish, Florida. It was on a really neat historic living museum.

Nathan's account: This was a really cool experience, we took the 13 mile round trip ride from Parrish to the next station west on the hobo train weekend. The train was powered by a
diesel electric engine and pulled 3 enclosed and one open air passenger car, and a caboose. We asked the conductor how much diesel the trip would take and were surprised to learn the whole night would only take about 25 gallons. The trains are actually very efficient for moving large numbers of people. There were about 250 passengers on our trip. The entire crew from the engineer to the ticket takers and complementary hobos were volunteers. We rode in the open passenger train on the way out, and an enclosed car for the return trip. It was dark and getting colder on the way back. It was interesting to see some of the Florida scenery from a back-of-the-property perspective. The tracks pass through farmland, orchards and swamps. The 6.5 mile stretch we traveled is leased from FPL who purchased the unused line from the rail company that was no longer using it.

The hobo camp is setup in a small "train yard" with about 30 campfires waiting when you arrive. Everyone is issued a hobo kit which contains everything you need to get started wrapped in a bandanna on a stick. We picked out our campfire, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. They had extra hot dogs available, so there was plenty of food for all.
I think we all enjoyed the trip, perhaps Josh and I more than others, but it made for an excellent evening.


unschoolermom said...

This looks like lots of fun! Taliesin and Nathanael are big train enthusiasts. I will definitely have to show them these pictures in the morning!


jaci said...

How fun! Don & I love steam engines. Unfortunately, the trip we took on the Sumpter Valley RR was lost (the film loaded improperly into my camera) and I don't have many photos of the trip we took on the Ghost Train of Old Ely. Diesel trains are OK, but you *really* should go for a steam engine ride. :)

Come out west and we'll find a narrow-gauge steam engine ride to take!

little castle said...

We would definitely love to do a steam engine ride also. Heading out west this week, so send recommendations my way!