Travel From AAPRCO
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Today, we left the B&O Railroad Museum railyard around 4:30 AM. Make sure that you go to www.BOrail.org to check them out. A fun place for the whole family for good clean entertainment. I got up a few hours later as last nights party really put a crimp in this old body of mine. What a fun time, though. Parties like that you don't soon forget!
It did not rain that much this year in this part of the country like it usually does, so the leaves were still pretty well on the trees. That means that the countryside was filled with a rainbow of colors throughout the area. Many of us on the train are from California so we appreciated the majestic beauty that these rolling mountains showered on our senses. Very few passenger cars are ever on these tracks, so it was a grand treat!
It was so difficult not to take pictures of everything that I saw because the view was so spectacular. We were all awe struck with the beauty of the area and the locals were proud of their surroundings. Rightly so! The more that I travel around the country, the more impressed I am with "what's greener on the other side of the fence."
Because of circumstances (common in the rail industry), we were a few hours late coming into Clearfield, PA, a small city that we had an appointment with. The sad thing about that was that many people in Clearfield were waiting for our train so they could show their crafts to the passengers. Surely, we would have been interested in them if we had been able to see them. But, it was late when we arrived into town around 8:00 PM. There is also an Automobile Museum here and a number of us would have enjoyed that as well. I saw a very old truck for sale that was fully restored and displayed all lit up in a show window. It had me panting!
A luxury bus along with many pristine restored antique automobiles picked us up when we stopped. The bus took everyone on the train to the St. Charles Cafe for a wonderful buffet that was funded by this lovely city of Clearfield of 5,000 or so souls. Not only was there a lot of great food and friendly hospitality, but there was also a dance floor with a good band to keep us entertained while we ate to our hearts content from the buffet. Shelley Marshall, Director of the Clearfield, PA, Chamber of Commerce (814-765-75670, and Mary Lou Elwood, volunteer, were instrumental in arranging everything for this occasion. Thank you, dear ladies, for the generous hospitality that your kind city showered to us. Everyone onboard appreciated and enjoyed themselves when we were so graciously welcomed to your city.
Although the Clearfield area has rail freight service, passenger train service has not been offered since the mid 20th century. However, between October 19-28, 2002, The Clearfield Community Charities offered their Autumn Foliage Train Excursion with scheduled trips to Karthaus, Bigler, Cherry Tree, Pittsburgh and Cresson. Proceeds went to very worthwhile community projects. Although it is too late to take the trip at this reading, it might be possible to reserve a seat (814-765-7567) for another time. I'm sure that if enough people called in for this thoroughly fun trip, it could be worked out. A new book "Clearfield Today and Tomorrow - Railroads of the Area" is also available at (814-775-6125 - the Clearfield County Historical Society). Harmony Multi-Media of Clearfield (866-470-0740) is producing a full-length documentary of this (The Central Pennsylvania Fall Train Excursion 2002) historic event, and production is due by early 2003.
When we were finished at the St. Charles Café, the luxury bus and other vehicles picked us up and brought us back to our private rail cars. Some people went to a few different places around town such as to Diggers Sports Bar to watch the Giants compete with the Angels for the baseball championship. They saw the Angels trounce the Giants in the final playoff.
There were some pretty upset Giants fans, such as Bob Klein, who had a few undisciplined words to say about the "North" losing the game. Being from Southern California, Saylor and I got a good chuckle listening to some of the whinning going on. However, everyone agreed that because of the skill of both teams, in reality, they were both evenly matched and both of them were champions. Pretty unique to see two teams from the same state battle it out and a team like the Angels who have never been at the top achieve the crowning victory.
While we were enjoying the hospitality of the town, the train was moved to another location right inside the city proper, directly in front of a suburban residence. An outstanding place for the train and its' passengers. The maple leafs were falling all over the place and the location was surreal. Absolutely gorgeous!! I then walked to the front of the trainset and picked up more information. Two Genesis engines, #25 and #137 were pulling this trainset and behind them were the private railcars Mohave and Southern Pacific.
I talked to one of the local residents in the area who lived eight blocks from this spot and was told that the housing costs are very good here. It is also one of the worst spots in the state for employment, but that makes it a great place for tourists. Surely, you'll get more for your dollar and the locals would certainly appreciate your patronage. Beautiful scenery, extremely friendly people who aim to please, many arts & crafts to choose from make this a good wholesome place to just relax and enjoy yourself. I would have loved to have stayed here for a few days and see more of the town.
This trip has been most enjoyable up to this point, so I doubt that nothing less is going to be experienced during the rest of this trip back to California. No wonder these private car owners have their annual meeting every year in different locations of the United States and Canada. Obviously all of the private rail trips are fun and enjoyable. I can certainly vouch for this one! Everyone should take advantage of RAILcharter.com and "head out!"
Monday, October 28, 2002
I woke up early this morning but stayed in bed until 7:00 AM before rising. That's the nice thing about train travel. If it's not your stop coming up, you can stay in bed as long as you like. I went into the living room of the Virginia City and sat at the desk in the rear corner of the car so I could catch up on my travelogue. Always trying to catch up! Again, the excellent colors and scenery of the local vistas had me hopping off of my chair and taking pictures and then back again to continue typing. There is absolutely no way the pictures are going to show you what my eyes indulged in. For you people in other parts of the country, you should seriously consider visiting other parts of your nation and seeing the interior, the little towns that are so wonderful to experience, and do it by train, if you can.
Our main course was quail, today. The chef never ceases to amaze us. She has been cooking for many places for many years and enjoys cooking. We enjoy her!
Saylor and I were so busy running back and forth taking pictures of the different railcars that time flew by and we were soon in Chicago. It is pretty late now. Seeing that we will be two and ˝ days in this beautiful city, I might as well get rested up in preparation for tomorrow.
Note: Photos of many individual railcars as well as virtual tours of some of them will be posted along with Part 5 of this travelogue. We will be posting one part of the travelogue each week and featuring it on the main page of TrainWeb.
Click to view each set of detailed photos below:
Are you interested in rail travel in a private railcar? Click here for information on chartering a private railcar. AAPRCO holds their convention once each year in various cities. You can travel across the country in a private railcar to the convention as Ray and Saylor did by contacting the owner of one of the private railcars that will be going to the convention. But, you don't have to go to the AAPRCO convention to enjoy the luxury of travel in a private railcar. You can charter a private railcar any time of the year to take you to many destinations along the rails! Click here for more information!