A little Engine that Could

Back on terra firma I realized I was hungry. A pizza place across from the wharf seemed like a quick solution. The pizza was good but it was the 2nd most expensive pizza I’ve ever had. The most expensive was in Honolulu, Hawaii.  But this was 2 slices and a soft drink…$10.00 +. So if you enjoy a slice at Bill’s Pizza expect it to cost you.

So pizza break under my belt I retrieved the car and headed out to find Fore St. I was looking for Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. I found Fore Street but I couldn’t seem to find the museum. Up and down the street I went then I spotted it. It was just a little sign and it looked like a kind of beat up neighborhood. I followed the signs as the pot-holed driveway wound between run down commercial buildings. I finally pulled into a dirt parking lot that seemed to be the end of the road.

A train sat on the tracks next to the parking lot, the engineer  leaning out of the cab talking to another man. I trotted over and asked if I had found the museum. Assured that I was in the right place the engineer said this was the last run of the day and directed me to the museum to purchase a ticket to ride.

The museum was located in another beat up commercial building. I grabbed a ticket and climbed aboard.

The open air car I was in had wooden benches that ran the length of the car. You sat facing out of the windows on the side of the car. I didn’t have long to wait before the “All aboard” sounded and the train began to move.

The conductor came around to punch our tickets explaining to the children how each conductor had their own punch so you could tell who the conductor was on a run by the shape of the hole in the ticket.

Once all of the tickets were punched we were told a little bit about the railroad. Our conductor was a retired history teacher so he loved this part of the trip when he could  teach again.

The railroad is a “narrow gauge” railroad. All of the cars they have were purchased from Edaville Railroad when it shut down at one time. Edaville is in Carver, MA right near where I live  and almost closed last year  (again) but thankfully it was resurrected  and some real changes are being made. But Edaville has had an up and down history and during one of the down points much of their “rolling stock” was sold off. It seems that this little railroad in Maine  was the beneficiary of Edaville’s misfortune.

The trip took us along Casco Bay, past lovely parks and into a more disreputable section where we came to a stop and everyone piled out. A man was walking his dog but other than that there was nothing here.

The bridge ahead was unsafe so the trip stops there.

A high point of the stop was the osprey nest on top of the bridge supports. There were 3 osprey perched there watching us watch them.

After the brief stop they loaded us back on the train and back we went to the rail yard.

I took a few minutes to explore the little museum.

There were full-sized rail cars, trunks, signal lights and miniature trains, all things train related. A railfan would love this place. The train even had  the “little red caboose”.

As it was time for them to close up, I wrapped up  my visit. I still had to figure out how to get back out of there.

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