We took a ride on the Shay steam train outside the Museum of Science and Tech today. We enjoyed a nearly empty train because the summer camps have finished and the French kids are all back at school.
The train was pulling the caboose and an official's car. The museum guide onboard told us that traditionally the caboose would be the last car on the train, but in this case they have the cars reversed. This is because the locomotive is made of iron, as is the base of the caboose, but the official's car is made of wood. It wouldn't be good for the wooden car to be sandwiched between two iron cars. I learned this when I inquired about the wooden flare holder up in the caboose. If the train had to stop, the occupants of the upper seats on the caboose would throw the flares off the back of the train to warn any trains behind to stop too, so that's why the caboose would normally be last.
Elizabeth spent the first train ride looking out the window, then swivelling her head around to stare across the aisle, then whipping her head back to look out the window again. She was so determined not to miss anything that we wondered whether she might manage to unscrew her head!
After the ride we asked her whether she was done or whether she wanted more. "More", she said. So we got right back on but this time Elizabeth got to ride up high in the caboose.
Really fun! The train is by donation and runs every ten minutes on Wednesdays and Sundays through the summer season. It's operated by the Bytowne Railway Society in exchange for being able to use land at the museum. If you haven't already been, I highly recommend this as an outing!
Then we went into the museum itself and played hard.
On September 6, 2010 at 04:39 pm
Grandma H and Auntie Muriel went on a train ride today too! I stayed home and played flight simulator :)