Monday, August 31, 2009

Volunteering at the Prairie Dog, Part 1

I went to the Prairie Dog Central Railway to volunteer on Sunday. I didn't really know what I would be doing, but I was told the best thing to do was to show up and see. I arrived at about 09:30 and talked with a few of the volunteers.

I was introduced to the conductor, Jeff, and he told me the train was full and the best place for me would be in the combination car. PCD's train has five passenger cars and one combination passenger-baggage car. I sat in the baggage section with Jeff's daughter and another girl. The train departed on time at 11:00 for Grosse Isle and Warren. This trip was powered by their steam engine, #3.

On the way to Grosse Isle, the train was stopped by Bonnie & Clyde's gang! Four gun-toting miscreants boarded the combination car and proceeded through the train, looting the passengers (for charity) and then making their escape in their bullet-riddled 1930s roadster. Shortly afterward the Marshal's car roared by, siren blaring. I think the passengers enjoyed the train robbery.
Bonnie and Clyde Train Robbery on the Prairie Dog Central
Bonnie and Clyde Train Robbery on the Prairie Dog Central
Bonnie and Clyde Train Robbery on the Prairie Dog Central

At Grosse Isle the train stops for about 45 minutes so everyone can disembark and visit the local vendors and use the washrooms. Bonnie & Clyde were there for photographs with the passengers.
Bonnie and Clyde Train Robbery on the Prairie Dog Central

Because the wye at Warren is filled with cars (stored for income), the engine was turned at Warren. I was fortunate to ride in the engine as they went around the wye. This was my first time in a live steam engine and it was quite interesting. There are a lot of things to keep track of!
Prairie Dog Central #3 Gauges
I was glad it was not a particularly warm day - it must get hot in there. I was amazed at the 56 lb rail on the wye.
Prairie Dog Central #3
After the passengers boarded, we headed for Warren.

2 comments:

Eric said...

Nice PDC photos Steve. Looks like two of the gun-totin' train robbers have steam-era prototype Thompsons, but the third is totin' an AK-47?
Eric

Train Geek said...

Maybe it was an early prototype of an AK? ;)