Sunday, May 29, 2011

Train rides in historic El Dorado

The El Dorado Western Railroads offered rides in the Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe No. 4 speeder today. Under direction of a dedicated volunteer crew, the railroad ran between the railroad park and Blanchard Road for around 12 trips. Over 50 visitors to the historic town of El Dorado enjoyed a leisurely ride through the countryside.

In case you missed the train rides today, the railroad will again offer rides next month. The town of El Dorado is will kick-off a community-wide event with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at the El Dorado Community Hall. Throughout the day, train rides, stagecoach rides, classic cars and lots of ice cream will be available to the public.

Billy Bellas and "Doc" Davey Wiser pose next to El Dorado Western Railroad No. 601 Trackmobile. Davey will drive an authentic Western stagecoach in El Dorado on Sunday, June 26. Click for a webpage about rides offered in nearby Placerville.

The speeder returns from a run up to the Blanchard Road grade crossing with passengers. The railroad will add an additional car for the event in June.

EDWRF president and railroad director of rail operations Keith Berry watches a family board the speeder.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Along the right of way with the El Dorado Western Railway

This is next installment of a periodic column that Keith Berry is writing for the Windfall, the weekly classified newspaper in El Dorado County.

Were going to the Dogs! Yep, our railroad is going to the dogs, actually several "DOGS."

Over the past several months, we have found friendship with our canine friends out on the track. We are pleased to have found them; well, they actually found us as a new source of amusement during their daily walk. Oh, they have owners attached, but it's their walk and don't you forget it! It turns out the right of way is a great place for a dog; it's long, it's natural and it's full of attractive smells and other critters, including us.

Our first such encounter, and most frequent buddy is "Halo," a good sized boy who has come to be our greeter and inspector of the works. Halo is observed each morning, always with owners in tow, along the tracks west of Blanchard Rd. Halo keeps to schedule, a few leaps and hugs and off he goes and we get back to dogging it, working track.

The obvious winner based on size is Gunnison, a great (tall) hound something who is as gentle as he is big. We expect Gunnison, when fully grown, will make quite an eye full, for now were just glad to know him and thankfully not have to feed him. Go Gunnison!

Our newest dog friends are Ginger and Bob, each special, and eager to take a walk out where they can be without cars to worry about. We appreciate their owners who bring them out to El Dorado where there is no snow or busy streets. We look forward to their visits.

The smartest dog award goes to a smaller dog, who came by one rainy day, and decided that walking in the cold rain was not fun. No slow pooch this one, it decided our track inspection car was dry, and warm, and best of all moved on its own legs (wheels). This pooch got right up on the best cushion over the warm engine compartment, and settled down for a ride back to the car. What's a railroad for if not to ride in style, eh?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Brake check

On Friday the crew exercised the bearings on the flatcar and checked the brake lines. The railroad acquired the flatcar, numbered as the El Dorado Western Railroad MW 1003, from the California State Railroad Museum via the Folsom, El Dorado and Sacramento Historical Railroad Association.

The flatcar will be used for maintenance of way duties for now. Ultimately, crews will convert it into a passenger car. It will be renumbered at that time.

EDWR general manager Keith Berry gets ready to step into the red zone to couple the flatcar to the El Dorado Western Railroad No. 1 for the first time.

The Plymouth and flatcar on the tracks beside Oriental Street in the historic town of El Dorado.