Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Video on the El Dorado Western Railroad

The El Dorado Western Railroad gave train rides to the public on Sunday, June 26, 2011. Passengers boarded at the replica freight depot in El Dorado and rode the Fairmont A-4D gang car (ERWR No. 602) or Kalamazoo Model 57 track inspection car (CP&LP No. 4) to Forni Road. The two cars were hitched for the event.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Train rides on the El Dorado Western Railroad No. 602

Experience good old fashion fun on Sunday, June 26 in historic El Dorado, California. Ride on vintage rail cars, run through town in Davey "Doc" Wiser’s authentic Western stagecoach and walk among classic cars on Main Street. And top the day off with a scoop of refreshing ice cream!

The schedule includes: breakfast at the Community Hall from 8 a.m. to noon, craft fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., classic car show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., train rides and ice cream scoop ($5 donation) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free stagecoach rides from noon to 4 p.m. ice cream social ($1.50 per scoop) from noon to 4 p.m., music and food.

Proceeds benefit the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation.

Garret Augustus operates the Fairmont speeder on a test run today. The El Dorado Western Railroad has designated the Fairmount A-4D as No. 602. This follows the Trackmobile, which is No. 601.

The A-car is named the "Peabody" after George Peabody, a longtime historian and writer in El Dorado County.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A-car ready for train rides

I heard from Keith Berry that the Fairmont A-car has a fresh coat of paint on it. She'll be looking good for train rides this Sunday in historic El Dorado.

A $5 donation gets you a stagecoach ride, train ride and scoop of ice cream. Come out and support the El Dorado County RR Park on Sunday, June 26.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anne’s caboose

Years ago, a train was not complete without a locomotive on the front end, and a caboose bringing up the rear end. The locomotive was an attention getter, what with smoke and noise, whistle blowing and bell ringing. Sure it was fun to wave at the engineer, and hopefully see him wave back, signaling to you that such an important guy recognized you down there as a friend.

However, once the locomotive went by, your attention was immediately drawn to that last car on the train, a car like no other, having steps, windows, and even a smokestack on the roof. The caboose was the only train car that had the one unique feature, a cupola on the roof.

A cupola was all windows. Once you spotted the caboose and its cupola, you immediately searched for the next guy to wave at. You didn’t quite know what his job really was, but to you his job was quite simple, WAVE AT YOU.

Your moment was highly anticipated, your timing had to be just right, or the caboose would be past you with no more chances until the next train. Get ready, decide which arm and hand would be offered, and make sure you obtained eye contact with that lucky guy who got to ride on the train all day just to see YOU.

A successful wave meant everything, no eye contact and wave meant you had failed to carry out the agreement. A good wave meant you did not wave like a madman, frantic and unsure. No, your wave had to reflect your confidence and understanding of railroad waves, you were one with him, and you were on the crew, just not on the train. The successful wave lasted all day; you had waved and been recognized, so long, see you on the next trip.

Today, trains don’t provide much chance to interact with the crew. There is no caboose, or friendly crew to wave back to you. Trains are less frequent, and lack the personality of the old trains when you could identify the type of cars and repeat the railroad names. Today’s trains do not present the opportunity to wave at the crew, or look for that caboose on the rear end, a caboose with a cupola and crew. Well, most trains don’t have a caboose, but, your El Dorado Western Railroad has a caboose, a caboose just for YOU.

Yes, your caboose arrived on the El Dorado Western Railroad on Thursday, June 16 at El Dorado. A caboose from the Southern Pacific Railroad, No. 1094, built in 1940 to travel the rails behind steam powered freight trains. A real railroad caboose; a caboose with steps, windows, and yes, a real cupola on the roof! A caboose complete with interior and a ladder climbing up to the seats where the crew sat and waved to you. Did you know the caboose was an office for the conductor with a desk, a coal stove for heat, a bathroom, ice box, lights, and bunk beds? The caboose supported the crew while out on the rails going between cities.

Southern Pacific Caboose No. 1094 is a gift from a very special person; a lady named Anne. Anne received her caboose from her husband on a Mother’s Day, to provide Anne with an art studio. Now, through Anne’s family, her caboose is returning to the rails.

A caboose to ride in, and a caboose from which to wave to people on foot, bicycle, or in the car waiting for the train to cross the road. Anne’s caboose is waiting for you, come out and see her at our Sunday, June 26 fund raiser to support the railroad.

We thank you Anne for giving all of us a chance to ride your caboose, on the El Dorado Western Railroad. Now, let’s all work on our railroad waves; a railroad caboose is coming down the track toward YOU.

Keith Berry for the EDWR where we work to make you smile.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Southern Pacific No. 1094 caboose move #1

The El Dorado Western Railroad moved the Southern Pacific No. 1094 caboose from private property to the El Dorado County Railroad Park on June 16, 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Caboose move coming next week

Has the caboose move sparked your interest? To learn more, pick up a copy of the Windfall at your local El Dorado County store or restaurant. See "Along the Right of Way" on page 31. The big move takes place on Thursday, June 16.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Coming events for June

Please continue to watch the El Dorado Western Railway blog and Facebook pages. The railroad has three exciting events on the horizon.

They include:
  • El Dorado County Fair, June 16 to 19, 100 Plaverville Dr., Plaverville, California. Crew members will be on hand from opening each day until 8 p.m. On Saturday, the crew pull the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay locomotive out of the engine house.
  • Train rides in the historic town of El Dorado, June 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Follow the signs for tickets.
  • New Southern Pacific caboose to be moved to the El Dorado railroad park soon. The caboose, Southern Pacific No. 1094 from the 1940s, will be placed in service for train rides next year.
Watch these pages for more news.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Work progresses on the Fairmont A-car

Yesterday the Saturday work crew gathered at the shop to continue work on the Fairmont A-4D gang car. Since the A-car, as we affectionately call it, came to the El Dorado Western Railroad in an operable condition, most work is cosmetic in nature. Until April, the car was used on the Richmond Pacific Railroad.

The A-car will be ready to haul passengers on Sunday, June 26, 2011, in the historic town of El Dorado, California. Please see our Facebook events page for details. The railroad will offer train rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Chef Steven Karoly prepared chili con carne with beans for the crew yesterday. Jeremy McCormack cleared a work bench so he could set up chili, cornbread, chipotle cole slaw, chips, salsa and fixin's for the crew.

The father and son team of Ed and Ben Cunha have handled most of the body work on recent acquisitions. Here Ed grinds away excess metal from the side panel after Ben welded a hole closed.

Ben welds a hole closed on the front panel of the car body. The body of the A-car is almost ready to be primed and painted.