Author Topic: 2009 Victorian Christmas  (Read 11462 times)

Stephen Hussar

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2009 Victorian Christmas
« on: December 20, 2009, 04:34:19 PM »
Oh what fun...  


Steve A at Alna Center, with one of his pals

Special guest...

Let's hear it for the giftshop crew!

A packed train rolls past an icy Humason Brook...
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:09:58 PM by Stephen Hussar »

Ira Schreiber

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 06:00:35 PM »
Glad to hear all went well.

Stephen, great photos as always. You outdo yourself and I hope all appreciate the efforts.

Seasons Greetings to all.

Ira Schreiber
in sunny Colorado

Wayne Laepple

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 08:22:53 PM »
Great photos, Steve, and thanks to Stewart, James and Mike for their descriptions of events. With my retirement looming (only 11 days hence), I'm already day-dreaming about coming to next year's Victorian Christmas.

Bill Fortier

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2009, 10:38:54 PM »

Gordon Cook

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2009, 10:50:56 PM »
My observations from the cab of #10:
The day was verrrry cold to start, single digits, but by mid-morning had warmed up into a very comfortable 20-something. The first run was taken by #52, as #10 wasn't quite ready. By 11 AM there was a crowd on the platform, and that was the norm until the last train at 4. With the large number of passengers, we switched to an 'extra' schedule instead of on the hour, by leaving as soon as #10 was serviced and passengers loaded. I believe we probably ran at least one extra train, if not two.
I understand on one run there were 99 people on the 2 coaches! #10 behaved well, as usual, using extra coal with the heavy coach loads and the cold bearings.
The sun was bright but low in the sky, and there were a number of photographers taking pictures all up and down the line.
Santa held court at Alna Center station, where a bonfire was built and the sleigh rides took folks around the fields. (I noted that there was backup power for the sleigh rides this year, in the form of an extra team of horses.) Members shepherded everyone safely on and off the train at both ends of the line and refreshments were provided in the form of hot cider and cocoa at Sheepscot Station.
There were many happy faces, both young and old with lots of thank you's as people left the platform. I think all of us regulars were very happily surprised at the number of people that came to have a simple and fun Maine Christmas experience.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 11:16:30 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
Gawdon

Kevin Madore

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2009, 03:16:58 AM »
The sun was bright but low in the sky, and there were a number of photographers taking pictures all up and down the line.

Yes, there were!  ;D  Stephen, Matthew and I had a grand time taking advantage of that beautiful, low-angle sun.

Here are a few of mine....a few more to come:

Entering Cockeye Curve...heading back to begin the afore-mentioned extras...
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=307763&nseq=15

Coming off Cockeye Curve...
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=307772&nseq=6

Hooking up in Alna Center for the last run home...
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=307761&nseq=17

/Kevin
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 03:18:59 AM by Kevin Madore »

Dana Deering

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2009, 11:10:58 AM »
     It was a great day.  It was bitter cold in the morning and I thought someone was going to have to chip me off the flatcar when we got back to Sheepscot after hauling bonfire wood to AC.  As Ernest Ward once wrote about his experiences on the B&SR, when the temperature is below zero, and the wind is howling, a brakeman's life is no bed of roses...at least the wind wasn't howling!
     I tended the bonfire in the morning and went down to Sheepscot for lunch and on the return train to AC there were, indeed, 99 passengers filling the two coaches to overflowing.  The platform was crowded for nearly every trip and everyone had a good time.
     I even managed to get a sleigh ride in and that was fun, too.  The folks who showed up to ride were very appreciative and I'd say it was a major PR coup.


Matthew Malkiewicz

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my 2009 Victorian Christmas photos
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 02:39:08 AM »
http://mfmalk.zenfolio.com/p58527735

The above link is to my photos from Saturday's 2009 Victorian Christmas.
Click on Slideshow on the top-right of the screen.
The last of the set is Santa looking out the window, the ones after are from August of 2008.

Packed passenger coaches, frigid temperatures, dramatic steam, snow, a bonfire, Santa Claus, a sleigh ride pulled by Norwegian fjord horses, and free train rides all day were some of the many highlights; the most fun one can have on 2-foot gauge.

My thanks go out to Stephen Hussar, tour guide with his 4X4, co-pilot Kevin, and the entire WW&F staff.

Enjoy,
Matthew


Stephen Hussar

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Re: my 2009 Victorian Christmas photos
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 03:17:49 AM »
Beautiful stuff, Matthew! Glad you could make it!

Stephen

Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: my 2009 Victorian Christmas photos
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 03:30:00 AM »
I dare say those are some darn fine photographs you have there. 

Nice work!

Those other photos you have on that page are pretty nice too... for wide gauge... ::)
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Kevin Madore

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2009, 12:27:32 PM »
A few more:

A shot of the horse team at Alna Center.   These are just the sweetest horses:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=307874&nseq=1

Something I've been trying to get for a long time....a shot of #9's new boiler.   The shot's no masterpiece, but the subject sure is:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=307888&nseq=0

#10 switching in the yard:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=308074&nseq=62
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 12:38:52 PM by Kevin Madore »

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2009, 12:29:23 AM »
It was a wonderful day.  Stephen,  As always... good pictures.  Kevin and Matthew it was good to see you again.  Thanks for your beautiful photos as well.   I was the conductor on the first three trips.  The first train had nearly 50 passengers and the Sheepscot platform was full when we returned.  As Dana and Gordon mentioned it was like that all day.  There were so many visitors that this may be the biggest Victorian Christmas the museum has had. Cars were parked all the way up to 218 on both sides of the Cross Road. 

I was brakeman for a couple of the later trips and there were lots of children in the coaches.  Some of the passengers sang Christmas carols on the way back to Sheepscot.  I spoke to some of the guests and everyone had a great time.  There was a German family who came down from Canada.  Gordon invited their children into number 10's cab.  The kids had broad smiles as their parents took many photos.   Thanks to Gordon for making a special memory for that family.  (I rode in the cab of EBT 15 when I was a kid and thats what got me interested in narrow gage railroads.)   I heard a number of people say that they enjoyed the train ride and sleigh ride and would be back next year.   Took my first horse drawn sleigh ride this year and it was great!  Got a real feel for how life was in Alna a century ago.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 12:33:53 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Glenn Christensen

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2009, 03:53:58 PM »
It was a wonderful day.  ... Some of the passengers sang Christmas carols on the way back to Sheepscot ...  I spoke to some of the guests and everyone had a great time.

You can't BUY that sort of thing!  When people are happy enough to sing ... It just doesn't get any better than that!

You guys are marvelous and amazing and I wish you all great happiness for the holidays and well beyond!


Sincerely,
Glenn
(A very proud member)

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2010, 02:25:46 AM »
It was a wonderful day.  Stephen,  As always... good pictures.  Kevin and Matthew it was good to see you again.  Thanks for your beautiful photos as well.   I was the conductor on the first three trips.  The first train had nearly 50 passengers and the Sheepscot platform was full when we returned.  As Dana and Gordon mentioned it was like that all day.  There were so many visitors that this may be the biggest Victorian Christmas the museum has had. Cars were parked all the way up to 218 on both sides of the Cross Road. 

I was brakeman for a couple of the later trips and there were lots of children in the coaches.  Some of the passengers sang Christmas carols on the way back to Sheepscot.  I spoke to some of the guests and everyone had a great time.  There was a German family who came down from Canada.  Gordon invited their children into number 10's cab.  The kids had broad smiles as their parents took many photos.   Thanks to Gordon for making a special memory for that family.  (I rode in the cab of EBT 15 when I was a kid and thats what got me interested in narrow gage railroads.)   I heard a number of people say that they enjoyed the train ride and sleigh ride and would be back next year.   Took my first horse drawn sleigh ride this year and it was great!  Got a real feel for how life was in Alna a century ago.
Aww man. Now I really wish I was there at Victorian Chirstmas after reading your story. When I vist Maine in the future, Im definitely going to vist the WW&F for a day or two(only if theres a photo frieght during my vist, because I always stay an extra day for steam photo frieghts). Im planing on going on a cross-country rail trip in the future. I hope when I vist I will be able to run into you guys (especially Ed and Mike) while im there. Oh well better luck next time and continue saving money for that trip.
Steam Department Volunteer at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Jonathan B. Smith

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Re: 2009 Victorian Christmas
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2010, 07:02:08 PM »
Well Done to the photgrahers who captured the spirit of a fantastic event. 

The WW&F can be very proud of the "Victorian Christmas."  The day distilled much of the essence of the Season of Giving, a gift to the community indeed.  If ever there were a need to demonstrate or justify the point of the WW&F to the world at large, this one event would do so.
And the photgraphs--as crisp and brilliant as the day itself!
jbs