Author Topic: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F  (Read 1194 times)

Hunt Dowse

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Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« on: January 24, 2019, 08:34:13 PM »
Friends of ours sent along a link to the Smithsonian railroad tours and included is the Railroading in New England tour which visits the WW&F.  Of interest is the itinerary, cost (!) and the description and pictures of the WW&F.  Familiar faces in a few shots.  Link:https://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/new-england-train/itinerary
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 08:42:15 PM by Ed Lecuyer »

Bob Holmes

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 12:26:23 AM »
Super cool, and a whole new audience...

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 01:02:16 AM »
They've done this tour at least a few times. Last year I think they came on two different weekends. They have a pretty slick setup where everyone in the group has a headset and the tour guide narrates to them through it.

Looking at what the tour includes (including two or three nights at the Mt. Washington Hotel, Notch Train, Cog Railway) the price isn't unreasonable.
Ed Lecuyer
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 01:17:22 AM »
Road Scholar operates similar tours of New England railroads. I have been on several of their other trips, and they are worth every penny. I've also been trying to figure out who to speak with in their corporate headquarters in Boston to get them to stop at the WW&F. So far, no luck.

James Patten

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 02:23:07 AM »
It must have been Smithsonian that I gave the two guided tours for last year.

The second group had a really neat setup.  They all had radio receivers with a transmitter or two, so that I could talk to them without yelling.  It worked well on the train where the group was split into two cars.

We should come up with something similar.  Something for smartphones, perhaps.

John McNamara

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2019, 03:09:37 AM »
[text deleted]
The second group had a really neat setup.  They all had radio receivers with a transmitter or two, so that I could talk to them without yelling.  It worked well on the train where the group was split into two cars. We should come up with something similar.  Something for smartphones, perhaps.
The use of smartphones is an interesting idea since almost everyone has one, there's no wires, and the owner maintains the batteries. Communicating to the riders is an interesting problem, as shouting only works for about half a car and fails utterly if the group is in more than one car. On the other hand, a PA system is disgusting and non-historic.

Bill Baskerville

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2019, 03:21:40 AM »
Cell phones is a great idea.  Why didn't we (I) think of that before "followed by a smack on the forehead".  The catch with cell phones is that it would have to be a blue tooth connection as different cell phone providers have varying levels to no reception along the ROW.

This is not the solution we are looking for, but it may be a starting point for someone more tech savvy than I am.  I don't have a 10 year old in my household.

http://www.spatialadventures.com/audio-tour-services.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_eLkrv2H4AIVRVcMCh0g3Qp6EAMYAiAAEgJnp_D_BwE
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 03:26:25 AM by Bill Baskerville »
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Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2019, 06:07:26 AM »
Not to seem anachronistic, but I believe part of the charm and authenticity of our Railway is being able to avoid these sort of 'concessions to modernity' or 'infringements' as they could be considered.

Hopefully the car host program can help resolve this issue, but we should continue to look for ways to balance technology with the need to maintain authenticity.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 06:12:48 AM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Kyle Irving

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2019, 01:37:08 PM »
Wayne,

If you’re interested in trying to crack the Road Scholar code, I’d suggest your best approach is to get in touch with current tour organizers in the Alna area.

My mother-in-law has a small organic farm and is a fairly sought after speaker about gardens and history. She convinced some seasoned tour guides to include her farm on one of their routes during the summers, and for two years she had between 3 and 5 groups come to the farm in a one-week period. She was paid a decent fee and the participants gave her good reviews.

Ultimately the best bet will be if you find a tour with a theme that allows the railway to tie in fairly seamlessly. Hope this helps!

Kyle

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2019, 03:37:27 PM »
Thanks for the idea, Kyle. Actually, I have considered trying to connect with the tour "experts," but since I am in Pennsylvania and only make it to Maine a couple of times annually, it's a bit of a problem. I hope one of the local folks can pick up on this idea, especially since I now know that at least one of the experts is from Rockland.