Author Topic: Steam & Sleighs Recap  (Read 979 times)

Stephen Piwowarski

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
    • View Profile
Steam & Sleighs Recap
« on: February 19, 2019, 02:25:00 AM »
Hi all,

With January and February's Steam & Sleighs events now in the rearview, I wanted to provide some info regarding the events. In three days (January 19, February 16 & 17) we carried right around 500 passengers (give or take a few). This past Sunday was our busiest day with just over 200 riders.

It was a wonderful time and we got to interact with lots of new, first time visitors, which always puts a smile on my face, along with returning visitors as well. I was serving as conductor on Sunday and got to see one of my students (who was as surprised to see me as I was to see them!) Despite some minor hiccups each day, passengers had consistently nice things to say, and had a great time.

Here's what some had to say (from Facebook):

"We had a great time at the Railway today and on the Sleigh Ride"

"Today’s adventure..ride on a steam train, sleigh ride turkey tracks, and our conductor who punched hearts in my ticket. Great time... and beautiful weather!"

"Who wants to go to the 19th century."

"Fantastic day at Steam and Sleigh! Highly recommend this adventure and hope you do it again next year!!"

Our volunteers did an amazing job crewing the events and hosting our visitors, but also before and after, putting lots of time into making sure the parking lot was cleared and sanded, station platforms were shoveled off, feeding crews, and keeping the line open in the midst of the constant freeze/thaw cycles which ensured that there were always flangeways to clear and ice to pick out around switches. Thank you!

500 riders is 1/10 of our total ridership from last year. Here we are in February and we are already off to a great start for the year. More importantly, we've made new friends and introduced many more to this special place and they've learned a bit more about it. The questions and comments from our passengers were fantastic. Looking forward to a great year.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 02:27:55 AM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Bill Baskerville

  • Museum Member
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2019, 02:35:32 AM »
Great post Stephen.
Wascally Wabbit & Gofer

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,608
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 02:48:38 AM »
Thanks for the great report, Steven. Five hundred riders is nothing to sneeze at, for sure! The photos on Facebook sure showed it to be a popular event. One question: did anyone ride to Top of the Mountain to ski or snowshoe or hike?

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 03:14:46 AM »
Let me get this straight.  10% of annual ridership in just 3 days?  I think we need to explore ways to increase this program next winter.  Maple sugaring maybe?  What could we do if we have the pavilion up in Alna Center?  Great Job Steve and Crew -  :)
Moxie Bootlegger

John McNamara

  • Operating Volunteers
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,211
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 04:55:46 AM »
One question: did anyone ride to Top of the Mountain to ski or snowshoe or hike?
I manned the caboose/hut and found that the January Saturday had sparse attendance - only about three parties of two each. The February Saturday event was more active - perhaps ten parties of two each. I don't know about the February Sunday event. Perhaps someone else can comment.

ALAIN DELASSUS

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 178
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 05:32:22 AM »
Thanks Stephen for the report and well done you all .Things are definetly off to a good on the RR and that makes me happy.

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Superintendent
  • ********
  • Posts: 4,010
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 10:27:05 AM »
Sometimes everything works as it should. Just enough snow on the ground so it wasn't hard for the walking or sleigh. The ice is a nuisance, but expected with winter. Next year we could be under 3 feet of snow.. We never know.

It is a great start to the year.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Stephen Piwowarski

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 11:39:21 AM »
I manned the caboose/hut and found that the January Saturday had sparse attendance - only about three parties of two each. The February Saturday event was more active - perhaps ten parties of two each. I don't know about the February Sunday event. Perhaps someone else can comment.

On Sunday, we probably had quite a few detrain for activities at ToM.
12 on the 10:30 train,
about 10 on the noon train
and 8 on the 1:30 train

We also had folks exploring the old Averill rd. in both directions on snowshoes at AC.

Steve

Bill Reidy

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 726
  • Life member. Ack.
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 12:10:30 PM »
I did see at least one person snowshoeing at Top of Mountain on Saturday.

We also had a young family of four join us on the work ("Steam & Saws") train to end of track and help feed the bonfire as trees were cut Saturday.
What–me worry?

Joe Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,065
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2019, 09:18:17 AM »
This is fantastic news, and hopefully a great start to 2019. The 200 person days are the most enjoyable, as it is enough people to feel like it was a well worth while event, and not feel overwhelmed. Well done, and may we have many more future events of the same feel. 99% of our visitors leave feeling like they learned something new, or want to come back.
Track laborer, roadmaster, general laborer, and much more.

Gordon Cook

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 346
  • Board Member 2009-2015
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 02:48:31 PM »
A few pictures from last Saturday:

Backlit #9 pushing in for the first train of the day:


Conductor Bob Cavanaugh and Brakey Dan Malkowski:


Progress on flat 34:


Zack and Fred bending truss rods:


Worktrain crew, JB Smith, Bill Reidy, Dave Buszkowski:
Gawdon

Jeff Schumaker

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 699
    • View Profile
Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2019, 04:49:02 PM »
Nice photos, Gordon. Thanks for posting them.

Jeff S.
Hey Rocky, watch me pull a moose trout out of my hat.