Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chasing Trains

This really isn't a post just about today; chasing trains is something we have done as a family for years. We go to train museums, go on train excursions, watch train videos, model trains, etc.

Today the Union Pacific was running their 4-8-4 steam locomotive, the 844. We waiting all morning for the tweet to tell us when she was getting close to our house. Papa came home and after lunch we headed out to watch her ... and waited. She had stopped somewhere near Palm Springs.

We got back into the car to drive Papa to work when another tweet came through; she was moving again! We had been following the tracks so we stopped at another good viewing point (with many other rail fans present). I got a really good video of her:
video
That wasn't all! Papa headed back to work and the boys and I drove to the location where the 844 is going to spend the night ... and we waited. She was stopped again, and then coming through the Colton Yard she had to wait for clearance before she could make her way to the siding. There was a very large crowd waiting to see her. It was rather anticlimactic, however, and the boys were ready to head home so we did. The railroad is supposed to have public display tomorrow so maybe we'll be able to fit that into our very busy day.

This kind of day is one reason we homeschool.  The railroad is such a huge part of the history and building of this country and these day it can be hard to see steam engines in motion. I didn't have to take my kids out of school for them to be able to witness this; we were able to devote the better part of the day to this particular field trip.

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