Come along and ride this train

Over the Fourth of July weekend D and I meet up with a couple of my siblings, #4 and #5, for a little traveling adventure. We met them in Abilene, Ks for a train ride. But this was not your fast moving, zip by without seeing the countryside, hurry and get where you are going train ride. Nope; this was an enjoy the breeze, look at that beautiful farm, sit and visit along the way train ride.

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We took a trip on the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad, pulled along at 10 mph, by a restored steam engine! The four of us chose to sit in one of the open air gondola cars covered with a canopy for some nice cool shade. There were picnic tables in the center of these cars where you could sit and visit but I spent most of the time standing up, enjoying the scenery, and trying to capture an image or two along the way.

blog_IMG_7350“…Come along and ride this train
Come along and ride this train
Cross the mountains prairies
reservations rivers levees plains
Come along and ride this train…”

~Johnny Cash

The former ATSF Pacific steam engine #3415 was retired by the Santa Fe Railroad in the 1950s. It sat on display in the Eisenhower Park in Abilene for more than 40 years before a 4 year long restoration project brought it back to working condition.

Now it carries visitors on a 10 1/2 mile round trip from Abilene to Enterprise and back again. The engineers are part of a large group of volunteers who keep this railroad running. One of them even let D climb up into the cap and check it out! There’s a lot of dials and knobs in there and you can actually see the flame that creates all that steam.

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blog_IMG_7391If you happen to be passing by Abilene, Ks this summer, and need a break from driving, it’s worth the stop to catch a ride on a part of history.

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