Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ardenwood Farm Railroad Fair -- September 5, 2009

We went to the Ninth annual Labor Day Railfair at Ardenwood Farm. The weather was on the cool side. For the first time ever, there were two guest steam locomotives. For the second straight year, they had Sandstone Crag Loop Line #4, Deanna, an 0-4-2T built by Baldwin in 1891 for the Kaiwiki Sugar Co. in Ookala, HI. It is now privately owned in Coto de Caza, CA. The other locomotive was Anne Marie, an 1890 Porter 0-4-0T.

There were some difficulties in figuring out operating procedutes. We got aboard #4, pulling the regular train and the picnic car, for its first run. When we arrived at Deer Park, most of the passengers got off, so we moved up near the front of the train, where we could see into the cab. After offloading, the train backed through the station, so the other train could pull in. We waited while it came from Ardenwood, then let off passengers, then left. We pulled back in. The crew had a vigorous discussion about better ways to do it. They decided that two trains were running more slowly than one, and that they would have to have one train pull around.

We rode back and I took this video. We had lunch then walked around and looked at the model train exhibits and the farm animals. Sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, and chickens.

Back at Deer Park, we watched the train pulled by #4 pull in, offload, then pull through the station. As the other train, pushed by the Porter, arrived, #4 pulled around on the passing track and headed back to Ardenwood. We got on 1882 Southern Pacific combination car 1010 behind the Porter, and it pulled through the station and we waited until the other train went to Ardenwood and came back. We pulled around and headed back. Two volunteers on the car told lots of stories about local history.

There were no horse-drawn train rides this year. The new horse is still in training, and Jiggs can't do it all by himself.

There were nice model train layouts and the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association had a collection of internal combustion engines running by the barn.

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