Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wilmington and Western RR in Kindergarten

I entered kindergarten at the Cedar Hill School in the fall of 1971. The train ride was my first experience riding a train, and a steam train at that. The train ride was probably in the spring of 1972 as I remember it being warm out. It started my lifelong passion for trains. Later as a W&W volunteer I found that the "school trips" ran on Tuesdays and Thursdays and was a long established W&W tradition. The use of the steam engine for school trips ended in the 1980's when the W&W bought the tracks and diesel locomotive #8408. I remember the huge size of the driving wheels of the locomotive, the sound of the whistle, and the wicker rattan seats. I remember pushing the seat back to face the other way at the mid-point of the trip. I remember asking my teacher, Mrs. Platts how they steered the train. She incorrectly told me that they used a huge steering wheel. At the end of the trip we somehow left my best buddy Mark Emory behind. We got back and Mark's mom was not happy. I rode with her in the car back to Greenbank Station where we found Mark had been treated kindly by the folks at the W&W. He was given snacks and drinks at the snack bar there and given a W&W pennant. I was actually jealous that he got to spend more time at the railroad and had a W&W pennant.

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