• Engineer for a Day/Hour

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: rob216, Miketherailfan

  by NHRR WTBY
 
Those of you who have participated in the Engineer for an Hour/Day programs offered at various museums, can you tell me which one(s) you enjoyed the most? Some offer steam, some diesel, some both. Which do you recommend? I'm on the east coast and don't want to travel too far...southern New England to the Carolinas and west to Ohio would be the farthest I'd travel to do something like this.

Appreciate any recommendations.

  by NHRR WTBY
 
webmaster wrote:Have you been to the Railroad Museum of New England's EFH Program in CT:
http://www.rmne.org/efh.htm
Actually, that's what got me interested. I saw their website, then started looking around at others. Have you participated in their program? Would you recommend it? How about others? I understand they have one down in Essex, too.

  by Mike Roque
 
I haven't participated...I'm a member of and the webmaster for the museum.

I can tell you that the railroad is beautiful, and the folks down there are great, but I suppose I'm a little biased... ;)
Last edited by Mike Roque on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by NHRR WTBY
 
Thanks, Mike. I've had this post up on the board for quite some time and haven't had anyone reply that actually participated in the program. I'd like to hear firsthand from someone that did before I spend the money on it.

  by CRail
 
There is also the Seashore Trolley Museum, which charges $50 for a "be a motorman." With this, you are either assigned a car, or you can choose one, and you operate the car, with the guidance of an instuctor, for a round trip, which takes about 25 minutes to a half an hour. If you call ahead, you may be able to schedule some bus driving too. There is no policy or set cost for the busses, but if you plan, and talk to the right people, it would probably be possible. Memberships are also available at seashore for $30 per year, in which you can become a qualified operator/conductor and run as much as you want. plus there is a bunk house you can stay at so you can stay for a week/weekend. More info at trolleymuseum.org
  by [email protected]
 
My Son and I did the program at Essex last november. They take 4 students in the morning at 8 AM, and 4 more at noon. You all sit through a 1 hour orientation class. Then each guy goes out, one at a time, at 9, 10, 11, and 12 for a one hour trip on the loco. There's an Engineer to teach you how to operate. The Fireman does his thing, and doesn't seem to get involved unless you ask him some questions directly. Really nice people, all of them.
You go a few miles up river, stop and come back. Slow speed, and you have to use whistles, bells, as necessary. It was a fabulous experience, and well worth the money. We had a ball.
We also have run Diesels (GP7, GP38) at 2 railroads in florida, and that also was spectacular. We pulled whole trains, and learned to work the air brakes, and make smooth stops. Did some switching, coupling, uncoupling, etc. Another great experience. -Pat

  by umtrr-author
 
At the other end of the country--

Many years ago, I did the engineer for an hour at the Portola Railroad Museum. The loco was a Western Pacific switcher, an S-1 or S-2 if I am not mistaken. We managed to lose both the film and the video of this somehow :( so I can't be more specific. I really enjoyed it.

My wife got me as a Christmas gift "Engineer for a Day" at the Roaring Camp and Big Trees near Santa Cruz, California. There are four runs up the mountain and you get more responsibility each trip until the last one when you're doing all of the driving except for the switchback. All of your moves are "up" and the actual engineers do all the "down" since that's a lot more difficult. What a thrill, and what a mess I was after it was over! I also know exactly how water towers work, since I got to do that too.

[And how did an Easterner come to do both of these? My wife is from San Jose and we visit at least once a year.]

I also got to drive a former NYO&W 44 tonner up in Lake Placid for about 100 feet, but that was just happenstance-- being in the right place at the right time. But a great surprise, and a real tie to history.

So I would highly recommend the experience, regardless of the venue. I may need to check out the Connecticut possibilities.

  by espee
 
I have only done one and that is with the Nevada Northern Railway in Ely, Nv. They have two steam and three diesel. The steam is ALCO 2-8-0 built 1909 and Baldwin 4-6-0 built 1910. The diesels are ALCO RS-2 built 1949, RS-3 built 1950 and EMD SD-9 (ex SP) built 1956. They offer engineering around the yard or on the main line. I sure enjoyed it :-D

  by StevieC48
 
Coery dont forget 25$ for Seinors,Students, Military, Retired amd Disabled. So they do give you a break on you anual dues.