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Cab ride! Oh yeah!!

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  • Cab ride! Oh yeah!!

    Hi all,

    I thought this might be worth sharing on RR line here.

    Ever since I saw this video, I have always wanted to do a cab ride, especially on the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad.

    Well, long story short.... I volunteer for the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society (BHRS) and help with their fall foliage excursions in October and their Santa Express excursion in December. The BHRS works in conjunction with the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad - the railroad I am modelling. Over the past weekend (Dec. 14-16), there were 10 1hr. long Santa Express excursions each going to pleasant gap, PA. When the train gets to Pleasant Gap, they have another engine on the other end of the consist so the engineer has to walk back to that engine. It's an interesting push/pull operation. As the weekend went by, and as I was looking outside the passenger car seeing the engineer walk back to the other engine, I saw that walking with him were either 1 or 2 people. I thought "where else could they be going besides to the engine?" because all the passenger cars are shut and we can't open them till we get back to the station. Well, on the next to last ride, I figured I would ask Andy (another car host) if anyone is allowed to ride in the engine. Andy said,"Oh yeah, sure! Tom (another car host) has dibbs. Let me just see if the engineer has 1 or 2 seats left. If I don't get you on this year, make a note of it for next year" About 10 min later, tom comes to me and says,"well, are you all stoked up for your cab ride?" I'm stunned, because I was NOT expecting to get on that night. I said,"Are we going?" "Yep. You and me!" Tom said. In another 10min. we boarded the engine getting ready for departure to Pleasant Gap in Nittany & Bald Eagle engine #1804 - a Paducah GP10! It was my very first time ever to get into the cab of a locomotive. And of all locomotives it was a Nittany & Bald Eagle GP10! We got to ride in 1804 to the stopping point in pleasant gap. Then on the way back we rode in the same engine. The only difference was that it wasn't under power (the engine at the other end was dragging it back to Bellefonte. A 1hr. long ride in the cab of a Nittany loco, traveling on the tracks that I am going to model is something else. There is NOTHING like the real thing! I had a few extra minutes to grab some pics. Sorry about the bad quality....

    So, holler if you're in Bellefonte, PA on the weekends of the excursions in October or December. We might be able to get ya in the cab!

    For more info on BHRS or NBER, here ya go!

    If you want more pics, I can post them. Just let me know. Be prepared though, they are blurry cause they were taken at night.

    Happy railroading and Merry Christmas!

    Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

    from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

  • #2
    Sounds like real fun Cody. Glad you got the chance to do the ride.

    They use the same 'push-pull' set up here on the Monon that runs from Fishers down to the Fairgrounds in Indy every summer. Plus they do it running north in the winter for Pizza night at Cicero about 10 miles up the line.


    • #3
      It's probably been 10 years since an engineer I know felt safe inviting me up to the cab, but things were a lot different in the 1960s and 1970s. There are a number of tourist RRs which offer extra-price cab rides - I've ridden from Santa Fe to Lamy, NM in the cab of a geep, and through Colorado's Royal Gorge in an F unit. The perspective you get on the route & scenery is a lot different from what's visible through a coach window, or even in a dome.


      • #4
        Congrats Cody, glad you got to ride the cab. I was a volunteer brakeman at a tourist railroad. after all the tourists went home, we would sometimes be allowed to run the engines around the ballon track. Under strict supervision of course. One time I got to run five units mu'ed. Fun.


        • #5
          As a brakeman I rode in many locomotive cabs



          I find cab rides on short lines is still as exciting as my first time. :up:


          • #6
            Yup, nothing more fun than the real thing! Puts in all into perspective, especially if your into operations.

            Sounds like a fun time!