For several months, my wife has been wanting to take the grandchildren to a train park, specifically, the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers in Molalla, Oregon. She’s been planning the trip with my daughter and this past weekend we finally loaded up everyone for the journey. I’m not sure who was more excited, my wife or the grandchildren.
After a two-hour road trip with only an occasional “Are we there yet?” we arrived at the park—nine of us: my wife and I, our son, a daughter, and all five grandkids! By this time, judging by the looks on their faces, the grandkids were definitely the ones who were more excited—I think.
I suppose I should tell you a little about this train park. It was built in 1954 and features almost a mile of 7½-inch track with miniature, but real, steam engine powered trains. The trains are built to scale (1:22.5) and yes, visitors get to ride them! And, it’s free! Not even a parking fee! My kind of place! (They do accept donations).
And apparently, it was my grandkids’ kind of place too. They rode the trains, over and over, around and around the track, laughing and smiling, happily taking in all the scenery and the authenticity of the setting.
The setting was just as impressive as the trains. There were crossings, with lights and bells, a switching yard, steel bridges, and a depot—all built to the same scale as the trains. The track wound around the property through the trees, by the river, and across several roads. And, the place has not been overly commercialized! It’s a small park, in a small town, that looks, I suspect, much like it did in 1954.
While the train park may be intended for kids, I had a lot of fun myself as well. For instance, I couldn’t help but think of a few Johnny Cash train songs and serenaded everyone while we waited in line (a treat I’m sure they all could have done without but they indulged me). But as I was saying, I had a good time—probably more so than my grandkids. The trains, the grounds, and actually, the whole place, was really quite interesting. So, it was an enjoyable and entertaining day. And that is sort of ironic because originally, I hadn’t planned to go. I usually stay at home to work when my wife and daughter go on their excursions with the grandkids. And figuring this would be a kids only park, I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea. But they kept asking me to go along. Repeatedly. Insisted, in fact. Almost forced me. I guess you might say I was railroaded. ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Amazon Profile – http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.