Trails & Rails Audit Run August 4th 2013

Trails and Rails Audit Run 8/4/2013

The Trails and Rails program is entering its third month on the CHI to LAP corridor. This program, as many of you may already know, is in its inaugural year.  One of the Guides Kandace is now making the train wide announcement inviting the passengers to join them in the lounge cars. The car is already full but a few people are making their way to come and see what the program has to offer.  This part of season the train is always full of boy scouts coming back from Raton, NM and Philmont Scout Ranch. They too have learned a lot from their train rides and backpacking adventures.

The train just went through Baring and Kandace talked about the local history of that town and area.  We just had a little boy come up and ask for a route guide so he could follow along. Rutledge has just went by in a blur but everyone on the train knows exactly what that blur was all about.  Our train is a little late today but no one cares. They are all enjoying themselves playing cards, visiting, and listening to the program. Gorin just went by. The train is moving along well and the towns are blowing by in quick manner. The narration continues at about that rate. There is some quiet moments though that allow us to check the GPS and our notes.

Having two guides serves many purposes that I will not go into here but what is helpful about it. Is one guide can narrate while the other one gets ready for their section of narration?  This helps keep the interest with the guests and also let the other guide rest their voice.  Kandace is going out to visit with some guides and explain share the Junior Ranger Program with them. This program is interactive and it gives the kids a chance to write down notes about what they are learning. Upon completion of the booklet, the kids will receive a Junior Ranger badge.

We are getting close to Ft. Madison now having just now passed the Windmill Blade manufacturer in Argyle. I never knew it but you can see the Mormon Tabernacle in Nauvoo from the train. We are now leaving Ft. Madison and enjoying a first. There is an Auto Rack train crossing the river the same time we are.

The train traffic is heavy today. We just passed two more trains.  In contrast the river is so calm today. Looks like glass.

Dick Holt brought us into and out of Ft. Madison, Iowa with good commentary about the river bridges and many things you can see as you make a brief visit to the area.

Welcome to Illinois!!

It is lunch time so I went down and got a hot dog from the snack car. Yes they are as good as people told me they were.

The farmland is rolling by in a quick manner as we roll through the flatland of Illinois.  The corn is looking great and is almost ready for harvest.

I will say the sound system that our Trails and Rails group has sounds very well and works great. This is a nod to the dedication of the guides that our program has. Their donations made this sound system possible.  A big thank you goes out to them.

Kandace is now telling the passengers about the llama farm. She even invited them to come “pet” the llama at the table. We just passed peck park where the Transcon goes over the old CB&Q Line.  This is a popular area to watch trains. One of the children just came to the table all proud that he finished his Junior Ranger book.  He did a good job and Kandace got him his badge and patches while Mr. Holt photographed the moment.

While all that was going on #4 navigated the Cameron connection. It is now lined up for our Galesburg stop.  We are now in Galesburg. This town packs much history in many subjects including railroading. As we pulled in I saw an SD40-2 in H3 paint working the class yard. As we leave Galesburg , Kandace and Dick are testing the knowledge of our passengers with some trivia questions.

Since I am doing a day trip turn, I will have to leave the train in Princeton and wait for #3 to take me back.  This audit run was a good time and another learning experience for me.  Our Trails and Rails group goes from Chicago to La Plata each Thursday and Saturday night and returns to Chicago the next morning.

Kids petting the “Llama”

Llama fur

Mr. Holt telling us about Iowa.
Holt in Iowa

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7 years ago

Bob, Very good posting. Really lets us know what being a Trails and Rails volunteer is really like. New term for me is “Audit” run which you are doing. Nice narration of what is going by the Lounge Car and the reaction by the passengers to the information, especially the kids. Keep up the good work and I presume you will be a ‘talker’ on the CHI – LAP run soon?
Carl Morrison, APRHF

Bob Cox
7 years ago
Reply to  cmorrison

Thank You Carl. It is a pretty cool thing.

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