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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Well, Luke is almost 4 months old.  Last weekend, we took him to the Strasburg Railroad for his first train ride.  Below are some pictures:


#89 waiting at the Station.


Luke slept the whole way there, and was still asleep when we got on board:








He woke up and was a little bit confused about where he was.  But he didn't cry or squack.  

At the end of the line, the locomotive runs around the train.  This was Luke's first look at an operating railroad locomotive:



On the way back MB made the comment "I think we've got another train buff in the making!:



The air was cold and dry.  Perfect for steam shots like this one:


Some bad influences on the train tried to get him to wear this Penn State hat. 


Back at the station, we watched #89 couple up for the next run.  While many of the kids in the area were crying or covering their ears, Luke just watched the locomotive's bell. 
Here we are posing on the last car after coupling up.


Here's a shot of just 'the guys'.  That's Chris France on the left, me and Luke in the center, and a Strasburg first timer, Brian:


The happy family:


Luke is a little mad at me for turning away from the locomotive to pose him for a shot!

And some assorted shots from the platform as 89 waited (impatiently since the safety kept lifting!)




We waited for the train to depart.  As the train left, it had Luke's undivided attention!


Another interesting note about Strasburg.  Last summer, they started using the Philadelphia and Reading President's car on their half hour train.  It is an extra premium fare car (at $45 a ride), and with MB being preggo and all, we never rode it.  This year, the regular first class car "Marian" is in the shop, so they had the President's car tacked on the back of this train.  I didn't check, but I am pretty sure the fare is still $45 to ride it.  I think you get booze and snacks with that price (but in a 45 minute ride you wouldn't drink or eat all that much..)

Overall, we had a great time.  The coaches were clean and very warm.  We had to open the window, in fact.  

Mark
 
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Good looking kid!

My Luke is the "Train Nut" in the house, we were almost in the Driveway this past Sunday...5.5 hour drive from the SELSTS and he asked...."Are we going to train show today?"...You better go ahead and begin the Thomas collection, I Love Toy Trains DVD's, and HLW Macks (he can't tear that one up!)....I'd also recommend a DVD I bought for the boys this past Christmas....Busy Little Engine, they love it!

Kids and Trains...Nuthin' Better...Nuthin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cale,

I have already started collecting the wooden trains, even though they say "Age 3 and Up" .  So far he has a modest collection.  I have some LGB toy train items that might be OK, I think you're right, a Hartland Mack is probably in his future! 

I'll have to keep an eye out for those DVDs!

Mark
 
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Posted By markoles on 02/20/2008 1:27 PM
Cale,

I have already started collecting the wooden trains, even though they say "Age 3 and Up" .  So far he has a modest collection.  I have some LGB toy train items that might be OK, I think you're right, a Hartland Mack is probably in his future! 

I'll have to keep an eye out for those DVDs!

Mark


Mark i agree good lookin kid but, did you buy him that way and did he come with metal wheels and coupler installed????? i have not seen that model in the catalog is he aristo .... USA..   HEHEHE
Nick.
 

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Has anyone yet said that those are great photos? Those are GREAT photos. Love that steamin' steam engine! Oh, right, this is supposed to be about the kid. Those are great photos. . . 
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nick,

He was scratchbuilt and kit bashed!! He came equipped with knuckles, but not metal wheels. His plastic wheels, however, do just fine on our road.  You should hear  the factory equipped sound unit! I think sometimes the neighbors can hear it!  And not only does he have sound, there's an added dimension, smell.  Plus, his processor is a 'learning' type.  Every day the interface improves for better interaction!


Ron,

Thanks for the nice comments about the pictures.  We just got a new camera and this was our first set of photos with it.  I had to resize them here at work using MS Photo editor, and they don't look as good as the originials, but they are passable for this forum.  In the photo of MB, Luke and me in front of the locomotive, in the lower right, you see some steam.  The young couple that took our picture asked us to take theirs.  They stood in about the same location as where I am, and just as I snapped the picture, the locomotive let off steam from the cylinder area.  Some comments heard from the peanut gallery included "You guys are really steaming it up", etc..  If you go to Youtube and search for Strasburg 89, there's a 9 minute video of the first day of running.  You can't quite see my camera hanging out of the coach as we pass Cherry Hill, however.  I have to upload that video to youtube.  its pretty cool.  You get a nice long view of the train, plus the wind was blowing the right way so the steam is quite visible. This Saturday would be the day to go and shoot pictures and vidos over there at the railroad.  We're supposed to get a snowstorm tomorrow lasting into the first part of Saturday.  The steam and snow would be something to see.  Maybe the video guys will get out there and capture a snoplow run...

Mark
 

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Mark - really cute boy, I bet you told his mom he asked to go on that train ride.  (OK I'll be the one to say it - Lucky for him he looks more like MOM)

Remember to take him back there every so often just to take photos of his growth against the engine.

I have a photo of my son at 5 in front of the snow plow in Conway, NH - I couldn't get him to go back with me after he discovered sports and girls.  He's 19, in Baltimore, MD at Loyola College and it seems like just yesterday I was carring him in one of those car seats...

ENJOY IT!!!

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Stan,

Thanks!  

Scott, 

It is true...he does look more like his mother!  Phew!! He sure dodged a bullet there.  I am already thinking that I will have to work out a season pass with Strasburg.  Living only about 10 miles from Strasburg, it makes it an ideal picnic spot and half day outing.  

Luke is just about 4 months old and I can't believe how fast that time has gone.  It took me this long just to get him out to the railroad!! I am looking forward to our first trip to Connecticut, probably in April.  That'll be a challenge.  Maybe he'll be on a 4 hour cycle by then and we'll have a fighting chance of getting there without any stops...  not likely!

Mark
 

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Very nice... Great shots and a good lookin' family ya got there Mark. Looks like a fun day out as well.

My 9 year old is buggin' me to take the California Zephyr from here (Salt Lake City) to Chicago to see Grandma this summer.. I may just have to cave in and say OK..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dave,

Go for it, but make sure you book the sleeper!! My sister and I did that route (the other way) in 1998, and the sleeper made all the difference.  Food is included with your accomodation upgrade, too.  And, you only pay for the room, not per person. 

Mary Beth and I have regularly traveled by sleeper, but for the next couple of years, that's going to be a little tricky with the new baby.  

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am holding out hope that Lionel will reissue both Thomas and James sets.  I had a 3 year old visit and in his father translated "What kind of place did you take me to dad? I thought you said this was a train guy.  He doesn't even have Thomas!"  

I was thinking I'll get an OO scale Thomas to run in the basement, but that's not as fun as outside...
 
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