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Date: 11/19/20 09:16
Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson please.
Author: RNP47

Fellow Trainorders Members...
I could use some recommendations please.
My grandson Daniel lives in Sacramento. 
I live in New Hampshire.
We share a love of trains. 
I have taken him on several adventures looking for interesting railroading locations.
We've been to Portola, seen the Kedie Wye, the Georgetown loop, Horseshoe curve, the Williams Loop, the Tehachipi loop, the California State Museum, Steamtown, and visited the high bridge in Letchworth State Park before the new bridge was constructed.
It has been great fun chatting with him and watching him grown and develop.
The first photo was a Trainorders Trip from S Francisco, which we boarded in Sacramento to Las Vegas in 2011, the second photo is from 2016.
The second photo is in Steamtown.
I really treasure those times.
He is now 18 and I was just thrilled when he called me this past weekend to tell me that he has fond memories of those trips and wished to do another one!
What a gift, right???
I am so grateful!
Well, I could use some suggestions of where we might go next. 
I have thought about Cheyenne, the B&O transportation museum, Chicago with it's numerous railroads, and the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis. Then there is the North Carolina Transportation museum. Heck... There is even the NYC museum in Elkart IN. I would have a hidden agenda with that one though, because I would want to show him my alma mater in South Bend, hoping he would like to go to college there, but he is pretty much committed to trying to get in Stanford. He is a grade A student. I love him to bits!
So... I am asking for input on where we might go next for a train related road trip. Where he is now 18, I can meet him anywhere. 
Thanks in advance. 
Bob Phelps
 






Date: 11/19/20 09:20
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: exhaustED

Sorry, don't think I can help with locations, other people will be better for that... but just to say congrats. and great news that your Grandson wants to meet up to chase trains with you again - special times to treasure!



Date: 11/19/20 11:17
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: NormSchultze

Depends on when you are making the trip.   I suggest June, most folks will be vacinated by then and travel should be safe.   
For Action:  Chicago and environs.  There are new Metra Schemes to shoot. And,of course Roosevelt Road over the yards.  
For Different:  The Iron Range.  Duluth.  
For Boats: Sault St Marie.  Corps of Engineer viewing platform.  Get passport or border card and do Agawa Canyon.  A brace of beautifully liveried F40s.
And, without fail, the reopening of the East Broad Top.

Norm



Date: 11/19/20 11:45
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: milwrdfan

Make the train part of the trip.  Depending on time available, do a cross-country train trip as part of your time together.  Either you fly out to CA and then you and he take the train back east, or he flies east, and then you take the train back west together and then you fly back east afterwards.
  • HIghly recommend the B&O Railroad museum in Baltimore
  • NYC Museum in Elkhart is ok if you're nearby, but wouldn't recommend making a special trip just to visit it
  • Stop off in Chicago for a couple days and get day passes to ride Metra for a day.
  • Illinois Railroad Museum @ Union, IL (a bit outside Chicago)
  • Take the California Zephyr through the Rockies
  • Pikes Peak cog rail is *supposed* to open back up in May 2021.
  • There's also narrow gauge rail with Cumbres & Toltec, or Durango & Silverton, but those are a bit more out of the way.
  • Or do an "around the country" circle tour on Amtrak.



Date: 11/19/20 12:09
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: CPCoyote

I highly recommend a visit to Bailey Yard and Golden Spike Tower in North Platte, NE. Unfortunately, Amtrak doesn't serve North Platte, so you'd need to rent a car somewhere. Lincoln would probably be your best bet for that. Another possibility is the old Santa Fe transcon in northern AZ and NM. The latest Trains magazine has a good story on that in and around Winslow, AZ.
Have fun wherever you decide to go. Best of luck to your grandson getting into Stanford.



Date: 11/19/20 12:31
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: engineerinvirginia

i take my youngest nephew anywhere and everywhere....ideas just as they come to me....or he gets them....just do things, it's all worth it. 



Date: 11/19/20 12:58
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: VaCentralRy

Not sure how much time you have (and I'm presuming Covid is no longer a travel issue).   Most of the travel seems to be in the west. 
Tossing this idea out there:  
Meet him at an airport in D.C.  and make it a road trip to Chicago.   Gives you Amtrak/catenary to start with, off to Cumberland-WM Scenic and Sand Patch (with sidetrip to Flight 93 memorial), Pittsburgh, Fostoria railfan park, museum of choice in Ohio, NYC-South Bend/Elkhart,  Chicago, and he goes back west on plane from there. 



Date: 11/19/20 13:21
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: randgust

In terms of bucket list....and lifetime list.... the season is over at Cass but make sure you get there sometime.

It's really the only major steam logging operation out there, nothing else quite like it.   

For a flat out railfan 'watch lots of trains' location where you can 'almost' get to the door by Amtrak with a little help from a taxi or Uber, I recommend the following where there's no 'out of season' problems:

Kingsley Inn, Ft. Madison IA (watch the webcam, book a room by the tracks, and bring earplugs)  Amtrak to Ft. Madison
Bridgeview Bed & Breakfast, Harrisburg, PA  Amtrak to Harrisburg, PA


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/20 13:22 by randgust.



Date: 11/19/20 13:30
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: bigmc83

As mentioned, assuming the COVID crisis is resolved, another idea would be Philadelphia.  Good amount of history, culture, and railfanning in the local and regional area.
-30th Street Station to check out, and you can take SEPTA or Amtrak to anywhere else for a day trip
-Franklin Institute might be worth it, but might be too elementary
-Strasburg/EBT not too far and the RRMuseum of PA is outstanding
-Wilmington & Western RR
-York PA has a railroad as well

If he's interested in engineering, there's a much better engineering school west of South Bend located in West Lafayette.....:-)
So far, some great ideas in general.  Enjoy!
-Sean
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/20 13:36 by bigmc83.



Date: 11/19/20 13:35
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: Off-pending

Start out in Chicago. Hit all the rail sights there. Head south to Monticello. Hit more rail sights in central Illinois. Off to St. Louis for the NMOT. Take Amtrak across Missouri to Kansas City. See some rail sights there and eat some bbq. Catch Amtrak out to La Plata, spend a day or two there at the rail themed hotel. Hop back on Amtrak to Chicago. Make it a giant Midwest triangle.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/19/20 15:28
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: RuleG

Since you mentioned South Bend, why not a ride on the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend? I feel it is the most interesting commuter rail line.  You may also want to use it to get to the Indiana Dunes National Park.

Several Pennsylvania attractions have been mentioned.  A few others:

Allegheny Portage Railroad (also part of the National Parks system) just west of Altoona
Everett Railroad (in case the East Broad Top is not running during the visit)
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
A ride on Amtrak's Pennsylvanian
Lake Shore RR Museum in North East Pennsylvania (located just east of Erie and a great place to catch CSX and NS action).  Maybe go to the Erie Maritime Museum and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center for museums on Lake Erie's maritime and natural history.



Date: 11/19/20 16:16
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: 611Doug

Special times getting to spend that time with your grandson!!  Wherever you go will be great.  My suggestion is US Route 220 starting in Altoona PA  (east/west slopes, Everett and EBT railroads with a stop at Vito's in Cresson)  on to Cumberland, Sand Patch and the Mountain Sub, Potomac Eagle), C&O at Clifton Forge VA, then   on to Cass RR and further to  Roanoke VA/Bluefield WV.  
 



Date: 11/19/20 16:19
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: 611Doug

Almost forgot, if he is interested in engineering visit the Penn State Altoona campus which offers the only (that I know of) undergraduate Rail Transportation Engineering  (RTE) program in the US.
 



Date: 11/19/20 16:38
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: Pattenburg

Just my two cents but when looking into developing your trip plans, see if there are any short lines offering rides in cab in the area you choose to go to. My wife, a definite non-railfan, and I did a cab ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic RR and she still talks about it today. 



Date: 11/19/20 17:17
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: RuleG

Additional thoughts on the Midwest -

A few years ago, I spent a few days in Kansas City.  Never seen so much freight action as I did in Downtown Kansas City (by Union Station) and the West Bottoms.

I highly recommend the visiting the Lake Superior Museum of Transportation and a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad as well as a visit to the Illinois Railway Museum.



Date: 11/20/20 04:02
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: RNP47

My goodness! Thank you one and all for the plethora of helpful suggestions! I really appreciate the many responses. I'll put my thinking cap on and will keep you posted!
Bob Phelps



Date: 11/20/20 05:19
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: bert14

Rocky Mountaineer in Canada.
Too many routes & different itineraries to list here.
There is none better!
 



Date: 11/20/20 08:36
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: P

Well, if anywhere in the entire country is an option, there are literally an endless array of options. It's a big country,and lots of things to see and do. Perhaps decide if you want to see steam, trolleys, branch line trips, mainline action, Amtrak, mountains, deserts, etc. Try and nail down a theme and you can start to narrow down your options.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/20/20 17:39
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: SD45X

Well, I would suggest a trip to the semaphores in New Mexico before the last few are gone between Springer NM and Wagon Mound NM. Amtrak three days a week schedule should be consulted first to get two trains on one day. Work around that. Amarillo just south and about 90 trains a day. North is Colorado narrow gauge running and in museums. Plus Std gauge treasures. And Dinosaur CO has the last electric RR running.... some rare stuff. Make for a memorable trip.

KC and St Louis (museum here) both large areas to waste a couple days and pixels:)



Date: 11/20/20 18:33
Re: Help planning a train related adventure with my grandson plea
Author: Steinzeit2

I'd like to suggest Europe, for these reasons:
 -  If he has not been outside North America, it will expose him to new peoples, cultures, and histories -- not to mention a different and often better way of railroading.
 -  Once he starts college, 'time' may not be available, especially with intern programs, etc
 -  There's still time to see both 'classic' and 'new era' railroading
 -  Everything's closer, and you naturally travel by train -- and everything will be "new"

My quick, simplified suggestions would be Vienna, Prague, Lucerne, Köln, Lyon.

SZ



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