Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day Out With Thomas, Part Deux

The Thomas event continued at its usual frenetic pace Saturday and Sunday. I was fortunate enough to be Paul Sprenger's conductor both days on CTA 4391, which is definitely one of the cushier jobs in the event - I get to sit in a nice comfy seat and flick toggle switches all day! I also got to sub in on the 144 as conductor for a little while, which involved more exercise. The crowds were quite big, especially on Saturday, and I was struck by the good mood everyone seemed to be in. The weather was fantastic, which probably helped. I even had someone tell me how impressed they were last year when they came out for the "rain make-up" day and experienced the whole shuttle-bus phenomenon. Anyway, here's a before-and-after photo from the conductor's booth on the Hornet:

The "before" photo shows the car when first going into service, the "after" photo about an hour and a half later at the height of the day's rush, when long lines at the streetcar stops resulted in standing-room-only streetcar trips (this would typically only last until the next stop, though). And, of course, the "sea of people" shot out the 4391's back window as WC 7525 leads the Thomas Train back into the loading track:

It's always very impressive to see the museum handle huge crowds like this; with three mainline trains, four streetcars and the Thomas train in addition to all the temporary attractions, there was an awful lot happening.

Update: Fox News had a news feature on Day Out With Thomas here.

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