Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DOWT days 4 & 5 or See You Next Year

Al writes...

I'll make this fairly brief as it fits into the more of the same category. And actually that's a good thing, as the weather was perfect, the crowds were present and the Thomas train operated flawlessly. So more of the same is good news in this case.

Both days were roughly repeats of last Saturday and Sunday, except that we had enough customers that we added a 4:30 train on Saturday. I finally figured out how to get responses from the kids I was interviewing in the "Man on the Street" role other than a yes or no.  We'll see how that goes next time if i can remember it.

 As usual we had 4 cars operating on the streetcar loop and 3 trains on the main line. There were reports of queues for the mainline trains during the mid afternoon.  On Sunday the CA&E steel set was used rather the the North Shore cars.In general we had very few issues with the riding public however it did seem that the folks who were itching for a fight were concentrated on Saturday. Nothing serious but just a few of those incidents that make you shake your head. For example, a car arrived in the parking lot around 5:15 with Michigan license plates asking if this was the place for the Thomas ride. Seems they were a little late but!

One incident produced a very pleasant surprise. After a ride one woman came up to me and told me she was very upset with what she heard in her car. I thought oh boy a complaint to deal with! She then proceeded to tell me that the man in the next seat was complaining about what a rip off the price for the Thomas tickets is , and how the museum was just robbing people for this event. She then told me how she told the man that everything he could see, the barns, equipment, the diesel fuel in the locomotive etc. was all paid for with donated funds and receipts from the event etc. Nice to have some members of the public recognizing that fact.

 Last week I forgot to thank our very useful shunting engine 9255 for providing a view down the tracks for Thomas when he has to back up (that;s my story and I'm sticking to it!) So another Thomas event successfully concluded without any major incident.  By 4 on Saturday we had our routine down to the point where we just might do it again next year.

As you may have seen reported else where 2 significant milestones were achieved at IRM on Sunday. First as Frank reported the 803 was running on its own power, and secondly the 1630 passed its static hydro test.  Thus the steam crew can begin returning the 1630 to looking like an operational steam locomotive.

Restaurant Reviews

The restaurants for days 4 & 5 were old standards.  Sat. night we visited the Red Ox in Hampshire, the food was good, relatively fast and reasonably priced.  They were quite busy, but the service was still excellent.

Sunday we made the usual stop at Donley's.  The 2 weekends of Thomas have to go a long way to making their year profitable, but no special thank yous this time around.  But the food was good and a nice cold Blue Moon hit the spot.

Now if I can just get this sound out of my head. Chugga Chugga Wheesh!

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