Railway Preservation News

Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween trains
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Author:  o anderson [ Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween trains

It seems one of the easier events for a railway museum to hold is a special weekend in autumn, when the weather is still nice, and the operations for the year have not quite ended. I know that there are several variations on this theme, and thought I would add the topic to the forum so that interesting examples could be posted in order to see what other groups are doing, and how yours might try on new and interesting aspects to your event.

An E-Magazine lists the 10-best fall color train rides as:
Mt. Washington Cog Railway: Northeast mountain forest color in wide views
Durango and Silverton: Rocky Mountains, aspen in color, and the "Peanuts(TM) Pumkin Patch Express."
Essex Stream Train: Fall color in the Connecticut River Valley.
Napa Wine Train: Grape vines in color and fermenting grapes in the air.
Adirondack Scenic Railroad: Fall color train and an evening/sunset beer and wine tasting train.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway: "Fall Leaf Excursion" in the Blue Ridge National Forest
Cuyahoga Valley Railway: Fall color trains and the "Pumpkin Express" which includes a local farm with a corn maze.
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad also runs the Peaunts train.
The Grand Canyon Railway has a pumpkin patch only accessible by train, and crafts, games and seasonal refreshments at the depot.
The 5-day excursion on VIA Rail in Canada that was listed is of another class - not a take the kiddies out for the afternoon experience.
source: https://www.smartertravel.com/2013/09/21/10-best-fall-foliage-train-rides-in-north-america/

Perhaps the most interestingly named event is "Dozinky Days" in New Prague MN on the Gopher State Railway Museum. In this case, it is mostly just a train ride tagging along to a local event. This small group is gradually improving every year, and I hope the best for them.

On the Fox River Trolley Museum in Illinois, and at the Lake Whatcom Railway in Washington, the event is a scenic ride to a pumpkin patch for a complimentary pumpkin.

There used to be a haunted house experience in a train at the Illinois Railway Museum, but this was discontinued for a variety of reasons. I think there was some some minor damage to equipment by others who were not affiliated with the museum.

There are plenty of park trains which have a halloween/pumpkin train ride, and sometimes this is the main event for the line.

I hope a few more outstanding and interesting examples could be posted here for sharing and discussion.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

Olin -

You asked for some examples, so here is a photo of riders at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum's "Pumpkin Patch" from one of the trains in October 2015.


Summer flees at HVRM 10-3-15 002.JPG
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Author:  wesp [ Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

At National Capital Trolley Museum patrons ride to Streetcar Hall to select a pumpkin from Pinson's Pumpkin Market. (Pinson is the last name of our educator.)


Pumpkin Trolley.jpg
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Author:  steamloco76 [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The Everett Railroad, Holidaysburg, PA hosts two weeekends of steam powered “Pumpkin Patch” trains in October. The train goes from The depot to Kladder, where the children get to go through a pumpkin patch, get a small pumpkin and a decorating kit. These trains are quite successful. This year they are operating pull-pull style on a one hour inerterval with Mogul #11 pulling the train to the pumpkin patch and a diesel on the rear taking the train back to Holidaysburg eliminating the 10 minute delay for a run around move, giving The kiddos more time at the pumpkin patch.

Author:  Al Stangenberger [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The Western Railway Museum began its Pumpkin Patch trains yesteray (October 7).

Passengers ride our trains to the site, and three local Rotary Clubs operate the Pumpkin Patch as a fundraiser for their scholarship program.


Author:  jameshinman [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

At the Bluegrass Railroad Museum, in Versailles, Kentucky, we're fortunate to have a non-profit group about halfway down our line, the Life Adventure Center. They have several horse programs for disadvantaged children, and programs for disabled veterans. They do this with income from hosting corporate retreats and the like.

In years past, they had a corn maze, and at the beginning of our cooperation with them, we ran a 'Corn Maze Train', earlier in the day. LAC would feed the participants, and let them wander around the maze for a couple of hours, before we picked them up on our regular excursion train. The corn maze wasn't a long term success, so they ended that event.

They built a good, vestibule level platform on our ROW, at the beginning, and it's still in use.

We've ran some 'Picnic Trains' with them, where we delivered passengers to them, for lunch and family games, again picking them up on our regular excursion. These have had low turnout, and I don't recall if we ran any this year.

Most recently, this is maybe the third year of Pumpkin Patch. They grow a few pumpkins in a small garden near the platform, and purchase plenty more wholesale. They also decorated the site. Last year, we had a noticeable increase in ridership for it, especially considering that we weren't emphasizing it any more than our regular excursions. This year, we sold out 5 coaches, on 8 trains total. 5 coaches worth of passengers is likely the extreme maximum for comfort at the Pumpkin Patch. This is the first weekend of Pumpkin Patch, and we've been sold out for all 8 for well over a week.

This partnership has been spectacular for us. We bear the burden of managing a train full of passengers, at the regular ticket fare, while the other group performs all the decorating. We plan to pursue more trains for next year; this year LAC couldn't support additional trains even as late as September.


Author:  SThomas [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The East Troy Railroad in East Troy, Wisconsin runs trains to the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, where riders can exit the train and go to a pumpkin patch, take a hay ride to pick apples and enjoy a corn maze. The Elegant Farmer calls this time of year the "Autumn Harvest Festival" and it runs from early September to October 22nd. The scenery of the beautiful Wisconsin countryside can be enjoyed on this 10-mile round trip. The Elegant Farmer is a large farm market known for their apple pie baked in a bag. The regular East Troy Railroad trains run Saturdays and Sundays through November 5th.

Author:  Jim Baker [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

From our web site: "Join the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association in our Twelfth Annual Pumpkin Express Halloween Celebration. Come ride our decorated vintage railcars through the San Diego County mountains as fall descends upon Campo, CA. Walk through our themed display building complete with two haunted trains, a pumpkin patch, and our creepy cast of ghosts and ghouls."

Visitors take about a 45 minute train ride, then unload at our Display Building that is decorated. There are two entrances: one for really scary stuff and the other for not scary stuff. The really scary stuff is inside the old SD&A business car in the background. Kids get a pumpkin to decorate.

Pumpkin Display.jpg
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Author:  Howard P. [ Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

File comment: Drone photo by Jim
IMG_6225.JPG [ 193.31 KiB | Viewed 6050 times ]

Railroad Museum of New England has operated a Pumpkin Patch train for about 7 years. Train stops at our "patch" for about 15 minutes, and kids choose "their" pumpkin from the patch. This drone view was taken on Sunday October 10, and shows New Haven 2019 stopped with the last train of the day. PP trains operate for 3 weekends in October.

File comment: NH 2019 photo by Howard P.
IMG_6220 (Small).JPG
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This location is not accessible by road; we bring the pumpkins in via rail and store them in a 20-foot shipping container on-site. They are all stored away at the end of each day.

Howard P.

Author:  Trolleyguy [ Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom WI, is having a Pumpkin Special next weekend, Oct 14 & 15.
http://www.midcontinent.org/train-ride- ... n-special/

A ride to the end of the line allows the little ones to select and purchase a pumpkin. Pumpkins are sold by an outside vendor.

Little Amerricka in Marshall WI is an amusement park type train, but it does have a 2 mile ride with a visit to the pumpkin patch included. A pumpkin is available as part of the ride ticket purchase.


Author:  whippany [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

Whippany Railway Museum (NJ) has been doing its "Pumpkin Festival" for the last 17 seasons... all very successful. The event is generally held the first Sunday in October and features a crafts fair, farm tractor display, Fall produce vendors and a pumpkin patch where families can pick out their pumpkins and costumed characters. Train rides are a part of the event and are always sold out well in advance.

For 2017 the Museum partnered with the Hanover Township Mayor's Wellness Program and featured an "All Aboard For Wellness, Fitness & Fun !" event. Trains ran to Hanover's Central Park where passengers had the option of joining the various activities put on and co-sponsored by Bayer, Wegmans, the New York Red Bulls, and the Whippanong Library.

To end the Museum's 2017 season there will be a series of "Halloween Express" trains where passengers are encouraged to come in costume. These will be the first Halloween trains at Whippany in many years.

Whippany Fall Train A 2016-1 sm.jpg
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WRyM - PumpkFest 2013 6 (2)-1 sm.jpg
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WRyM Halloween 2010-1 sm.jpg
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Author:  RookieFireman [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The Three Rivers Rambler in Knoxville, TN is starting a re-vamped Halloween train this year. The model is essentially that of your typical Christmas train--a narrated Halloween story (written for the train by one of the managers.. she also wrote the Christmas story used on those trains) is played over the speakers while the train goes along. This is mixed with Halloween decorations on the train and in the depot and kids are encouraged to wear their costumes.

This is the first year for these trains and it will be interesting to see how they perform. Southern Railway #154 will be the head-end power on the weekend excursions, with diesel power on some weekday evening runs. #154 will likely be wearing either a Southern PS-4 whistle (re-make, not original) or a similarly deep Cotton Belt whistle for a more "spooky" aesthetic than its typical Crosby.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The Baltimore Streetcar Museum's Halloween Streetcar Pumpkin Patch, with pumpkins for the kids to select at the 28th Street Loop (an actual loop from the Balto. streetcar network rebuilt at the Museum's north end):


Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

From the B&O Railroad Museum via Facebook--and this isn't a place "known" for its train rides, especially.......

Thursday, October 26 at 10:30am – Join us for Halloween Toddler Time & Costume Parade!

Children enjoy a Halloween story, create a craft, and enjoy a carnival ride of their choice! The fun continues with a costume parade through the B&O’s Roundhouse with Choo Choo Blue, the museum’s mascot, leading the way. Little trick-or-treaters collect special treats along the way!

Saturday, October 28 & Sunday, October 29 – It’s Witches & Wizards Weekend!

Sponsored by First National Bank, Medieval Times, & Happy Chicken Bakery.

This weekend only young witches and wizards are encouraged to delve into a world of sorcery and witchcraft where they can:

· dress as their favorite witch or wizard

· learn how to make edible “potions” and “magical” wands

· hatch “dragons”.

· experiment with magical familiars in Herbology Class and at the Young Wizards Academy

· take a spellbound journey through our Magical Object Tour

· work with Magical Mechanics on STEAM engineering and educational experiments

· be enchanted by the Wizard Show and a sword demonstration by a Medieval Times Knight (Sunday only)

· take a train ride aboard the Wizard & Witches Express

All included with paid admission!

Author:  ted_roy [ Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall Color/ Harvest Festival / Pumpkin / Halloween train

The Connecticut Trolley Museum does a Pumpkin Patch and Rails to the Darkside!



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