Online Staff Report
EAST TROY, Wis. — As children or adults, how many of us have imagined “driving” a train? From the silver-skinned Zephyr to antique trolleys that once whisked passengers through busy city streets to Chicago’s iconic “L,” trains are fascinating, essential and beloved by many.
The East Troy Electric Railroad, home to more than 20 rail treasures including open cars, locomotives, streetcars and interurban coaches, will host Train Camp Tuesday, Aug. 14, offering railway fans a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and restored interurban coaches still running the rails today.
“Campers” will tour the historic depot, museum, car barn and meet the volunteers who keep the railroad running.
A highlight of the day will be a ride on a 4000-series CTA “L” car built in 1924 and painstakingly restored in the East Troy, Wis., facility.
“Train Camp is a hands-on opportunity for train fans to walk the entire facility, get an up-close tour of several historic trains, and learn about the many opportunities available at the railroad including serving as a conductor, motorman and docent greeting guests from across the country,” said Chuck Damaske, president of the East Troy Electric Railroad. “We’re asked all the time, ‘Can I work on the railroad?’ Well, now is the time. We’re looking forward to introducing the East Troy Electric Railroad to area train aficionados at our inaugural camp.”
Train Camp runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the East Troy Electric Railroad’s historic depot, 2002 Church St., in East Troy, Wis. Fee is $10 and includes lunch and a ride on the railroad’s workhorse “L” train.
All volunteers of the railroad must have a valid driver’s license and be 18 years of age. Future train operators must be 21 and successfully pass railroad operating rules training and test trips.
Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling (262) 642-3263
Twenty minutes from the resort area of Lake Geneva, Wis., the East Troy Electric Railroad operates 10-mile round-trip excursions from its historic depot and museum to the turn-of-the-century-styled terminal at the renowned Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, Wis. The railroad also operates the only electric interurban dining car train in North America, recreating the luxury patrons once enjoyed when life seemed to pass by a little slower.
For more about the East Troy Electric Railroad, visit www.easttroyrr.org.
Posted Aug. 8, 2012