Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Last Train to Nowhere

It is school holiday time in the ACT and we decided (being good grandparents that we are) -that we would take Ebony on a Steam Train ride to Bungendore(a small village about 50ks away from Canberra.
We were all excited about the trip especially Stephen as he is a train buff and we both remembered travelling on steam trains when we were kids.
For Ebony this was a great experience.
There were approximately 250 people on the train 80% were kids naturally.
Here is a photo of the train( which belongs to the Australian Railway Historical Society) ready to head off.

And here's Ebony and Stephen standing in front of the engine amid a puff of steam.

The inside of the carriage was just like it used to be when it was in service-- here's Ebony and I all rugged up to keep warm--no heating in these old trains.

And then we set off on our journey.
We went through several tunnels and over a bridge and past beautiful countryside and the excitement was running high.
We were supposed to go into a siding to allow the Express train from Sydney past and then we would set off again to our destination---ETA was 12 midday.
The plan was to have just over 2 hours in Bungendore and then board the train by 2.20pm ready for our return journey.
WEELLL guess what --the train broke down about 30 klms out of Bungendore---minor problems we were told --take about 15 minutes-----yeahh --like 2 and a half hours later a deisel engine arrive from Canberra to tow us back home.
Now I ask you -how do you keep about 200 kids entertained in a confined area --all hungry and bored and cold.
We were not allowed off the train-and the conductors kept coming along and apologising and giving us updates.
Lucky for us I had packed sandwiches and drinks and lollies but the people who hadn't must have spent a small fortune at the cafeteria.
Here's Ebony and Stephen before we left Canberra.
A picture of boredom ---Stephen pulled his Beanie down over his eyes and pretended he was somewhere else.

Finally the Deisel arrived and we were soon heading back home at the precise time we were supposed to be boarding the train at Bungendore.
Ebony thought the hole thing was great and on the way home kept wanting to stick her head out the window -while I nearly froze to death because the window was open.

And here we are back at the station-Ebony had a great day --and the train to Nowhere was somewhere again.
We must have looked a sight with this old steam engine and 7 carriages being towed along by a deisel engine --Deisel engine one end and steam engine the other.

They told us we could get 50% off the fares if we wanted to book again next holidays(I don't think so) or we could get a 50% refund (yes please)
But in the end Ebony really did enjoy it and we did also up to a point (the point where the train broke down)


Carol said...

Love the picture of the steam engine. My DH had a similar experience. He drove to Stirling to take pictures of a rather lovely steam engine only to find it has broken down and it was a diesel that arrived! Ah! the age of steam.

Micki said...

Well despite the breakdown, it seems to have been a good time spent with Ebony.

Joanna van said...

It's funny to imagine it's winter time for you over there when it's so warm here. It looks like Ebony had a great time!

Jacquelines blog said...

These are such lovely pictures Doreen!!!!

Dianne said...

Oh, that's a great story Doreen!! Ebony loved it - look at the smiles on her face. Nice shots of you too!!

Julie H said...

I remember similar adventures as a child - this will stick in Ebony's memory as a really good day forever! An adventure! Thanks for sharing Doreen.

Penny said...

What a great story of a day your grandchild will remember for ever. These things happen!! You all looked reasonably relaxed, next time take a pack of cards!

Dot said...

You and Stephen are such good grandparents Doreen! Love all of the photo's. And despite the delay it looks like you all had a good time together.