|Sgt Santa spreading the cheer. It's not a secret that this Santa |
is also a model railroader and member of the Chesapeake Bay
& Western Model Railroad Club
|Chris (l) and Eric(r) riding in the|
power car at the head end
|Roman cargo transport circa 1st Century AD|
After touring the rest of the museum, including the spectacular ship models, we took a walk around the Mariner's Lake via the Noland Trail. We spotted several birds including 4 more for my life list.
|Horseshoe Curve on Ed's layout|
|This is just half of Northumberland |
Yard on Jim's layout
The next morning we made a quick trip to visit Fort Monroe. It is no longer a military base. The fort is part of the US National Parks System while the State of Virginia and City of Hampton also have exhibits and displays to see.
The fort is the largest masonry fort built in the US. It is hard to picture how large it is until you visit. It remained in Union hands through out the civil war. Many former slaves fled through Fort Monroe to freedom. It is chock full of interesting exhibits.
The former president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was imprisoned there for a while, but he never went to trial for treason. We didn't have time to visit the museum and see his cell.
Next we arrived at Ft Eustis as guests of the SGT Santa. Sergeant Major Snyder escorted us on base where we met with several folks from the MRS including my friends Billy Grimes and SFC Michael Spoor. Sometimes, it's a very small world.
|Billy Grimes and Chris in the power car|
Billy was one of the volunteers that were dressed in 1960s era Army uniforms to reenact the time period where the vintage passenger cars were in service (see lead photo.)
Mike was activated as a reservist to help support the weekend activities. He also had a chance to take some great photos of the restored cars being pulled by a US Army GP-10 (see last photo.)
Chris and I did two rides on the cars around the 8 mile loop of track at Fort Eustis. It was fun to see the railfans shooting pictures of the trains as they rolled across picturesque Fort Eustis. There were hundreds of US Army soldiers and their families riding the train and enjoying some holiday cheer.
After our second ride on the train, Chris and I stopped at the US Army Transportation Museum. The building was closed but we were able to see the outdoor exhibits that are now under protective roofs. The US Army had some really unusual equipment over the years.
|USATC S160 Class Steam engine at the museum|
It was just a hoot to be part of the event. Everyone seemed to have a great time and hopefully they raised a good amount of money toward the restoration of the steam engine. Perhaps next year they will have it pulling the Sergeant Santa train!
|The GP10 that pulled the train. Photo by Michael Spoor|