Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Stateside With Rosalea: Niles, CA – Part 2

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

Niles, CA – Part 2


See also… Part 1

I skived off last weekend to Niles, California. It’s just a short BART and bus trip from San Francisco, but is another world altogether. The town’s two main claims to fame are the Niles Canyon Railway, which is maintained and run entirely by volunteers, and the Essanay Silent Film Museum, housed in the building where Charlie Chaplin had his studio. This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Essanay Film Company and in June the museum will hold its 10th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival from June 25 to July 1. The excursion trains run the third Sunday of every month.

::Part 2: The train ride::


Click for big version

When I asked to take a photo of the ticketsellers in the little train booth, the Stationmaster stepped outside and posed for me. His name is Al McCracken.


Click for big version

There’s a mix of open and closed cars, with an engine at each end. Only occasionally do they have steam engines, and the engine pulling us to Sunol this day was a 1947 diesel engine featured in the History Channels MegaMachines series.


Click for big version

The train and the tracks are maintained and operated by volunteers, most of whom have never worked for the railways. They go through federal railroad training every year instead of every two years like actual railroad employees.


Click for big version

As we arrive in Sunol, where there is a picnic ground and time to explore that town if you wish as several return trips are made, we’re greeted by groups of children who are going to have their birthday party on the train. It’s possible to hire a private carriage or the caboose for the regular trips, or an entire train for wedding parties and the like on days when the excursions are not running.


Click for big version

One car is fitted out as a dining car, where you can buy coffee, hot chocolate, tea and snacks for a nominal price.


Click for big version

Throughout the short trip, a volunteer announcer tells us about points of historical interest along the way. Looking for all the world like someone from Thomas the Tank Engine, this is Bud Barlow.


Click for big version

Speaking of Thomas and Friends.... It was also Lunar New Year, and a lot of Asian families were taking their children on the train to celebrate.

Gung hei fat choi!

Niles: http://www.niles.org/
Essanay Museum: http://www.nilesfilmmuseum.org/
Niles Canyon Railway: http://www.ncry.org/

*************

rosalea.barker@gmail.com

--PEACE—

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>



Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>



Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>