Monday, June 20, 2011

Red Run Express, Rouzerville, is 1930s Model A train

The Record Red Run Express, Rouzerville, is 1930s Model A train
Rouzerville, Pa. — The final dings of an old bell signal the last call to all the children to hop on the Red Run Express, before the conductor shouts “All aboard!”

A ride on the 1930s Model A miniature train has been a favorite outdoor family activity at Red Run Park in Rouzerville for more than 15 years during the hot summer months.

Families wrap around the porch of the train station and patiently wait their turn for two or three laps around the oval-shaped track.

Kim Marshall of Chambersburg and her 6-year-old daughter, Miranda, were at Red Run Park for the first time on Saturday and just had to check out the train and give it a whirl.

“We are here visiting family for a high school graduation and when the kids saw the train come out at 1 p.m. we knew we just had to check it out,” said Marshall.

Lending a hand

Volunteers are an essential part to keeping the Red Run Express on the track for both the young and the young at heart to enjoy.

Anyone with a passion for trains or just looking for a way to help out the community can be the conductor of the antique fuel-powered train, that includes a faux coal car, two passenger cars and a caboose bringing up the rear.

Brice Klingensmith, Saturday’s conductor, has been a volunteer for the last two years.

“I was already a member of the Waynesboro Model Railroad Club, so this seemed like a natural place to volunteer my time,” said Klingensmith.

Volunteers are needed to operate the train from 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer. Special events are also held during Halloween and Christmas, when the train area is appropriately decorated.

Rides are free, but donations are always welcome.

Piece of history

“The unique thing about the train is that it gives the kids an opportunity to do something else besides play on the playground equipment,” said Klingensmith, who noted it provides a mini-history lesson to visitors of all ages.

The 1930s train resided at Cold Spring Park, a 25-acre amusement park located near Zullinger during the 1940s, transporting visitors back to the days of another era and to sentimental childhood memories.

In 1995, the train made its way to Red Run Park thanks in part to a $5,000 donation by local businessman Dean Hebb, which was used toward the train’s purchase.

This past fall, the Washington Township maintenance crews completed some repairs to the track to ensure it was level.

“It was jumping the track at three or four different places,” said Matt Watson, township code enforcement officer. New ties were placed down to help level the track.

For more information, call the Washington Township offices at 762-3128.

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