Guest Author - Brenda Potter Reynolds
I actually heard a conductor for the Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway call out that phrase as I boarded the train. To be fair, another passenger had requested it, but for me, it just added to the experience.
My husband and I were in Newport, Rhode Island, touring the area. Catching a ride on the Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway was one of our priorities.
The OCNRR boards in Newport at 19 America’s Cup Avenue, at a restored depot. My husband and I boarded the train, walked through the coach section to the 1884 parlor car, and settled into our seats.
As we waited for the trip to start, I looked around. The interior was painted various shades of pink. A potbelly wood stove stood in a corner, dismissed for the summer. All the seats faced the windows, so we had a great view.
Our conductor, Dana Rowe, is a teacher during the week. Like the others who work on this line, he volunteers his time. I didn’t ask Dana if he was a history teacher, but he certainly could have been. He was very knowledgeable about not only the train and scenery, but also the history of Newport.
Dana began telling us about the train and our route before we even started moving. As we rolled on, leaves brushed the windows. Soon we could see the water. We settled back and enjoyed Dana’s narration.
The train runs for ten miles along the shore of Narragansett Bay. The scenery ranged from the natural – rocky shores, waves, seagulls – to naval. The line passes through Navy Yard, Home of the Navy’s War College, which requires a soldier on each end to open and close the gates to allow the train to pass.
On the base, two decommissioned aircraft carriers rest in the water – the USS Forestal and the Saratoga. We were able to get a good look at these awesome vessels.
The OCNRR trip covers ten miles, round-trip, and takes about 80 minutes.
The Mission Statement for the National Railroad Foundation and Museum, operator of the Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway, reads, "The Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and operation of historic railroad equipment, and the preservation of Narragansett Bay & the surrounding environment."
For more on the railroad, see OCNRR.
Their phone number is 401.624.6951.
A nice and relaxing place to stay is the Abigail Stoneman Inn right in Newport. See my article about the inn here: Abigain Stoneman.