The Finger Lakes Scenic Railway (click here) took their annual fall foliage trip from Shortsville to Phelps, NY on Saturday. The ride was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society (click here) which has a museum right in Shortsville.
The weather was perfect and the five cars in the train were filled with happy excited leaf peepers. I’d wager a guess that most of the folks who took that train ride have never been on a passenger train. The last time that I was on a passenger train was when our senior class in Smithville, Ohio took the train to Washington, DC on our senior trip – almost fifty-five years ago! I think that the excitement of waiting on the train to arrive at the Shortsville station was greater than the ride itself! Today we are accustomed to 500 mph trips on a jet airplane and the click-it-y-clack of the iron wheels slowly moving along on rusted old iron rails hardly gets your attention anymore! The Finger Lakes Railway still moves freight on these tracks, probably achieving daring speeds of twenty to thirty miles per hour. But today, it was all about just cruising along at ten to twenty miles per hour for the enjoyment of the passengers.
The train slowly passed by the old railroad station in Clifton Springs which is now the library. I have to admit the sound of the engine’s horns hurt my ears, but other than that, it hardly turned a head as it passed by on its way to Phelps. Across the street from the library was a beautiful old house which probably dates back to post Civil War days. I’m thinking that that house has seen quite a few trains passing by in its day!
There are more rides planned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society this fall in the Finger Lakes (click here). And if you want to slow the pace of your life, you might consider taking a trip back in time when the iron horse reigned supreme in the Finger Lakes.