National Train Day 2018 – #SoCS

I’ve combined #SoCS with a bar story and National Train Day. I have given this a lot of thought, maybe too much for #SoCS – I’ll see if I can get a ruling from Linda G. Hill, whose Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘on the farm.’ Find a word that has a farm animal sound in it, i.e. sMOOth, and use it in your post. Bonus points if you include three or more. Have extra fun!

OK then, let’s have some extra fun.

If we were having a beer, you’d be wondering about my blogging plans for today.

“Ah, there you are. Cheryl, bring my young friend a beer of his choice.”

“You’re buying?”

“I am. Cheryl is back from vacation, you’re back from you’re trip and I’m sure you need some cheering-up.”

“Why would I need…”

“Shush, Dan, don’t argue, order.”

“You’re right Cheryl. Do you still have Brooklyn Lager in bottles?”

“I do. You want to order some wings with that while he has his wallet open?”

“I might have to wait, I had breakfast at Maddie’s”

“That’s good, maybe I won’t have to pay to feed you. What did you have?”

“Eggs over easy, sausage, hash browns and rye toast.”


“So, just the drinks for now?”

“Yeah, Cheryl. By the way how was…where were you in Florida?”

“My very favorite place, Anna Maria Island. Beautiful beaches, calm, blue green water; and it is one of the few spots where I can still find oodles of seashells.”

“I was in Florida, too, but on the other coast in St. Augustine.”

“Aw, the last time we were there, we walked through The Fountain of Youth Park in historic St Augustine. The peacocks are beautiful, but they scream!.”

“Yeah, yeah, enough clucking about travel. Some of us were stuck here – drinking alone – with Skippy.”

“I’ll get that beer.”

“OK, now that the beer’s on order and you’re still paying, why do you think I need cheering up?”

“Because it’s National Train Day, and you don’t have a train.”

Coming June 9th

“What makes you think I don’t have a train?”

“The State of Connecticut forgot to buy them. Weren’t you going to write about a ride on the Hartford Line?”

“I was.”

“Well, last I checked, The Hartford Line was begging the Legislature for money to refurbish some trains they just leased from our neighbors in Massachusetts.”

“That’s true, but…”

“I guess not having trains would save money on maintenance.”

“Are you done?”

“I’m sorry. I know you’ve been looking forward to this railroad, but I’ve never thought it was worth building.”

“That’s because you’re married to your car.”

“I like the freedom.”

“Yeah, sitting in rush hour traffic with road-raged idiot drivers, paying for gas and parking – those benefits are hard to walk away from.”

“I can go way more places in my car than you can by train.”

“Hence the reason to have more trains.”

“Watch out Dan, he might pull the credit card out from under your beers. Speaking of, you guys want another round?”

“It does look like we need one Cheryl, and my credit card is still good.”

“Could you dress up a Corona for me?”

“Absolutely, Dan – Celebrate Train Day in spiced-salt style.”

“Look, I’m sorry that the State’s ineptitude left you unable to show off your love of trains.”

“I couldn’t write about the Hartford Line, but I do have trains to share.”

“What? From Iowa? I’ve seen those trains, six engines pulling a hundred and forty coal cars? It’s not a pretty sight.”

“Not Iowa, remember, I started out in Minneapolis.”

“I know, in the historic hotel room, in the restored Milwaukee Road Depot, but you already told that storytwice!”

“Hang on.”

“Hanging on every word…thanks to this bourbon.”

“Saturday morning, my brother and I hiked across the Mississippi on the old stone arch railroad bridge.”

“Oooh, that sounds like fun. Here’s that beer Dan.”

“Thanks Cheryl, and it was fun. I have lots of pictures.”

“That’s all well and good, but I’m guessing there wasn’t a train on that bridge.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.”

“What? Come on, they wouldn’t have a train running on a bridge you can walk on.”

“They do at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum.”

“I take it you visited the museum.”

“We did. On our way out of town, my brother drove us to St. Paul. They have several layouts, including two that feature the stone arch bridge. I have tons of pictures and a few moovies.”

“See, you just made my point.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your brother – drove – you over…”

Linda said “have extra fun” so there are extra photos from the museum. Click on any one to start a slide show and read the whole story. There are also extra embedded videos, (for David) but the first one is the one you should watch. “The Burlington Northern and the Depot” includes the hotel where we stayed.


Milwaukee Road – This is the one you should watch. The videos run between 12 and 41 seconds.


  1. The post came in at the right time before I head for lunch. There’s plenty of information in the conversation and I liked the pictures as well towards the end. Also, apologies that I couldn’t write about the Train Day on my blog because I was caught up last week. May is horribly hectic for me. I actually wanted to write on several incidents that I witnessed on my train journeys. They were all funny and some really insane and unbelievable. However, I will do it some other time. Apologies for that. Instead, I wrote on Mother’s Day and I believe my MailChimp account is having some trouble and hence no email notifications. The post is up on my blog, just in case you want to browse. Most of the content with pictures will come in from next week onwards. Oh! just to let you know. Sarah got inspired by your YouTube channel and she decided to start her own (using my name). So do check that out. I will also promote that on BFF and other places because she wants that initial push. I thought it would be a good way to keep her busy rather than thinking of losing her dad.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I thought I remembered your having been there. It might have been before the depot was restored. The Mississippi was there 😏

      The model train layouts made me think of you. They had to move about two years ago, so everything had to be broken down and adapted to a new, larger space. They’re still rebuilding some layouts.


  2. This is one of those times I wished WP had something other than a *like* button. Today I’m thinking both a *love* and a *wow* are required.

    There is just so much in here to like and comment on. Watched all the videos and I’m so impressed with the level of detail and complexity. The clickedy-clack of the trains, the little caboose (I haven’t seen one of those in forever!!), the panoramic passenger car … but the firehall with the doors opening and the fire truck coming out was my favourite!

    It wasn’t until I saw the stone arched bridge from the train museum that I really got an appreciation for its grand scale and how remarkable it truly is.

    Great post, Dan, and happy National Train Day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Joanne. You’re so right about the bridge. The curve (and the river) make it very hard to get a good picture of the real bridge. The large model train layout is pretty accurate and the only way to see a train go over the bridge.

      I love the fire house. When I got up to it, it was in the process of backing in and closing. I love that the dog barks when the alarm sounds.

      The details, the sounds, so many trains! The staff were all nice and helpful. It was a fun visit for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Dan from No Facilities blog has been reminding Train Lovers about National Train Day for several years, and I’m so glad he’s sent those reminders otherwise I would likely forget to post the train images I’ve been saving for the day, and how special is it this year?  It’s on my Birthday! I’ve scheduled this post ahead of time because I plan to be birding, or sleeping in when it goes live. 🙂  See Dan Antion’s  Train post on his blog  here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched every video! WOW! What an elaborate , and huge set up!! I loved the Fire Dept! Complete with fireman sliding down the pole! Way cool! I loved that sunroof sky viewing car, and the little Red Caboose! I’ve loved the Caboose best. :)

    The stone arch bridge is lovely. It’s pretty neat that you saw it in real life, and at the Train Museum. It looks like it was a wonderful visit.

    Great National Train Day post Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. I was left scrambling after CT delayed the start of the Hartford Line (it was supposed to start running last week). When I asked my brother if we could visit this place on the way home, he said “absolutely!” It turned out better than planned. They had to relocate a couple years ago and are still rebuilding, but they had the two layouts with the bridge up and running. The main layout is so big. The sunroof and caboose are on the back side of the main layout.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a great Plan B, and wonderful that your brother was in! :)

        We had a miniature train exhibit that would run on the week-ends in one of the local malls, that I enjoyed stopping in whenever I was at the mall, but that mall has closed up, and I have no idea where that train group is now. I should do a bit of research.

        It’s great that they got the bridges up. Those are awesome.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a very cool post, Dan. Regardless if Linda gives you a passing grade, I’d like to give you 1,500 bonus points for combining SoCS, beer and trains…all at the same time.

    The model trains and the sets are fascinating. While I don’t get as excited about the real, big trains, I do admire the workmanship and detail of model trains. It takes a steady hand and some imagination to create a life-like setting. The little firehouse made me smile, with the door opening up and the truck driving out. Simple, but cute!

    I’ve been wanting to get myself and bike over to the Mississippi for some adventure one of these summers. If you remember my post of the Sparta-Elroy Trail – it hooks up with a trail that takes one over the Mississippi and into LaCrosse and meets with a river trail. I think that would be an awesome ride.

    Hope you have an awesome Saturday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mary. That would be a great ride. There’s something about saying “l walked across the Mississippi River.” (I may have just previewed my one-liner Weds post 😏

      The firehouse was really cute. There was a little boy ahead of me (yes, I let him go first) who brought it out and put it back in.

      The smaller of the two layouts with the stone bridge was built for a private residence! I can’t imagine.

      Thanks for the bonus points. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Laura! Linda threw us a curve ball this week, but it was fun to work with. I’m trying to be able to work anything and everything in at the bar.


  6. A+ for you, Dan! My favorite video was the Fire Station. Is that dog’s barking? OMG–the attention to detail on all of this is amazing. I think we only have 1-2 train exhibits and they are both in nearby towns. I never get tired of watching them. Linda says head of the class for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois! Yes, that is a dog barking (Maddie would do that) at the firehouse. I was scrambling to find something to show for Train Day. When I saw that they had a layout (actually two) with the Stone Arch Bridge, and my brother and I were already planning to walk over the real one, it seemed too good to pass up.


  7. Dan – what you could not work in a train passing next to the farm late in the night ? You know the owl who did give a ‘hoot’ about the ‘toot’ while the goat told him it was a ‘bahd’ idea. And then all the animals woke up… and the farmer said ‘who’ said that as they all chimed in to the conversation. Now one more coffee before I head out to the garden. Cheers and great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh darn, I should have linked back here. But I haven’t done my post for today, so…..
    I love these trains. ALL of them. I have only had one ttain ride, on a Christmas dinner party event down in Florida. We rode the train from one town to another and then backwards again. It was dark so not much to see outside but I still loved it. Sorry about the Hartford deal falling through. It’s good to be back watching you fellas chug beer and banter! And Happy Mother’s Day to the Editor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It’s great having you back behind the bar 🙂🍺🥃

      I changed my link to your new post.

      The Hartford Line is coming. I will get to ride. Maybe I can wait to talk about it until next May.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun post…from the bar to the train displays. Amazing attention to detail. Loved all the videos. You must’ve felt like a kid in a candy shop!! Thanks for sharing the fun.

    Happy Mother’s Day to the editor!! Wishing you all an awesome weekend.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Remind me that I didn’t write my French train post :(
    My husand should write it in fact, since he grew up loving and riding trains. He knows everything about the history behind French trains and shared his love with our son.
    Great post and amazing photos and videos, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like that, Deborah. I’m so glad the building is still standing and that we had the opportunity to stay in one of those rooms. Seeing the model let us step back in time.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Love the model trains! We have a model railway museum here and it’s fascinating watching the action as the trains make their way through the various tracks they have set up. And, I especially love watching the grown men who run the museum play with their trains like little boys :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment. Nothing makes a grown man remember his childhood like a model train. The nice man we spoke to explained the construction of one of the layouts, and you could hear the excitement in his voice.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. You’re always welcome. I would gladly trade my morning commute for a train ride. Unfortunately, I’d end up on the wrong side of the river.

      The layouts were amazing. I can’t imagine the time required.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Just wonderful, Dan! Thanks for taking National Train Day to a new level. I love the stone bridge and the original depot, and the Art Deco posters. Last weekend I saw beautiful stone railroad bridges crossing the Susquehanna river in PA. A treat!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Dan – wonderful post … and I watched all the videos – I think I could happily sit and listen to that lot during the day – and dream of days gone by. I’ve always had a hankering for a model train railway – and envied my brothers, as too my cousins … but for one lot I was older, and 2nd lot I was too young and more importantly not of engineering material! … still it was fun seeing them … and I’ve linked over to you – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your three elements came together in a most satisfying way, Dan, and thanks for highlighting the fam animal noises, I was afraid I was going to have to find them and then you would say how many there were and I would feel bad because I missed some.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. This was meant to be entertaining, I wouldn’t try to test you. I wasn’t sure I could work three or more into the post, but those (virtual) bonus points are always a strong motivation.


  15. I adore trains and just learned about your post from Joanne Cisco. Train travel is my second favorite mode of transportation after sailing and I ride the rails wherever I can find them. Sadly (and happily), I am setting out tomorrow on a long sailing passage that will keep me offline for 45 days or I would write my own post to link to your National Train Day celebration. Next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry I’m late. I had work and charity and parent meetings and handbag problems (as you know) — life. I was having life, Dan! Haha!
    These are great! Reminds me so much of what the train room USED to be at Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The arches over the falls are LOVELY! Just love that shot.
    I had train things to share, and I missed it. Oh poo, at least we get another one next year :D Thanks for sharing yours.
    I wish we had trains in Indy. Every time someone pushes for it, it gets shot down. The buses are terrible when it comes to reliability, some places won’t even hire without proof of vehicle registration. :/ It’s THAT bad. Plus, they only travel in the city proper, so if you live or work in the burbs, no go. The Mister would so take a train to work. I would not, as I work close, but he’d be on that train, readin his books, meditatin with Buddha, takin a nap…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for catching up – I really appreciate that! Life does get in the way of things, especially when you have a plate full of stuff to do. I’ll send reminders again next year – determined to keep Train Day alive until Congress wakes up.

      I would love to take a train to work. The Hartford line will come close, but on the other side of the river. I’d have to drive 5 min to train station, take a train for 10 minutes, a shuttle for 5-10 minutes and then a bus for 45 min to get me to my office, which is a 25 minute drive. It’s the problem you mention, I live in one burb and work in another.

      I could take a bus (two) but it’s the same situation. Into the city and back out. I don’t think I’d care in the morning, but leaving work and being over an hour from home, is not good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I got to work today and remembered the train photos I was gonna share. I need to put them in their own file for next year. Pay Attention, Congress! :)
        Sometimes it takes The Mister over an hour to get home :/ Frequently on Friday. He tries to leave before 5 on Friday.

        Liked by 1 person

    • National Handbag Day – Would that require a matching shoe day? I’ve never heard Sheldon mention it. You would think he would write a letter to Congress, asking them to bring it back.


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