Operators are very important at our museum. They give rides to visitors while providing information about our electric cars, our railroad, and the mission of our museum. Special thanks are due those operators who operated weekdays during the summer: Bill Strahle, Jim Mason, Fred Codoni, Ray Muther, Enid Albedi, and Steve Graves. Each volunteered to operate the same day of the week all summer. This made scheduling a breeze!
The big Operations story is the Pumpkin Patch. Our department is proud to support this important event for our members and the public. A big tip of the hat goes to Enid Albedi, Andy Alkema, Roger Bergmans, Fred Codoni, Jerry Graham, Steve Graves, Jim Mason, Robert Parr, Karl Peery, Rueben Smith, Paul Trimble, Jim Ward and Richard Wheeler. Andy served as Operations Director for all Pumpkin Patch days. Thanks too to Paul Trimble, Ray Muther, and Alan Fong for car cleaning. They had extra work this year cleaning out mud from inside the cars. Alan wields a wicked mop.
Operations went very smoothly thanks to a clear operating plan. Our one working Bridge Unit was used as one train that departed the Museum every hour, on the hour. A second train made up of Key System streetcar 352 and MUNI streetcar 1016 departed every hour, on the half-hour. Occasionally, Petaluma and Santa Rosa 63 was added when we needed additional capacity. At no point this year did anyone wait more than 30 minutes for a train! We parked Crandic interurban 111 west of Gum Grove station to serve as a waiting room in case of rain. It also provided great peace of mind knowing that emergency transportation was available if needed.
We were very fortunate to have MUNI 1016 in service since August; it was invaluable during the Pumpkin Patch. Thanks to David Buechler who led the restoration of our newest operational PCC streetcar.
Our annual Pumpkin Patch Festival will place special demands on the Operating Department. With Key System Bridge Unit 182 on bad order, we will have to substitute other cars. Fortunately, SF MUNI 1016 has come on line after a fabulous restoration job. We will use it together with Key System 352 and a few other cars as needed in place of the sidelined Bridge Unit.
If you’d like to ride on a Bridge Unit to revive old memories, Key System 187 will be on duty all during the Pumpkin Patch Festival. It is scheduled to depart at 10:00am and approximately every 50 minutes thereafter. We will not be operating on a timetable this year. Cars will depart Pumpkin Patch as soon as loaded. Without the timetable, we can get in a few more runs each day to increase our capacity and reduce wait times for passengers.
We will need extra volunteer help during Pumpkin Patch. You don’t have to be a qualified operator to help load and unload cars. You can help direct visitors and answer questions. If you want to help, email the Museum or call 707-374-2978 ext 114.
Long time operator Dick Bartel has donated his 7.5” gauge operating scale model of an SP Interurban Electric Railway car to our museum. It’s on Display in Carhouse 3 next to some of our IER car bodies.
We’d love to have you become an operator at our museum. If you’ve always wanted to operate a train or a streetcar, here is your opportunity. No experience is necessary. We have a free training program. If you’d like to help our museum in a very positive way, please email the Museum or call 707-374-2978 ext 114 and we can set up training at a mutually convenient time.Operations Archive
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