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Fireworks Express
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Cumbres and Toltec fan
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Fireworks Express
 
« on: Apr 12th, 2008, 12:53pm »
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Hello everyone,
 
I don't know if this has been a topic before, but I'd like to know if any railfans out there have ridden the W&W Fireworks Express.  I read about it on their website; it's steam powered and it sounds great.  I volunteer at the BR&W in NJ and it sounds just like an event they used to run.  I mentioned it to my wife, and we might want to go there and ride it this year.  If you've ridden it, how did you like the event?  Was the fireworks display worth the trip??  My wife is not into trains, and the best way to convince her to go is if it's a good fireworks show.  I've never done this type of trip since I've been married, and I'd like to share it with her - your feedback is greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
 
Jason


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NHIWW
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #1 on: Apr 12th, 2008, 7:07pm »
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This trip sells out every year.
 
The fireworks are set off by the town of Hockessin, in Swift Park, which the Railroad line runs through to its terminus at Valley Road, although the train doesn't enter the park.
 
You have a short walk to the fireworks, or you can stay by the train and see them very clearly. They're about what you would expect from a mid sized town...not bad at all. Once they're done, you board the train and ride back hassle free, while the rest of the people sit in the traffic jam that is Hockessin after the fireworks. It's a leisrurly trip, steam all the way up, diesel back since they cannot run around the train in Town due to the crowds.  
 
Plan for warm/humid weather...always is.
 


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wwrrvolunteer
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #2 on: Apr 15th, 2008, 9:17am »
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Yes,  
It is a wonderful trip. As NHIWW said, it is a sell out every year and I would suggest making resevations a couple weeks in advance at the least. Not only do you get to see fireworks in Hockessin, but a lot of the Red Clay Valley residents put them off as the train rolls by too. Makes a great trip for the whole family.
Mark


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Cumbres and Toltec fan
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #3 on: Apr 15th, 2008, 10:18am »
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Sounds like something my wife and I want to do.  How many years have they been running this trip?

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wwrrvolunteer
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #4 on: Apr 17th, 2008, 8:46am »
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Hmm...
As long as I can remember. I would say at least 15 years. I have ridden it every year since I was about 4, and that was 1993.


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Penn Rail Videos
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17th, 2008, 2:55pm »
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I've always wanted to do a video on this run, but it'd be just to dark.

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NHIWW
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #6 on: Apr 19th, 2008, 8:16am »
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Not going up to Hockessin it wouldn't be too dark...it leaves at around 7pm..still plenty of light out.  
 
On the way back, you'd be shooting in the dark..but as stated, it wouldn't be steam pulling back.
 
FYI: W&W is looking into purchasing a new, possibly larger, diesel to augment its now 65 + year old SW1's of which one, 8408 is the most historic to the RR itself, being it's only loco actually assigned to the branch after it left EMD.  
 
I'm anxious to see what they do decide to buy now that they're not as hindered by bridge weight limits.
 


« Last Edit: Apr 19th, 2008, 8:18am by NHIWW » Logged


Penn Rail Videos
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #7 on: Apr 19th, 2008, 12:09pm »
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on Apr 19th, 2008, 8:16am, NHIWW wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I'm anxious to see what they do decide to buy now that they're not as hindered by bridge weight limits.

 
I heard from one of the volunteers, that their looking into an SW1500. That'd be neat to see... maybe they'll get an ex-RDG one and put it in RDG paint.
- Adam


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NHIWW
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #8 on: Apr 19th, 2008, 7:32pm »
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on Apr 19th, 2008, 12:09pm, Penn Rail Videos wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I heard from one of the volunteers, that their looking into an SW1500. That'd be neat to see... maybe they'll get an ex-RDG one and put it in RDG paint.
- Adam

 
Anything they buy will be put into W&W paint. There are only 2 exceptions to HRCV owned equipment...the Gas Car and the PRSL...both of which have excellent paint jobs done by outside parties at no cost to the RR.
 
When there was serious talk of restoring the 8408 to its original B&O scheme  for a photo charter back in 1997, paid for by the person doing the charter, the railroad refused to budge. It was either W&W paint or nothing.
 
They want their own identity.
 
I'd like to see them get a nice Geep. Something substantial.


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joneau261
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #9 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 2:26pm »
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That is unless it's temporary, right? (98 in MSC paint?...) Certainly makes sense that W&W wants its own identity... that and there will pretty much always be a matched trainset.
 
Seeing as to the longest trains on W&W can be handled by 58, hopefully W&W doesn't get something too oversized (maybe BR&W could always sell something )
 
...ok, Fireworks Express. It defiantly looks to be like a fun event. I'd love to see it soon, but I'll have to find the time...


« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2008, 8:14am by joneau261 » Logged

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NHIWW
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #10 on: Apr 20th, 2008, 10:57pm »
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It is indeed an intresting event....and worth it to me.
 
 Don't know many places that do something similar anymore. NH&I & BR&W had operated trains for the fireworks at New Hope/Lamberville, but when the town cryers cancelled it, that was the end of those trains.
 


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rwk
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #11 on: Apr 21st, 2008, 2:40pm »
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If W&W wants its own identity, why do other tourist RR's like WK&S and Strasburg paint their equipment for other railroads like CN, Great Western, or fallen flags like Reading Company, Lehigh & New England, Lackawanna, etc?

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Railfan Entertainments
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #12 on: Apr 21st, 2008, 3:30pm »
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rwk,  
 I don't know about the WK&S, but someone paid the SRC $20,000 to paint each of their engines in their origanal paint schemes.


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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #13 on: Apr 21st, 2008, 6:07pm »
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Obviously, this is no longer a thread about the Fireworks Express.  
 
Which steam locomotive do they typically use on it?  Hope it's 98, but either one would be great (that rhymes)!


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joneau261
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #14 on: Apr 21st, 2008, 6:10pm »
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on Apr 21st, 2008, 2:40pm, rwk wrote:       (Click here for original message)
If W&W wants its own identity, why do other tourist RR's like WK&S and Strasburg paint their equipment for other railroads like CN, Great Western, or fallen flags like Reading Company, Lehigh & New England, Lackawanna, etc?

 
Because it's their railroad and they'll do what they like.
 
Seriously, every tourist railroad tries to honor their equipment and trackage's history in some way. For example, while Strasburg has all their coaches in red paint, some cars are lettered in their original ownership. Similarily, WK&S paints their Reading coaches in Reading paint as it is indeed old Reading track.  
 
And yes, it does attract interest for charters. Come to think of it, the paint scheme that looks best on any engine is the one it has now. Everybody complained about when engines were repainted to heritage. Now, everybody has grown to like them. Imagine the outcry when the engines are painted back to tourist paint!
 
To keep this still W&W related, I think the equipment is good the way it is. Partly because Lehigh Valley, Lackawanna, and Erie equipment would be a bit out of place, but mostly because it's one of the few places with a matching trainset. At least, in my opinion...
 
Edit: Due to the length of the train, usually 98 and 58 doublehead the train up the line to Hockessin
 
- Jonathan


« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2008, 6:12pm by joneau261 » Logged

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wwrrvolunteer
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #15 on: May 1st, 2008, 9:02am »
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Hey John,  
Haven't talked much since RailCamp. Actually, the 98 and 58 double header was a one time shot. The reason the railroad did that was to celebrate the reopening of the line to Hockessin, after the offical opening. The usual plan is to use a steamer on the point, and a diesel pusher, like regular Hockessin Exps. I think they usually use 98, because shortly after she goes down for annual, and they like to give 58 a rest before she takes over for the next couple months, but the railroad may choose either locomotive so don't quote me on that.  
Mark


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joneau261
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Re: Fireworks Express
 
« Reply #16 on: May 1st, 2008, 11:28am »
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on May 1st, 2008, 9:02am, wwrrvolunteer wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Actually, the 98 and 58 double header was a one time shot. The reason the railroad did that was to celebrate the reopening of the line to Hockessin, after the offical opening. The usual plan is to use a steamer on the point, and a diesel pusher, like regular Hockessin Exps. I think they usually use 98, because shortly after she goes down for annual, and they like to give 58 a rest before she takes over for the next couple months, but the railroad may choose either locomotive so don't quote me on that.

 
I guess it's true what they say; don't act you know a railroad unless you actually work for it. (Which I really aught to somewhere...)
 
Man, I need to visit W&W again


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PENNSY_BOcabeese
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Re: Fireworks Express
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« Reply #17 on: Jul 5th, 2008, 3:34pm »
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The 2008 fireworks train ran with engine 98 pulling, and diesel SW-1 #114 pushing on the back. The train ran with 5 cars and a cabin. The public part of the train was sold out, and the open car was used for the railroad's volunteers. Just like last year, it started to rain before the fireworks were lit and last til we got back to the station.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/WWRR/IMGP4602_774x518.jpg
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PENNSY_BOcabeese
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Re: Fireworks Express
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 5th, 2008, 3:36pm »
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98 simmers in the station as the passengers board.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/WWRR/IMGP4605_774x518.jpg
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PENNSY_BOcabeese
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Re: Fireworks Express
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 5th, 2008, 3:38pm »
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Station platform.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/WWRR/IMGP4612_774x518.jpg
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