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September 2, 2009 > Rail Fair returns to Ardenwood

Rail Fair returns to Ardenwood

Submitted By Barbara Culp
Photos By Courtesy of Andy Cary

Travel back in time to the days when railroad tracks crisscrossed the Tri-Cities as an important means of transportation from farms and dairies to consumers throughout the Bay Area. The Washington Township Railroad Fair, hosted by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources (SPCRR) celebrates the locomotives and railcars of that era at Ardenwood Historic Farm. The farm still operates as it did over 100 years ago. Draft horses pull wagons, rail cars and plows. Crops similar to those George Patterson tended a century ago are grown and farmyard animals - sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, goats and cows - greet visitors. Proud peacocks can be seen strutting about.

On the grounds of Ardenwood, SPCRR operates a limited version of what once was known as the South Pacific Coast Railroad in the 1880s. In those days, a narrow-gauge railroad steamed through the counties of Alameda and Santa Clara until it reached the ocean at Santa Cruz. It transported people from small farm towns and logging camps to larger cities. Along the way, flatcars picked up lumber used in San Francisco and Oakland. A fleet of locomotives, baggage, passenger, box and flatcars, and cabooses were manufactured by Carter Brothers in Newark.

SPCRR volunteers have collected rail cars from the 1870s through 1920s - most built by the Carter Brothers. Some of these are being restored using hand tools and nineteenth century techniques. The fair will feature "Deanna," an 1891 Baldwin Steam Locomotive and "Ann Marie," an 1890 Porter steam engine to power train rides. In addition, visitors will be able to experience how railroad workers moved supplies and personnel along the tracks with handcar rides.

Ardenwood's Rail Fair features both farm and rail activities that will capture the imagination of all ages. Rail equipment, Diablo Pacific Short line and BAGRR Live Steamers Garden Railroads and California Central Coast 030 Modelers will be on display. Visitors can also observe railcar restoration in process and farming equipment courtesy of Early Day Gas Engines & Tractor Association.

Musical entertainment plus special entertainment for children, the Hobo game, and a play area of trains by the Granary, sponsored by the modelers will make for a great time. Tours of the Patterson House plus farmyard activities and food at the cafe are available. Come join us for a fun-filled weekend at Rail Fair


Washington Township Railroad Fair
Saturday, September 5 - Monday, September 7
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(866) 417-7277
www.ebparks.org or (510) 635-0135

Adults: $8; $6 $5 children (ages 4-12) and
Seniors (62 +) & students (ages 13-17): $6
Children age 3 and under: free.

Free parking

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