Bob and I went on a train ride this past Sunday (October 12). We departed home at 7:30 am and drove to Titusville, PA. We left home without breakfast, opting to stop for breakfast in Titusville. By searching the Internet we found Sam’s Restaurant in Titusville.. Unfortuantely Sam’s is closed on Sunday. We ended up eating breakfast at Perkins Restaurant in Titusville. We were reluctant to eat at this particular Perkins Restaurant, as the last time we ate there Bob wasn’t impressed with the food. The food, however, was good on Sunday.
After breakfast we drove the short distance to the Perry Street Station, the departure point for our train ride. We parked the car and went inside the station. We walked up to the ticket window and picked up the tickets that we had purchased via telephone the night before. We then wandered the grounds, taking pictures, until it was time to board the train.
While taking pictures, a man approached me and said “it has to be you”. The man was remarking on my picture taking, when he made that statement. The man was Ken H., who is one of my Facebook friends. Until Sunday I had known Ken only through Facebook, most notably via the Facebook group named “You grew up in Warren PA if…” Ken didn’t just happen to be at the train station at the same time as Bob and I. Before leaving for Titusville, I sent Ken a Facebook message telling him that we would be in his neck of the woods later in the morning for a train ride. After breakfast, I saw that Ken had responded to my Facebook message. Ken asked what time we would be boarding. Boarding time was 11:00 am, and it was not yet 10:00 am. Ken wrote “I have to go to town, watch for a scruffy looking character…rough looking jeans and dirty blue Carhartt work jacket.” Ken gave an estimated arrival time of about 20 minutes. Ken had no trouble finding me. I was the girl who was taking lots of pictures.
While talking with Ken, I heard someone call my name. The person who called my name was a 6-year-old boy named Eric. I learned on Saturday evening that Eric and his parents would be on the 11:00 am Sunday train as well. I am Facebook friends with Sonya, Eric’s mother, as well as Eric’s Aunt Mary. I met Mary in person some time ago but had never met Sonya. I have watched Eric grow up since birth via photographs that his Aunt Mary shared on Facebook. I met Eric and his dad one time, when I worked as a cashier at Howe’s True Value. I recognized Eric from his photographs on Facebook. As it turns out, I knew Mark long before I knew Mary or Sonya. Mark and I worked together at a local Internet provider more than 15 years ago! He worked evening hours, while I worked during the daytime. Our hours sometimes overlapped. I talked briefly with Sonya, Mark and Eric. When they went into the train station to pick up their tickets, I returned to my conversation with Ken.
I am glad that Ken came to the train station to meet Bob and me. I am glad, too, that I met Sonya. I have met other online friends, both Facebook friends and blogging friends, with whom I have communicated for a while. Meeting those friends in person has always been a pleasant experience. Sunday’s exchanges were pleasant as well.
Bob and I boarded the Oil City & Titusville (OC&T) Railroad train about 15 minutes before the 11:00 am departure time. We walked through several cars, until we reached the car right before the open-air car. Even though it was very chilly (we had a freeze warning on Sunday morning), we planned to ride in the open-air car. We sat in the next-to-last car for the first 15 minutes of our ride. We were not able to walk out on the open-air car until after the first stop at Drake Well Station. I don’t understand why we were not permitted on the open-air car at the beginning of the ride, as we were able to be in the open-air car throughout the remaining duration of the ride all the way back to Perry Street Station. The train ride lasted 3 hours. We traveled 13.5 miles of winding railroad tracks, alongside scenic Oil Creek, through the Oil Creek Valley – “the valley that changed the world”. It was in the Oil Creek Valley that oil was discovered. We made two brief stops, one at Drake Well Station and the other at Petroleum Centre Station, and a 20-minute stop at Rynd Farm Station.
The following photographs were taken between Perry Street Station and Rynd Farm Station.
It took a little over an hour to reach the Rynd Farm Station.
There was a 20-minute stop at Rynd Farm Station, and we were able to get off the train. Directly in front of the station is Oil Creek. There were several picnic tables between the station and the creek. This stop is a good location for a quick picnic. You can see Coal Oil Johnny’s House, too, which was reconstructed on this site.
While at Rynd Farm Station, the engine was uncoupled from the rest of the train and driven to the far end of the train, directly in front of the open-air car, for the return trip.
The following photographs were taken during the return trip.
During the return trip Sonya, Mark and Eric joined us on the open-air car. Eric didn’t like the loud noise of the engine train whistle at crossings, so they went back inside after a while.
The train ride was excellent. In addition to viewing the scenic surroundings (we even saw an eagle!), we learned a little bit about the history of the Oil Creek Valley.
We returned to Titusville at 2:00 pm and began our drive back home shortly thereafter. We made two stops on our way home. Our first stop was at Double D’s, where we ate lunch (burgers and chips). Our last stop was at Dairy Queen in Youngsville, where we had twist cones for dessert.