Saturday, March 09, 2013
After digging through many boxes of random slides, I get the impression that nearly everyone in the country hopped into their station wagons and made summer trips to places like the Grand Canyon, or perhaps Mount Rushmore. And if you were going to South Dakota to see Rushmore, you could ride the Black Hills Central Railroad! Debuting in 1957, the Black Hills Central has enabled thousands of visitors to experience the fun of a train ride through some beautiful scenery.
In this first picture, it looks as if the locomotive has made a stop so that people could get out and stretch their legs. I looked up the ol' #444, and one website said, "Before coming to the Forney Museum, the engine was previously owned but never operated by the Black Hills Central Railroad in Hill City, South Dakota from 1958 to 1968. She was given to the BHCRR only days after she retired." And yet, here she is, definitely in service at the BHCRR!
This second shot gives a nice "you are there" sensation. If only it was moving! The BHCRR continues to restore and operate early 20th century locomotives and train cars. You can visit between early May and early October for a lovely 10-mile journey.
I made a couple of screen grabs from a YouTube video in which you can see the 444 chugging past briefly in 1959 home movies (which you can view here if you so desire - I think there is also a quick shot of a young Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip passing by in a Kennedy-esque convertible).
I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Black Hills Central Railroad!