Yesterday was a huge, HUGE treat of a day! Christopher took me to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, and he bought me a little train there, and a whistle, and then he took me to The Falls for a walk and lunch, and then we went to a Learning Express toy store, and to Target (where we got more trains) and to IKEA, where we got more track, and a turntable and two bridges.
The weather was cool but sunny and windy, just wonderfully pleasant. I wore Lolita, and just felt so happy, like all my bad mood of the past week melted away. It was a proper, day-long date, and I was in heaven.
🚂 The Museum 🚂
First let me tell you about the train museum. I got way too many photos:
After the area you see above, was the gift shop. They had a whole bunch of Thomas stuff! As I mentioned above, Christopher got me a little engine (James) and a whistle. I was completely shocked that he said yes to James, he was very pricey, but I was so happy and couldn’t stop looking at him the rest of the day:
What I didn’t realize is that the wrinkles weren’t only on the packaging but also on the sticker on the whistle, which is peeling right off! However, that is okay. I’m going to remove the sticker, and decorate the whistle with a Thomas-themed transfer I’ll customize myself. The whistle sounds AMAZING, better than other whistles of the same price on Amazon, and it’s still special because we got it at the museum, so I still love it. Besides, customizing it will be fun!
We also got tickets for a little train ride that I really enjoyed (this gif is from the museum’s site, but this was the train we rode):
I have to be honest, the state of the museum itself is a bit… well… there is a lot of decay and you can tell they are probably doing their best with their limited resources, but there is an abandoned feeling to some parts of it. Nevertheless, being able to step inside these pieces of history is incredible to me:
This was one of my favorites because it was so bright. It’s the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) Caboose #0322:
That one in which I am sitting, you had to climb on, and it was pretty steep!
The Caboose was built in 1923 at the ACL Shops in Waycross, Georgia. It weighs 5 tons, and carried a pot-bellied stove, kerosene lamps, and leather cushions for seating. The Caboose was used on the rear of freight trains throughout ACL’s System.
This is the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Passenger Coach #136:
Built in the 1920s, the FEC #136 played a role in the evacuation of a portion of the Florida Keys as part of preparations for the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.
The FEC #136 is an open air coach, that was typically used during the winter months. It was in passenger service between Jacksonville, KeyWest, and Havana. The FEC #136 was built in 1925 and retired in 1958.
These photos are just random ones that I couldn’t fit anywhere else:
One of my favorites was the U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436:
The U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436 operated as a hospital car, or ‘moving hospital,’ during World War II. The car was to carry one doctor, two nurses, four service personnel, and could carry up to 33 patients. It was majorly used to move military patients between medical facilities.
It was originally built in 1945 by the American Car & Foundry Co.
This is the only car we couldn’t see the inside of, unfortunately. It is the Presidential Pullman Passenger Car “Ferdinand Magellan” U.S. Car #1:
The Ferdinand Magellan is unique among Pullman railroad cars in that it is the only car ever custom built for the President of the United States.
Originally built in 1928, the Ferdinand Magellan was one of the last cars ever built as a private car and was one of a group of six cars named after famous explorers.These cars were all placed in the Pullman general service pool at about the same time and were operated by the Pullman Company over many of the nation’s railroads.
I really wish we could have seen the very fancy inside, but I guess in order to protect the historic artifacts/car, you had to go back inside and ask for a special tour of $5.00 per person. I think Christopher would have said yes if I asked, and I did want to see it, but felt too lazy to go back for that –I guess I didn’t want to see badly enough. 😅
Nothing of what we saw beat the steam locomotives. That was UNREAL. These are the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Steam Locomotive #153 AND #113:
FEC 153 was one of a group of 7 pacifics (151-157) built by ALCO in 1922. The FEC Locomotive #153 served on the Florida East Coast Railway from 1922 to 1938. It even pulled a train carrying president Calvin Coolidge to Miami in 1928!
FEC #113 was one of a group of 60 pacifics (77-136) built by ALCO between 1910 and 1917. It was used in regular revenue service over the entire Florida East Coast Railroad.
The couple of photos below are from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259:
The SAL Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259 was called the “combine”, because the car is part baggage cart and part passenger coach. The car is Also known as a “Jim Crow” car because of its segregated seating areas. 18 seats in the front section and 24 in the rear section.
It was rather jarring to bump into someone wearing a Trump/MAGA facemask as we stepped out of this train and they stepped in. Through the window, I saw the woman taking a photo of the man in this mask seemingly by the area where the “white” sign was. It was just kinda sobering.
Here are a few more photos that I didn’t know where else to fit:
And that was that for the train museum. Afterwards, we went to The Falls!
A lot of the info accompanying the photos is from the museum's website: https://www.goldcoastrailroadmuseum.org/ I recommend a visit if you want to learn more!
🏪 The Falls 🏪
A full year of Covid has had an effect on The Falls. Much was closed or under construction, and due to the latter, my two favorite areas of the mall were destroyed, basically. Everything felt just a little bit more in decay. But there were still cats. This one was very friendly:
We ate at BJ’s. Food options were reduced, on the whole. BJ’s is just “ok”. We enjoyed our meal.
I ordered a sandwich and fries, it was okay, I didn’t eat much of it. It ended up being too heavy/rich.
After that we went to Learning Express (didn’t find anything too interesting) and to Target, where we got a bunch of Battat trains (I don’t think Christopher knew the brand; it was Battat) and I got these little food trucks which don’t fit on the rails obviously but that’s fine, trucks don’t go on rails:
They will be a fine addition to my “towns”. 😁
Target did have a lot of Thomas but it was the plastic motorized garbage. 😞
After that we went to IKEA for more track, and then home. And that was the end of our outing. It really was wonderful, though I am still tired, even today! That’s probably due to my period, too, though. Now I have to start my day properly, and get housework, art, and exercise done.