March 27, 2007 by Robin Beckett
Kids love trains. And let’s admit it, adults love ‘em too.
There’s a romance about trains, an inherent blend of nostalgia and call for adventure. It’s a fascination that’s difficult to describe with words, so the French might call it, a certain “je ne sais quoi” — literally, I don’t know what.
“I know I like trains,” says David Lynx, education curator at the Yakima Valley Museum. “I like steam trains.”
History, power, massive scale. Recalling a visit to an Iowa museum with a working steam engine, Lynx says he was talking with the conductor when “he hit the steam and it was just pouring out. It was just the biggest thrill of my life. Here you were, with all this steam, surrounded by history. It was cool.”
Lynx, who has played the conductor in the Yakima museum’s annual Tales of the Rails storytelling event, says he’s enjoyed riding trains in the U.S. and Europe. They offer a different pace, a change of scenery.
“I don’t mind stopping for the trains downtown,” he says.”Actually, I kind of like it. It makes you stop and relax for a minute.”
Wayne Greenough, owner of The Clover Leaf hobby shop in Union Gap, is another rail fan. “I’ve taken some train trips, and long to take some more,” he says.
“When we’re driving through the (Columbia) Gorge towards Portland, there’s a lot of railroad activity… I can’t help but stare.”
We can’t think of a better family outing than a train ride. It’s suitable for kids of all ages, and great for grandparents, too.
So, click here and plan your next vacation.