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I think one good thing they are doing is not allowing people under 18 on board.  One, my guess is liability issues.  But now, it seems it is becoming more rare to have adult only events.  I do not mean the immoral kind.  But every so often I would like to be at an uplifting event for adults only.

However, just because a person is legally an adult does not mean they are mentally an adult...

@Hot Water posted:

Can't understand why folks would pay THAT much money to ride in a fully sealed-up & air conditioned passenger car, dome or otherwise, and never actually see nor hear the steam locomotive. At least it is a worthwhile fund raiser.

I would tend to agree with this assessment, but apparently, they hit upon an agreeable price point since it's nearly sold out. Considering the time and location, I would gladly pay more for that air conditioning...

Not unusual to see those kinds of prices.  Last weekend the Commemorative Air Force brought a B29 and a B24 to Lewis airport outside  Chicago.  Price to sit in the belly of the planes started at $560+ and $1175+ to sit near the crew . All for a 20 minute air time ride. Tickets sold out before the event.

I guess they're making up for last year's lost revenues.

I think one good thing they are doing is not allowing people under 18 on board.  One, my guess is liability issues.  But now, it seems it is becoming more rare to have adult only events.  I do not mean the immoral kind.  But every so often I would like to be at an uplifting event for adults only.

However, just because a person is legally an adult does not mean they are mentally an adult...

Conversely, I think it would be uplifting to see more excursions for families with kids which exclude the 55+ age group.

As alluded to by the above commenters, my best memories of steam excursions included a photo runby and a visit to the cab.  For example, the S3 4-8-4 Northern stopped mid-tour to let everyone off the train in a field, backed up, forward at speed for photos, and backed up again to pick us all up. At the beginning of the trip, we were allowed in the cab where I got a first-hand education how coal goes from the tender to the engine!  So I'm just suggesting that those contemplating steam excursions first investigate if the photo runby and cab visit is also included in the price of the ticket....and then decide.

@third rail posted:

Not unusual to see those kinds of prices.  Last weekend the Commemorative Air Force brought a B29 and a B24 to Lewis airport outside  Chicago.  Price to sit in the belly of the planes started at $560+ and $1175+ to sit near the crew . All for a 20 minute air time ride. Tickets sold out before the event.

I guess they're making up for last year's lost revenues.

BTW  $20 admission to just see the planes close up and the honor of waiting nearly 3 hours to take a 3-4 minute access walk through the planes.

@Bruce Brown posted:

As alluded to by the above commenters, my best memories of steam excursions included a photo runby and a visit to the cab.  For example, the S3 4-8-4 Northern stopped mid-tour to let everyone off the train in a field, backed up, forward at speed for photos, and backed up again to pick us all up. At the beginning of the trip, we were allowed in the cab where I got a first-hand education how coal goes from the tender to the engine!  So I'm just suggesting that those contemplating steam excursions first investigate if the photo runby and cab visit is also included in the price of the ticket....and then decide.

Are many of those that get off the train in the middle of nowhere to watch/record the runby really capable of exiting the car without a platform, walking back from the right of way, and then climbing back aboard the cars?

@Al Nevada posted:

In May, 2019 out in Ogden on the first run, tickets were much more expensive. $5,000 to ride in the dome car per ticket. I agree with Hot Water. It is a great fundraiser. I would much rather be at trackside taking photos.

If no one pays for a ticket to ride the special train there isn't a train to photograph.

For those that can afford it maybe they just want to ride a train the way it used to be?

@BobbyD posted:

Are many of those that get off the train in the middle of nowhere to watch/record the runby really capable of exiting the car without a platform, walking back from the right of way, and then climbing back aboard the cars?

Yes, it is done all the time with other steam locomotives.

When we pulled the New River Trains with NKP 765, the train was 34 cars long and there were 1,400 people onboard. We did a photo run in Thurmond, WV on every trip. Start to finish, the photo run typically took 40 minutes.

Last edited by Rich Melvin
@BobbyD posted:

Are many of those that get off the train in the middle of nowhere to watch/record the runby really capable of exiting the car without a platform, walking back from the right of way, and then climbing back aboard the cars?

Yes. With the assistance of the crew, stairs or step stools are provided to safely disembark passengers without a platform.  Local vendors usually know where the train will do the photo run and will set up tables to provide box lunches, drinks or sell local wares. It is all well planned and very safe.

I paid close to $4,000 for two tickets to the Eagles concert at the MGM. Back about 10 rows from front center. People in rows in front of us paid almost $3,000 per ticket. Those were box office and not scalpers. Now that Glenn Frey has died there will never be another chance. So it depends on what the opportunity is and if it will ever come around again.

Last edited by GVDobler

Well, UP is currently the only class 1 allowing steam excursions right now. A steam excursion on the main is a once in a blue moon thing now. The liability and hassle just isn't worth it for most class 1's that are publicly traded and are under obligation to their shareholders to make a profit. NS quit its newer steam program after spring 2017 but will allow 765 and 611 to use its tracks to get to tourist railroads and museums. CP doesn't seem to have any interest in running 2816 again even with Hunter Harrison gone. CSX and CN are anti-steam, although at one time they allowed steam excursions. Steam can't run on BNSF without Amtrak to provide insurance. We all know what happened there. And PSR and PTC make it even harder to run steam excursions on class 1 railroads.

I think one good thing they are doing is not allowing people under 18 on board.

Dominic,

Why is this a good thing?  When present do they diminish your experience, or are they simply an annoyance?

(I ask this because children, teenagers, and many, many people who used to be them, are the heart of our O Gauge hobby.  After all most of us are fixated on what were at one time toys.)

Mike

Dominic,

Why is this a good thing?  When present do they diminish your experience, or are they simply an annoyance?

(I ask this because children, teenagers, and many, many people who used to be them, are the heart of our O Gauge hobby.  After all most of us are fixated on what were at one time toys.)

Mike

It may have to do with insurance and liability issues.   Every year (prior to Covid) there was a WWII airshow in Reading, Pa and you had to be of a certain age to ride the aircraft.  When I asked why as my son wanted to ride one of the aircraft I was told it was due to that very reason.    My son couldn't wait until he turned 16 to ride the B17 - wanted to be in the ball turret.  Of course, by that time he was too big to fit...lol.  

While I would never pay anywhere near the prices asked to ride in a car pulled by an engine, I certainly would for an in-cab experience.  One of the biggest thrills of my life was plunking down $2200 of my hard earned bonus one year to ride in a P51.   Riding in that vintage aircraft, diving down and buzzing the over the crowd is something I'll never forget.  As I stated before, to each his own.

-Greg

Dominic,

Why is this a good thing?

It has to do primarily with liability insurance.

When present do they diminish your experience, or are they simply an annoyance?

To be quite honest, yes. Some parents allow their kids to "run wild", this indeed very annoying. Plus, there is always the potential danger of injury on a moving train with "un-controlled kids".

(I ask this because children, teenagers, and many, many people who used to be them, are the heart of our O Gauge hobby.  After all most of us are fixated on what were at one time toys.)

To be clear, a steam excursion, or ANY excursion for that matter, is NOT a "toy experience", and should not be treated as such. Kids and toy train layouts are probably not a problem.

Mike

Thanks Hot.  You read my mind.

When I was growing up, there were events and places one would not go unless one showed disciple of the person:

Live theatre/dance.

Formal eating locations.  (Strict dress code required.)

Very formal weddings....

At some very large family feeds, one under age sat at the children's table.

Was this every day.  No.  I would not want us to go back to Downton Abbey, or Upstairs Downstairs.  Or strict dress code with suits for men every day?  No.

But there was a time a person had to show she or he could perform in a solemn, dignified way.

And one wanted to get to the "big table".  It was something not given. It was earned.  It rquired standards. 

Standards. A qualiy not respected anymore.

And it is odd.  "No means no" only applies if it is good for me? Maybe a good time to explain rules to children.

And with the prices of the event:

1.  I expect a Queen Mary experiance.

2.  If you can afford the tickets, yoy can afford a sitter.

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