Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum in Alna held its annual Victorian Christmas Dec. 14. According to the museum, more than three inches rain reduced the crowds, but still over 530 people attended. This year, everyone stayed on the trains and Santa came through the train cars, greeting children.
The wagon ride and bonfire at Alna Center were canceled due to the weather. Cookies, cocoa and cider were moved into the shop building along with Eric Schade’s garden scale railway, and kids were invited to make holiday crafts while waiting for the train.
When it came time to board, the passengers dashed for the train in the rain in raincoats, slickers and boots. Once on the trains, however, the dreary weather didn’t seem to bother anyone. Parents, kids, large extended families, and railway enthusiasts crowded into the trains. Prior to the bad weather, every seat had been spoken for; but the museum announced midway through the day that there were plenty of available seats, and a lot of people who had been turned away previously were able to ride. Presley Stollard, 7, and Kennedy Gray, 8, of Dedham were riding for the first time.
That was also true of the entire Ritchie family – Tyler, 14, Katelyn, 12, Julia, 10, and Alysa, 13, of Somerville, and Danielle York and her children, Jesse, 2, and Owen, 7, of Winthrop. One car held a large extended family from New Hampshire. They were visiting for the first time. A relative volunteers on the trains.
When the train reached Alna Center, the engines were moved to the other side of the train. While they were being made ready for the trip back to Sheepscot Station, Santa boarded the train and met with all the children, while his elves handed out jingle bells and candy canes. While some of the usual attractions were unavailable, the museum and shop building were open.
If you missed Victorian Christmas, there will be another chance to experience steam locomotives in winter on Jan. 25 and 26, when, snow permitting, trains will run and passengers will be able to take a horse drawn sleigh. The museum will be open Saturdays until Jan. 4. For more information, visit http://wwfry.org/?page_id=75