Update on restoration of the Roundhouse Park grounds!
Click on each image for a closer look!
As those of you who have been following our progress remember, the installation of the Roundhouse Theatre tent for this summer's production of the Railway Children occupied an enormous footprint in Roundhouse Park. This theatrical production shut down on August 14 and the tent was removed in short order but the restoration of Roundhouse Park has turned out to be more time consuming than first thought.
The ground underneath the tent required removal of gravel fill before topsoil could be replaced and the area re-sodded. At the same time, the irrigation sprinkler system which was damaged during sod removal in the spring was being refurbished so that we will be able to enjoy a lush green lawn throughout our operating season in 2012. The removed park utility power posts also required replacement and all this work was subject to wet-weather delays in September.
Unfortunately the ongoing refurbishment of the park caused us to suspend our mini-rail operation the weekend of October 1 & 2. Happily, on the following Thanksgiving weekend (October 8-10), we were able to resume mini-rail operations on our original figure-8 configuration throughout Roundhouse Park. This was only possible because of the hard work of our TRHA members who laboured through the week to make this possible.
On Saturday, October 8, we initiated mini-rail operations powered with what we fondly refer to as our mini-Whit (diesel switcher) locomotive. On Sunday we were able to power the trains with our Sweet Creek #3 steam locomotive. Three of the accompanying photographs show the initial revenue trips of #3 shortly after noon Sunday with passengers through Roundhouse Park. The battleground-like condition of the park is immediately obvious but this didn't seem to discourage the hundreds of happy riders we had throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, all of whom were delighted.
On Thanksgiving Monday, the volume of visitors resulted in our operating a five car train for the very first time as is pictured in the photo at the lower right.
Roundhouse Park will be restored to its pristine condition in short order, sod is scheduled to be complete by Wednesday October 12th.
Posting and photos by Derek Boles