Do you love railways? Are you looking for a Birthday or Father's (or Mother’s) Day gift idea they will never forget? Come enjoy a once in a lifetime experience by becoming a Locomotive Engineer For a Day!
Learn how the diesel locomotive works with hands-on experience. Assist in preparing the train for the day's excursion and/or putting it away for the night. Sound the bell and blow the horn at grade crossings as you ride in the locomotive. In order to maintain our unparalleled safety standards and stringent scheduled time requirements, we only allow one person to participate as an Engineer per trip.
So here's what happens! You must arrive at the Maintenance Shop two (2) hours prior to the train's departure to meet your Crew and receive your complimentary Prairie Dog Central Railway Engineer’s hat and bandana. You will learn basic Safety Rules, receive your own current copy of the Operating Timetable and General Operating Instructions, after which you and the Engineer will tour the locomotive and, under the watchful but always friendly eyes of the Engineer, get the locomotive “prepped” before actually starting the diesel engine. At this point you may have gotten slightly dirty so you’ll be glad that you brought that change of clothes with you!
Watch and read, in conjunction with the Engineer and the rest of the Crew, the day’s train orders, and see what is required for the Federal Regulatory Safety Tests prior to leaving the Shop Track. While sitting in the cab you’ll get to watch and listen as the Engineer and train crew convey instructions back and forth by radio and hand signals as they line switches and progressively “make up” the train. Make certain that the bell is ringing as you pass in front of the Station and be sure to wave at the awe-struck persons standing on the Station platform. Then, once the train is in place in front of the Station and the final Air Tests have been concluded, it’s time for a well earned cup of coffee!
At departure time the Conductor advises the “head end crew” that it’s safe to proceed, and the Engineer will show you how to ring the bell and pull the handle for two whistles. Watch him as he gently pulls on the throttle. Along the way to your first destination you will be invited to sit in the Engineer’s seat and while the Engineer is at your side, you will ring the bell and whistle for the road crossings. Once at our final destination, and after the engine has been turned, you can get out of the cab and join your family or friends who are on the train … or go with your “new” friends from the train crew and enjoy a well-deserved cup of coffee and a snack.
All too soon it’s back on board and now the Fireman on the out-bound trip is the Engineer. You’ll get to see how another person operates the locomotive and, as before, you will ring the bell and whistle ... always with the Engineer immediately beside you ... for a private road crossing on the return trip. After the train arrives at Inkster Junction Station you can choose to rejoin your family or friends, or, if you prefer, finish the day with the rest of the crew in putting the passenger coaches and the locomotive back in “the barn”.
Later, once back at home, you'll receive your Engineer For a Day Diploma and a photograph of you as the Engineer For the Day!
The cost is $449, all-inclusive of taxes and fees. Payment in full must be received at least 10 (ten) business days prior to the date of the Package. Refunds will only occur if the package date is cancelled by the Prairie Dog Central Railway. or if you advise us at least 10 (ten) business days prior to the date of the Package. Please send an e-mail or call
(204) 832-5259 to make reservations or purchase an Engineer For a Day Gift Certificate. Please note that this Package is only for Classic Diesel locomotive 4138 and is subject to cancellation due to training of our own Volunteer Members or re-scheduling due to conditions beyond our control. If cancelled by us, you will be provided the choice of re-reserving or having your payment refunded in full.
Q & A
Q: When do you offer the Engineer for a Day opportunity?
A: On all Diesel Locomotive runs, from May through to the end of September.
Q: What should I wear and bring?
A: You will require steel toe shoes, work gloves and jeans or overalls that you don't mind getting dirty. We will provide earplugs and you will receive a complimentary Prairie Dog Central Railway Engineer Hat and bandana.
Q: Where do my family or my friends ride?
A: With the Engineer For a Day program, you receive two (2) complimentary tickets for your guests to ride on board the train. Additional tickets may be purchased through our Inkster Junction Ticket Office, please call (204) 832 5259.
Q: Can I bring a camera?
A: Absolutely! We encourage you to bring along a camera to capture your day with us.
Q: I would love to ride in the engine but I can't spend the entire day, can I purchase a seat aboard the engine cab?
A: No, however we do encourage passengers to visit the cab of the locomotive and coaches during the stopover.
All ‘Engineers’ must be 18 years of age or older and be in good physically condition in order to participate in the Engineer for a Day program.
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