A train-tracking scavenger hunt for toddler railfans | Toddler @ Play! // New Games. Activities. Outings. Fun.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A train-tracking scavenger hunt for toddler railfans

1. Road #9293 diesel locomotive from the Norfolk Southern power fleet, model #GE Dash 9-40CW (D9-40CW), built in April '99, spotted at 8:27 am on Thursday 10-9-08.

For the past couple weeks I've wanted to take Biscuit to a railroad crossing when a train was actually passing by so he could see life-size locomotives in action. The problem was, we don't have a station in town, just a crossing for mostly freight trains, so finding a schedule of when to expect to see anything was next to impossible. Instead, we spent some time just listening for the "choo-choos!" Anytime we heard one go by, we'd make a note of the time and day. So today we decided to check our improvised timetable for accuracy by driving to the crossing and waiting for 8:26 am, when we'd heard a train pass exactly one week before. Immediately we encountered an "uh-oh" when we heard a train going by just as we got in the car to leave, about 8:14 a.m.!! Hmmm...maybe it was early?? We were afraid we'd missed our chance for the day but we decided to go anyway just to be sure. Well, 8:26 rolled around, but the train didn't, so we were afraid our suspicions were correct and we'd have to try to catch a train another day. But then, about 8:27, DING DING DING! The lights started flashing, the crossing guards came down and whoo-whoo came the train barreling past, just a minute after we expected it! WOO-HOO!! Biscuit was very entertained to watch, but we were glad we were there in time to see it because it was a VERY short train, only taking about 10 seconds to pass...
Which leads me to an explanation of our game...maybe you've heard of the 43 Things website where you create a list of 43 things you want to accomplish in your lifetime? Well, we're going to create a list of 43 things too, but with a twist - we'll make a scavenger hunt game of it: our goal is to see if we can spot 43 different locomotives before Biscuit is 43 months old. Anytime we can document a new sighting, I'll add the photo and info above in this post - Biscuit will have fun watching for trains and maybe by the time he's old enough to understand it all, he'll have a fun collection of railroad facts and photos to keep! Next week we'll try for the earlier train on the same day and see if we can get a glimpse of another one that lasts even longer!

3 comments:

Vicki said...

Wow! What a cool idea! Does it count if he's on it while it's moving? :)

Pudgy Pencils said...

sure...as long as it's a real train and not a model or something! :)

Christy said...

What a great idea! I think it must have really made an impact on you because I dreamed that the kids and I saw a train and that I was thinking we would have to tell you about it. :)