Old Colony & Newport 45-ton 84 at Newport
Photo by Walter Sapolsky

Old Colony & Newport
April 9, 2011

by John Reading

Mass Bay RRE began its spring 2011 trips program on Saturday, April 9 with a journey to Newport, RI. 80 passengers and RRE staff rode our special train on the Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway for a four-hour “Tour of the Line” covering all the OC&N active track. This was the first RRE “tour” since 2006, though a group of visiting “mileage collectors” made a one-way trip along the entire railroad in 2010.

The Boston group of 55 passengers made an early start from South Station aboard a chartered Crystal Transport motorcoach, allowing time for en-route stops at the Old Colony & Fall River Railroad Museum on the Fall River waterfront and nearby Fall River Marine Museum (plus an unexpected detour around a load-limited bridge!).

OC&N 45-ton diesel 84 was waiting at the Newport station for our scheduled 12 noon departure, leading ex-Boston & Maine coach Ruth Blount and ex-Intercolonial Railway parlor car Nelson Blount. The two-car train made its way north through the US Navy Base, sighting the mothballed aircraft carrier Saratoga. (Sister carrier Forrestal, a Newport landmark for years, was towed to Philadelphia in 2010, to become an artificial reef.)

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