The ghost train returns to Dill Woods

PHILLIPS — After a two-year absence, the infamous “Ghost Train” returned last weekend to run the tracks of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad. Nearly 300 passengers braved the journey through the ‘haunted’ Dill Woods between Sanders Station on Bridge Hill Road and Phillips Station at the end of Amble Street. Even the Harvest Moon showed up in “full” attire to celebrate the long-awaited event.

Even the Harvest Moon made an appearance in “full” attire! Photo by Paula Kane

Along the tracks were several spooky displays designed to excite even the bravest on board. An all-time favorite was the Jack o’Lantern reunion featuring a wide variety of faces sculpted by Grade 8 students from MSAD58’s Day Mountain Regional Middle School, located in Strong. Proceeds from this event benefit the 8th grade students’ spring class trip and the SR&RL RR Museum, which is a 501c3 organization, “dedicated to preserving the memory of Franklin County’s unique historic narrow gauge railroad. “.

Maplewood: One of the many spooky scenes along the trails. Photo by Paula Kane

Sharon Barber, an engineer with seven years’ experience on the SR&RL, noted that the past year has brought many improvements to the railroad, including a brand new carriage barn located on the property near the turntable and of the rotunda. She, along with other teammates, helped decorate the pitch and were in costume for the evening’s entertainment.

Posing in front of Engine #4: Freya Hainley, “Charlie, the Killer Conductor” (aka Guy Rioux), Rowen Lanier, Jameson Hainley, Marin Hainley; Engineer Sharon Barber leans in from the cabin. Photo by Paula Kane

According to the railroad’s website, “Although our mission is to preserve the equipment and heritage of a great railroad, this mission would be incomplete without involving the Franklin County community.” It is for this larger purpose, to be a valuable educational resource for her children and their future, that we truly exist.”

Passengers waiting their turn to board enjoyed the music of Gary and Lois Hall Photo by Paula Kane

In addition to rides along the rails, visitors waiting their turn to board were able to enjoy live music from Gary and Lois Hall. Refreshments were also on sale.

This impressive spider, designed and built by Porter and Byron Knight, perches on one of the SR&RL cars. Photo by Paula Kane

Dawn Fidler, grade 8 class counselor at Day Mountain, reported good turnout from grade 8 students to help with the event and noted that it was the class’s first major fundraiser since the back to school in August. The class held several other events throughout the summer. Stay tuned for what happens next!

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