Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ollie the Otter Rides the Rails in Hill City, South Dakota!!!

So after Ollie and his fellow travelers had a "Crazy" Day with Crazy Horse, they decided to do some sightseeing.  However, this time, they decided to sit down and enjoy the scenery aboard a vintage steam engine in Hill City, South Dakota.

The Black Hills Central Railroad, a heritage railroad that operates in South Dakota, currently operates the "1880 Train"  on the former Keystone Branch of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Hill City, South Dakota and Keystone, South Dakota.  Originally built as a railroad for gold miners in the Black Hills, it reached Keystone in 1900 and was later used to haul equipment to the carving site of Mount Rushmore.

In 1957, the Black Hills Central Railroad began operating a tourist passenger excursion train service on this line. In 1972, the Black Hills flood destroyed the last mile of the Burlington Northern/Black Hills Central line in Keystone, which was later restored in 2001.

The Black Hills Central Railroad restores early twentieth century-era locomotives and train cars.  These locomotives and train cars have been featured on many TV shows, such as Gunsmoke and General Hospital.  

Trains operate between early-May and early-October over the scenic, 10-mile line.

The ride is a two hour and fifteen minute round trip ride through the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota.  During this ride, passengers hear the bellow of the engine and the whine of the whistle as it winds its way through the hills between Hill City and Keystone... and back again.


Ollie Loves Signs!!!

Ollie Is Such a Good Leader.  He's Pointing the Group in the Right Direction!

Ollie Resting on a Rail Cart

Ollie Taking in Some Sun While Reading About the Hill City Depot

Looks Like Ollie Took This Picture..."Here Comes the Train!"
Ollie, Kyle, & Jenny on the Train....Are They Napping?

An Inside View of the Coach Named Harney Canyon
When disassembled in 2006, there was very little that was salvageable of this wooden caboose that started out as a Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad car.  The car was rebuilt to look much like the railroad's other former interurban coaches with a pleasing combination of pine, poplar, and oak materials.

Ollie Wanted a Better View of the Scenery.  Either That, or His Group Was Getting Ready to "Throw Ollie From the Train"!

It was another fun-filled day for Ollie!!!  Where will Ollie show up next?  Check back here to find out!!

And That's What Sarah Says!!!

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