Driving trains!

Yesterday I was volunteering up at Marwell Zoo again, but this time doing something a bit different.  Up until now I have usually spent most of my time as a Visitor Information Volunteer which means I spend time talking to the public about the animals around the park.  However, in the cooler weather the public seem less inclined to stand around talking to me!  Therefore, this weekend I decided to try my hand at train driving.  It still keeps me out and about, getting some fresh air and talking to people but doesn’t involve standing still for so long.

So on Saturday I spent my day with Jeff, Bob, Karen and Gary learning the ropes of train driving.  There was a wedding at Marwell yesterday, so first up I went out with Bob on the transit (a road vehicle which looks like it has a locomotive engine on the front).  It was all decorated up with white bows and comfy padded seats for the wedding guests.  We made a couple of trips ferrying guests from the gate to the house.  After all the guests were up at the house we joined the tractor road train making circuits of the park.  Bob and I took it in turns to drive and do the commentary and by a late lunch about 2 I’d got the hang of things. 
After lunch I had a go on the rail train with Jeff.  It was fairly simple to operate – just a brake and a throttle to make it go faster or slower.  I gather the main thing to watch out for was that the points were facing the right way and that there weren’t stones caught in them to make it derail!  Luckily all went smoothly and I got a load of passengers safely round the route without any mishap.

After the rail train I spent the rest of the afternoon with Karen on the tractor train.  The tractor was probably the closest in relation to anything I’ve driven before, but somehow that made it more complicated!  The gear stick was on the steering wheel, and I amost forgot to press the clutch in a couple of occasions but it didn’t take long before I was happily speeding round at 5 mph.

All in all it was a really good fun day and I’ve signed up to go back again on Saturday next week.


3 Responses to “Driving trains!”

  1. davidlind Says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. What a cool place to hang out. If Beth and I ever come over there we are definitely going to find it and spend the day. Hope you are doing well Helena.

  2. Helena Says:

    Hey! I’m not the only blogger named Helena who happens to have an interest in animals!

  3. davidlind Says:

    Helena, is there someone else out there? Is she going to take your place while you have gone?

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