The Ohio Railroad Museum‘s Ghost Trolley is offering first-class travel “to the end of the line” through October 30.
Billed as a Halloween event designed for young children and families to have fun and not get too scared, guests board decorated wagons before boarding a trolley that takes passengers for about a mile and a half round trip.
Belle Broskie-Finney, president of the Ohio Railway Museum, said the Ghost Trolley operates from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Passengers can board for fun at 990 Proprietors Road in Worthington.
“You can tour our decorated cars, hear ghost stories, and hop on a train for an adventure in the woods. You never know what you might find there,” she said. Afterwards, if you survive, you get a goody bag.”
During a visit on October 15, Erich Diebold, known as Loco Erich, introduced guests to what he called the pride and joy of the museum, Norfolk and Western Railway locomotive 578.
“It was built on March 2, 1910 by the American Locomotive Co. of Richmond, Virginia,” he said. “The locomotive turned 112 this year and has spent a lot of time on the tracks in the past. Norfolk and Western Railway was originally founded in 1870. When it reached Columbus, first serving the Scioto Valley Railroad in 1876, it was one of five railroads that connected the capital, primarily a freight transportation business, as well as passenger services and coal mining. who missed this region.
Diebold offers to take pictures of guests in front of the locomotive before going inside the carriages covered in cobwebs and other strategically placed spooky decor.
Museum volunteer John Quigley of Upper Arlington tells a story about car 6510.
“It’s a railroad post car, or RPO,” he said. “This particular car was built in 1920 and was in service until 1970, so it did well in the long run. And a good long run means there was plenty of time for scary things to happen. .
Although most mail consists of letters and packages, Quigley said, one day a large box about 6 feet long and 2 feet wide arrived.
“Guess what it was?” he said. “A big old coffin came over the car. Everyone was really scared.
Columbus’s Josh Fingerhut, who serves as conductor on the ride itself, greeted passengers in the car built in July 1924.
“The car you’re riding in is 98 years old,” he said. “It was commissioned on December 24.”
As Broskie-Finney describes the challenges down the line, including the bums, Fingerhut chimes in: “They say when you see one of the bums, that’s a sign of a ghost.”
When passengers exit the train, they are congratulated for surviving the ride as they walk out of the yard with a bag of parting gifts.
Don and Kelly Herlacher from Hilliard took the Ghost Trolley along with their boys, Luke, 4, and Jack, 6, as a birthday present for Luke.
“I like it,” Kelly Herlacher said. “It’s fun and a good use for deteriorating cars.”
“The price is right,” her husband said.
Founded in 1948, the Ohio Railway Museum is one of the oldest railroad museums in America, according to its website at ohiorailwaymuseum.org.
“The museum began with the acquisition of Ohio Public Service Interurban Car 21, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” according to the website. “The museum is designed to educate, through exhibits and demonstrations, the role and effect of railroads in the lives of residents and businesses in Ohio and the United States.
“The Columbus, Delaware and Marion Railroad was formed in 1901 to establish local and intercity passenger and freight service linking Columbus, Worthington, Delaware and Marion over more than 60 miles of track. It also provided service to Bucyrus via Delaware, Marion and Bucyrus Railroad for 20 additional miles of track.
In addition to the Ghost Trolley, Broskie-Finney said, the museum will host a Letters to Santa event from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays the three weekends closest to Christmas.
“It’s great fun,” she said. “You can visit the cars decorated for Christmas, meet Mrs. Claus, get a bag of presents, write a letter to Santa – and the train ride is the best part.”