by Matt Steinberg

AtticaArcadeRRMy family and I took a ride aboard the Arcade & Attica Railroad this weekend, and it’s advertising is true – it really did feel like a trip back in in time. Our excursion began in an historic station in the village of Arcade, full of the history of railroading in America. As we waited to board the train, we looked at exhibits of antique railroad lanterns, switch locks, tickets and other ephemera. There’s also a small gift shop and snack bar for a pre-boarding nosh.

This is a sightseeing ride on a train pulled by an authentic steam locomotive, through countryside and farmlands that have remained virtually unchanged since the line was originally laid in the 1880s. It’s a leisurely 90 minute journey, 14 miles round-trip, with a comfort and refreshment stop at Curriers Depot, the halfway point. The weekend that we went was also Arcade Civil War weekend, so the trip was enlivened by Confederate re-enactors warning the passengers of possible Yankees in the area. Their fears were realized when those same Yankees stopped the train and engaged in battle, from which the Federals emerged victorious and took the train in the name of Lincoln. While other rides won’t see the same drama, it’s a very nice way to enjoy the rural sections of Western New York. Check out a short slide show.

The Arcade & Attica Railroad is located about an hour’s pleasant drive along country roads southeast of Buffalo. The train runs on weekends from Memorial Day through October, and includes special Santa Runs in December. See their website for a complete schedule and more information.

Of special interest to alternative energy buffs are up-close views of the windfarms that line ether side of Route 77 in Sheldon, a few minutes north of Arcade.

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