Weisgerber

LABOR OF LOVE: Rick Weisgerber drives his Union Pacific No. 57 engine on the tracks at the Camp Creek fairgrounds. (Photo by Eldon Shroder)

WAVERLY – The Camp Creek Railroaders will continue a 20-plus year tradition with their Railroaders Show held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 and 15.

Rick Weisgerber, a 22-year member of the Railroaders, said that weather permitting the club will have train rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Camp Creek fairgrounds at 176th and Bluff Road, east of Waverly.

The Camp Creek Railroaders will have around eight trains running throughout the day for those in attendance to ride. The event is free to the public.

The train rides generally last around six minutes, Weisgerber said, with average speeds around three miles per hour.

The event is something the Railroaders have been holding annually since 1993.

The engines that drive the trains are a mix of those owned by the club and some owned by the members themselves.

Weisgerber said that he will have his own Union Pacific No. 57 bright yellow “baby turbine” engine out giving rides over the weekend.

The “baby turbine” was a nickname for the railroad’s fleet of gas turbine-electric locomotives. Weisgerber’s model is pure electric, though.

Other railroaders’ locomotives rely on a coal-burning steam engine, just like they would have used at the advent of the golden age of trains.

All the engines and trains are built to a specific scale, 1.5 inches to 1 foot, just big enough to fit about three adults.

The train rides won’t be the only attraction available, though.

The Railroaders plan to have most of Camp Creek’s eastern promenade up and running. That includes the old Waverly jail, the old Cheney post office and the concession stand.

Weisgerber said that the newly refurbished steam crane will also be up and running on the west side of the grounds along with the Waverly depot.

The event will also host Operation Lifesaver. Operation Lifesaver is a nationwide non-profit group who, according to its website, provide public education programs across the country in an effort to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities at railroad crossings.

After 20-plus years, Weisgerber said that the smiles of those attending the free event are reward enough for the annual event.

“Kids and adults and grandmas and grandpas, to boot, I love to see them happy,” Weisgerber said. “There’s just something about a train that fascinates people. I like to see them come out and just have a good time.”

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