This year is turning out to be a record year for Rails to the Darkside. Saturday night we had 874 visitors come to Rails to the Darkside. This is the most visitors in a single night since Rails to the Darkside was brought back in 2007. Everyone did an excellent job. The line for the gift shop at one point extended out the front door, down the VC walkway and then along the tracks to Kelly Barn. The line to board the trolleys extended at one point from North Road Station to just beyond Kelly Barn.
In the parking lot, the parking crew packed as many cars in the main parking lot as possible. Once the main parking lot was full, they moved to the volunteer lot. Unfortunately, somebody parked their car in the volunteer lot blocking the Fire Museum lot so we lost around 20 parking spaces. By 8:30, we were turning people away due to lack of parking. Around 60 cars were turned away. However, some of them ended up parking next door at Olender's and across the street at WB Mason. The parking crew got innovative by turning the VC walkway into a road and creating an additional 20 parking spaces on the front lawn.
Pumpkin Patch was very busy all weekend too! From what I hear, there were points where the parking lot was nearing capacity during Pumpkin Patch as well. On Sunday, Pucky the Whale made an appearance during Pumpkin Patch.
Unfortunately, we had quite a problem on Sunday with pulling cars out of Kelly Barn. One of the joint bars in Kelly Yard snapped which caused great difficulty getting ready for Pumpkin Patch. Thanks to the quick thinking of Mike Caputo and Bill Babbitt, they were able to spike the joint in place and move the cars out of Kelly Yard. Xian Clere and I made it to the museum to make repairs. We were plagued with nothing but problems. The ties in the yard are so close together that it was difficult to get so much as a shovel in between them to remove the ballast. We also ran into issues with the Tie Inserter. Currently, the tie is nearly ready to be replaced.