SUISUN CITY — Families who took an old-fashioned train ride from Rio Vista Junction to Gum Grove found a Halloween haven near the Montezuma Hills, Sunday.
The Western Railway Museum’s annual Pumpkin Festival kicked off this weekend and continues throughout the month of October. During the day, streetcars carried parents and children a few miles into the countryside where a giant hay fort and several activities greeted visitors. Ponies were available for rides, pumpkins were stocked for chucking and animals were penned for petting.
Fairfield resident Luke Nobili, 6, flung a few pumpkins, rode a horse and explored the hay maze.
“It was dark” he said of the fort.
“(And) scary,” said his little brother Gabe, 3, who also played in the maze.
“It wasn’t that scary because there was lots of kids,” Gabe said.
Phil Kohlmetz, of the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association, said the fort is new every year.
“Having tested it myself . . . there are plenty of places only kids can get to and adults cannot,” he said.
Trains departed from the museum every half-hour. Visitors could ride a 1903 railcar from the Peninsular Railroad as well as orange streetcars from the Key System, which ran on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge from 1939-58.
“The train is the best part because it’s 75 years old and still running,” said Davis resident Charlie Tujo, who brought his 8-year-old son Jacob to the festival.
“It was, like, bumpy,” Jacob said of the ride.
Volunteers from the museum as well as Rotary Club members from Fairfield-Suisun, Cordelia and Dixon joined Vanden’s National Honor Society members to make the event manageable, Kohlmetz said.
“(It) was all hands on deck,” said Kohlmetz, who pitched in with the parking Sunday.
He said it’s rewarding to see the community come together for a happy event.
“(The) only kicking and screaming we see is when people have to leave,” Kohlmetz said.
The Western Railway Museum’s Pumpkin Festival continues on weekends this month. The first train leaves at 10 a.m., and the museum closes at 5 p.m. There is an admission fee. For more information, call 374-2978.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.