1880 Train Featured on National Tourist Trains Guidebook

Untitled-1The 1880 Train is honored to have Steam Engine #110 featured on the cover of the fifth edition of the Tourist Trains Guidebook.

This guidebook thoroughly describes more than 500 excursion trains and railroad museums throughout the United States and Canada. About 200 of the most popular sites are presented in full-page reviews written by a Trains magazine editor or correspondent. Reviewers offer advice on what to see, when to go and how to get there. The remaining listings highlight smaller yet interesting train rides, museums and depots that provide family fun or a unique piece of railroad history. Sites featured also include general directions, when to go, activities worth doing, and websites to give the reader the most user-friendly resource.

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What’s in a Mile?

routemapHere’s what you can expect riding the 1880 Train to Mile Post 1:

When the 1880 Train leaves the Hill City station (formerly the original Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad depot), it goes north briefly and then turns eastward up Tin Mill Hill. It’s named that for the huge tin processing plant erected there by the Harney Peak Company in the late 1800s. The four to six percent grade puts a considerable strain upon the locomotive, and the engineer usually takes this opportunity to blow sand through the locomotive’s boiler flues to cleanse the soot from them. Check back for what you can experience to Mile Post 2, or see for yourself and reserve a seat on the 1880 Train this season!

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1880 Train Welcomes New Business Development Manager Holli Edwards

HolliEdwardsThe 1880 Train of Hill City, SD, announces that Holli Edwards has joined the organization as the Business Development Manager. She will oversee the attraction’s reservation system, High-Liner Snack Shop, Depot Gift Shops and special events.

A graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University, Edwards has served as communications director for the Presentation Sisters of Aberdeen, worked in the marketing department at Black Hills Federal Credit Union and served as marketing and business development director at Westhills Village Retirement Community in Rapid City. For the last nine years, she was the hospitality manager for Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City.

“I am excited to be in Hill City working for a forward-thinking, family-owned company,” says Edwards. “The 1880 Train is so much a part of the Black Hills community and focused on creating memorable experiences for all who ride the Train!”
Some of the memorable experiences Edwards refers to include the following 2015 special events:
• Mother’s Day Express May 10
• The 1880 Train Appreciation Weekend May 16-17
• Prairie to Peaks Iron Horse Rail Summer Camp June 9-11
• Father’s Day Ride on June 21
• Special entertainment with Cody Landstrom the Magician July 25
• An educational Steam Seminar September 5
• Wine Express September 12/19
• Oktoberfest Express September 26
• Holiday Express with Santa in November and December
• Old West Shootouts

More on the 1880 Train’s 2015 special events and the regular train schedule may be
found at www.1880train.com.

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No Rest for the Weary

1880staff6The work never stops at the Black Hills Central Railroad (BHC), according to Chief Mechanical Officer Mike Grimm.

“Having safe and dependable equipment is of the utmost importance to the BHC,” explains Grimm. “We all strive to make sure everything is in the best possible condition to start the new season.”

In fact, a full-time crew of six and one part-time employee have been providing maintenance on the railroad’s rolling stock all winter long in preparation of a full (and safe) 2015 season at the 1880 Train.

Some of the projects include:

  • Repainting diesel locomotive #63.
  • Removing the main and side rods on the #110 locomotive for inspection. This includes checking bearings for excessive clearance and an ultra sonic examination of the crank pins, axles and rods to look for cracks.
  • Removing #110 locomotive’s driving axle so that worn suspension parts could be rebuilt and springs on the rear engine could be replaced.
  • Completing boiler repairs in preparation for the annual hydro test that will be coming up in a few weeks.

As for the train cars, projects include:

  • Replacing old, obsolete drawbars and couplers with more modern “off the shelf” equipment.
  • Painting the cars.
  • Repairing the window seats.

We would like to say “we do it all,” but the BHC does hire a contractor for the heavy track maintenance.

Between the contractor and the train’s experienced maintenance team, the 1880 Train will be ready to leave the station in May.

Have you booked your trip yet on the 1880 Train?

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See What’s in Store During Hill City’s Olde Tyme Christmas Nov 28

HolidayTrainByChadCoppess (4)The 1880 Train’s Holiday Express is just one of many activities happening during Hill City’s Olde Tyme Christmas Celebration on Friday, November 28 from 5 pm – 8 pm.

Olde Tyme Christmas Schedule:

  • Sparkling with decorations, The Alpine Inn Veranda will provide music, cookies, roasted chestnuts, hot cocoa and cider beginning at 5 pm.
  • The Christmas Tree at the Alpine Inn will be lit at 5:45 pm.
  • The Hill City Chamber will present an Olde Tyme Hill City Christmas Parade beginning at the Hill City School and traveling north up Main Street.
  • Following the parade, Santa will light another Christmas tree and hand out treats in the South Dakota State Railroad Museum parking lot.
  • FREE admission is extended to all from 5 pm – 8 pm for the South Dakota State Railroad Museum’s Fifth Annual Trees and Trains Exhibition. “The Museum’s annual Trees and Trains exhibit will be open between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, but for this one special evening admission is FREE to everyone,” explains Museum Director Rick Mills. A full schedule for the 2014 Trees and Trains Exhibit is available at www.sdsrm.org.
  • This year a drawing will be held at the Alpine Inn at 8:30 pm to win a spectacular holiday basket. Merchants will be having specials and open until 9 pm. To enter the drawing, you must have your holiday card stamped by 10 participating businesses. Holiday stamp cards will be available at the 1880 Train and throughout town.
  • The Hill City Volunteer Fire Department will be sponsoring the Hill City Food Drive. Please help families in need and bring perishable items or a monetary gift to help them this Holiday Season.

1880 Train Gift Shop Sale

  • 25% off Prairie Berry Wine & Books.
  • 30% off the original price for Landstroms Black Hills Gold.
  • 40% off other items in the Gift Shop (excludes 2014  Holiday Express Ornament and Clearance items).
  • 2014 Holiday Express Ornaments available for $11.95 while supplies last.

Holiday Express & Photos with Santa

Beginning November 28, the 1880 Train will roll out the Holiday Express for the 6th consecutive year. It will journey from Hill City to the North Pole where Santa will be waiting to get on board the train. Each child will get the chance to meet Santa and receive a small Christmas gift.

Purchase tickets now at www.1880train.com or by calling 574-2222. Tickets are $28 for adults and $12 for children (3-12).

You have many departures to choose from:

  • November 28 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-6 pm
  • November 29 at 12:45 pm and 2:30 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am- 4 pm
  • December 13 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Photos with Santa 2 pm-6 pm
  • December 20 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-6 pm
  • December 21 at 12:45 pm and 2:30 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-4 pm
  • December 23 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:15 pm & 6pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-7:30 pm

We hope to see you for the holidays!

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Ride the 2015 Holiday Express!

HolidayTrainByChadCoppess (22)Begin your holidays with the Holiday Express!

Beginning November 28, the 1880 Train will roll out the Holiday Express for the 6th consecutive year. It will journey from Hill City to the North Pole where Santa will be waiting to get on board the train. Each child will get the chance to meet Santa and receive a small Christmas gift.

Santaphoto“This train ride is fun for all ages,” explains Black Hills Central President Meg Warder. “We are also excited to provide photos with Santa for the general public in Santa’s Caboose on the same days that the Holiday Express is running.”

Purchase tickets now at www.1880train.com or by calling 574-2222. Tickets are $28 for adults and $12 for children (3-12).

You have many departures to choose from:

  • November 28 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-6 pm
  • November 29 at 12:45 pm and 2:30 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am- 4 pm
  • December 13 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Photos with Santa 2 pm-6 pm
  • December 20 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-6 pm
  • December 21 at 12:45 pm and 2:30 pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-4 pm
  • December 23 at 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:15 pm & 6pm
    • Photos with Santa 11:30 am-7:30 pm

While waiting for the Holiday Express to depart, you can visit the 2014 Trees and Trains Exhibit at the South Dakota State Railroad Museum. Displayed November 28 through December 28, the sounds of live steam locomotives will be heard among seasonal splendor at the museum, which is located near the 1880 Train Hill City depot.

We hope to see you for the holidays!

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Spotlight of the Week: Coach #144

coach144Nicknamed “Redfern,” Coach #144 was originally built as a baggage car. The Oregon Electric Railway converted it to a passenger coach in 1915. The BHC then modified the coach for use as an open observation car in 1998 to provide better viewing of the beautiful Black Hills scenery between Hill City and Keystone.

Learn more about all of our train cars in the 1880 Train Guide Book! It’s available online and at our gift shops in Hill City and Keystone.

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Spotlight of the Week: Coach #65

edward gilletteThe Black Hills Central Railroad’s Coach #65 is also known as the “Edward Gillette.” It was named after an engineer who was the track locator for the High Line Route from Edgemont to Deadwood and was originally a combine car used on the Oregon Electric Railway. Car #65 has been at the 1880 Train since it was purchased in the 1970s, and restoration to its original glory began in the winter of 2008. The car was completed in time for use on the 2009 Holiday Express.

Edward Gillette accommodates 48 passengers with style. The car features several hard woods throughout its interior along with stained and frosted glass windows and upholstered seats.

Learn more about all of our train cars in the 1880 Train Guide Book! It’s available online and at our gift shops in Hill City and Keystone.

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Engine of the Week: Diesel #63

engine-front_63The Black Hills Central Railroad runs diesel locomotives the first run of every day and when the steam engine is in need of maintenance. Number 63 is a GP9 model diesel built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad as #6178 in November of 1956.The unit was renumbered to 63 when purchased by the Indiana and Ohio Railroad, and it retained that same number during subsequent sales to the Northeast Kansas and Missouri Railroad, Chillicothe-Brunswick Railroad and Progressive Rail, Incorporated.

BHC purchased the 63 from Progressive in June, 2006. It was moved by rail from Northfield, MN, to Rapid City and then trucked to Keystone Junction and placed on BHC’s rails.locomotive63a

The locomotive is used in switching, special excursions, and as needed when other locomotives need maintenance.

Learn more about all of our train cars in the 1880 Train Guide Book! It’s available online and at our gift shops in Hill City and Keystone.

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Engine of the Week: Diesel Locomotive #1

locomotive1bOur Diesel Locomotive #1 is a 1940-vintage Whitcomb diesel locomotive. This engine was built for the Department of Defense and was operated in Washington State during World War II. It was then purchased for switching at the Black Hills Power and Light coal-fired generating plant near Lead, SD. The # 1 was acquired in 1983 and is used for switching duties on the Black Hills Central Railroad.

Learn more about all of our train cars in the 1880 Train Guide Book! It’s available online and at our gift shops in Hill City and Keystone.

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