Interviewer: How was the trip down here?
Conductor: It was very good!
Interviewer: What do you think of the reaction?
Conductor: Well it’s been tremendous, I think, most places along the highways and almost every other place we’ve stopped just gather like this all over the place. Apparently people like steam!
Interviewer: I think they do. Is there any memorable thing outstanding to you? Like, in the wee small hours of the morning were the people up in small towns or?
Conductor: Well not particularly because it was all over, wherever we were, it was just crowds. Of course early in the morning, between uh… you might say… down here from Eugene, Clement Falls and Dunsmuir was early, when we got on again at 5:30 in the morning north of Davey, and uh… I was surprised at that. The crowds there were on in from Davey and through to Oakland.
Interviewer: Right. Did you expect this kind of turnout when you came along uh… this time up.
Conductor: Well we were hoping so.
Interviewer: You were! Well, it is overwhelming isn’t it?
Conductor: It is, very much so.
Retired Conductor: I am a conductor retired.
Interviewer: A conductor retired, I’m sorry.
Retired Conductor: On this division.
Interviewer: On this division. Which is what… the Southern Pacific?
Retired Conductor: Yeah. Used to be the Coast Division, it’s now the Western Division.
Interviewer: How many years were you with the railroad?
Retired Conductor: I was on my forty-ninth year when I quit.
Interviewer: When you quit.
Retired Conductor: Yeah. That was in 1971.
Interviewer: I noticed you went up into the cab today. What was your feeling when you were up in there? Bring back some memories?
Retired Conductor: Long time back. I went to work for the railroads in 1920, La Cruz, Colorado. I came out here in ’22, and I went to work here…
Interviewer: The 2860, the Royal Hudson.
Retired Conductor: Oh it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful. It’s really something. It brought back a lot of old memories.
Interviewer: What do you think? Do you like the Royal Hudson?
Speaker 1: I love it, and you people are to be commended. It’s just so beautiful and everyone’s hospitality is magnificent, I really mean that.
Interviewer: We were going to say that about the people here in California –You’ve been fantastic to us!
Speaker 1: Well, we’re honored to have you! As I said, I tried to ride her when I was up in Seattle. I told BC Rails… so this coming year like I said we are definitely going to ride.
Interviewer: We’d like to have you up there in BC.
Speaker: We’d be honored, that’s for sure.
Interviewer: And your name sir?
Speaker 2: Well I feel that uh… that a lot of parents are becoming aware of the extinction of steam, you know the fact that it’s gone, and they… they feel like they’re missing something and they want their kids to see it.
Interviewer: As the engineer on the Royal Hudson what do you think of the response so far? I mean, you’ve travelled with the Hudson since they was refurbished so what do you think is happening here in America?
Engineer: The reception has been wonderful. Wonderful. And uh… Well, I couldn’t believe it when I walked up here and saw this crowd here today it’s just uh —
Interviewer: And the line never quits, does it?
Engineer: No! No, it does not.
Interviewer: Do you have any memorable moments as you were coming down the coast with the train? Anything that strikes your fancy?
Engineer: Well, we had absolutely no incidents whatsoever.
Interviewer: It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Engineer: It is amazing! It’s amazing how well we’ve been received, too. Just uh —
Interviewer: Not only the rail buffs, and I… I didn’t realize there was so many people interested in seeing it, but the young people are here to see it too.
Interviewer: Tell us why you came down to the train today. How did you know it was here, huh?
Child 1: My mom —
Child 2: My mom said it was in the newspaper.
Child 1: Yeah! Mom said it was in the newspaper.
Interviewer: You like old trains?
Child 1: [nods] Yeah.
Interviewer: What do you like about them, huh?
Child 1: The big wheels!
Child 2: The whistle.
Interviewer: The whistle? That’s what I always liked.
Child 2: And the bell.
Interviewer: You like the bell? Alright.
Royal Hudson Worker: … has been just tremendous! I think they uh… they show a great interest in the Royal family. One question that they ask us, almost repeatedly, “Are these models the same size as the people?” And uh… we have uh… well I usually step in and I say “Well I’m six foot half and inch and the prince is uh… five foot eleven and a half” and they say, “Oh yeah, but they do look shorter!” And the reason they look shorter is the robes on them, and the lighting tends to shorten the figures.
Interviewer: Do you think you’ve gained any further knowledge about British Columbia by seeing what’s going on in there?
Speaker: Yes! And I’d like to go back ¬¬–We’ve been there once. Yes, we like it.
Interviewer: Have you been to the train?
Speaker: Not yet. Yeah, we were just gonna go. We’re trying to get all the pictures we can.
Interviewer: Have you been to Canada?
Speaker: No. I want to go, though. I’d love to ride the train. I’ve been up in the cab though. Yeah.
Interviewer: Do you have any ideas on Canada, or British Columbia in particular?
Speaker: Uh… no. Not really.
Interviewer: Why would you like to go there?
Speaker: Oh it’s beautiful. Pretty.
Interviewer: Have you been to Canada before? To British Columbia?
Speaker: No. But many of our members have been. We belong to the Los Angeles Live Steamers here, and we build one inch uh… inch and a half, three quarter inch wood models. And uh… I know he doesn’t want me to look in that camera. But uh… we’ve been –we’re up at the hatch beam watching it go over the loop; very beautiful, very beautiful. My daughter’s fallen in love with it.
Interviewer: Are you going to see the train?
Five children: Yes!
Interviewer: Why do you want to see the train?
Child 1: Well, it’s fun. Because we like it!
Child 2: Because we like trains, that’s why.
Interviewer: Have you ever been to Vancouver, British Columbia?
Child 1 and 3: No.
Interviewer: Would you like to go there?
Five children: Yes!
Child 4: Oh… it’s so pretty!
Child 1: To see how the people live.
Child 5: The wheels are big!
Interviewer: Have you ever seen a train like this before?
Five children: No.
Interviewer: How far away do you think Vancouver is from here?
Child 2: Well, far enough!
Speaker: Well the idea is to tell them what travel is like, what it used to be like, and who our neighbours are. So welcome to our country, and thank you for the beautiful exhibit; we’re loving it.
Interviewer: Well thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Speaker: It’s really exciting.
Interviewer: Have you been to Vancouver, British Columbia before?
Speaker: No. We’ll have to go soon.
Interviewer: How did you like the train?
Child: Very, very good! Very exciting.
Interviewer: So now do you know all about Vancouver, British Columbia?
Child: Yes. I like to watch… to watch people.
Interviewer: Did you like that best?
Interviewer: Did you find something out about Vancouver that you didn’t know before?
Child: That the wheels were big, real big.
Child: I had a nice time watching, and I learned a lot.
Interviewer: Do you want to come up and go fishing?
Interviewer: Do you want to come and go logging?
Child: Okay [laughs].
Interviewer: Did you learn something about British Columbia, more than you knew before you came on?
Speaker: I didn’t know very much –I hadn’t even heard of it– but I think it’s very nice… I think it’s beautiful. The uh… the scenery is so pretty, so many things to see. I didn’t realize there were so many harbours. And the industry, it’s interesting to know that from the early days you had your early steam power to provide industry, and of course commercial and tourism, and since then build up to the mines. And I think it’s very nice. I think there is lots of pretty scenery. It’s uh… very encouraging for travel.
Interviewer: How are you?
Interviewer: Do you live in Los Angeles?
Interviewer: You live right here?
Interviewer: No? Where do you live?
Parent: St. Louis.
Interviewer: Oh! St. Louis! Do you know where Canada is? I come all the way from Canada, do you know where that is?
Child: [shakes head] No.
Interviewer: Do you know where Vancouver is?
Interviewer: No? Do you… can you think of how many miles away it would be?
Child: [shakes head]
Speaker: I’ve taken a railroad tour of North Hollywood. And you know, we uh… anyone who’s interested in trains would certainly be interested in the Royal Hudson. It’s a beauty. And the exhibit is really great. The wax… you know the figures, the Queen and all that. It’s really great.