‘Rails to the Darkside’ open for Halloween season at Connecticut Trolley Museum

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
East Windsor - posted Wed., Oct. 9, 2013
Operator Marilyn Rodriguez gives safety instructions to those who will be taking a ride on the ‘Rails to the Darkside.’ Photos by Jennifer Coe.
Operator Marilyn Rodriguez gives safety instructions to those who will be taking a ride on the ‘Rails to the Darkside.’ Photos by Jennifer Coe.

Chilling screams and flashing lights coupled with the clickety-clacking of an antiquated trolley car in the dark make for a very successful night of Halloween fun - or fright, depending on how you look at it.

The Connecticut Trolley Museum’s annual “Rails to the Darkside” event is up and running, and several dozen people dared to take a ride they will never forget on its opening night Oct. 4.

For the entire month of October, you too can experience the thrills and chills, some of which are new and improved.

“We have expanded the graveyard and revamped the haunted house,” said volunteer Tim Lesniak. The trolley ride and walk through the graveyard and haunted house takes about 45 minutes. “Rails to the Darkside” is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

“I’ve been operating [trolleys] for five years,” said operator Walt Parker, “and this is my first ‘Rails to the Darkside.’” As the trolley car started rolling down the tracks, Parker played along with the drama by saying things like, “We’ve stopped for some unknown reason.” Riders played along with the storyline and there were even some “undead” passengers on the ride, for added effect.

“On a busy night, we push through 1,000 people,” said Lesniak. “It’s one of the biggest fundraisers that we do. All the money we obtain gets put right back into the museum.”

If you’re curious about what age child to bring to this event, operator Marilyn Rodriguez put it best: “I think it’s PG-13.”

Children too young to take a frightening ride might enjoy the Pumpkin Patch ride. Children take a trolley ride to the “Pumpkin Patch,” where they pick out their favorite pumpkin and bring it back to the visitor’s center, where they can get their faces painted. The Pumpkin Patch is open Fridays through Sundays throughout October.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.ct-trolley.org.


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