As summertime approaches, what better way to experience the sights and sounds Waterloo Region has to offer than with an old-fashioned train and wagon ride.
Waterloo Central Railway and Elmira Wagon Rides are thrilled to partner again this year offering visitors a train ride to Elmira along with a tractor pulled wagon ride into town.
Almeda Weber, co-owner of Kitchen Kuttings and the Kitchen Kuttings Café in Elmira decided to start the exciting new venture three years ago. “It just took off,” Weber said. “We did a trial run last year for a Fall Colour Tour and we sold out.”
“I spoke with a couple about three years ago who came into our store and they needed a ride to the train. But there was no way of getting there. So, they decided to walk. This got me thinking that if people had a way to get into town, they would come. So I bought a tractor.”
Since then, Weber has purchased two more tractors along with wagons, each with the capacity to hold 32 people. “I really love it and it especially goes over well with the children because of the train and then of course they love the tractor ride,” Weber says.
“People also like to take time away from the city. They love to go out into the country and across the fields. It’s such a nice quiet ride.”
Tickets are sold on-line at the Waterloo Central Railway, which is a recreational passenger train that runs on an historic railway branch between the St. Jacobs Market, the Village of St. Jacobs, and the town of Elmira, just outside of Waterloo.
The Waterloo Central Railway is operated by the Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society (SOLRS), a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and operating vintage railway equipment.
Once off the train, visitors can choose an option of a wagon ride to Elmira which is by donation only. They can choose to stay in town for a one hour to have a bite to eat and shop before heading back, or they can stay three hours and take the last wagon ride out to the train.
Take the Country Wagon Tour
Patrons can also purchase a ticket for the “Country Wagon Tours”.
“From May to August, we are offering a tour which includes a visit to a Mennonite farm. You can sit in the farmhouse kitchen, have a talk with the owners and enjoy some snacks from Kitchen Kuttings,” Weber said.
“For the whole month of September and the first two weeks of October, we are also offering a Fall Coloured Tour where we visit farms in the area along a really nice trail. One farm, of course, has maple syrup. We will stop at a beautiful bush area for a photoshoot and everyone receives a boxed lunch from Kitchen Kuttings It’s all included.”
And one more tour available this year is a Taste Testing at Kitchen Kuttings on Saturdays from May through August where visitors can sample a variety of products including baked goods, cheese and sausage. “We are really branching out this year,” Weber says. “And we are so excited.”