(Just when you thought you'd seen the last of Patch's coverage of the new Santa Cruz passenger rail coverage...)
By the time the train rolled through Aptos around 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, all of the puddles within a 100-foot radius of the Bayview Hotel, were thoroughly churned by happy kids in rain boots. (And one barefoot kid.)
The hotel, built in 1878, was actually moved about 100 feet back in 1946 when the railroad was built.
Train lover Gary Plomp of Santa Cruz was excited to see the train, saying it brought him back to his youth when he used to watch the Santa Fe and South Pacific trains with his father in Bakersfield and later in Watsonville.
Plomp is a walking library of train facts. The engine, purchased from the Washington Central Rail Road, is an F-9, he said.
"In the forties and fifties we had steam locomotives, and these first generation diesel locomotives replaced those," said Plomp.
First built for the Baltimore and Ohio rail roads, the engines were then used in Chicago for commuter trains, before being sold to Washington Central.
"They're elderly. They've seen a lot of miles," Plomp said. He added that the engine is 1,700 horse power.
Bikers of the organization People Power also stopped in Aptos, following the train as it progressed towards the west side.
The bikers are excited for the ultimate goal: a Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network of bicycle and pedestrian trails along the rail trail.
For the full story on the new passenger train, and a schedule of the Holiday Train, click HERE. Also check out photographs from the train's arrival at Swift Street.