The VRA has completed yet another successful Easter Bunny Train Ride. We had a bit of a slow start this year, partially due to the economy being what it is, and with a week to go we were nowhere near sold out. In previous years we were selling out two weeks or more before the trips. Things picked up however, and we ended up overbooked! It seems there was a glitch with Ticket Turtle and several cars ended up with over ninety tickets sold. As the coaches New Jersey Transit provides actually hold over 100 passengers apiece, no one was left without a seat, but it was a tighter fit than we would have liked.
Saturday, April 16th, we ran three trains out of the Wayne Route 23 Transit Center. The car hosts made sure the cars all looked great. A few last-minute character and crew changes were made, and then we were off. Rule V was in effect again! Everyone on the crew adapted beautifully and things went smoothly. By afternoon the weather turned, and the rain poured down in buckets. KC Smith led a very capable, if extremely soggy, platform crew. They did a stellar job keeping the passengers informed, and boarding and de-boarding each trip went without issue.
In addition to our four Easter Bunnies, this season we also had Elmo, Ernie, Cookie Monster and Spider Man to entertain the passengers. Elmo is nearly as exciting for the kids as the Easter Bunny, and Spider Man was a huge hit. Crew chiefs on Saturday were John Kroll, assisted by Matt Phalon, for cars 1 – 4, and Carolyn Hoffman, assisted by Justin Kerstner for cars 5 – 8.
Sunday, April 17th, we ran three more trains – this time out of Glen Rock Boro Hall station. The train was already decorated, so the crew loaded supplies at Radburn and we headed for Glen Rock. We had the same characters as the day before, and an equally competent Platform Crew lead by John Kroll. With Sunny skies and temperatures in the seventies, we had a perfect day. As with Saturday, there were very few snags and the vast majority of our passengers were thrilled. Crew chiefs on Sunday were KC Smith, assisted by Matt Phalon, for cars 1 – 4, and Carolyn Hoffman, assisted by Justin Kerstner for cars 5 – 8.
A huge thank-you goes out to Matt Phalon for coordinating costumed characters, and to Betsy Newbury for taking up crew caller duties on short notice. Of course, thank you to all the volunteers who helped fill car host boxes, put out signs and fliers, manned phones, and filled duties as characters, car hosts, platform crew and the numerous other tasks that go into making these trips the success that they are.