PHILLIPS — Now that trains will run every weekend through Labor Day, the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad will stage several special events. One, a reprise of the railroad’s popular Wild West Weekend, is set for Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21.

On that weekend, the Wild West, guns a-blazing, returns once more to the SR&RLRR.. Train passengers on the narrow-gauge will experience the thrill of the West as a gang of desperados attempts to rob the train.

Some of the gang creating the gun smoke are part of Old Wild West Back East, a group of reenactors who come together occasionally to recreate history. And not just Western history, some of those who dress in the garb of the Wild West do other reenactments as well.

Norm Harbinson, one of the organizers of the SR&RLRR Wild West event, reenacts several time periods and personas, and earlier this year he and some of his group did a dramatic reenactment at the railroad of the 101st Airborne’s participation in the Normandy Invasion in 1944 — the 75th anniversary of that world-changing event.

So what should train riders in Phillips expect on the SR&RLRR Western weekend? An attempt to rob the train, certainly, though whether the Marshall and his posse will arrive in time to thwart the attempt is less certain. But gunplay is inevitable and weapons — loaded with blanks — will be fired.

Action starts at the Sanders Station on Bridge Street on July 20 to 21. Trains run on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Fares are $6 for age 13 and up, $2 for under 13, and children 5 or younger ride free.

For more information about the railroad’s operating schedule, including other special events, visit http://www.srrl-rr.org/.

Wild West reenactors coming to Phillips July 20-21.


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