GOWANDA - September marks the 30th anniversary of the filming of the movie "The Natural" which starred Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger. In September 1983, the village of South Dayton was buzzing with activity. Movie stars, directors, extras, makeup artists, costume designers, set crews and the multitudes of onlookers made this normally quiet community an exciting place to be. The New York & Lake Erie Railroad, headquartered in Gowanda, played an important part in the filming of this Academy Award nominated movie.
To celebrate, the New York & Lake Erie Railroad will offer a 20-mile round-trip train ride from Gowanda to South Dayton on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. Each train will depart from the Gowanda depot, 50 Commercial St., Gowanda, at 11 a.m. and travel to South Dayton. While on board, passengers can experience the nostalgia of riding in 1930's vintage passenger cars while the train climbs the grade out of the valley, travels through the Dayton tunnel constructed in 1865, and passes through farmlands and wetlands on its way to South Dayton.
During the three-hour layover in South Dayton, passengers may take in the local festivities marking the anniversary. Planned activities include an antique car display, a model train exhibit, a baseball game (Saturday only), carnival rides, and music by the Slim Griffin Band on Saturday and the Mountain Railroad Band on Sunday. Passengers can view the site of the movie's baseball and carnival scenes, and visit the beautifully restored South Dayton depot.
Train rides available Sept. 7 and 8.
The train will return to the Gowanda depot at approximately 4 p.m.
Train ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 -11, and toddlers 2 and under ride free on the lap of a ticket holder. Train tickets can be purchased by calling 716 597-4499.
Contact: Don Rogers, New York & Lake Erie Railroad, P.O. Box 309, Gowanda 14070, or at 597-4499.