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November 12, 2008 > Niles Canyon Railway's "Mudball Express"

Niles Canyon Railway's "Mudball Express"

Submitted By Karen L. Kadaja
Photos By Chuck Koehler

Mother Nature, Niles Canyon, the Niles Canyon Railway and children, what do they have in common? Poppy seeds!

Every spring our beautiful canyon experiences a proliferation of colorful flowers that awaken as the springtime sun beckons. But sometimes not all in nature respond as we hope so we do what we can to help Mother Nature. This year the Niles Canyon Railway, which runs trains between the Niles District in Fremont and the town of Sunol, held its first "Mudball Express."

The "Mudball Express" was held on Sunday November 2; Bay Area Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts tossed ecologically correct mudballs - real mudballs - laden with donated poppy seeds from the train. The children, as young as six years of age, got first-hand experience in connecting with history as the train runs over the original final leg of the Transcontinental Railroad and with environmental restoration - maintaining and restoring the Earth.

The two hour journey produced many rewards but none greater than the children working directly with Mother Nature, and each other, to keep a natural balance alive and well.

The Pacific Locomotive Association and the Niles Canyon Railway would like to thank the Tri-Valley Rotary, Pacific Coast Seeds, the Livermore Rotary and Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore for donations of seeds and planting materials. Our gratitude also extends to Bronco Billy's Pizza in Niles and Dale Hardware for their participation in making this a successful inaugural event.

This is a great example of the community working with Mother Nature to make a better place for us all.

For more information about the Niles Canyon Railway visit our website at or contact Public Relations and Marketing at

All aboooard!

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