WINNSBORO — Naturalist Rudy Mancke climbed aboard the rails Saturday morning at the S.C. Railroad Museum and guided patrons on a tour along the tracks, pointing out local fauna and flora along the way.
He also discussed the rock formations near the Rion Quarry and the train stopped for him to get out and examine local wildlife.
According to Rufus Timms with the museum, the Mancke event came about from board member Roger Stout’s close relationship with Mancke from when they were “office mates” at the State Archives Department and at ETV, respectively.
“Strout was the driving force behind the event. Rudy Mancke came up last fall but we were unable to pull an event together then,” Timms said.
The nature trail train is part of the museum board’s 2013 emphasis on thinking outside the box and reaching out to the community. Timms was excited by Mancke being a statewide draw for patrons, too.
“The museum appreciates all the community support it’s been receiving,” Timms said.
He made particular note of a firefighter from Community Fire Station One who had such rapport with children during the recent Easter Eggspress events.
The 1:30 train with Mancke was a sellout and around 50 people rode the 11:30 train on Saturday. The event went so well that the University of South Carolina professor said he would be willing to return in the fall for another nature themed railroad excursion.