Craig Bakay | Jul 31, 2019
While he may not know every nut and bolt on every machine at Railway Heritage Park in Sharbot Lake, the newest addition to the train staff, ‘engineer’ Jonathon Wisteard comes as close as humanly possible.
“He’s done his homework,” said Central Frontenac Railway Heritage Society member Gary Giller. “He love the job, he loves to act and he’s filling an important role for us.”
“He’s very keen,” said Society member Sally Angle, who serves as host at the park on Saturdays. “He’s taught me what everything is for, even to the point where I was able to correct a mother when she tried to tell her kids that the brake wheel was used to steer the train.”
“I’m just a tour guide essentially, and I help clean up,” Wisteard said Saturday, taking a minute in between showing people around. “But I like to think of myself as the engineer.”
This is indeed a labour of love for Wisteard, who has model trains of his own and confesses to being a fan of all things train. But it’s also a job for him.
“Back in April or May, Janet Barr offered me the job through the committee,” he said.
“She managed to tap into some Community Living Employment Grants,” Angle said. “So we benefit as well.”
“We’ve got a green light so let’s wrap the sack to the next Hog,” Wisteard said.
He said his biological dad introduced him to model trains and he’s had the bug ever since. So, working on the Kick & Push Railway all the live long Saturday is something of a dream come true for him.
“I had to learn a lot but I’ve got it now,” he said. “I tell people what the railroad used to do back in the day and what all stuff is for but also the history.
“I like the fact that the railway shaped the country and made it strong and independent.
“They bring us the things we need and of course without trains, we’d still be stuck out in the middle of nowhere.”
When his gig with the Kick & Push is over at the end of the summer, Wisteard is looking forward to using some of his earnings to take a trip out west on The Canadian.
But for now, “I’m here for the summer and I’m happy to show people around.”
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