Vintage Sports
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During the late 19th Century and early 20th, rowing was a very popular spectator sport.  Coverage of big races was front page news nationally and internationally.  
Imagine thousands upon thousands watching along both river banks viewing from boats and bridges.  100,000 to 125,000 fans would line the route.
Imagine a train with flatbed cars chugging down the shoreline, keeping pace with boats over the four mile course, serving as rolling grandstands for fans lucky enough to be able to
get the exclusive ticket.  

1915 IRA Regatta (won by Cornell).  Scrapbook page with Observation Train Tickets and Photos.  Fans lined the Hudson River, in Poughkeepsie NY, and those with tickets
could ride the observation train that ran alongside the shore during the race, keeping pace with the boats over the 4 mile course.  
(Also included is pair of tickets from 1915 Syracuse/Colgate football game.)

The last train photo, not part of scrapbook, is a stock image, but shows what the observation train looked like.  
Examples of other Rowing Observation Train Tickets