Steam power will reign again at the Midland Railway’s Labor Day Weekend Railfest 2013, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, 2013. Steam will return as a 1930 built coal-fired steam locomotive, “HANK”, powers excursion trains all three days at 9:30 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The steam locomotive is a special look at a past era gone by!
Diesel/Electric powered excursions behind former M-K-T RS-3M #142 will depart at 11a.m. and 2 p.m. These excursions will be round trip between Baldwin and Ottawa Junction, about 22 miles round trip. Passengers will ride vintage railroad equipment from now “fallen flag” but once-famous rail lines. All excursions will depart from the Santa Fe Depot, 1515 High St., in Baldwin City, KS.
“HANK” #75, built for the Flagg Coal Co. of Avoca, PA in 1930, will be in Baldwin City, to pull the steam excursions round trip between Baldwin City and the former town site of Norwood, about a 11 mile round trip. In addition, “At the Throttle” runs will offer participants a unique opportunity to live their dreams by running the steam engine for a full half hour. (See Midland’s website www.midlandrailway.org). Hank’s visit to the Midland is by special arrangement with the Gramling Locomotive Works of Ashley, IN,
The popular Railroadiana show and sale will be expanded to all three days, Saturday thru Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors will be showing and selling railroad artifacts, collectibles, China, signs, signals, and other items from former famous rail lines. Admission is free with any train ride ticket. Vendors wishing to participate should contact Midland Railway.
Of special interest during the Railfest will be the ex-Kansas City Southern Railroad Post Office Car #30. Retired RPO clerks will be aboard to explain the operation of the railroad post office and how the mail was sorted and delivered when trains carried the mail.
Motorcar rides, on-rail railroad equipment, putt-putt golf, food vendors, and the 1906 Santa Fe Railway depot with souvenir shop will be featured. Motorcar ride will be aboard a restored, motorized “putt-putt” maintenance-of-way handcar will provide rides.
Passengers are invited to step back in time to when life was less hectic and trains were the means of transportation – whether for long trips, to go shopping in the big city, or just to visit grandma in a neighboring community. Leave the wide expanses of concrete and blacktop behind, and ride vintage railroad coaches through scenic countryside where the foliage and wildlife are just outside your window. The trains will roll over Kansas’ oldest railroad south of the Kansas River. Built in 1867, the railroad passes landmarks from Quantrill’s retreat after his raid on Lawrence, the pioneer town site of Prairie City (final resting place of Baldwin’s famed New York Giants’ pitcher Luther “Dummy” Taylor) and the area’s many “Bleeding Kansas” and Santa Fe Trail historical sites. Watch for deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife or enjoy Kansas’ native plants up close and personal.
For more information, call the Midland Railway at (913)721-1211 or online at www.midlandrailway.org.