October 23, 2014

Railroadiana, train rides offered during Railfest

A new Railroadiana show and sale will be featured along with train rides aboard vintage railroad coaches this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, by the Midland Railway Historical Association of Baldwin City. Locomotive cab and motorcar rides, a railroad post office car, and the 1906 Santa Fe Railway depot with souvenir shop will be featured.
The weekend will celebrate the 60th anniversaries of Midland’s 1951 ALCO RS-3 locomotives – M-K-T #142 and NYC #8255. The 80th anniversary of the former Kansas City Southern Railroad Post Office car #30 will also be celebrated.
New this year will be a Railroadiana show and exhibit at the depot park. Vendors will be showing and selling railroad artifacts, collectibles, China, signs, signals, and other items from former famous rail lines. A $5 admission will be charged. Admission is  free with train ride ticket. Vendors wishing to participate should contact Midland.
Three trains each day will depart from the Santa Fe Depot, 1515 W. High St., in Baldwin City. The 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. excursions will be 11-mile, round trips to Norwood, an abandoned townsite in Franklin County, behind M-K-T #142. The 3 p.m. excursion will feature both RS-3s #142 and 8255 for a trip from Baldwin City to Ottawa Junction, approximately 21 miles, two hours plus run-by photo opportunities offered each way.
Also open 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 car. Locomotive cab rides in the locomotive #8255, and rides on a motorized “putt-putt” maintenance-of-way handcar will also be offered.
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 train 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 townsite 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.
While in Baldwin be sure to tour some or all of the more than 70 historic and other sites of interest. Included are the pre-Civil War Battle of Black Jack Battlefield, Santa Fe Trail Ruts, trail and markers and well, Old Castle Museum, Baker University, Quayle Bible Collection, the birthplaces of Osteopathic/Chiropractic Medicine and the Kansas School for the Deaf, and many more.
For more information, call Midland (913) 721-1211 or online at www.midland-ry.org.
The Midland Railway is a not-for-profit educational, historical operating historical railroad project of the Midland Railway Historical Association of Baldwin City. Restoration, maintenance and operation are by unpaid volunteers.

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