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Archive for Tuesday, July 14, 1998

NOWHERE TRAIN HAS NEW DESTINATION

July 14, 1998

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— The Train to Nowhere has been extended about four miles to travel to a ghost town.

The Train to Nowhere soon will go to a ghost town, too.

Midland Railway, a tourist train that travels weekends and holidays from Baldwin to Nowhere and back is extending its line to Norwood, a ghost town where there has been no rail service since 1938.

``I believe they should be pretty much on line to get this done in August,'' said Robert Hruska, a Midland Railway Historical Assn. board member. ``We are running a little bit behind schedule due to delays with the contractor. But we're supposed to be operating to Norwood within the next few weeks.''

Meanwhile, the excursion train continues to operate its usual weekend and holiday schedule, making the round trip to a place designated Nowhere three times daily on weekends and holidays, May through October.

The train, featuring a vintage diesel locomotive and coach cars from the early 20th century, leaves Baldwin on operating days at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Next week the railway will be operating private charters all week long as part of model railroader week festivities, Hruska said.

The extension to Norwood will add four miles of track to the all-volunteer, nonprofit railroad. It has been financed mostly with a $292,000 federal transportation grant. The train currently travels more than three miles to Nowhere.

The extension to Norwood also will go through a turnaround, which will allow the crew to detach the locomotive and pull the train back to Baldwin. Currently the locomotive pulls the train to Nowhere and then pushes it back to Baldwin.

Improvements also are being made to the railway yards at Baldwin.

``Norwood is an old ghost town, which existed in the 1890s,'' Hruska said. ``It existed as a scheduled railroad stop until 1938, at which time the depot was abandoned. It currently consists of a farmhouse. We're building a park type facility with picnic tables. We hope to add additional facilities for public enjoyment in the future.''

No reservations are necessary to ride the Midland Railway. But operators ask that tickets be purchased at the Baldwin Depot at least 30 minutes before departure time.

For additional information about the railroad or to make arrangements for private excursions or charters call (800) 651-0388.

-- Mike Shields' phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is mshields@ljworld.com.

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