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Archive for Sunday, September 19, 1999

RAILWAY CONDUCTING SPECIAL EVENT

September 19, 1999

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— Railfans Weekend runs through today in Baldwin, where excursion train rides are being offered.

More than 100 area residents turned out Saturday to ride on restored trains as part of Railfans Weekend in Baldwin.

"It's kind of a nice ride -- somewhat scenic," said Craig Moore of Kansas City, Mo.

The rides are being offered by the Midland Railway at the old Santa Fe Railway depot, a National Register of Historic Places landmark at 1515 W. High St. in Baldwin.

The Midland Railway is a volunteer-staffed, intrastate common carrier railroad operated to preserve and display transportation history through the operation of a demonstration railroad. It is a joint project of the Midland Railway Historical Assn. and the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society.

The nonprofit railway's Railfans Weekend rides feature two cabooses.

Known as "crummies" or "way cars" to people in the railroad business, cabooses served as both offices and living quarters for the conductors on freight trains.

Bob Hruska, director of marketing for the Midland Railway, said more than 100 people had taken rides as of Saturday afternoon.

"We should have 300 to 400 for the weekend," he said.

"It depends on the weather (today). It's been a fairly good weekend -- average to above average."

Bruce Peterson and his wife, Diane, of Overland Park brought their four children for a ride on Saturday.

"He's a big train fan," Bruce Peterson said of his son Eric, 3.

"We've got the videos of trains at home we watch, and we like to come out and ride them," he said.

The excursion train runs into Franklin County and back on six miles of track through the end of October.

Special hourlong excursions will depart at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. today.

Each run will include a former Kansas City Southern Railroad postal office car offering commemorative postal cancellations. Former railroad postal clerks will be on hand to talk about the days when mail was picked up, sorted, bagged and thrown off at each station.

The railway's collection also includes three engines that will be linked for the final run each day.

Fares are $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 4 through 12, and free for younger children. All day passes are $20.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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