Rural Missouri - September 2013 - (Page 14)

ALL ABOARD Deck DECK DECK DECK DECK DECK DECK A mini train at Rothwell Park Railroad heads toward the 44-foot-long tunnel on a beautiful summer day. The train has a wheelchair-accessible car so everyone can ride. The Magic City Line miniature railroad at Rothwell Park is modeled after the historic Wabash, Norfolk and Western and Norfolk Southern Railroads. The trains come out every Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. with kids, parents, grandparents and friends alike riding from April 15 to Oct. 31. Passengers laugh the entire course, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. The cost of each ride is by Alyssa Goodman $2.50, making it an affordable and fun afternoon for an entire family. The venture takes you across s riders emerge from the bridges and over streams such as black 44-foot-long tunnel Toad Suck Creek or through the Rose aboard a mini train, othGardens. The train sits on a 12-inch ers eagerly wait to have track and allows for a smooth ride. their chance to ride back at “the The gardens surrounding the roughly station.” one-mile track are maintained by Mini trains look like little lifeMagic City Master Gardeners. You’ll sized trains with comfortable seats also see wood carvings along the for passengers to hop in. The ride is way through the beautiful scenery of smooth with backs on the seats for Rothwell Park. adults. The train is operated by 15-25 volJ.W. Ballinger remembers in the unteers and lots of generous donaearly 1990s discussing a mini train tions from local businesses and orgain Moberly. However, it wasn’t nizations. All the money earned from until July 4, 2003, that the first riders goes right back into maintaintrain left the station. Now, between ing the track and trains. 60 and 100 people ride the train Volunteer Robert Schafer has every Sunday. been responsible for building the “We took on trains for the past nine years. He the project thinkwas originally asked to build ing that kids would • some switches for the train. really have fun riding Moberly Little did he know someone and learning the history else also was building of trains, especially kids switches. His worked, who have maybe never while the other’s failed ridden real trains,” says to accomplish what the J.W., who is president trains needed and ever of the organization. “It since, volunteering for the turns out to be as much fun for railroad has gradually become an adults as kids.” every day activity for him. He takes Moberly has a rich train history. classes at the vocational school and The town’s name came from Col. even engages fellow students to help William E. Moberly, who was the as he teaches them the inner workfirst president of the Chariton and ings of a train. They may call him Randolph County Railroad Co. Visitors come from all over to experience the Rothwell Park Railroad mini trains A 14 On board one of the Rothwell Park Railroad mini trains, Molly Crain of Holliday and her 2-year-old daughter, Olivia, wait for the train to leave the station. “old man” at first, but once Robert shows off his skills and the elaborate trains for which he is responsible, he gains their respect. His interest in trains was first sparked while spending his free time as a kid on the trains where his grandfather served as a conductor. Now, he builds them himself. Miniature versions, that is. Another milestone was reached about three years ago when a wheelchair-accessible car was added to the railroad. Six-year-old Collin Miller always gets excited to ride the trains. His mother, Suzanne, and his brother, Grant, 3, can sit with him as he enjoys the loop around Rothwell Park. Collin was born with spina bifida and never gets tired of riding the train. A smile can constantly be seen WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP as he loops around the park. “Very few things are accessible and very few things he can do,” Suzanne says. This was their fourth trip to the train this season. While at Rothwell Park, families also can experience the Thompson Camping Area, fishing, paddleboats and the aquatic center. Many families enjoy a Sunday train ride and stay for the many other activities the park has to offer. Volunteers such as Robert work countless hours on the trains for free. “My favorite thing is to see the smiles on everyone’s faces,” he says. “That is the pay everyone gets.” For more information on the Rothwell Park Railroad, please visit www. or call 660263-7139. http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2013

Rural Missouri - September 2013
Merchant miniatures
Scorching the border
All aboard
Blasts from the past
Out of the Way Eats
Mowing down the competition
Hearth and Home
A place for Pershing
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - September 2013