Mini Train "Fun" for Everyone, Leaves No One Behind

4 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Monday, September 23 2013 Sep 23, 2013 Monday, September 23, 2013 6:22:00 PM CDT September 23, 2013 in News
By: Turner Twyman, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

MOBERLY - The rumble of a train mixes with the sounds of clanging bells as a special train pulls into the depot.

Adults fold their full-sized bodies into child-sized cars to ride what some call "The Magic City Line" in Moberly.

The shiny red engine gets ready to pull out of the station, as parents finish lifting their kids into the cars.

The train's high pitched whistle sounds, and soon the engine is pulling multi-colored cars along a one-mile stretch of track on the The Rothwell Park Railroad, which is a part of the Moberly Friends of the Park Foundation.

While many of the younger riders are nervous, having never ridden a train before, volunteers said the "clickety-clack" of the train along the track is soothing, and soon those same young riders quickly relax. Some fall asleep.

But not everybody can sleep through the ride. Many children are fumbling around in their seats, and are watching as they roll past the train depot and under the park's tunnel.

Smiles can be seen on the faces of riders of all ages, some as old as 102-years-old.

J.W. Ballinger, a volunteer, mentioned this when he said although the ride was originally intended to be a children's ride, "55 to 60 percent" of the riders are actually adults.

Adults like Linda Thrasher, who said, "There's still a lot of kid in me, so I enjoy it."

Soon another of the park's three trains comes to the station, and is announced by the conductor yelling, "All aboard!"

The Railroad also has a steam engine that is used on special occasions.

But the conductor will have to wait as volunteers frantically punch holes in tickets for the long line of riders waiting for their chance to ride the same rails that nearly 5,000 have been riding annually for the past 11 years.

While the riders will soon make it past the line, some will have to wait at the station for the next train, since the miniature trains can only hold between 15 and 25 people.

The staff for the railroad is a group of around 35 volunteers. Some of them, like Lloyd Deierling, have had careers in the railroad. He worked as a switch operator for 38 years. He said, "It's fun to watch the kids."

Ballinger agrees. He jokingly said, "None of us get paid except for the smiles that the kids give us."

Smiles like those on children's faces as the conductor allows them to come up and blow the train's horn.

Ballinger, a mini-train engineer, said he volunteers because he has, "always enjoyed trains and always been around them." He said he has lived in Moberly his whole life and, "If you lived in Moberly you were around the railroads."

As another full train rumbles by, a special car at the back reminds us of the work volunteers have put in to ensure that nobody is left at the station.

Ballinger said they have tried to make sure that the ride would, "accommodate everybody." That's why volunteers installed a handicapped car, for riders like six-year-old Collin Miller, who has spina bifida. Collin's mother, Suzanne Miller, said it means a lot, "to have something special for him."

A special car where Miller said her son can, "wave and smile at the people as he goes by."

Miller said it's nice to have a place where she can take her son and, "roll him on and he can enjoy his time on the train."

Time spent enjoying his favorite parts of the ride: the bridges and the tunnels.

The Millers have been to the railroad more than four times this year.

The railroad runs every Sunday from mid-April to the end of October from 1 to 4:30 in the afternoon. It costs $2.50 to ride, with all the proceeds going to upkeep of the track.

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man who was shot to death on Sunday after shooting three Kansas City police officers... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:33:33 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
MANSFIELD (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a trooper who was shot in southwest Missouri has been released... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:28:02 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The white former interim police chief of St. Louis is alleging discrimination based on race in... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:20:28 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Japanese beetles are swarming mid-Missouri in the tens of thousands, wreaking havoc on gardens, crops and trees. ... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:18:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump will visit Missouri next week to deliver his first address as president to the annual... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:13:07 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Wednesday, Governor Parson issued an executive order putting nearly half of the counties in Missouri under... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:12:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri state representative has unblocked a critic from her Twitter account after he sued. ... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:10:32 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area woman has been charged with letting men rape her 2-year-old daughter. Twenty-five-year-old... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 5:12:46 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
HARRISBURG - A town rocked by tragedy continues to heal after the man responsible for the car crash that killed... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:57:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man following an investigation into alleged sexual abuse, and charges were filed in the... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:05:32 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Different sides reacted Wednesday to the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling in favor of a wind energy project.... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Democratic Party filed an appeal to the ruling from a Cole County judge dismissing a... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
FULTON - In the span of one month, law enforcement responded to nine car crashes on Route F between Boone... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The man who caused the crash which left a Harrisburg teacher dead pleaded guilty Wednesday. Brandon Brill,... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:34:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:50:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach who spent more than two weeks trapped... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:24:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri program aimed at connecting stroke, heart attack and trauma patients with the best care... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel says it bears no liability in last year's Las Vegas concert... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
2am 76°
3am 73°
4am 73°
5am 72°