Abilene,/ KS

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BREAKING NEWS

Ride The Train

John AndersonSeptember 26, 2022

   Railroad fans who enjoy steam engines have one last opportunity this weekend to ride in a train powered by Abilene’s Santa Fe 3415 locomotive before it is taken out of service for required maintenance.  Officials of the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad announced today that the 103-year-old engine will undergo a special overhaul mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration every 15 years. Although the FRA only requires a complete safety check of the engine’s boiler, the railroad plans to make other improvements to the engine that will further extend the antique locomotive’s life.  A&SV President and General Manager Ross Boelling said that while the railroad’s volunteer crew does regular day-to-day maintenance work on the iconic locomotive, the upcoming task requires actually taking the engine apart and examining the condition of each component in order to determine the extent of needed repairs before actual work on the engine can be done. The estimated the cost of the renovation is about $350,000. The work will be done by A&SV volunteers and specialists from the Durango and Silverton, a popular steam railroad in Colorado. Boelling said the railroad is working on a series of grants to help fund the renovation project. The A&SV is also accepting contributions from the general public.  Boelling said steam excursion tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children ages 3 to 11. Dinner train tickets are still available for $85. All tickets can be purchased from the railroad’s website, www.asvrr.org.  Boelling added that on Saturday, as part of the Dickinson County Heritage Days celebration, the A&SV will run short rides from the Heritage Center to Jeep Road between 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. featuring the railroad’s vintage 1945 diesel locomotive pulling the railroad’s prized 1902 MKT wooden passenger car. Passengers can purchase lower cost tickets on the Heritage Center grounds for $10 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 11.

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