It seems that everyone likes trains. Grandparents, travelers, children…you name it. Luckily, Kansas City offers ample opportunities to take in a train ride. Here’s a rundown of some railway-related activities!
It’s that time of year…when Thomas & Friends/Day Out With Thomas gets ready to roll into Baldwin City, KS. If you’re not familiar with the program…The Midway Railway in Baldwin City is where it all goes down. There are six dates for Thomas’s 2011 appearance…June 3,4,5,10, 11 and 12.
“The Leader of the Track Tour 2011″ includes a 25-minute ride with a full-size Thomas the Tank Engine, a meeting with Sir Topham Hatt, Storytelling, Live Music and more. Tickets are $18 for ages 2+ and advance purchase is strongly recommended. Thomas is rain or shine!
The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on a line originally constructed in 1867. Train rides feature an over-20-mile round trip from Baldwin City via “Norwood, Kansas” to Ottawa Junction, Kansas, traveling through Eastern Kansas farmland and woods via vintage railway equipment. It is a completely volunteer-staffed, non-profit, common carrier railroad operated to preserve and display transportation history as an educational demonstration railroad.
You can click here for regular Railway Schedule and Fares. Baldwin City is on U.S. 56 Hwy, 4 miles east of U.S. 59 Hwy; 10 miles north of 1-35 (Ottawa) and 17 miles south of 1-70 (Lawrence). From U.S. 56, turn south onto 8th or 11th Streets, then right (west) onto High Street. Follow the signs to the Midland Railway Depot.
If you take Hwy 71 South, you’ll end up in Belton, MO. There, you will find the Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad. The Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad Co. is a short line passenger railroad and demonstration museum just south of the Kansas City Metro Area. The BG&KC offers excursions on their line running south from Belton on a 5 mile, 45 minute round trip. It is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rail travel and railroading.
If you want to head north, you will find the Kansas City Northern Railroad/Line Creek Route. Take I-29 North to NW Waukomis Drive. The route is open May-September and fare is 50 cents per ride, all ages! Now seriously- when is the last time something cost 50 cents?!? Trains depart from the depot approximately every 7 minutes. Again, when do you recall only waiting 7 minutes for something fun?!? The restored Miniature Train Company (MTC) and Allen Hershell G-16 trains operate on ½ mile of track in the park. All trains are powered by V-4 Wisconsin air cooled gasoline engines of 26-28 horse power. These engines were used in hay balers and early Bobcat skid loaders. The tunnel is 110′ long and the face stone for the portals came from the old Paseo High School when it was torn down. Group charter rides can be scheduled for Fridays during open season for only $20.00. They also charter by the hour–the cost per hour is $75.00.
Don’t forget about Amtrak, too. The Missouri River Runner Route will take you all the way east to St. Louis, MO. You can hop the train in downtown Kansas City, MO, Lee’s Summit, MO and Independence, MO. What a fun, educational way to see Missouri and travel as a family!