Rural Missouri Magazine

A railroad runs in Rothwell

by Bob McEowen

Kids love trains. It doesn’t seem to matter what size the train — or the age of the kid.

The replica GE “Dash 9” diesel shown at right is one of two miniature locomotives which have thrilled visitors to Moberly’s Rothwell Park since their maiden runs July 4.

Built by inmates at the Moberly Correctional Center the train is operated by volunteers who laid nearly a half-mile of track through the park. The volunteer group, Friends of the Park, which placed the train in the park also operates a historic replica of a 1940s-era diesel passenger train.

Rides in the trains — or in a pair of restored Model T automobiles — are available for $2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, weather permitting.

Rothwell Park offers much more than just fun rides, though. The largest municipal park in Missouri outside of Kansas City and St. Louis, the facility covers 450 acres and features walking and fitness trails, tennis courts, playgrounds, ball fields, ag pavilions, a skateboard park, archery range, aquatic recreation center and a campground.

The park also boasts two fishing lakes. Rothwell Lake was originally built to provide water for steam locomotives operated by the Wabash Railroad.
Military buffs will enjoy the Omar Bradley monument and a war memorial located in the park.

For more information call (660) 263-6070.

Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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