One of Nebraska’s hidden treasures

Larger and larger gauge trains are increasing in popularity. Trains and Toy Soldiers is supplying the growing group of G Gauge/ Garden Gauge railroad modelers every week. Garden Railroading has been growing at fantastic rate, and Trains and Toy Soldiers thinks that might have been inspired by some of the great narrow-gauge railroads that have delighted the young and young at heart across the country for generations.

Growing up in the American heartland, one of my earliest memories of narrow gauge railroads is the Iron Horse Railroad also known as Lincoln Children’s Zoo Train. The Zoo has been a family favorite since the mid 1960’s. What is less widely known is the Iron Horse Railroad was dedicated and open for passengers before the Zoo. In 1964, the track was laid and a brand-new team assembled it and the Iron Horse took on its first delighted passengers. The price per ride was fifty cents making the Iron Horse Railroad a popular attraction.

In the last fifty years, over 2.5 million people have ridden the Iron Horse Train. Today it is not uncommon to see three generations of train lovers gather to ride the train.  Grandparents sit with parents who sit with their young children. The magic of a small scale train ride transcends time and changing fashion.

No matter what the changing craze, from pet rocks to video games or from Barbie’s to Monster High Dolls, the Iron Horse Train can still capture the imagination of children throughout time. This weekend through October 30, Boo at the Zoo, Lincoln largest Trick or Treat event, will be delighting entire families for another season.

The team at Iron Horse Railroad will decorate the train and tunnel. The ticket takers will wear scary costumes and the Engineer will do his best to get everyone back to the station safely. The Iron Horse Railroad will be open each night to allow children of all ages to enjoy the railroad tradition that has endured for generations.

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