Stolley Park


"All aboard," shouts Ken Scholl as he steps up to the engineer's seat.

The Stolley Park Limited is headed down the tracks, giving visitors a taste of days gone by.

"Try to imagine crossing the great prairie on a train similar to this in the summer or a spring hot day. Imagine what that's like," Engineer Ken Scholl said.

It's the ride of a lifetime for Scholl, a self-professed train nut.

"When I met my wife, I told her I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, but I do trains," he joked.

He spends his summer days on board locomotive # 42.

"Us boys and our toys. We can't be happy if we don't have toys," he said.

The train travels past the Kids Kingdom playground through Grand Island's historic Stolley Park.

"The route of the train follow the original outline of Fort Stolley," Scholl said.

A round trip costs $2, "And if you're lucky enough to be three and under, you get to ride for free," he said.

The train operates all summer long. Groups can rent it for reunions and birthday parties too. Kids especially like seeing the train chugging down the tracks, Scholl said.

"The six month to year old, their eyes light up like silver dollars. They're afraid at first, but by the time they come around the second time they don't want to get off."

In a fast paced world, this engineer takes pride in a slow ride.

He said, "The engineer's best compliment is when a little one falls asleep to the gentle rocking back and forth of the cars."

Reporter's Notes by Steve White:
A round trip pass is $2, and a day pass is available for $21.30. A season pass allows riders to visit all they want, every day the railroad is operating. That pass is $40.00

The train is located at Stolley Park, at the site of Grand Island's former zoo. The city has begun making plans for an arboretum at the site.

Locomotive # 42 is also known as the Stolley Park Limited. It came from the St. Louis Zoo.

For more information, visit {A href="" target=_blank}Stolley Park Railway.

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