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NEW TRAIN AT CREEKMORE PARK

Creekmore Express conductor Jack Keith takes riders around Creekmore Park. Keith said the train will operate Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-6 p.m. until Sept. 3. [BRIAN D. SANDERFORD // TIMES RECORD]

By Alex Golden // Times Record // agolden@swtimes.com

The Parks and Recreation Department will go forward with purchasing a $55,800 battery-powered replica of the 68-year-old steam engine at Creekmore Park following a unanimous Tuesday vote by the city’s Board of Directors.

The No. 999 Steam Engine, which carries sentimental value for those who rode it as kids, stopped working more than a year ago.

The Holiday Express pulled by a steam engine leaves the depot at Creekmore Park on Dec. 2, 2013. [TIMES RECORD FILE PHOTO]

Few companies are capable of making a new miniature steam engine, and the cost of doing so would be about $240,000, according to a memo from Parks and Recreation Director Doug Reinert to City Administrator Carl Geffken.

Operating a steam engine also requires a boilers license, and the Parks Department has one staff member who has a boilers license, Reinert said.

The battery-operated replica, which will come from Western Train Co. of Temecula, Calif., is expected to be at Creekmore by Sept. 15, Deputy Parks Director Sarah Deuster said at a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Wednesday.

“They are hand-delivering it, putting it on the track and making any final adjustments,” she said.

 

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