The Historic Railpark

One of the things I really wanted to do when we were in Bowling Green, KY, last month was visit the Historic Railpark and Train Museum at the former L&N (Louisville and Nashville) depot.


We started with a guided tour of five restored train cars. First, we got to see the engineer’s point-of-view from the E-8 Engine:



Next, we went through the 1921 Railway Post Office Car, and learned the story of Owney, a stray dog who became a postal mascot:

The Duncan Hines Diner Car (yes, that Duncan Hines…a food writer after which the cake mixes were named. He was a real person, and a Bowling Green native!) may have been my favorite car…I felt like I had stepped into a scene from White Christmas!



It was interesting to see the different classes of travel available in the Towering Pine Sleeper Car, as well as how cleverly they stored things in the walls and ceiling of the train. This time, I felt like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy!

Finally, we walked through the L&N Presidential Car, which was reserved for the president of the railroad, and contained a dining/conference room, kitchen, sleeping compartments, and a bathroom:

After the tour of the interior of the train cars, we walked around outside to see how they were all different.


We also saw the L&N Caboose and a Hospital Car, which is in the process of being restored:



There is also a museum inside the old depot:

The big waiting room of the depot is still beautiful. We learned that in addition to the segregated waiting room, there was also a small waiting room set aside for single women who were traveling alone. We especially liked the tile floor, which was laid with intentional mistakes here and there:



I’ll be honest…I didn’t really know what to expect before our visit. But it ended up being an amazing tour! It was like stepping into the past for a bit as we walked through the various cars. And the exhibits in the museum were very informative, and had some great items on display. I loved our visit, and I hope to go back someday and see the medical car once it’s finished!


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