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Event to commemorate Tucumcari's railway history

Senior Writer

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The history of the railroad will come alive with working model train displays as well as visual and static displays Saturday and Sunday during the Tucumcari Railroad Days at the Historic Train Depot in Tucumcari.

Railroad Days is a collaborative effort among the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce, Tucumcari Main Street and the Tucumcari Railroad Museum, said Connie Loveland, railroad museum board member.

Loveland said the entities wanted to hold an event for locals and tourists that would bring the history of the historic Rock Island/Southern Pacific Railroad Depot to life. She said this event is free for all to attend and will feature well over 100 items that tell of the past and of the present railroad in Tucumcari. The exhibit is dedicated to the men and women who have worked on the railroad throughout the many years in Tucumcari and through its history.

Loveland said along with the museum items there will be several good employee photos that include current and past employees of the railroad companies that operated trains through Tucumcari.

Currently the train depot set along Union Pacific's Chicago-to- El Paso, Texas, route, has an average of 16-20 freight trains pass through daily.

Loveland said their will also be two major model rail clubs coming from Albuquerque, that will have model train sets in both the east and west wing of the train depot. She said the event will include a presentation by Vern Glover, a leading historian of the El Paso/Southwestern Railroads; that is set for Saturday night at a Dutch treat dinner at 6 p.m., at K-Bob's.

The event has been advertised and promoted by the Chamber of Commerce with the intention of attracting local, statewide and out-of-state train enthusiast of all ages to Tucumcari, said Patsy Gresham, chamber director.

Gresham said the event was designed for two days to draw in the train enthusiasts and encourage them to stay and enjoy the improvements at the depot and the other attractions of the town.

She said there are a large number of train enthusiasts that travel to these type of events and the restoration work that has been done at the depot combined with the museum displays and presentation by Glover will be sure to please them and possibly encourage them to return if it becomes an annual event.

Gresham said there will be food and other vendors at the event as well.

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