Officials with the Anita and Atlantic Volunteer Fire Departments have announced they are once again hosting a very popular family friendly event this summer. Round trip rides on a vintage train, pulled by a steam locomotive, will be available between the two cities on Saturday, June 8th. Three separate round trip tides will originate in each city. The train will depart from Atlantic at 9-am, noon, and 3- pm. The train will depart from Anita at 10:25-am, 1:25-pm and 4:25-pm. Passengers will board from the specific city, at the specific times, for each ride and will return to the point of their original departure.
Atlantic Chief McNees says “Iowa Interstate Railroad asked us if we were interested in partnering with them again this year and we jumped at the chance. The first time we tried this was three years ago and it was a huge success.” Anita Chief Duane Murphy echoed those sentiments. “We had such a tremendous response that we had to add a third ride to the day to accommodate the demand” according to Murphy. The chiefs expect strong sales again and urge everyone to get their tickets early to avoid being shut out as only 400 tickets per city, per ride are available. Both departments are working jointly on this project.
The event gives area residents a chance to relive past history when the passenger trains rolled through the communities. Many others have never had the opportunity in their lives to ride a passenger train, much less a vintage train. Murphy says, “The fact that a steam locomotive is pulling the train is also a big attraction, as the sight and sounds make a big impact on kids and adults alike.”
Iowa Interstate Railroad owns the steam locomotive and have used it in recent years to provide these rides where fire departments are interested in hosting the event. McNees states the tickets are available from any Atlantic or Anita firefighter for their city’s respective rides. Tickets may also be obtained at the Atlantic Fire Station and orders may also be placed by contacting them at 243-2146 for purchase for those traveling from a long distance.
In Anita, tickets may be purchased at Anita Municipal Utilities and at Anita Supply. Tickets must be presented at the time of boarding in order to ride. Tickets are $14 for adults (age 12 and over) and $7 for children. Infants who can ride on their parent’s laps may ride for free. Food and drink available to take upon the ride, but since the cars are vintage, there will be no amenities. Access to the passenger cars will be provided for those needing assistance. The departments are looking forward to providing an activity that takes residents and their communities back to a bygone era.