First Railfest to celebrate train fans, local history

Few in Moore haven’t been impacted by the trains that roll through town daily. Their place in Moore’s history will be celebrated at the first ever Railfest May 12 at The Station at Central Park.

From inception to a slight delay to a morning commute, Moore’s connection to the railroad is undoubtable.

So to celebrate this, the city’s Parks and Recreation department is putting on the first ever Railfest, a celebration of railroads, trains and their connection to the area. The event will be hosted from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 12 at the Station in Central Park, which just so happens to be right next to the tracks.

“We’re tying a festival around a little bit of our history, and it’s tied to the railroad,” Todd Jenson, assistant city manager who oversees Parks and Recreation, said. “But outside of that, it’s a unique and fun day we have planned.”

Model train shows and clinics will start at 10 a.m. The playground will be open all day and there will be barrel train rides for the kids going until 8 p.m.

Food trucks will arrive just in time for dinner, and there will be live music provided by the band Replay. The train shows and modeling clinics cost $5 per person, but everything else going on that day is free and open to the public.

Families of all kinds are welcome to attend, but Jenson said the event will particularly appeal to railroad and model train enthusiasts. There will even be bleachers set up by the tracks to the east of The Station for people to simply watch the trains go by.

“Rail fans, they’re a passionate bunch about trains,” Jenson said. “They’re in our parking lots taking pictures all of the time. And that’s great. But we set aside this one day to have bleachers, give you a little different perspective, different view.”

Four or five model train clubs will be in attendance, while local train enthusiasts will be running the clinics.

Jenson himself will run one of them, as he is a rail fan. One of the clinics is an intro to model railroading.

Moore’s origins can be traced back to Al Moore, who worked for the railroad and lived in a boxcar in a nearby camp.

He put a mailbox by the tracks with his name on it so he wouldn’t miss any more of his mail, the postmaster used the same name to mark the location on a map, and thus the town was born.

Many of the early settlers were railroad workers. To this day, the railroad tracks impact daily life for many in the city.

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