ABILENE, Kan. (KSNT) – The Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad is looking for donations to help extend the life of the historic track. Every May through October, the non-profit runs two-hour round trips between Abilene and nearby Enterprise.
Since its beginning in 1993, A&SV has provided rides to over 250,000 passengers, and in 2021, the railroad attracted over 6,000 riders from 48 states.
The non-profit has received a $30,000 grant from the Dickinson County Foundation to start replacing the railroad ties along the five-mile track. ASVR General Manager Ross Boelling said the project will extend the life of the track for another 30 years.
“We’ve performed maintenance over the years, but now we’re to the point where a lot of the ties are getting old and starting to deteriorate and fall apart,” Boelling said. “What we’re wanting to do is retie the whole railroad so that we can establish a good firm foundation for the train to run on.”
The first phase of construction is expected to start in March. Boelling said the grant money will only get the project started and the group is looking for donations to help. The railroad is asking people to adopt track ties to help finish the project. Each wooden track ties cost about $50 each and another $26 to install.
Donations can be made online or they can be mailed to the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad at Box 744, Abilene, KS 67410-0744.