Friday, July 13, 2012

Assiniboine Park Steam Train in Trouble?

Most residents of Winnipeg know this, but probably nobody outside Winnipeg knows that there is a steam train operating in Assiniboine Park here in the 'Peg. It's a miniature train that runs in a large loop through the park, headed by a coal-fired steam engine. It has been here since 1964, brought here from Pennsylvania by the father of the current owner, Tim Buzunis.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported that ridership is down by at least 50% this year, mostly due to a closure of one of the gates in the Park. The gate was closed due to construction near the Zoo and this has changed the traffic flow in the park such that many visitors no longer drive by the train to go to the zoo (CBC article).

I'm embarrassed to say that I have never ridden this train, or even photographed it. I will have to remedy that very soon.

A follow-up article from the Free Press states the park has apologized to Mr. Buzunis and they are putting a new sign up to direct traffic to the steam train. Let's hope this helps keep the train in operation.

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