Railroad museum celebrates expansion project

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera will celebrate the expansion of its track and the opening of a new library next Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

The Museum will officially open its 1.5-mile track extension, although the first passenger train ran on the new line in early September.

Museum officials say riders will enjoy the newly lengthened 10-mile trip to Springs Junction for a couple of reasons. First, a longer distance means more beautiful Alabama scenery. The train now runs along a forest and pond and through a rock cutout.

Second, the new track has what is called a &8220;runaround&8221; at its end, which means the locomotive can turnaround and be at the front of the train both going out of and coming back to Calera.

During next Sunday&8217;s &8220;Celebration Day,&8221; the museum will also have a ribbon cutting for its new W.A. Boone Railroad Library and will dedicate a memorial to the late Carl Prichard, former mayor of Calera.

The museum itself features operating trains, two restored depots and a large collection of railroad memorabilia, including cars, locomotives and cabooses.

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in located at 1919 Ninth Street in Calera and can be reached by calling (205) 668-3435 or by visiting www.hodrrm.org.