Heartlands

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The Heart of the Heartlands Railroad Club was formed in 1991 and is governed by a nine member board of directors. Heartlands members are dedicated to preserving railroad history and providing short passenger train rides and motorcar excursions. We have established a museum complex in Carona, Kansas to preserve and display railroad memorabilia, our restored depots, and other miscellaneous railroad equipment.

Our group has restored three depots: the former Santa Fe Depot in Cherryvale, KS in 1991, the Missouri Pacific Depot in Carona, KS in 1996 and a second Missouri Pacific Depot (originally from Boston, MO – moved to the Carona museum complex) in 2006. The Cherryvale depot, built in 1910, is now the operating headquarters of the SK&O Railroad.  The Carona Depot, built in the 1940's, was used as a passenger depot until the early 1960's. The depot was then sold and moved 1/4 mile to be used as a hay barn. The John Thompson family graciously donated the depot to the Heartlands organization for restoration. It was then moved close to the SK&O track near its original location and was restored with the help of many area volunteers and Heartlands members. The Boston Depot was built in 1882 in the then thriving community of Boston, Missouri. It was removed from active service in 1932. Our group obtained the depot and moved it to the Carona museum complex on October 7, 2005. Over the next couple of years our members restored the building to its former glory.

With the generous assistance of WATCO Companies, LLC and the Dick Webb family of Pittsburg, KS, our group conducts passenger train rides and motorcar excursions on railroads across this region of the U.S and has established and expanded our museum complex. Our members are able to help with the passenger train rides by selling tickets, assisting passengers, acting as car hosts on the train, and other functions. See the Train Rides and Motorcar Excursions pages of this website for the location of upcoming events.


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