Historic RailPark and Train Museum announces new plans for 2022, thanks donors and volunteers

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Historic RailPark and Train Museum hosted its Campaign Kickoff Event Thursday for the 2022 season.

The event was a time to say thank you and to talk about future projects for the depot.

Trains have had a major impact in the history of Bowling Green and the Historic RailPark and Train Museum works to salvage that history and share it with the public.

David Hosay, a board member for the depot, says the history is something children and families can enjoy and learn about together.

“The rail park is really important to the history of Bowling Green and it’s why Bowling Green is the important city that it is today in our region. Without the railcars coming through, Bowling Green wouldn’t have grown like it did in the early days,” said Hosay.

Over the last year, the trains have needed some tender care with new carpet in one car and rust damaging the steps to another.

Now, due to the damage caused by nature, Jamie Johnson, the executive director of the RailPark, is hoping to have a train cover put into place this year to protect the train from the elements.

“We really need to go in and look at how it needs to work. How does this need to be built? What makes sense? What really protects the railcars and how can we utilize that space to help us to continue to bring in revenue so that were able to maintain these cars? So if we don’t put a cover up to stop the deterioration of these cars, we will continue to fight a losing battle,” said Johnson.

The RailPark made sure to say a special thank you to one volunteer who spent around 10,000 hours volunteering for the depot, Pat O’Rourke, who passed away this past year.

“It’s so important to us to have people like that that are willing to commit that amount of time to us. They also bring a lot of talent and resources that we just don’t have. You know, Pat was here so often the people thought that he worked here. He really was just like one of the staff members. He was dedicated to what he was doing. He was knowledgeable. He was passionate. And, you know, we know he did a lot, but when he was no longer here, boy did the cracks start to show,” said Johnson.

If you are interested in donating, you can visit this story on our website.