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Rail fest chugs into Homewood Sunday

A visitor previous Homewood Railroad Heritage Day checks out model train. | File photo

A visitor at a previous Homewood Railroad Heritage Day checks out a model train. | File photo

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Updated: May 19, 2013 10:56PM



All aboard for the 10th annual Homewood Railroad Heritage Day.

The train-themed family event will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Auditorium, 2020 Chestnut Road, Homewood.

Admission is free.

Homewood events coordinator Allisa Opyd called the celebration a “true family event.”

About 800 to 1,000 people are expected for the celebration of the village’s railroad heritage.

Opyd said more than 50 train-related vendors, some of whom will be bringing elaborate model train sets, will be showing off and selling their wares. There also will be antiques, historic items and train accessories.

Also, there will be a raffle of a Walthers Trainline Railtech Digital Trainset at 3 p.m.

New this year will be an interactive area for children of all ages to experience the thrill of train conducting, Opyd said. Three model Lionel train layouts will be set up for kids to drive the trains.

Children also get the opportunity to ride on Little Obie, a scale model of a Canadian National locomotive that comes with a flatcar and a caboose. Little Obie helps promote rail safety for children.

CN, Homewood’s resident railroad, also will have a variety of prototype equipment on display along Harwood Avenue, just west of the auditorium.

The fest is sponsored by the Homewood Rail Committee.

Fest attendees can stop by Homewood’s rail-watching platform located at Harwood Avenue and Kroner Lane to observe freight, Amtrak and Metra trains travel through the village. The platform includes a live audio feed to the switching yard. The platform is wheelchair accessible.

Through an underground walkway, visitors can check out the newly restored interior of Illinois Central caboose 9426, located on Park Avenue just north of the train station.

They also can walk through the architecturally significant Homewood Train Station which was built in 1926 and is modeled after the clubhouse of the nearby Ravisloe Country Club, founded in 1901.

The underground pedestrian tunnel is adorned with murals painted by Girl Scouts earlier this month depicting their favorite things about Homewood.

“The fest is a wonderful family opportunity to learn about history and our wonderful train system here,” Opyd said. “It’s a great opportunity for the family to be together on a Sunday.”

Information is at (708) 798-3000 or www.homesweethomewood.com.



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