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Gage Park mini train, Carousel open for Spring Break week

Topeka’s Gage Park mini train is back on track. The Gage Park mini train and carousel will be open for Spring Break, the week of March 7-14. After Spring Break, the rides will open weekends only until Memorial Day weekend, when they reopen seven days a week.

“The start of the train and carousel season signal that warm-weather fun is coming,” said Riley Shafer community events and amenities supervisor for Shawnee County Parks + Recreation. “People are always excited to get back outdoors and enjoy the rides.”

The train and carousel have been making memories for families for generations. The mini-train is entering its 53rd year of following a one-mile course around Gage Park. The train carries around 100,000 passengers every year, while the engineer takes them through the park’s history. Originally designed to last for 20 years, the train has been running since 1967. In a post announcing the temporary closing, Parks and Rec credited staff for the train’s longevity.

“Talented and dedicated mechanics who take personally the task of keeping the train running for the children have continually found innovative solutions including having parts manufactured for the train to keep it in operation,” a staff member said.

Gage Park Mini-Train

We are sorry to report that the Gage Park mini-train has developed a crack in its air tank and will be down until further notice. The train was designed to last 20 years but has been running for more than 50 years thanks to dedicated mechanics who take personally the task of keeping the train running for the children. The mechanics have developed innovative solutions to problems and have had parts manufactured specifically for this train. Each winter, the engine is taken into the shop and servied to get it ready for the next season. One car per year is taken out of service so that it can be refurbished and put back into operation the next year. We are sorry for everyone's inconvenience. A crack in the air tank is a serious issue and was not preventable. Our mechanics will do everything they can do to get the train repaired and back in operation.

Posted by Shawnee County Parks + Recreation on Saturday, July 6, 2019

The vintage carousel was built in 1908 and houses a Wurlitzer style band organ.

Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tickets are $2 per person. Children under 12 months ride for free. Punch Passes are available for 15 rides (good for Mini-Train or Carousel) at a cost of $25. Punch passes are sold at the Mini-Train Depot or Carousel.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice

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