The face of the rail system for our region has been the old Park train, located in the Paris City Park for the past fifty years.
According to Curtis Varnell, children have crawled over the train, practiced driving the engine, and conducted imaginary journeys for years and 2522 has become a part of our cultural history.
Built-in the 1890’s, the old coal-burning steam engine is the only one of its kind left in the world. Recently, efforts have been made to restore old 2522 to some of its past glory and to move it back to its original home on the tracks near the coal miner’s memorial.
After a lengthy process between the ADEQ, Paris City Council, Arkansas Highway Department and the Coal Miner’s Board, the 2522 Train will be moved on Thursday, January 23, from the Paris City Park to its new home at the Coal Miner’s Museum.
The ADEQ will oversee the moving process to ensure no environmental issues arise during the move. The train has been patched and repaired recently to prepare for the move. All work was done while no children were in the area.
As soon as the train is moved, the dirt underneath will be cleaned up by the city and disposed of properly by ADEQ.
“This cleanup is just a precaution. We do not want to leave any residue behind that could be dangerous or potentially hazardous to our kids,” said Varnell.
Combs Homes Movers and Builders will be moving the train to its new home as a contribution to the City of Paris.
Mayor Daniel Rogers wants the residents of Paris to know that during the moving of the train, Paris PD will be blocking roads from traffic, so beware of detours.
The moving process will begin as soon as school starts Thursday morning.