Longview World of Wonders to create new exhibit on WWII-era U.S. railcar

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 1:06 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - If your kids have never been on a train, well World of Wonders in Longview has a way to do it -- sort of.

It took a little doing, but the World Of Wonders in Longview managed to get a World Warm II-era train car inside their building, according to WOW assistant Executive Director Sara McKinley.

“Originally it was put in the back dock. And so they used lifts to bring it onto out dock platform, and then we have these garage doors back here, so they opened up the garage doors and they used forklifts to bring it in,” McKinley said.

It looks a lot like a backyard deck, but the frame is actually a railcar. They put wood slats across the top and added a railing for safety, but that’s not all that was altered.

“There’s several pieces of the train that had to be changed to be able to put it in the building. They had to take the wheels off because the wheels off because the wheels were too heavy to be brought into the building. And so we plan on having wheels created that will look very similar to what they would have looked like and have those on there so it looks more like a real train,” McKinley said.

It’s a work in progress which is why it’s fenced off for now. The Longview Rotary Club and long time Amtrak Employee Griff Hubbard hopped aboard the donation train to make it happen.

“Phase two we’re going to have interactive educational exhibits for the kids that deal with train safety and train education,” McKinley said.

But there is already something there for the kids to look at.

“There’s a screen above it that will trigger whenever the train comes by,” McKinley said.

The tracks run right behind WOW and they set up a camera, but for the most part those rail cars are not as old as the one in WOW.

“There’s a plaque on the car that says property of US Army. I can only imagine what it was used for,” McKinley said.

And imagining, for the kids anyway, is what the exhibit will be all about.

The train car exhibit is still under construction so children aren’t allowed on it yet. They hope to have it complete and looking much more”trainish” for their fifth birthday celebration on August 7.

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