Railroad show helps put depot efforts on track - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Railroad show helps put depot efforts on track

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An eastern Iowa man is hoping to share his love of trains with other rail enthusiasts in the area. In the late 1980's, Larry Lerch of Elkader purchased a Milwaukee Road Caboose. For years, Lerch has been working on repairing that caboose.

"I've worked on it already, but it needs more now. The floods kind of ruined some of it," he said. "We have had water up on the side of the car just below the numbers the last flood. You almost couldn't see the car."

Lerch's interests in trains began as a child. He hopes to soon share that interest with others in the community. Along with restoring his Milwaukee Road Caboose, Lerch hopes to soon create a Milwaukee train depot in Elkader. He says he hopes it serves as a museum to teach others more about the city's history with Milwaukee Road Railroad.

Lerch's wife Janis says, "The Milwaukee train depot once did head into our town and was a very big part of the industry in our town."

The Milwaukee Road Railroad traveled through Elkader from the late 1800's to the early 70s. The railroad brought supplies and passengers to the area.

Sunday, Lerch and others in Elkader held the first Elkader Railroad show in order to raise money to restore that caboose and build that depot in Elkader. Lerch says the project may cost $60,000, but says events like Sunday's train show will help him reach his goal.

Along with public donations, Lerch also plans to apply for grants to help fund the project.


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