Midland Railway plans to rob, scare festival weekend riders
Midland Railway is making plans to scare and rob any shopped-out Maple Leaf Festival visitors making their way west on High Street to the excursion line.
Allen Kinsley, Midland Railway treasurer, said Midland has two special rides planned for Maple Leaf weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the railway will once again offer its Maple Leaf train robberies.
Kinsley said the trips would take riders to “Nowhere,” or grounds Midland owns about a 20-minute ride south of Baldwin City. There, the Wild Women of the Frontier, an all-female troupe of six-gun toting, horse-riding Western re-enactors, will stop the train and relieve passengers of coins and valuables handed out as the train departs from the Baldwin City station.
“They rob it all,” Kinsley said. “It’s a pretty good time, actually. They do a great job.”
The robbery trains leave hourly from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 and can be purchase at Midland’s website, midlandrailway.org, or at the ticket office in the historic Santa Fe Depot, 1515 W. High St. during the festival.
Kinsley said their hourlong length was designed to give festival weekend visitors a chance to enjoy something different yet still enjoy all the festival had to offer. Festival buses are to make regular stops at historic Santa Fe Depot, from which the trains depart.
Midland Railway’s Halloween Haunted Night Train of Terror will start its three-weekend run on festival weekend, Kinsley said. It will make three 1-hour-and-45-minute roundtrips to and from Midland’s southern terminus at Norwood just north of Ottawa starting at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The haunted thrills on “The Train to Hell” will take place on a old baggage car Midway owns, which will be lighted with black lights and decorated with such set pieces as an exorcism, Kinsley said. The Grim Reaper will lead riders through a carload of horror scenes brought to life by students from the Johnson County Community College theater department. Tickets are $12 for children 11 and younger and $18 for adults, he said.