After years of being parked in a barn, an old but familiar ride in Minot is making its way back out this weekend and getting back to tugging people around.
“The kids just love to ride the train. There’s a lot of kids that hang around here on the weekends and they always admire the train and want free rides,” Train Engineer Loren Anderson said.
Anderson has ran and operated the Magic City Express for many years.
“I’d come out here if there was a lot of interest in the park and back it out and use it as much as we could because it’s not doing any good sitting in the train barn here,” he said.
Ride after ride, chug after chug, Anderson says he’s made many memories pulling the 50-passenger Express around Roosevelt Park.
“There was a wedding in the park and the bride wanted me to haul her from the platform over to the bridge by the zoo area and that’s where the groom was waiting for her,” Anderson explained. “So, that turned out pretty nice.”
But while Anderson has a long list of memorable moments the joy of it all was met with a long hiatus following the 2011 flood.
“It was out for about six years because the cars were out getting painted. The axles had to go and get regreased,” he said.
In 2019, the city decided it was time to bring the Ol’ Express back out on the rails, but again it was met with another dilemma.
“2020 we took it out and then covid hit. We were all ready to go and covid really messed us all up you know,” Anderson said.
So, they waited yet another year, but that wait is officially over.
The city of Minot kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a little community event featuring none other than the Magic City Express.
“We’ve got to keep people in minot for these vacation weekends” Anderson said.
And so far they have.
“This is really cool and you don’t really get to do this often so it was really fun,” Minot Resident Jalen Jackson said.
“This is pretty cool to be able to ride around and see people. It’s like a mini-tour,” Minot Resident Kelly Fox said.
To add to the fun, Chuckles the Clown from Minot Shriners stopped by the park.
“We’re just here to make balloons and making kids happy. We enjoy it a lot when we see the kids smile,” Tony Mannagad said.
“Its a wonderful family thing, you know. It’s a pleasure. I love running it,” Anderson said.
The Magic City Express is back on track.
Anderson says the Magic City Express is available for rides Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until Labor Day Weekend.