Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Derailed


This was my favorite childhood spot in Baton Rouge. It's the outdoor train exhibit at the Louisiana Arts and Sciences Museum, which has been closed since October 1996. The rail cars were set up so that groups of schoolchildren and other visitors could walk through them and learn about the history and importance of rail transportation. For me, no visit to the LASC was complete without a "train trip": first the postal car - complete with large canvas mailbags and boxes labeled with the names of small towns in Louisiana, then past the plush seats of the passenger car, followed by the dining car with white tablecloths and a cramped galley, and finally the office car, complete with its own bathroom and shower stall - impressive to an 8-year-old who had never ridden any sort of rails.

The exhibit was closed in 1996 so that the cars could undergo restoration, a project estimated at that time to cost half a million dollars. The museum didn't have the money available to undertake the project, so they asked the state legislature for help, but were turned down. Hopefully one day this exhibit will be restored to its former glory, so that others can have the fun that I did of wandering through these cars and imagining a journey on steel wheels.

1 comment:

Aigars Bruvelis said...

What a shame it is closed now:(