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Contact: Julena Campbell, 304-465-6523
Thurmond, WV - The National Park Service (NPS) at New River Gorge National River, National Coal Heritage Area, the Thurmond Performance Team, and Operation Lifesaver are hosting the fourth annual “Thurmond Train Day” in the historic railroad town of Thurmond, West Virginia, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 15, 2017. A variety of free activities for all ages will be offered as a way for people to explore the town’s history and to learn safety tips for living and recreating in areas near railroad tracks and crossings. Visitors will also enjoy live music by Bill Monroe Gardner.
The Center for Railway Tourism will provide several activities throughout the day for kids including stories, activities, and other fun ways to learn about trains. Jim Porterfield, a read-aloud specialist from Davis and Elkins College, present programs at 11:30 am and 12:30 pm. All children attending the event will be able to participate in an art activity and will have an opportunity to earn a NPS Junior Ranger badge. Kids can also get their picture taken on an historic railroad handcart and will receive a framed photo to take home.
Thurmond Train Day will also feature historic walking tours that celebrate the rich stories of this historic boomtown and the railroad that built it. Join a ranger for a tour of Thurmond's commercial row at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm. Meet at the Thurmond Visitor Center for the half-mile walking tour.
Operation Lifesaver will provide educational materials, displays and video presentations that emphasize the value of rail transportation and promote rail safety. Located in all 50 states, Operation Lifesaver raises awareness and improves public safety on and around highway-rail grade crossings and tracks through public awareness and education.
After the other activities conclude, join a ranger for a 3-mile “Rend and Railroad Hike” from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Meet at the Rend Trailhead located on Route 25 near Thurmond for a relatively easy walk along an abandoned branch line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.
The Thurmond Depot Visitor Center is open daily through Labor Day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Park information and tools to help plan a visit to the National Parks of Southern West Virginia are online at www.nps.gov/neri, www.nps.gov/gari, and www.nps.gov/blue.
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More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitterwww.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.