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Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

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History Buffs Choo-Choose Laramie for Heritage Train Park

May 11, 2009

Laramie, WY – An off-hand comment late last year that Laramie's famous "pink car" - a unique old train bunk car - was going to be cut up for scrap metal set wheels in motion. Locals who wanted to preserve that piece of Americana got on track, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It took the generosity not only of local residents, but folks around the country who want the nation's rail history preserved, explains railroad historian Larry Ostresh, Laramie, who helped spearhead the effort. The "pink car" is headed to the city's new railroad heritage park to be part of a display that will be the first of its kind in the nation, he says.

"I've talked to a lot of rail historians. None of us has ever seen on a static display a genuine train that would have operated."

By this fall, the display of a working train from the 1920s-'30s will include a train snowplow, engine, the bunk car and a caboose, thanks to thousands of dollars in donations. Ostresh has no doubt it will be a draw for railroad history buffs and train hobbyists. All the pieces have been sitting unused at different locations around Laramie.

Mary Humstone with the Alliance for Historic Wyoming says it's unique that a preservation project moved so quickly – a reflection of how important railroad history is to Laramie.

"Trains going through the town, train equipment lying around – it's part of our landscape, but these things are really disappearing."

The new railroad heritage park will be next to the Laramie Historic Railroad Depot.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY