Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride the rails? Or have you seen the long line on engines and cars and asked what they are hauling and where they are headed?

Mike Offineer, “The Train Guy,” is a retired engineer who has ridden those rails and has discovered what the trains are hauling and their final destination. While we may not see many trains come through St. Clair, Bates, Henry and Vernon Counties, a fascination with these behemoths continues as they embark on their journeys from one stop to another.

Mike worked for both MKT and Union Pacific Railroads in his 41 years of service to the rail lines. Offineer worked for the Katy Railroad for 15 years, starting as a brakeman and working his way up to the position of railroad engineer. The MKT Railroad merged with Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1988 and Offineer continued as an engineer until retirement.

After retiring in 2014, Mike chose to share his love of the rails and these giant machines. He does this by visiting public libraries, local clubs, historical societies and any groups who are interested in the railroad life.

During his presentation, Mike will speak on the different aspects of railroading, the history of the Caboose, how trains and locomotives operate and lantern and hand signals. He will also bring numerous photos and artifacts of the Katy Railroad.

The 90-minute presentation will be of interest to anyone 12 and up interested in railroading or who wants to learn more. Viewing of Mike’s display will begin at 1 p.m. followed by the presentation beginning at 2 p.m.

Mike will present his program Saturday, June 10 beginning at 2 p.m. at the original 1870 Appleton City MK&T Depot on Hwy. 52 in downtown Appleton City.

Another railroad enthusiast, Rick Kraus of Marshal, has a passion for model railroading. He will have two tracks set up in the Depot Waiting Room with emphasis on the Katy beginning at 1 p.m.

Mike does not charge for his presentation, but has suggested that any donations would go to the preservation of the Appleton City Katy Depot which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

This unique opportunity to learn more about the MK&T Railroad is provided by the Appleton City Museum. This is one you won’t want to miss.

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