Fundraising ongoing for Ripley Park train project

Angie Talken
Linn County Leader

Funds are being raised to repaint the trains located in Marceline's Ripley Park and also add additional features including a sidewalk with donors' names memorialized in bricks.

Several months ago concerned citizens in conjunction with several community-based groups started a fundraising campaign to repaint and refurbish the area around the caboose and steam engine in Marceline's Ripley Park.  

Community volunteer Dennis VanDyke said plans now include talking down the fence surrounding the steam engine, adding rock in the grassy area under and next to the engine, then putting the fence back up and adding a sidewalk around the engine from the center of the park, around the train. 

"We are striving to keep our downtown area and parks in great shape for our many visitors and the trains are in dire need of repainting and relettering," the committee said in a letter sent to Marceline area merchants. 

As part of the fundraiser, those who have or do donate more than $100 can have their names engraved in red brick, which will go around the steam engine.  

"It will form like a railroad platform around the fence," VanDyke said. 

Those wishing to purchase a brick should do so by Aug. 15. Donations should be sent to Downtown Marceline at 209 North Main Street USA, Marceline, Mo 64658. Organizers ask donors to note they wish the funds to go to the engine and caboose fund. Donations made through Downtown Marceline are tax-deductible. 

Space on the bricks will allow for three lines of text, with 14 spaces on each line. 

Fundraising will continue through Aug. 15. VanDyke said he is confident the work will be completed by Alumni Weekend on Sept. 24-25.