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Local TV Program Turns Spotlight on Little Toot Railroad Company in Flora

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Contact: David Kidd, WSIU-TV Producer, (618) 453-5887, david.kidd@wsiu.org

Carbondale, Ill. - The Little Toot Railroad Company in Flora, Illinois will be the subject of a program-length episode of WSIU InFocus, a weekly local public television series produced by WSIU Public Television, a public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). The episode Little Toot will air this Friday, April 1 from 9-9:30pm on WSIU-TV's primary HD channels, WSIU-TV 8.1 and WUSI-TV 16.1.

Little Toot will repeat on WSIU's primary HD channels on Sunday, April 3 at 12:30pm, and Friday, April 8 at 5pm. It also will repeat on WSIU-TV 8.2 and WUSI-TV 16.2 (PBS World) on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 at 4pm and again on Monday, April 4 at 8pm.

Little Toot is a working coal-fired, steam-powered, miniature gauge locomotive that has become a major attraction at Charley Brown Park in Flora. This episode of WSIU InFocus explores the history of the train - from its beginning in 1959 when Gaylon Borders bought the first engine and passenger car from the Crown Metal Products Company and created a track layout for it at Charley Brown Park to its move to Centralia by Jim Adams, who later sold the train, to its return to Flora by Clint Green.

InFocus talks with Green, who manages the Little Toot Railroad Company and now has three engines, about his motivation for bringing Little Toot back to life and the hard work that he and a dedicated group of volunteers put into keeping the trains operational. He also leads the InFocus crew through the process of rebuilding one of the engines and shares the joy of watching it work after the engine's valve assembly is adjusted. Green's nostalgia for Little Toot and his commitment to restoring an important part of Flora's history have turned this tourist attraction into a symbol of community pride.

About WSIU InFocus
WSIU InFocus is a weekly half-hour program on WSIU Public Television that turns the spotlight on the people, places, events, and issues of our region. Co-hosts George Norwood and Roz Rice introduce a combination of field-produced and in-studio segments covering topics such as the arts and education, family and community, regional history, cultural identity, and news and public affairs. The program airs Fridays at 9pm on WSIU-TV 8 and WUSI-TV 16. Viewers are invited to ask questions, share comments, and offer programming suggestions at (618) 453-6156 or infocus@wsiu.org.

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