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WSIU InFocus turns the spotlight on the Little Toot Railroad Company in Flora, Illinois. Little Toot is a working coal-fired, steam-powered, miniature gauge locomotive that has become a major attraction at Charley Brown Park in Flora. In this episode, we explore 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 in 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 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.
Learn more about Little Toot online at www.littletootrailroad.com.
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