Keep The Train

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The people of Polk County should have a vote and what happens what are state parks in our area. untold thousands of people from many states and even foreign countries have enjoyed a ride on the miniature train atop Rich Mountain at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. But this special treat for park visitors and area residents will soon be no more. The Arkansas Parks and Tourism Commission voted Thursday to close down the privately owned concession and use the space for a walking trail. I spoke with Grady Spann, the Arkansas State Parks Director, and he said the commission felt like the space the track used would be better utilized for the trail and special areas along the trail for activities everyone could enjoy year around. Spann would not say whether or not the store, called the Mountain Glory Station, that sells food and souvenirs and doubles as the train station would close as well. Spann said he hadn't called the concession owner yet. The train, track, and building belong to Montgomery County businessman Ronnie Waggoner.

In 2017 almost 7,000 people rode the train and many more enjoyed watching their children or grandchildren take a ride on the train that over the decades has become as much a part of the park as anything.

The petting zoo and miniature golf course were closed some time ago. We need more and our state parks to attract tourists and visitors to our area not continuously take away what's bringing them here they come here for the beauty the serenity here but while they're here they want something to do other than walking around and looking at the views this petition is to get the State Parks Commission to reconsider the decision they have made to take away the train we've already lost the miniature golf up there we lost the petting zoo up there the trains the last thing we've got up there for the tourist to do and for local people to do when we go up to spend the day on the mountain you can only spend so much time up there walking around the trails especially if you bring children who get bored easily