The City of Boone, Iowa, has a lot going for it. It is home to several fascinating attractions, as well as being close enough to Des Moines to include many of the happenings there. Boone is where Mamie Doud Eisenhower was born, wife of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States.
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You can enjoy a guided tour of the home while in Boone. It is home to the Boone Speedway, where the Super Nationals racing series appears and the Iowa Municipal Band Festival is held annually. The weekend after Labor Day of each year, you can experience Pufferbilly Days, which is a terrific fun-filled festival. One of the top attractions and one of the most exciting for railroad buffs is a ride aboard a steam-powered railway car.
Boone Railroad Historical Society
The Chicago and North Western Railroad purchased the area rail line in 1968 and decided not to use some portions of it. A group of concerned citizens devoted to the preservation of the track founded the Boone Railroad Historical Society (BRHS) in 1983 and The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum was born.
The historical society purchased 11.3 miles of track and bridges to preserve the historic value and scenic beauty of this location.
Last Commercially Manufactured Steam Engine
The BRHS was responsible for the purchase of the last commercially manufactured steam engine in the world in 1989. The beloved JS8419 was built in Datong, China, and now makes its home in Boone, Iowa. It is this steam engine that creates much of the attention for the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum (BSVRR).
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It is a formidable steam locomotive. Its beauty and its power are something to behold. If you are a railroad buff and love history, the sight of it chugging along will take your breath away.
A Variety of Train Rides
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The historical society has largely been successful in its attempts to draw tourists to this one-of-a-kind attraction. They have designed a variety of train adventures to delight little tykes, too.
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Nearly every child loves trains, and with the initiation of the Dessert Train, the Picnic Train, Thomas the Tank Days, the Pumpkin Express, the Santa Express, and the Easter Bunny Express, each season brings a new reason to visit. The 1920s Excursion Train and the Dinner Train are great for adults, as well.
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The very popular steam engine operates the 1920s Excursion Train, weather permitting. The seasonal and event-specific train rides are often powered by an equally formidable diesel locomotive.
The City of Boone, Iowa, has a population of nearly 13,000, while Boone County claims just over 26,000 residents. It is centrally located in the state and near Des Moines, Iowa, which brings a plethora of attractions of its own. Boone is conveniently located close to Interstates 35 and 80, and not far from the Des Moines International Airport.