Where in the heck is Corona Kansas!? Well, we love the back roads of America. So, if you take US 69 south from Kansas City KS until you come to US 400 west...and then you follow that road to KS Rte. 7 south...and then you turn right on KS Rte. 102 west for 2 miles...and then you turn left at the large blue building and cross the tracks...you've arrived!
This is the Corona KS railroad depot. It was built in the 1940's and was used for passenger service until the early 1960's. It's now one of three buildings comprising the Heart of the Heartlands, Inc. Corona Depot Museum.
This classic depot, relocated from Boston Missouri, was built in 1882 by the Missouri-Pacific and was taken out of service in 1932.
A third building houses the indoor portion of the museum but it's only open on the 1st and 3rd weekends from June through Labor Day, from 1 to 5 pm. The grounds are open year around.
The Diesel Locomotive is part of the collection and it last served on the now defunct South East Kansas Railroad. (1987 - 1999) The outdoor collection also includes boxcars, a couple of cabooses and a selection of railroad signaling devices. Railway excursion trains are operated on a published schedule as are railroad motor car/work car trips.
If you're over 50 years old, you may remember the Railway Express Agency Delivery Trucks. I can't remember the last time I saw one of these in use...
The Heart of the Heartlands organization is a non-profit group that has even managed to obtain a 60/40 grant from the Kansas Department of Tourism...
This little gem is a 1932 Plymouth 0-6-0 Switch Engine. (I didn't know that Chrysler dabbled in the railroad business) In any case, this former Missouri-Pacific RR locomotive ushered in a new form of motive power that was to eventually replace the steam engine. The locomotive is mechanically driven through a transmission and has drive chains to the wheels. It was used by a mining company into the 1970's.
For more information on the Corona Depot Museum and on The Heart of the Heartlands organization, just go to http://www.heartlandstrainclub.org/.