Eland showing off railroad heritage this weekend

The Eland Railroad Historical Society will host its annual Eland Day on Saturday at the Eland Depot.

On display will be the 1912 depot, which replaced the original, artifacts related to the day-to-day operation of the railroad, historic pictures of the early days of Eland Junction railroad and village of Eland businesses and homes, which were on the Chicago & Northwestern line. The open house will be from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The 8½ ton Plymouth Locomotive will be operating to give train rides on the 2,000-foot wye track. The locomotive operated at the Ringle backyard at Ringle, hauling clay for brick manufacturing and to drying kilns. Also on display will be two motorcars, a 1900s handcar which will provide rides, a 1929 Ford Model AA Firetruck that was originally purchased by the village of Eland and has been fully restored, and many artifacts related to railroad operations.

New this year is the Gang motorcar, Gang crew car, 1800s Caboose coal stove and a semaphore train signal order, which replaced the original one when the original tracks were removed.

There are several signs with photos related to railroad structures from the steam locomotive era, which are all in walking distance. The depot and wye are located on the original track bed, built in the late 1800s.

Eland is located five miles north of Wittenberg off of U.S. Highway 45. The Eland museum is located next to the Mountain Bay Trail.