Oelwein, Iowa once was home to a massive railroad maintenance yard. The expansive facility was located just a couple of blocks from downtown. And as with many changing industries, the Oelwein Yard diminished as lines no longer needed the facilities. However in an effort to preserve the past, local train enthusiasts several years ago secured some remaining building structures, rail related equipment and created the Oelwein Railroad Museum, part of the Hub City Heritage Corporation.
Some of the rail collection exists outdoors. These locomotives are among the fleet of rail cars which also features an old wooden caboose from the 1910s and restored last year. The outdoor site is also an attraction for photographers.
While I was there a few weeks ago, a family of three arrived and were greeted by a woman with an array of photo gear. She led the young family around to the various trains, posed them and took their portraits. She told me that the family will use these photos as part of their holiday cards. She also said that the family loves trains - especially the preschooler and his Dad. My reaction was, well who wouldn't like these old beauties? Just as long as they don't block your way from point A to B.