The Marthasville Katy Trailhead and MKT Railroad in Missouri has been restored and is open to the public to bring the train history to the public.
The Depot Station that sits along the Marthasville Katy Trailhead has an interesting history. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad was built in 1893 and served the area for many years.
After being neglected for many years, the depot was moved closer to the Katy Trailhead, then carefully restored to its original state.
A project that was only a dream is now “coming to life,” according to Pam Jensen, who has spearheaded the project for the Marthasville Area Chamber of Commerce. The goal was to add a working model of the MKT train inside the building. Thanks to train enthusiasts from around the country, the dream is now coming true.
Jensen was inspired by the late Shirley Ploeger who worked for the railroad and was a huge fan of the MKT. His family donated artwork and memorabilia to the Katy Depot after his death. He was part of the dream to restore the Depot and bring the history of the railroad to area visitors.
“Our goal is to find train enthusiasts to volunteer to help open the Depot to the public,” said Jensen. “We need people who have the knowledge to share it with others. We are also looking to fill the display cases with donations from people who are collectors.”
Jensen contacted the Katy Railroad Historical Society to initially seek help for the project. It came in the form of Ray Davis, from the state of California, and Raymond George, Harvester.
“I was on a bike ride on the Katy, saw the Depot, and fell in love with it,” said Davis.
George and Davis met at a convention in Katy, Texas, and eventually collaborated on the Marthasville project.
To prepare for the model train, Gary Kleekamp, chamber member and local builder, fashioned an elevated train track around the top of the main room in the Depot. A family from California donated the model train, and Davis provided the lettering and decaling of the train.
In addition to the working model train, a diorama is being constructed by George and Davis in the front room of the Depot to depict a passenger car pulling into the Depot. The Depot and the train is on loan from the Iron Spike Museum in Washington, and was built by the late Bob Hostkoetter of Marthasville. The diorama will be complete in the summer of 2024.
A local artist has been approached to add scenery behind the model train.
To find out more about the project or to volunteer call Jensen at 636-577-7574.