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Government

O.J. Watson Park Set For Upgrades

watsontrain.jpg
Wichita.gov
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The City of Wichita has approved more than $300,000 to update a popular attraction at O.J. Watson Park in south Wichita.

A miniature train that has carried families through Wichita’s O.J. Watson Park for more than 30 years is set for an upgrade.

Wichita City Council members have approved $306,250 to replace the locomotive’s engine and middle coach and add a crossing signal to the railroad.

The train had about 25,000 visitors last year, and City Council member Pete Meitzner says investing in the park is worth it.

“This is a pretty hefty price tag that made me pause to look at it more deeply. But as we recognize our responsibility with police, fire, roads, water…parks is right in there," Meitzner says.

City officials say it’s hard to find replacement parts for the aging locomotive, but that upgrades will make servicing the train easier in the future.

If any funding is leftover, the city expects more updates for the park, including additional kayaks and a renovation of the mini golf course.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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