Bluefield’s Ridge Runner Train awaiting new parts before getting back on track

BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – The Ridge Runner is a historic train at Bluefield’s City Park. It’s typically brought out during the warmer months as a family attraction, giving riders a good look around the area. But it’s needed repairs for some time now.

According to Craig Strahm at the Bluefield Public Works Department, the train kept slipping off the tracks, and they brought in one of the workers who originally installed the train in the city park to troubleshoot. 

“We were troubleshooting for about two weeks trying to figure out why the train was leaving the tracks,” Strahm said. “Then he told us we’d have to replace the rear section of the locomotive. We also had some damage caused to the brake lines and a few other parts.” 

The Ridge Runner has been a huge part of Bluefield’s history. It was originally installed at the East River Mountain overlook more than 50 years ago, before eventually making it’s home at the Bluefield City Park in 1984.

At its peak, the Ridge Runner could see hundreds of riders each day.

“It’s a big part of this city’s history. Every summer we have quite a few riders each weekend. It’s just something that brings people out to the park so they can see what Bluefield has to offer.” 

The city is just waiting for the parts they need to be delivered. Because it’s a very old vehicle, they need to special order the parts, which is why it’s taking so long. In the worst case, they believe the delivery could take as long as 6-8 weeks. But once they receive them, they can be installed in little time. 

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