All Aboard!: St. Louis Iron Mountain Southern Railway

Curtesy of the slmsrr websiteOne of Southeast Missouri’s most unique attractions is the St. Louis Iron Mountain Southern Railway (SLIMSR), a piece of history that’s still running strong, and in the past five years especially has seen a tremendous amount of growth. Put on your engineer cap and let loose some steam; it’s time to ride the train.

Choo! Choo! The iconic sound of the railroad echos through Jackson every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. as the weekly train rolls out. The automobile that built America, trains have become less mainstream in contemporary travel, but lately the SLIMSR has been seeing a lot of action thanks to a combination of volunteers, themed rides, and the love of the public.

Elane Moonier is the volunteer coordinator for the train, which keeps her very busy as thats what the train runs on. “The train couldn’t survive if it weren’t for volunteers,” she said, “we’re always needing volunteers; we’re always short.” You don’t have to know much about trains to help out the railway. Anything from actors, to musicians, to cleaners, as long as you’re willing, and love children and trains Moonier says that can find a spot for anyone.

The biggest evolution in the railroad has been the themed train rides. So not only are you taking a unique trip, you’re going on an adventure with train robberies, murder mysteries, chocolate, and more. Each month the train hosts numerous events that are family friendly and fun. The most popular train ride is the Santa Express, which Moonier says is usually sold out in June. Don’t worry, if you miss the Santa Express there are still plenty of fun activities like murder mystery dinners, the Halloween express with costume party, a Renaissance Train, even a Harry Potter train.

The St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway is a memento to the 1920 to 1940 era of trains, and brings in tourism revenue, “I’d say about 90 percent of our visitors are from out of town, like the St. Louis area, and that benefits the community,” says Moonier. She says they are a big part of the Uptown Jackson historic community, and are happy to be a part of it, “we hope to make it a train everyone will be proud of.”

The St. Louis Mountain Southern Railway is always in need of railroad ties. To help the train and have some fun join them June 12 at 6:30 p.m. for a fundraising Trivia Night! A team of four can buy a table for only $60. The trivia theme is 'Trivia through the decades' (1900-1990) so put on your thinking caps (over your engineer hat?) and help out for a good cause. Call 573-243-1688 to make a reservation. 

Check out the train schedule for their lineup of events, contact Elane to volunteer, or see more information on their website.


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