Pilot Club Express station refreshed with paint in Pratt
PRATT–There has been a painting party going on at Sixth Street Park in Pratt this summer by members and friends of the Pratt Pilot Club International as they updated the scenes of a western town on the north side of the tunnel that houses the Pilot Club Express miniature train.
“The original painting depicting a western town was completed about a decade ago and needed attention,” said Pilot Club Vice President Linda Broce.
Artist Gracie Bronson of Sawyer has been helping with the project by drawing in the details of the windows of the store fronts.
Scenes on the 40-foot metal station include a bank, general store, telegraph office, hat shop and saloon.
“Gracie has given the project lots of character,” Broce said. “She’s put money bags in the bank, barrels of flour in the general store, a decorated hat in the hat shop, a telegraph machine in the telegraph office and bottles of sarsaparilla in the Silver Dollar saloon.”
The western town side of the tunnel, which faces north, is not visible from the street , draws compliments from people riding the train and who walk in the park, Broce said.
“The reason it’s facing as it does is so passengers riding the train can see it out the window,” Broce said.
The south side of the tunnel, visible from the entrance to the Sixth Street Park camping area and ball field, is also being repainted. Gigantic yellow sunflowers on a rustic red background are coming to life.
Pilot Club Membership Division Chair Jan Jorns, who helped spearhead the efforts to bring the miniature train to Pratt about 15 years ago, paid tribute to others who helped.
“We got a tremendous amount of help from the community, so many pitched in,” Jorns said.
The Pilot Club Express schedule for rides is Saturdays and Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., open to children and adults.
Fare is $1 for rides that include two trips around the track.