The L&N Depot and West Florida Railroad Museum is being side tracked this year when it comes to their annual Depot Days.
This Saturday is supposed to be the Depot Days for the Milton train station, which is more than 100 years old. But because of previous
Depot Day outcomes, the railroad station will not be hustling and bustling with vendors this weekend.
“A bunch of our Garden Railroaders are going to the Munson Heritage Festival,” said George Wilson, who us one of the few volunteers at the railroad station and museum. “There is always a lot going on, but we just weren’t getting the return in investment from the
vendors that made it worth having them out.”
So instead of food and craft vendors, Wilson said the railroad museum is just opening the doors to the museum and allowing people to come view the trains parked at the station.
“We really aren’t doing anything exceptional for Depot Days at all,” Wilson said. “It’s strictly a day to have families come down and enjoy themselves and walk around.
“It’s very picturesque.”
At last year’s Depot Days, the museum painted the caboose that sits right alongside Henry Street next to the railroad station. Depot days has been a tradition at the Milton railroad station for more than 20 years.
The museum is one of the last remaining L&N depots that has not been converted for commercial use and is still on the location on which is was built.
Wilson said the miniature train track near the back of the L&N Depot property will still be running for children to enjoy, and the two cabooses and dining cars will be open for people to explore.
“The Garden Railroad has had work done on it,” Wilson said. “But other than that, we won’t have any vendors out.”
Wilson said that volunteers are hard to come by, but they are not necessarily short handed.
“We could always use more volunteers,” Wilson said. “It sometimes limits what we are able to do.
“We probably have about five different people that are around to help.”
The train station and museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday throughout the year, and Wilson has been a volunteer at the station for many years.
But despite a less that eventful Depot Days, Wilson said the station is hoping to pull some tricks out of his hat later this year.
“Our big thing this year is we are doing ‘A Lionel Christmas’ again,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that is when the train cars will be strung with Christmas lights, like a light show for visitors during two weekends in December.
Even though Depot Days won’t be as packed as former years, Wilson said it’s still a good stop to make along the Beaches to Woodlands Tour.
Want to go?
What: L&N Train Station Depot Days
Where: L&N Train Station, 5003 Henry Street in Milton
When: October 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.