PARK FOREST | The village of Park Forest will officially unveil its latest park, and what village officials are hoping will be a national tourist destination, the Park Forest Rail Fan Park, on Saturday.
The park, technically located in Matteson at the corner of Holman Avenue and North Street, just across from one of Park Forest’s Metra lots, is the site of one of the country’s largest rail intersections, where the north/south Canadian National main line intersects the east/west rail arc formerly owned by the EJ&E Railway. Upon purchasing the 198-mile EJ&E rail arc, CN constructed the necessary track for rail interconnection.
Visitors of the new park can view the train action from a 35 foot-high platform overlooking the rail tracks and intersection.
A caboose, built in 1953 for the EJ&E Railway by Morrison International Corp. of Buffalo, New York, sits at the bottom of a large hill that begins a walkway leading to the observation platform.
The park has already garnered the attention of a popular talk radio program among railroad enthusiasts, Let’s Talk Trains, which will air live from the park during the grand opening event. Park Forest officials as well as Canadian National representatives will take part in the taping of the show. Representatives from the regional Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce will also be on hand.
The festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and self-guided tours. Let’s Talk Trains begins their program at noon.
For more information on the Park Forest Rail Fan Park, visit www.villageofparkforest.com