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BNSF donates Kansas depot to honor orphan trains' place in rail history


BNSF Railway Co. is helping preserve the history of orphan trains, and the children and agents who rode them. The Class I recently donated a depot in Concordia, Kan., to the National Orphan Train Complex, which aims to collect, preserve and disseminate information on orphan trains.

The organization plans to renovate and redevelop the depot into a museum and headquarters building. The museum is scheduled to open in 2007.

Between 1854 and 1929, about 250,000 orphaned, abandoned and homeless children were placed in what became known as orphan trains to travel across the United States and Canada.

“[The museum] will honor and preserve the memory … of the orphaned children that were sent by trains from the New York area and all over the Midwest to be adopted by farming communities,” said National Orphan Train Complex representative Bobby Morgan in a prepared statement.