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First, we received word as to specifications for preparing the site: needed a 45 x 9-foot area dug down 2 foot deep. Pack the ground. Fill with rock. Lay railroad ties. Lay railroad tracks. Then lay more rock. (HELP! We were in over our heads!)

And the REALLY BIG HURDLE was learning the caboose weighed 16 TONS and had to be moved in two sections-- top and wheels separately, by an enormous (and expensive) CRANE and SKILLED crew of workers. It would also require TWO semi trucks with low boy trailers.

Would you believe there is NO crane in southern Iowa big enough to do this job? (Contracting one from Des Moines would cost thousands of dollars)

BUT...the Luck of the Irish was with us and our GREAT community of volunteers came to the RESCUE.

Al & Dee Jarvis brought in their heavy equipment and prepared the site at NO CHARGE.


The ground work begins


The local Burlington Northern Railroad crew came and brought the railroad ties and rails---and laid the track for the caboose at NO CHARGE.


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 Merlsoe Community Betterment