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Marathon Junction open for the summer


WAUSAU, WI  (WSAU)  -  One of the favorite summer attractions opens today in Wausau. Marathon Junction, which is at the Marathon County Fairgrounds starts another season.

The County took over operation of the popular mini train ride two years ago, and more recently the concessions.

Wausau-Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department’s Recreational Superintendent Karyn Powers says the train ride has really grown in popularity. “Between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, we increased the number of train rides to 20,000 passengers. That’s an increase of over 9,000 passengers from the summer before.”

When the county took over, Powers says the train needed a lot of work. She says that’s not a problem anymore. “Through the very courteous gifts of a number of donors, the train has been repainted to match the Milwaukee Road railroad line’s colors, and it has been refurbished from the ground and rails up. The brakes, paint, the sides, the cars, the engine, horn, lights, whistles, everything has been redone.”

The inside of the building is now a rentable county park shelter. Powers says it’s becoming a popular choice for children’s parties, especially with a special rate for birthdays. “We have all the makings of a great birthday party, including the only air conditioned shelter in Marathon Park.”

Marathon Junction, like other county park shelters, can be reserved by calling 715-261-1550.