Jay Dix Station park to incorporate railroad theme

Monday, July 1, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – The city park named for former medical examiner Jay Dix will be taking on a new look.

Plans for the 30-acre park that is being developed near Scott Boulevard have been revised to feature a “train station” theme.

New park elements include a playground and a train depot shelter. The mountain bike skills course and the entrances to the property will also be relocated. 

City parks planner Mike Snyder said the train theme is partially derived from the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail, which was once a rail line into Columbia. It also alludes to where the park is being built, a parcel of land called Jay Dix Station.  

The revised plan also includes the addition of an actual train caboose that can be used as an indoor classroom and meeting space.

“We are trying to see if we can get one at a reasonable price, but we have not located one at this time,” Snyder said. 

Project Manager Ryan Atkinson said that although a caboose would be preferable, park planners are open to renovating any type of train car.

The design of the park’s playground will emphasize the railroad connection as well.

“The plan is to have the main body of the playground in the shape of a train engine and then the slides and other things will branch off from that,” Snyder said.

The park will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about Missouri’s railroad history in a distinct park setting.

“Looking at our neighborhood parks we saw that we do a lot of the same things,” Atkinson said. “This time we just wanted to do something different.”

The budget for the park will remain at $125,000. Construction is set to begin this summer, though no definitive dates have been set. 

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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