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updated: 6/7/2012 6:39 PM

Trains roll out in Arlington Heights to mark village's 125th anniversary

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  • Pat Klawitter, right, chairman of the Arlington Heights Park District's morale committee, and Rich Knox, parks department staff member, talk about photos decorating the district's train for the village's 125th anniversary.

       Pat Klawitter, right, chairman of the Arlington Heights Park District's morale committee, and Rich Knox, parks department staff member, talk about photos decorating the district's train for the village's 125th anniversary.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Greg Wright, left, and Rich Knox of the Arlington Heights Park District staff install the district's train in front of the Administration Center at 410 N. Arlington Heights Road.

       Greg Wright, left, and Rich Knox of the Arlington Heights Park District staff install the district's train in front of the Administration Center at 410 N. Arlington Heights Road.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • P. D. the Train sits in front of the Arlington Heights Park District Administration Center, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road, ready for Friday's Picnic in the Park in the adjacent North School Park.

       P. D. the Train sits in front of the Arlington Heights Park District Administration Center, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road, ready for Friday's Picnic in the Park in the adjacent North School Park.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Rich Knox of the Arlington Heights Park District staff attaches P.D. the Train to its base in front of the Arlington Heights Park District Administration Center, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road. The train celebrates Arlington Heights' 125th anniversary.

       Rich Knox of the Arlington Heights Park District staff attaches P.D. the Train to its base in front of the Arlington Heights Park District Administration Center, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road. The train celebrates Arlington Heights' 125th anniversary.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • P.D. the Train is ready for Friday's Picnic in the Park at North School Park, Arlington Heights Road and Eastman Street in Arlington Heights.

       P.D. the Train is ready for Friday's Picnic in the Park at North School Park, Arlington Heights Road and Eastman Street in Arlington Heights.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • The Mid Knight Express will be displayed at Bradish Associates, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.

      The Mid Knight Express will be displayed at Bradish Associates, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.
    Courtesy Northwest Suburban High School District 2

  • This crew decorated the Mid Knight Express for Bradish Associates. The train will be on display outside the company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.

      This crew decorated the Mid Knight Express for Bradish Associates. The train will be on display outside the company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.
    Courtesy Northwest Suburban High School District 2

  • This is what the Prospect High School students faced at the beginning of their project to create a train for Bradish Associates. The train will be on display outside the company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.

      This is what the Prospect High School students faced at the beginning of their project to create a train for Bradish Associates. The train will be on display outside the company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.
    Courtesy Northwest Suburban High School District 2

  • Prospect High School students paint the Mid Knight Express. for Bradish Associates. The train will be on display outside the company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.

      Prospect High School students paint the Mid Knight Express. for Bradish Associates. The train will be on display outside the company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road, as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.
    Courtesy Northwest Suburban High School District 2

  • The Moloney Express is at Molon Motors, 300 N. Ridge Ave. The train will be on display there as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.

      The Moloney Express is at Molon Motors, 300 N. Ridge Ave. The train will be on display there as part of Arlington Heights celebration of its 125th anniversary.
    Courtesy Quasquicentennial Committee

  • Arlington Hts. quasicentennial logo

      Arlington Hts. quasicentennial logo

 

Arlington Heights' decorated trains are pulling into the station to mark the village's 125th anniversary.

One of the first is P.D. the Train, the locomotive the Arlington Heights Park District installed Thursday. It is right on schedule for the Picnic in the Park, being held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday at North School Park School, at Eastman Street and Arlington Heights Road.

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Thirty-two of the decorated fiberglass trains -- reminiscent of the pony artwork in 2000 -- will pop up around the village in the next few weeks.

The park district train features hundreds of photos of people enjoying the parks and is color coded to represent the 87-year history of the district, its present and the future. Employees volunteered their time to work on the train, which is in front of the district's Administration Building, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road.

Companies sponsored many of the trains, and thanks to a grant from Union Pacific railroad, 10 nonprofits also got involved. Some railroad barons hired professional artists, while others, like the park district, created their trains in-house. High school art students proved a popular source of talent.

The patriotically themed Moloney Express made the first appearance of all the locomotives on the float of the Quasquicentennial Committee in the village's Memorial Day parade. Pam Olin, a local artist, created the train for Molon Motors, a maker of small motors. It is at the company's building, 300 N. Ridge Ave.

The front of the engine says "American Driven since 1931," which is when Raymond T. Moloney founded the first of several Moloney companies, Bally Manufacturing, known for its pinball and slot machines. The slogan on the side of the locomotive says "Bringing jobs to Arlington Heights."

Bradish Associates Ltd. turned to Barbara Shaffer's art class at Prospect High School to decorate its train. The Mid Knight Express, named for Prospect's mascot, a knight, shows a colorful variety of faces and will be exhibited at the insurance company's office, 215 N. Arlington Heights Road.

A brochure depicting all the trains and mapping their locations will be available from the sponsors about July 4 so people can participate in a "Track the Trains" contest.

Five of the trains will be in Harmony Park, Vail Avenue and Campbell Street in downtown Arlington Heights, and three will be at North School Park. Others will be at the offices of their owners.

Prizes will be awarded for top trains in different categories, and some of the locomotives will probably be auctioned at an event later in the year.

"This is really public art and some of them are very good," said Lauree Harp, chairman of the Quasquicentennial Committee.

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