BATTLE GROUND — After Battle Ground resident James Norvell was first introduced to the concept of miniature railways as a young boy, having always loved model railroading, he knew that he wanted his own layout and trains someday.
Norvell and his partner, Kat Perri, were able to make that dream a reality and began offering the community rides on Norvell Railway in Battle Ground last year.
“The clearing and planning for this railway started in 2007, we completed a tiny loop in the front yard in 2011 and have expanded it over our five acres in the last five years,” Norvell said. “We just started running for the community last year.”
Norvell Railway is located at 12702 NE 291st St., in Battle Ground. Norvell said the creation of the miniature railway took a lot of manual labor, clearing and grading, and building countless track panels.
“There’s always maintenance to be done even after the track is laid,” he said.
Up to 15 people can ride on the miniature train at one time, with a weight limit per car of 1,000 pounds. Adults and children alike are able to enjoy a ride on the Norvell Railway.
Norvell said their railway is donation based. The train rides are free to the public, and they use donations to maintain the railroad and to support events.
Community members are invited to ride during one of several event train rides that Norvell Railway offers. During the summer nights, the railway offers their Twilight Train in the evenings, which Norvell said is a cool time to be riding and makes for a beautiful sky during the ride.
Norvell Railway has several different event trains coming this month, including their Harvest Train ride on Thu., Oct. 20, 11 a.m.; Sat., Oct. 22, 11 a.m.; Sun., Oct. 23, 11 a.m.; Sat., Oct. 29, 11 a.m.; and Sun., Oct. 30, 11 a.m. The Harvest Train includes a ride around the track to a pop-up pumpkin patch.
“Children are allowed to take a free small pumpkin home,” Norvell said. “We also have a Christmas Train where kids visit Santa and have hot chocolate and cookies.”
Also in October, Norvell Railway will offer two different Spooky Train rides, one on Fri., Oct. 21, 7 p.m., and one on Sat., Oct. 22, 7 p.m. This haunted railway ride will be sure to offer up some frights. On Halloween, which falls on Mon., Oct. 31, Norvell Railway will offer a Trick or Treat Train at 4 p.m. Wear a costume and enjoy a train ride and candy.
Norvell said they are currently working on a more set schedule for when they will offer regular train rides. Right now, he said people stay tuned to their Facebook page for events and run days.
Norvell said there is no need for people to sign up ahead of time for rides, unless they are doing a private event at the railway.
For more information on Norvell Railway and to see all upcoming train runs and events, visit their Facebook page.