Monday afternoon hundreds of area kids were given a free ride on the BNSF Special Railway in Slaton. This is the 11th year BNSF has partnered with local Boys and Girls Clubs across America, providing the free, round-trip train rides to children while raising funds for the local organizations.
"We're excited! We get to watch other trains go by and have fun, eat snacks and play games," said a group of 9-year-old girls after taking their seats in the passenger cars.
BNSF Special started its 2011 tour in Kansas a little more than a week ago. Slaton was just one of the 11 stops in four different states and altogether the train will travel 7,000 miles.
"In addition to providing these rides for our employees what we like to do is celebrate the communities where our employees live," said Joe Faust, BNSF public affairs. "We do it because we have employees who live here, we operate here, and it's important for us to be viewed as a valuable part of this community."
More than 300 kids between the ages six and 12 from Lubbock's Boys and Girls Club boarded the 15 vintage passenger railway cars for a two and a half hour ride. Starting in Slaton the train took the kids toward Post and through the Caprock.
"These kids are so excited; you can just see the excitement around the room," Leon Moore, Boys and Girls Club director. "Many of these kids have never been on a train."
In the past 11 years BNSF has raised more than $1 million dollars for local Boys and Girls Clubs in 28 states.
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