Norfolk Southern partnered with the Children's Miracle Network and Bowling Green State University to operate a special train between Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, benefiting more than 30 families with seriously ill or special needs children.
Norfolk Southern locomotive engineer Bud Ramkey organized the Oct. 16 trip with the assistance of Cleveland-based NS employees, families, and friends. The train's 200-plus passengers were entertained by the Bowling Green mascot, a magician, and three local bands that teamed up to become the Miracle Band. The train consisted of four vintage locomotives and seven historic passenger coaches manufactured between 1911 and the 1950s.
"These kids and their families are facing huge challenges, so to give them a memorable day on the railroad in which they were together in happy circumstances was deeply rewarding for us," Ramkey said. "All of the organizations and volunteers that participated, especially the Children's Miracle Network and Bowling Green State University, deserve a tremendous amount of credit for making this day extraordinary. Most importantly, we thank the children and families who were with us. They are truly inspirational."
The Children's Miracle Network is the alliance of premier children's hospitals in North America. Children's Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children each year for every disease and condition imaginable, including cancer, pediatric AIDS, muscular dystrophy, heart disease, leukemia, sickle cell anemia, asthma, and accident trauma.
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