Arson suspected in historic train car fire

Arson Suspected In Historic Train Car Fire

GALENA, Ks. – The state fire marshal’s office says arson is suspected in the fire that destroyed a priceless 120-year-old railway car in Galena, Kansas last Tuesday.

That’s because the car wasn’t hooked up to a power source and there wasn’t any kind of weather that could start a fire when the train car went up in flames.

Galena police say they can’t release any information at this time concerning possible suspects.

But train car owner and former Galena mayor Dale Oglesby says that the investigators are doing a great job and he’s confident they’ll catch who did this.

“I am brimming with confidence that the perpetrator is known and will be brought to justice,” said Oglesby.

But what made this particular train car so special?

Oglesby says this turn of the century railway car was state of the art at the time, and for good reason.

It was designed to carry the railway president as well as foreign dignitaries. The president’s car featured a kitchen, dining room, office, bathroom, and many other amenities.

“It was the first presidential rail car to roll on Kansas City Southern lines, and the president had named it after his daughter. It rode proudly from Kansas City down to the gulf coast,” said Oglesby.

Oglesby had been planning to convert the train car into a historic hotel, but now he’ll be scouring the interior and seeing if there’s any history inside that can still be preserved.

“We’re going to give it a special, real careful once-over to see if there’s any parts of this car that would be salvageable and can be utilized to help restore another car,” said Oglesby.