Riding rails to the roses

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Around 10 a.m. Derby Day, a group of travelers will file into a lavish 12 or 14-car CSX train and depart from Broadway in Frankfort enroute to Churchill Downs.

While traveling, they'll enjoy a homestyle breakfast of ham, eggs and biscuits and the company of Gov. and first lady Paul and Judi Patton, who'll float from car to car to greet them.

The train will travel at a leisurely pace, said Patton's Press Secretary Rusty Cheuvront, so as to take in the scenic beauty of Central Kentucky before arriving in Louisville. From there, they'll be shuttled to the track for a fun-filled day at the world's premier horse race.

But there's little information as to who these travelers are or how they got their tickets. Cheuvront said guests of the train are invited by CSX or the state.

Nonetheless, the Derby train has become somewhat of a tradition in Kentucky dating back several years. Local attorney Ed Logan said the train started small in the early 1980s when he and a group of friends took their own boxcar and made an arrangement with CSX, which had a train running from Frankfort to Louisville, to take them to Derby.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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