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His First Job On Trains Was At Age 16, And He's Still Riding The Rails At 91

Editor’s note: This story was part of our KNKX Connects broadcast from Lewis County on Aug. 30, 2018. We explored the issues, events and personalities that shaped – and in some cases are still shaping – the cities of Centralia and Chehalis.

On average, some 50 to 60 trains a day pass through Centralia and Chehalis. They are largely freight trains, with Amtrak also running routes through this corridor.

But every so often, if you know the right place to look, you might find a century-old steam train chugging along the tracks.

The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum offers rides on the weekends here, as it has done for nearly 30 years. Harold Borovec has volunteered at the museum all that time.

He’s 91 years old. And trains have been part of his life since he was a boy.

We spoke to both Borovec and Ted Livermore, president of the Lewis County Model Railroad Club. Their enormous model railroad is set up at the Lewis County Historical Museum.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.