Peace and ... train traffic?
An unexpected twist to an auction Thursday night of a house and seven empty lots owned by the city occurred when a couple from Newton purchased two lots adjacent to the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe tracks on S. Olive St.
The parcels also are close to where Union Pacific tracks cross those of the BNSF, adding additional train activity to the area.
Dwight and Pat Wedel paid $100 each for the parcels, the highest price paid for any city lots.
“You know, there are always surprises out there when you start trying to figure out what sells and why,” auctioneer Lyle Leppke said. “I was surprised when they showed up at the open house with genuine interest in those lots by the tracks. You just never know.”
The Wedels are train enthusiasts. They have two grown sons who share their passion. Their plan for the property is to install a small cabin or recreation-style getaway and come to Peabody to watch trains come through town as they round the bend near Olive St.
“We are really excited about this,” Dwight said. “We like trains. It is just that simple. We go to train shows, have collections of toy trains, and travel around to train events, where we see others who like them just as much as we do.
“I’m a train man and I have loved trains all my life.”
While many people in Peabody tolerate the blast of train horns with a great deal of irritation, the Wedels appreciate the sound. In fact, there is nothing about the look, sound, speed, or rush of the mighty railroad behemoths that they do not like.
One of their sons works for BNSF and used to work from Newton.
“He is in Creston, Iowa, now,” his mother said. “But we kind of hope he might come back to this area, and it would be neat to see him go by.”
They were pleased to be high bidders on the lots, which most people in the community thought would never sell.
“Yeah,” Dwight said, “this is just we were looking for.”