Refurbished Antique Railroad Scale on Display at Kirkwood Train Station

On the scale of such things, a rusting, 100-year-old, wooden contraption, covered in cobwebs and looking like it’s only good for running over toes, may have seemed destined for a landfill or a scrap metal recycler.  Kirkwood and the region at large are lucky that Bill Burckhalter, the Kirkwood Train Station manager, saw "the contraption’s" value and resisted that temptation.

When the City of Kirkwood purchased the Train Station back in 2003, it inherited a variety of old furniture and equipment, including one cast-iron-and-wood, 100-year-old railroad scale, which Bill found in a storage closet.  It was manufactured around the turn of the 20th century by Fairbanks-Morse, a company that still makes scales.  Even the manufacturer was unsure exactly how old the scale is, but they were able to furnish some important details that helped in its refurbishing.

Bill enlisted the help of fellow City staff in Fleet Services, and they went to work on its restoration.  First, they talked to representatives at Fairbanks-Morse, who donated new decals and provided the original paint colors.  The scale was then disassembled, bead blasted (similar to sand blasting), painted, its brass polished, and then re-assembled.  Ace Hardware in Des Peres donated the paint.

Most modern scales are metal, but the Kirkwood scale is largely made of wood (everything in blue in the photo is wood).  It was likely used by the Missouri Pacific Railroad to weigh freight.  The fleet staff constructed a wooden platform to secure the scale and prevent it from rolling so it could be kept on display at the Train Station, where Kirkwood residents can visit it any time the station is open.
Parks & Recreation


In addition to trails within various parks in the system, Kirkwood is also a connecting point for the eight-mile Grant’s Trail that follows the old Carondolet branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The Kirkwood Trailhead is located at the corner of Leffingwell and Holmes and follows street connectors to Kirkwood Park. Plans call for future expansion of the street routes to connect to Quinette Cemetery, Dee Koestering Park and Greentree Park. Information on Grant’s Trail is available on a separate Website.

Greentree Park is a connecting point for the Meramec River Greenway trail. This trail stretches from Greentree Park to just past Highway 141 in Valley Park. Information on the Meramec River Greenway trail is available on a separate Website.

NEW TRAIL:  The Fitness Trail in Kirkwood Park has been redesigned and rebuilt.  Click here for a brochure with a map of the new trail and fitness stations.

Emmenegger Nature Park has some great internal trails that travel throughout this 125-acre park. Below is a trail map for Emmenegger: