If you spend some time walking around the downtown area of Huntington, West Virginia, you will discover several painted trains on display. Some are on the sidewalk and some are tucked into doorways of stores. These public sculptures provide for a great scavenger hunt throughout the city.
The Artisans Express was created in 2015 by the City of Huntington, the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, and the CHH Auxiliary.
“I created the Mayor’s Council of the Arts, which focuses on music, dancing, writing and the arts. We are lifting ourselves to a higher place,” Williams said. “The only thing that is going to limit us is our imagination.”
Create Huntington, a grassroots local group working to bring positive change to the community, and the Visual Arts Center of Marshall University helped put the project together. It began months ago when local artisans began working on their locomotives.
Jennifer Anderson, a local artist and art coordinator for the locomotive project said, “All of them were sold at the recent auction.”
The money is going to the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
“Our original goal was to reach $80,000, but we made $175,000 from the auction,” Velma Workman, development outreach coordinator for the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation, said. “A few locomotives that were purchased were donated back.”
Those locomotives will probably find a permanent home in downtown Huntington.
We spent an afternoon discovering the trains, as well as, the downtown area of Huntington. Huntington has a lot to offer the visitor in the downtown area including Pullman Square shops and restaurants and the Visitors Center which is located in Heritage Station.
the nearby historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Depot, called Heritage Station.
Today, it features a visitor’s center, shops and restaurants, as well as a Pullman passenger car and the historic Elk River Coal and Lumber Locomotive, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.
Colorful kiosks between Heritage Station and Pullman Square Station offer engaging stories about city history.
“When rail tycoon Collis P. Huntington pushed the tracks of his Chesapeake & Ohio Railway across the mountains from Virginia to West Virginia in 1870, he founded the town that would become the county’s great metropolitan center known today as Huntington,” one kiosk points out