Once all of the hoopla and official speeches were over on Saturday, April 29, the star of the day arrived at Burke Lake Train Station shortly around 11:45 a.m. Engine #343, Burke Lake Park's new locomotive, glided to a stop, looking shiny and wearing a big gold bow.
The new engine is part of $240,000 in renovations and retrofitting for the Burke Lake Train, which serves 80,000 riders annually. Each year, fares from the train generate 25 percent of the park's summer revenue.
Representatives from the Fairfax County Park Authority and members of the Board of Supervisors joined in the celebration which included cake and free train rides.
Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield) praised the engineers and mechanics who keep the train in top form. She also recognized the long service of Engine #62, which the Park Authority retired after 38 years.