Category: Columbus

Columbus

Big Brutus

One of the most unique day trips in Southeast Kansas is to Big Brutus, 11,000,000 pounds of fun! Big Brutus is the world’s second largest electric mining shovel. Walk through its cavernous body, sit in the operators chair or climb 16 stories to the top of the boom for one of the best views of the rolling Kansas prairie.

Visit the Museum and memorial dedicated to the rich coal mining history of Southeast Kansas. There are exhibits, ever changing displays and photographs. As an interesting fact, the electric bill of Big Brutus’ last month of operation was $27,000.

Along with primitive camping and spaces for self-contained RV’s, there are ten water/electrical hookups and a dump station.

Columbus Wye and Frisco Caboose

The Columbus Wye is a one of its kind three way switch allowing trains to turn around.

The crossing, formerly located in the northern part of Columbus was donated to the City of Columbus by the Burlington Northern Railroad. At the time the switch was constructed, it was one of the three built: one in Hamburg, Germany, destroyed during the war, and one in Pennsylvania which was removed within a short time. The crossing before you is the only one remaining.

The Columbus Wye, as the crossing was called, was well known by those familiar with the railway system. It was listed in every railroad exchange in the United States, showing which rail was used to reach the proper destination.

When the crossing was installed, it had 90 lb. rail. When diesel engines came on the scene in 1958, it was changed to 115 lb. rail to handle the additional weight. The original crossing held up until 1968 when it was replaced with an exact replica, and was in use until 1981 when it was replaced with a two-way crossing.Frisco 1701 Caboose

The caboose is unique in that it is one of 13 train cars converted into a caboose.

– This exhibit donated by Columbus Lions Club