CARONA, Kans. —More people are now able to check out a museum in southeast Kansas that celebrates railroad history.

The Heart of the Heartlands Railroad Museum in Carona has expanded its hours.

It had only been open a few weekends during the summer. It’s now open 5 days a week — Wednesday through Sunday — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on those days.

Museum Director John Chambers says the railroads played a important role in developing the area.

“In this area, entire four state region was developed through the opening of the railraods after the Civil War. Without the railroads opening the industries and building through this area, there would have been no people here. We dedicate ourselves to the heritage and the history of the railroads of the four state region,” said Chambers.

The facility is the only railroad museum in the Four State area — and features train rides, restored depots, a steam engine, cabooses, passenger cars and a large library and archives collection.

“We can put around 250 people on our trains and are comfortable and there’s air conditioning or heating and usually our ride lasts an hour that’s about right for a lot of children,” said Larry Spahn.

“We’ve collected here, quite a bit of material you can go from a stream locomotive, the one that used to be in the park in Pittsburg. To passenger cars, we have a couple of restored depot’s the depot used to be the center of every town all information came in and out via the telegraph through the depot,” said Chambers.

Chamber says there’s no cost to view the museum.

“And also if they check our websites, or Facebook page Under The Heartlands, we do updates when we’re doing train rides, and other activities throughout the entire year and throughout the whole area because the train rides we go all the way from Bartlesville to out west to Winfield up to Chanute,” said Chambers.