BOONE, Iowa — Fenner Stevenson, 71, the long time General Manager of the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad unexpectedly died at his home on Monday.
According to the Schroeder Memorial Chapel, visitation will be Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Boone. The funeral service will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church.
Stevenson was hired as the first manager of the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad when a group of railroad history buffs wanted to turn an abandoned rail line into a tourist line.
The BSVRR group also went to China to purchase the last steam locomotive built at the Datong Engine Works in China. The locomotive was shipped to the US via ship, and was dropped and damaged,in Los Angeles, while being unloaded. A delegation from the China plant came to Boone to assist with repairing the cab of the locomotive after it was damaged.
The BSVRR has also added a diesel locomotive, a dinner train, catered by Hy-Vee, and have run specialty trains including, a Christmas train after the book and movie “Polar Express.” Each September the BSVRR also welcomed thousands of people to ride “Thomas the Tank Engine.”
Stevenson was an avid Cyclone fan, but often mentioned he could never make football games, due to his work at the BSVRR. He would often be seen at Cyclone Basketball games.
Stevenson had indicated he was planning to retire after this season. In an interview on October 31st, Stevenson said the BSVRR had a “gangbusters” October, due to the great weather. That evening the BSVRR had two trains out at the same time. One was the last run of the steam engine before it was put away for the year.