8-year-old train fan and cancer patient takes light rail train for a spin

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Karlis Barobs describes himself as a “trainiac,” and that was even before a Monday afternoon that included a chance to pilot a light rail train around the empty METRO Blue Line rail yard in Minneapolis.

Barobs, 8, of Hopkins, was invited to get a complete tour of the Blue Line operations and maintenance facility – and go for a hands-on train ride – after he contacted the Metropolitan Council and offered to donate $75 toward the Southwest Light Rail Extension Project. The $75 would have come from cash that Barobs’ classmates raised when they learned he has cancer. He was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma last year.

The Metropolitan Council declined what it called “a very sweet gesture,” but made sure that Karlis’ love of trains would be recognized. Adam Duininck, the chair of the Metropolitan Council, got in touch with Karlis’ family and offered up the tour and train ride.

Full story with pictures and video.

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