Western Maryland Scenic receives $250K grant for operations, maintenance

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Western Maryland EMD GP30 No. 501 on display during a night photo session at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad's Ridgeley, W.Va., shops in April 2015. WMSR operates two EMD GP30s that provide motive power on excursions from Cumberland, Md., to Frostburg, Md., and return.
Chase Gunnoe
CUMBERLAND, Md. — The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is receiving a $250,000 grant from the Maryland Board of Public Works to support general operations and equipment maintenance, WDVM News reports.

John Garner, the railroad’s chief executive officer, says the money will be used to maintain the railroad’s diesel locomotives and passenger equipment. The railroad operates EMD GP30s and a fleet of aging passenger cars that are used on train excursions from Cumberland to Frostburg and return.

Garner says much of the equipment is more than 50 years old and the funds will be used to make repairs and to keep the fleet in operation.

The grant will support other projects during the railroad’s upcoming fiscal year, but it is not yet clear if any of the funds will be allocated for the restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309. 

In late June, Trains News Wire reported that C&O No 1309's restoration was moving forward with the installation of boiler tubes. Crews from Diversified Rail Services were also working on firebox patches and performing laser scans of the frame. The restoration was postponed earlier in the spring due to funding issues with a separate $400,000 grant awarded by the state of Maryland. The railroad still estimates a projected completion date of later this year. 

Garner was unable to be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon. 

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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