Maine Eastern Railroad to host open house

Apr 03, 2014

Rockland — Maine Eastern Railroad will host a Touch-A-Train open house Saturday, April 12, which doubles as a fundraiser for New England Steam Corporation’s restoration of Maine Central steam locomotive 470.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the railroad’s Rockland train station at 4 Union St.

The Touch-A-Train event will be a rare opportunity for the public to explore the equipment of an operating railroad. The event is family-oriented, and children are encouraged to come and enjoy the sights and sounds of American railroading. Visitors may climb aboard and explore the cab of an FL9 passenger diesel locomotive (built in 1957), recline in the comfortable seats of a 1940s Maine Eastern passenger coach, and learn about railroad snow removal operations while standing inside the Maine Eastern’s 1946-vintage snowplow.

Volunteers from New England Steam Corporation will be aboard the equipment to share its history and answer any questions.

The railroad’s dining car will also be on site, with a variety of hands-on exhibits inside from the New England Steam Corporation, Maine Operation Lifesaver, the Boothbay Railway Village, and the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum.

Admission to the Touch-A-Train event at the Rockland station will be free. However, the nonprofit New England Steam Corporation will be collecting donations toward the restoration of Maine Central steam locomotive 470, which is currently on display in Waterville.

An ice cream truck provided by Darling’s Auto Group will also be on site, with the proceeds of all sales also going to New England Steam Corporation.

The Maine Eastern’s Touch-A-Train event coincides with the Maine Rail Group’s first Train Day, being held on the same date at Owls Head Transportation Museum, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors, families, and rail enthusiasts are Maine Eastern Railroad are encouraged to visit both events and experience all aspects of Maine railroading.

For more information on the Maine Eastern’s April 12th Touch-A-Train event, please visit MaineEasternRailroad.com/touch-a-train.

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