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Union Bridge on track for National Train Day observance

Whether you are a train enthusiast or just interested in local history, the volunteers at the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society are hoping you will visit Union Bridge May 10 to celebrate National Train Day.

"National Train Day is held all around the country, Amtrak is behind it, and they have stations all over the country with things going on," said Brian Mahoney, museum director for the Western Maryland Railway Train Station.

Last year the Union Bridge museum had about 100 visitors for National Train Day, he said.

In addition to the museum being open, there will be a locomotive from Maryland Midland Railway at the station, which was built in 1902, and equipment on display from the Chesapeake & Allegheny Steam Preservation Society, weather permitting.

The museum is regularly open from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, except when it is closed from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch. Wednesdays are more of a work day for the volunteers, Mahoney said, who spend their time on museum maintenance and archiving material donated to the museum.

"We have tons and tons of archival work to do," Mahoney said.

The historical society has collected material from different train administration offices when they closed - boxes of records by the truckloads - and then must sort it and organize it back at the museum.

"Some things are very rare, and you get lucky when people give this stuff to you," Mahoney said. "It turns out we have a set of maps of the entire C&O Canal, and the National Park Service does not have a set in their own system."

Some of the materials on display in the museum include historical records and promotional materials from the railroad.

"There's a three-dimensional locomotive that comes out of the wall at you that was part of a trade show deal for the railroad itself in the '50s," Mahoney said.

They also have some examples of crew boards, which were displays that the workers would check each day to see where they were assigned to be working.

"Sometimes we have some old-timers come in and say 'there's my name, I used to work that job all the time,'" he said.

Children and adults enjoy the model trains in the museum, of all shapes and sizes, Mahoney said.

The National Train Day open house will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 10 at the Western Maryland Railway Train Station, 41 N. Main St., Union Bridge. The event is free.

For more information, call the station at 410-775-0150.

Polish Pottery bingo

The Union Bridge Lions Club is hosting a Polish Pottery bingo event May 9 at the New Windsor Fire Hall, 101 High St., New Windsor. Doors will open at 5:30 and games will begin at 7 p.m.

Sandwiches, soups, snacks, desserts and drinks will be available for purchase.

Admission is $15 per person, and it is recommended that people purchase their tickets in advance. The admission ticket includes 20 games, giving out $2,000 worth of Polish Pottery donated by Lions Club members and Union Bridge businesses. There will also be three special games and some raffles.

For more information or to reserve a ticket, call John Laudermilch at 410-635-6342 or contact any other Union Bridge Lions Club member.

Proceeds will be used toward community projects.

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