National Train Day on track for return to museum

Glenn Sharpe, left, and Bob Parks unload a miniature diesel engine train from the Chesapeake & Allegheny Steam Preservation Society at the 2014 National Train Day festivities hosted by the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum.
Glenn Sharpe, left, and Bob Parks unload a miniature diesel engine train from the Chesapeake & Allegheny Steam Preservation Society at the 2014 National Train Day festivities hosted by the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum. (Submitted photo)

While the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum gets regular visits from train enthusiasts and even architectural enthusiasts, the museum looks forward to welcoming more families and children May 9 as it takes part in National Train Day.

"We get a couple of hundred people, which is a big turnout for Union Bridge," Brian Mahoney, museum director for the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society, said of the annual event.


The museum complex, at 41 N. Main St. in Union Bridge, was built by the Western Maryland Railroad in 1902, Mahoney said, and served as the general offices for the railroad company for many years.

The museum is full of history of the railroad line and company, as well as its impact on Carroll County, with many historical photographs and model trains.


"The Western Maryland Railroad itself was founded in 1852 by a group of businessmen and farmers here in Carroll County, because all the other railroads either passed them to the south or the north," Mahoney said.

The main line went through Westminster, New Windsor and Union Bridge, then passed on to Frederick County, he said. The Western Maryland Railroad was bought out in the 1970s by Chessie, which then became the company CSX. However, after the Carroll line was severely damaged in the hurricanes of 1972 and 1975, CSX put the line up for sale, he said. It wasn't long before Maryland Midland Railway picked up the old Western Maryland short line through Union Bridge, in the early 1980s, and trains still use those tracks.

Maryland Midland supports the museum with National Train Day by supplying an operating locomotive at the station.

"We never know which one — whatever comes in off the train the night before," Mahoney said.


The Chesapeake & Allegheny Steam Preservation Society also brings out a miniature train to set up for the day, weather permitting, he said. Last year the society provided a model of a diesel train with some train cars, and the previous year it was a steam locomotive.

"They're not the toy trains you have inside; these are miniatures which are big enough for people to ride on," Mahoney said. "These take a couple of men to get them on and off of the trailer."

The museum is regularly open on Wednesdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m., which are usually work days for the society's volunteers, and open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. National Train Day is the only Saturday that the museum is open, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

"We appreciate donations, but we don't charge anything," Mahoney said.

For more information, call the museum during its open hours at 410-775-0150 or email WMRHS1@verizon.net.

Benefit breakfast

Boy Scout Troop 582 of New Windsor is having a pancake breakfast to benefit former assistant troop leader Jeff Sheidy, who was paralyzed after a car accident.

The breakfast will be held at St. Luke's Winters Lutheran Church, at 701 Green Valley Road in New Windsor, from 8 to 11 a.m. May 9.

The buffet-style meal will feature pancakes, sausage links, scrambled eggs, orange juice, coffee and milk.

The cost is $7 for adults and $4.50 for children ages 10 and younger. Tickets from the troop's snowed-out February breakfast will be honored.

Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event, but the troop is trying to sell tickets in advance to know how many people to expect.

For more information, call Mike Arndt at 443-791-5261 or email Angie Biederman at busymomof5@comcast.net.

Playing cash bingo

The Taneytown Chamber of Commerce will have a cash bingo May 8 at the Pleasant Valley Fire Hall, at 2030 Pleasant Valley Road in Pleasant Valley.

Doors will open at 5:30 and games will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and include 20 regular games of $100 cash each, two specials with $250 cash and one jackpot of $500.

A 50/50 raffle and jar tickets will be available as well.

Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door for the same price.

Food will also be available for purchase from the Pleasant Valley fire company auxiliary.

For more information or to buy tickets, call 410-756-4234.

Carrie Ann Knauer covers New Windsor, Union Bridge, Taneytown and neighboring communities in the West Carroll area. Contact her at 410-596-9248 or carrie.knauer@gmail.com.

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