Financial woes halt EnterTRAINment


Mired in financial problems, the EnterTRAINment Line has been forced to halt its excursion trains because of a contract dispute with the railroad company that owns the tracks and pulls the line's passenger cars.

Maryland Midland Railway stopped providing use of its tracks and locomotives about two weeks ago because of EnterTRAINment's failure to make payments for the service.

"They have been very delinquent, and we've tried to work things out with them," said Paul D. Denton, Maryland Midland president.

In addition to its financial woes with Maryland Midland, the EnterTRAINment Line owes at least $300,000 in overdue taxes, interest and penalties to Union Bridge and Westminster.

In April, a Maryland Tax Court judge ordered the payments after ruling that EnterTRAINment had failed to pay admissions and amusement taxes for four years.

EnterTRAINment Line President Donald S. Golec said he plans to appeal the ruling by the June 14 deadline.

County officials also say the Union Bridge-based company has failed to renew its liquor license on time. Mr. Golec said he doesn't need to serve alcohol on his trains.

Mr. Denton and Mr. Golec said they want to reach an agreement to save the excursion service, but neither is optimistic.

"Until we can get paid for what we've done in the past and work out an equitable arrangement for the future, I don't know what to think," Mr. Denton said.

He would not say how long EnterTRAINment has been behind in its payments or how much the company owed.

"We're trying to resolve things," Mr. Golec said. "But I'm not going to say I'm optimistic right now."

The EnterTRAINment Line offers train rides through Carroll and Frederick counties and into Pennsylvania with entertainment that includes dinner and dancing.

Maryland Midland charges EnterTRAINment a fee for use of the railroad's tracks, locomotives and crew. Mr. Golec's company provides its own passenger cars for the excursions.

"The costs are far greater than we can afford," Mr. Golec said.

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