Another claim by Maryland Midland Railway Co. against the EnterTRAINment Line for back rent must be filed with claims from more than 500 other creditors of the troubled excursion train company in Carroll County Circuit Court, a judge ruled yesterday.
District Judge Louis Becker of Howard County, who was temporarily hearing cases in Carroll County, agreed to hold the rent claim until a court-appointed trustee sells off EnterTRAINment's assets and distributes the money to creditors.
"The court said that if [Maryland Midland] thought they had a right to payment, it would prefer they do it in Circuit Court," said Howard A. Rubenstein, the Baltimore lawyer who is handling distribution of the EnterTRAINment's Line's assets. "They're not ejecting me off the premises."
In yesterday's "failure to pay rent" hearing, Maryland Midland representatives revealed that the EnterTRAINment Line owes the company $1,200 for use of the historic Union Bridge train station for offices and boarding.
Court papers said the EnterTRAINment Line had failed to pay its $300-a-month rent for April through July. The excursion line, which offered holiday train rides and murder mystery tours on the rails, also owes Maryland Midland, a freight train company based in Union Bridge, an undisclosed amount for the use of its tracks.
Paul D. Denton, president of Maryland Midland, declined to comment for this article.
"We may well have an understanding with them," Mr. Rubenstein said.
He said he believed that Maryland Midland had agreed that he would pay the back rent from liquidated assets. But Mr. Rubenstein, who said yesterday that he would check on the agreement with his colleagues, did not call back to confirm the information.
The EnterTRAINment Line closed its doors in May after Maryland Midland said the company was "very delinquent" in paying for use of its tracks and refused to haul the excursion line's cars.
Last month, with the approval of Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr., EnterTRAINment Line officials appointed Mr. Rubenstein as the trustee to handle the liquidation.
Among The EnterTRAINment Line's creditors are the Westminster and Union Bridge governments, which are owed more than $500,000 in back amusement taxes, interest and penalties and New Windsor Bank, which is due $130,000 from a December 1993 secured loan.