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An Autumn Appeal to Steam the Last Baldwin into the Future!

Dear Volunteers, Members, & Supporters:

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR) continues to fulfill our mission to preserve and operate historic railroad equipment through safe, unique, and educational experiences. In 2019, 35,000 passengers climbed aboard our rolling time machine, whether for a regularly scheduled excursion or one of our signature events. In 2020 we were ‘on-track’ to surpass 35,000 visitors, complete the Western Maryland steam locomotive no. 1309, continue track improvement plans, conduct multiple car enhancements and other visual improvements that are key to maintaining great relationships within our community. COVID-19 changed our dreams, but it hasn’t stopped our progress.

During this Autumn Appeal fundraising event, we are seeking to match, and surpass, a $30,000 donor challenge. With this donor challenge, Western Maryland Scenic will complete the final restoration of the no. and pursue needed capital improvements. The completion of steam locomotive #1309 and investing in our significant infrastructure will provide a catalyst for building relationships and a solid foundation for our operation for the next 15 years.

Starting August 1st, all donations of $100 or more will be entered to win a chance to operate 1309! This exciting giveaway will allow you to operate 1309 up the historic Western Maryland grade with a caboose of friends and family behind. Click here to learn more and donate today!

What happens when we surpass that $30,000 donor challenge? Here is what can be done:

Completion of Western Maryland Steam Locomotive no. 1309’s Restoration
• Be a part of ‘Steaming the Last Baldwin’ WM1309. With the completion of ‘Maryland Thunder,’ YOU are supporting our heritage rail experience through the steam locomotive for the next generation to see, smell and hear. Please, help make this accomplishment our community’s finest hour.

Capital Improvements for the operation of no. 1309 & Western Maryland Scenic
• Installation of over 300 ties and switch timbers, improving Ridgeley Yard to Class 1 track standards.
• Upgrading critical railroad and switch tracks will improve the service, safety, and performance of our trains.
• Creation of a coal-loading facility along with an ash-removal solution.
• Development of a coal purchasing plan, making sure Maryland Thunder is fired-up and ready to roll.
• Mainline improvements to maintain Class 2 track standards for operation
o 1 mile of railroad track requires over 3,000 cross ties. WMSR operates over 16 miles of track, which must be maintained, inspected, and repaired annually.

Western Maryland no. 734: Project Evaluation and Locomotive Inspection
• YES! She will be returning to the rails in the future.
• Plans for ‘Mountain Thunder’ are taking shape.
• No. 734 requires boiler, running-gear, tender, and cosmetic repairs before steaming again.

By helping us sustain our combined efforts in safety, stewardship, and service, YOU help us achieve excellence in presenting our heritage rail experience inside Allegany County. No one ever said that historic preservation would be an easy task. The challenges keep coming, and you, the Volunteers, Members, and Supporters keep making the magic happen.

Click here to make your donation online.

Thank you,

John Garner, Executive Director
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Development Corporation