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Western Maryland Scenic promotes interim leader to Executive Director

Today, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR) unanimously voted to permanently appoint Wesley Heinz to the position of Executive Director.

Heinz comes to WMSR with an extensive background in historic preservation, events, fundraising, and marketing. At his previous position at Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum in Portland, Maine, he was responsible for increased daily performance, improved cost-saving measures, and overall strategic planning. He also has experience providing presentations to state and local officials through fundraising capital campaigns.

Before his appointment as Interim Executive Director, Heinz cultivated professional relationships to assist the WMSR with its equipment and right-of-way challenges and he has been instrumental in providing expertise for the restoration of WMSR steam locomotive no. 1309.

In addition to his extensive business background, Mr. Heinz is also extremely knowledgeable about steam locomotives and has served on the operating and restoration crews of several different locomotives, including Nickel Plate Road no. 765, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museums’ fleet of engines, Southern Railway no. 4501, and of course, WMSR’s no. 1309

“Since stepping into the role of Interim Executive Director earlier this summer, Mr. Heinz has embarked on an aggressive program to rebuild and reimagine the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad,” said Mike McKay, WMSR board president and Delegate for District 1C in Allegany and Washington Counties.

“Since that time, Mr. Heinz has focused on creating positive customer experiences, new business development, and rebuilding the railroad’s standing in our communities. He has also created a focused plan of work to see the restoration of steam locomotive no. 1309 through to completion, which is imminently anticipated. His efforts have directly resulted in dramatically increased exposure, ridership, and revenue, as well as a brand-new image that we are sure, in a very short period, will make WMSR the pride of our community, our region, and the great states of Maryland and West Virginia.”

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad would like to take the opportunity to publicly thank former Executive Director John Garner for his service and warmly acknowledge his accomplishments. We wish him and his family the very best for their future.