The Maine Eastern Railroad has partnered with the non-profit New England Steam
Corporation to offer a public Touch-a-Train open house event on Saturday, April 12,
2014, as a fundraiser for the restoration of Maine Central steam locomotive #470.
Held at the Maine Eastern’s roundhouse in Rockland, ME, the Touch-a-Train event will
be a rare opportunity for the public to visit a working railroad maintenance facility. The
event is family-oriented, and children are encouraged to come and enjoy the sights and
sounds of American railroading. Visitors may climb aboard and explore the cab and
engine room of a -vintage FL9 diesel locomotive (built in 1957), recline in the comfortable
seats of a 1940s Maine Eastern passenger coach, and learn about railroad snow removal
operations while standing inside the Maine Eastern’s 1946-vintage snowplow.
Visitors will also be able to explore the Maine Eastern’s operating turntable, built in 1921,
and the 1922-vintage wooden roundhouse. The railroad’s dining car will also be on site,
selling beverages and snacks as visitors walk through.
The event coincides with the Maine Rail Group’s first annual Maine Rail Fair, being held
on the same date at the nearby Owls Head Transportation Museum. Visitors are
encouraged to visit both events and experience all aspects of Maine railroading.
Admission to the Touch-a-Train event will be free. However, the non-profit New England
Steam Corporation will be collecting donations towards the restoration of Maine Central
steam locomotive #470. The locomotive, currently on display in Waterville, ME, will be
operated on the Downeast Scenic Railroad after restoration is completed and will have
the opportunity to operate on the Maine Eastern, as well. Any and all donations, no
matter how small, can make a difference in the speed and success of #470’s restoration.
For more information about the New England Steam Corporation and its mission to
revitalize #470 and steam railroading in Maine, please visit www.newenglandsteam.org
or contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.