Railway society celebrates Train rides, shows mark silver jubilee

September 02, 1992|By Cindy Parr | Cindy Parr,Contributing writer

UNION BRIDGE -- All aboard as the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society will celebrate its 25th anniversary this weekend in Union Bridge.

In honor of the society's silver anniversary, more than 130 members and their families will enjoy activities scheduled through Sunday.

Dennis Wertz, the society's president, said the festivities will begin with registration at 1 p.m. Friday at the community center in Union Bridge.

At 7 p.m., there will be slide shows and other presentations about the railway, Mr. Wertz said. Saturday will include a train ride on the EnterTRAINment line during the day, and there will be a banquet that evening. After dinner, George Leilich, the former vice president of operations for Western Maryland Railway, will talk about how the railroad used to operate.

A rededication of the historical society will conclude the event at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Railroad Museum on Main Street.

As a special attraction, an original 1952 Western Maryland locomotive will also be on display at the museum. The locomotive, on loan from the B&O Museum in Baltimore, will remain in Union Bridge through September.

Mr. Wertz, who joined the society in 1976, said it was founded in 1967 by five people who wanted to save the old, closed railroad station building in town.

"They went to the railroad and bought the building for $1," Mr. Wertz recalled. "They organized themselves and became a society. It's really something, since their original idea was basically to preserve the building."

Since its origin, the Western

Maryland Railway Society has steadily increased its membership to almost 1,000 worldwide. The society is a non-profit organization, responsible for the operation of the museum.

The museum houses railroad artifacts, photographs and a gift shop. It is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays, from May to October.

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