Railroad museum on track Sykesville to remodel 1910 Pullman car

September 12, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

A backhoe and a heavy chain will soon drag the Sykesville Model Railroad Museum to its new track home.

The museum, an 80-foot-long Pullman car that CSX Railroad pulled into town last week, will be transferred to the town track near its maintenance shed.

It's "no big deal," said Harold Dorsey, assistant curator for the B&O Railroad Museum, which is leasing to the car to Sykesville for $1 a year. "We do this stuff every day."

Mr. Dorsey will assist in the move, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Eventually, the town plans to station its two cabooses on track with the Pullman car.

Bruce Greenberg, who is leading the remodeling efforts, called the car built by the Pullman Co. in 1910 "one of the important artifacts of industrial society."

About 30 volunteers have joined him in the project. "They are all really enjoying the work," he said.

With electricity from the maintenance shed, volunteers can work on the interior with power tools. They plan to renovate the car to make room for a $10,000 model railroad display that Lionel Trains Michigan donated to the town last year.

Last weekend, the volunteers removed kitchen appliances and partitions that were added to the car when it became a dispatch office at the Laurel train yard.

"I like the can-do spirit," said Mr. Dorsey, "Nothing you can do will hurt the car, but there are things you can do to preserve it."

The car's electric and air-conditioning systems are both in working order, said Mr. Greenberg.

"We have a good, thick wooden floor, too," he said.

He said he hopes to install a temporary display in the car in time for Sykesville's Fall Festival Oct. 2.

"We can do wonders in a few weeks," he said.

Sykesville has applied for a $220,000 Maryland Small Cities Block Grant to help with renovation costs and to build an adjoining building accessible to the disabled.

"This is a great project, which could really draw tourists to Sykesville," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher. "I am sure the governor will look favorably on it."

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