Rail company donates $500 to train station project in Hampstead

May 15, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

To the delight of many Hampstead residents, Maryland Midland Railway Inc. has contributed $500 to the restoration of the town's historic train depot.

In a letter April 24, Paul D. Denton, Maryland Midland's president and chief operations officer, promised to contribute more after Maryland Midland completes its purchase of the line that runs through Hampstead. CSX Transportation Inc. owns the line.

"When our offer to purchase that line becomes reality, we'll double the amount in the attached check, and I'll deliver the second one personally by riding to Hampstead in one of our locomotives," Denton wrote.

The Hampstead Train Station Committee has collected about $200 in private donations and $1,100 in corporate contributions since April 21, said Town Councilman Wayne H. Thomas, leader of the drive to restore the 1913 depot.

About $3,000 has been raised since October.

"We're really excited about the response we've gotten in the past few weeks," Thomas said.

Charleston Furniture raised $610 for the restoration effort. Owners Linda Dahms and Robert Kirby sold blankets emblazoned with the town logo to raise funds.

Other contributions include a security system, discounts on lumber, a case of nails and felt for the roof.

The train station committee has begun work on the interior of the building and hopes to have the roof completed this weekend, Thomas said.

"We need all the volunteers we can get," he said. "We really want the roof done by Hampstead Day" on May 23.

The Hampstead Train Station, at Gill Avenue and Main Street, was a freight depot until 1979, when CSX closed it. The depot symbolizes Hampstead and is on the town seal and official stationery.

Town officials hope to market the station as a tourist attraction. Hampstead bought the deteriorating building from CSX for $7,000 last year.

Volunteers are needed at the depot today and tomorrow. Those wishing to learn more about the station or make a donation can write to: Hampstead Train Station Committee, P.O. Box 727, Hampstead 21074.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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