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steam locomotive to be renovated

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WATERVILLE The last steam locomotive to operate on the Maine Central railroad in 1954, has weathered 61 years as a park display in Waterville. At a ceremony to be held Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. at the locomotive on College Avenue, New England Steam Corporation will present the City of Waterville with a check for its agreed purchase price of $25,000.

Enthusiasm, public donations, grants, and train shows have made it possible for New England Steam Corporation to move the locomotive this coming year, to Washington Junction in Ellsworth, home of the Downeast Scenic Railroad. The 1924 locomotive will be sheltered for the first time since retirement, as people familiar with steam railroad technology will begin the restoration process, which will take several years to complete.

Number 470 is the largest remaining steam locomotive in New England, once restored, will be a tourism magnet for the region.

'There are three principal goals to this project,' says NESCO President Richard Glueck. 'The locomotive is a historic icon from another era, before airlines and interstate highways. It has been deteriorating for years and someone with the knowledge had to intervene and preserve it. Second, it will be a living classroom of literature, history, science, and the arts, for students pre-K to post graduate. Finally, it will be a huge draw for heritage tourism in an ideal setting. We are about Mainers standing up to help Maine.'

The locomotive and tender will be disassembled for moving by truck during the upcoming year. Information regarding Maine Central 470, its future, and how you can help support the project, is available at www.newenglandsteam.org and at the New England Steam Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewEnglandSteam.

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