Historic Western Maryland locomotive gets makeover

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — Engine 202 was donated to the Hagerstown Railroad Museum back in 1953. But now, after four years of planning, the last piece of restoring the Western Maryland Engine 202 locomotive is finally in the works.

The engine was first built back in 1912 as a passenger train. Over the last 70 years, it has been off the tracks and at the Hagerstown City Park

“It’s been sitting out here in the weather for many many years and it’s had one or two rounds of restorations over the year,” Recreation Assistant Kay Osmer said. “But, the big plan now is to get a brand new pavilion to house our engine.”

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The locomotive needs a new paint job and a better pavilion to protect it against weather, according to Senior Project Architect Kevin Kneer.

“It does need some cosmetic attention, but we think once the project is complete, the locomotive itself will look much like when it was presented to the city by Western Maryland,” Kneer said. “It’ll have new paint, new stenciling and lettering and it will just look like a shiny inviting locomotive that people would want to come visit.”

Hagerstown resident Alex Haines remembers going to visit the locomotive back when it was one of the shining jewels of the park. Haines hopes the renovations will mean better upkeep in the long term.

“It needs to be interpreted and some explanation of the human element and, more importantly than anything, I would say securing it for the future and making sure that it’s not open to the elements and open to vandalism,” Haines said.

“It’s certainly going to be worthwhile and the locomotive will be presentable for generations to come,” Kneer said.

Restoration of the locomotive is expected to be complete by the winter of 2024.

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