The column on Dec. 3 about restoring “Old 470” to operational condition, “New England Steam wants to restore 470 in honor of Maine Central workers,” was quite satisfying.

I was born and raised in Waterville. In my preteen years, I was one of the children who had the thrill of actually climbing on board and exploring the wonders of the retired steam locomotive. We were very respectful of it, and back then it had most of its original parts.

It is sad to read about the disrespect and abuse poor Old 470 has been exposed to over these many years. It is an icon of another time period that I and people my age actually lived in and rode the rails on those old trains. Waterville to Lewiston was a pretty regular trip to visit family back then.

I hope this group gets the funds and cooperation it needs in order to make the restoration of Old 470 a reality. It will be a very worthwhile venture that will benefit all of those who take part in it, as well as the citizens of Maine who can and do appreciate the historical significance of this venture. Good luck in your quest.

Richard JosephHoliday, Fla.Formerly of Waterville