AUGUSTA — The Kennebec Historical Society’s June presentation, “Preservation and Restoration of a Railroading Icon Maine Central Railroad 470,” is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, at Augusta City Center, 16 Cony St.
Former Maine Central Railroad steam locomotive 470 made the final steam run in Maine on June 13, 1954, and has since been a park exhibit in the city of Waterville. Because of vandalism and deterioration, the city of Waterville has agreed to sell the locomotive to New England Steam Corporation for preservation and restoration, according to a news release from the society.
One of three surviving steam locomotives of Maine Central heritage, it is the largest steam locomotive remaining in the New England states, and the only one in Maine. Sister 469 and 470 were constructed by American Locomotive Works of Schenectady, New York, in 1924, specifically to pull high speed, heavy-weight trains of 12 to 14 cars from Boston to points north. No doubt, they drew private cars of the Roosevelt and Rockefeller families at one time or another.
This summer, the New England Steam Corp. will begin preparing the locomotive to be removed to the Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth for restoration to serviceable condition.
Richard Glueck is a past Maine Regional Teacher of the Year, and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Elementary Mathematics Education. A life-long lover of trains and locomotives, he now constructs 1/8th scale model trains at home, and is constructing a 7.25″ gauge track in his backyard, according to the release. He retired from public education in 2010, and helped found NESCO in 2013.