WATERVILLE — Richard Glueck first saw the Old 470 steam locomotive in 1967 when he was 17.

“I never believed the opportunity would come where I could save it from eventually being ruined,” he said on the phone Friday. “I’ve been a steam locomotive lover my whole life.”

Glueck is president of the board of the New England Steam Corp., which is planning to move Old 470 to a restoration site at Washington Junction in Ellsworth beginning Monday.

It’s a three-day project.

Spectators will not be allowed in the loading areas, according to a press release, and only personnel will be allowed to park in the lot. However, the press release does say that people should be able to view the process without difficulty and ask NESC personnel questions.

The Old 470 was the last steam engine used for passenger service on the Maine Central Railroad. Its final trip was in 1954 from Portland to Bangor.

The railroad company gave the engine to the city as a gift to mark the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1962. Since then, it’s sat as an exhibit on College Avenue, where it’s deteriorated from harsh weather and vandals.

In December 2013, the Waterville City Council voted to sell it to NESC for $25,000.

Now, the company has gathered enough money through donations of both money and services to move the engine to the junction at Downeast Scenic Railroad, which will cost about $30,000, Glueck said. The company is applying for grants and expecting more donations to come through to help fund the rest of the project, which is entirely volunteer-based.

The boiler will be moved on one truck followed by the frame, cylinders and drivers on a second and the remaining trucks on a third. Everything will be loaded and unloaded using cranes.

The plan is to load on Monday, starting before 8 a.m., move the parts on Tuesday and clean up on Wednesday.

Experts, along with 11 regular volunteers, have worked for two years to prepare the engine for the move.

“This is really the end of a phase and the beginning of the restoration itself,” Glueck said.

As a standing artifact, Glueck said he doesn’t think Old 470 would last another 10 years. But after its restoration, the train will run as a “living classroom” for students of all ages on the scenic railroad.

Old 470 is the largest surviving steam locomotive in New England, Glueck said, and once restored it will be a “huge economic draw for the state of Maine.”

After the engine is moved, the plan is to reproduce the tender, which is the coal car of the train, and examine the boiler before making the next steps.

Glueck said he’s grateful to the people of Waterville for supporting this project.

“Passing it on for restoration is probably the most courageous thing they could have done,” he said. The tender will have a plaque on its side dedicated to the people of Waterville, he said.

For more information on the project, people can visit the company’s website or Facebook page.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour