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WMSR Disputes CTN Tie Story: Garner Comments

February 8th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Superintedent and CEO John Garner told WCBC's Dave Norman that a story that ran in today's edition of the Cumberland Times News concerning a massive replacement of crossties was in error.

Garner said the project will cost in the neighborhood of $2.5 million, but will only involve about a fourth of the ties in place from Cumberland to Frostburg.  If the contractor would be booked now, work could be done beginning in May and allow the WMSR to start operations by July 4th weekend.  Garner referred to "hot spots" which would need to be taken care of first.

Garner said the work would have to be done by a contractor because of manpower and equipment requirements.  He said a great majority of the ties were last replaced in the mid 1970's by the Chessie System.  Some of the ties go back to the 1950's.

Allegany County Commissioner Dave Caporale said this morning that the commissioners were aware of the crosstie issue, but said that financing would be an issue.  When asked about a possible bond issue, Caporale said that such a proposal would have to be tied to other considerations regarding railroad operations.