This is without apology a plea for your interest and support.
I've never asked the others involved in the restoration of the ex-B&M 4-4-0 to detail to me their reasons for taking
part in this undertaking, and I've never asked why they want to spend their time and money working long hours in either too hot, too cold, too dark or too wet conditions on a project that will
get as many blank looks as it does approving nods and kind words. These are my reasons for putting my time, energy and talents to work resurrecting this sad, rusting relic of America's golden
The "494" and I come from the same hometown, almost. I grew up in Bedford, NH just across the Merrimack River from the Boston and Maine's New Hampshire Division Main
Line from White River Junction down to Boston. The engine first saw the light of day some fifty plus years before me at the shops of the Manchester Locomotive works, parts of which are still standing
on Canal Street in Manchester. She was a solid work-a-day engine, fully typical of her time, intended for use in passenger service. Nothing special was expected of her by her builders and owners, but
she gave them back more than they could have dreamed.
I grew up fascinated with trains from hearing and seeing them fly by across the river and by going to the Manchester station to pick
up my father when he would come back from a day or two of work in Boston. Also, I must credit my mother. She indulged me by stopping at the freight yards to watch the switchers and she showed me why
the flanges kept the wheels on the rails. Of course, 494 was retired long since.
This brief personal aside fails to explain completely my present interest in the restoration of the
"494." I get a feeling of satisfaction in putting something that's out of order into working condition. I like the challenge of working with large and exotic machines. I am a history buff who
loves the puzzle of the industrial past reflected in the written and photographic record. I love the exercise involved in sorting it out accurately and presenting it to others. I respect the value of
historic preservation. I love the sheer drama of the steam locomotive.
These are my reasons. Now is the time for you to examine yours and respond as you see fit with your support for this
project, be it financial or physical. You can contact us at this website or through our treasurer Phil Rentz at Box 1215, White River Junction, VT 05001.