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  industrial age.

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.

                David Woodbury

                New Boston, New Hampshire

                November 15, 1997