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Catonsville Rails to Trails

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Catonsville Short Line Railroad Track Preservation Project

Business Volunteers Maryland, Catonsville Rails To Trails and Columbia based, Madison Ave., Inc. Team Up to Preserve Catonsville History

IMG_2668From 1884 to 1972, the Catonsville Short Line Railroad delivered lumber, coal, food and other necessities of life to residents of Catonsville along a 3.5 mile section of tracks that began in Baltimore city and ended near the Catonsville firehouse.  For the past decade and a half, Catonsville Rails To Trails, Inc. has been converting a 2.2 section of this route into a recreational bike/hike trail and preserving the history of transportation in Catonsville.

Most of the original track has been removed and carted away over the years as the price of metal increased, but a small section remains off Wade Avenue, near the entrance to Spring Grove Hospital Center.    On Friday, July 18, 2014, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., a group of volunteers from the Columbia based, Madison Ave., Inc, a sign company, will begin preserving 125’ of this track as a tribute to one of their founders, Stephen Hall.

Steve, a railroad buff, passed away suddenly in May 2013 and his co-workers wanted to honor his memory with some type of railroad project.  They contacted Business Volunteers Maryland, a nonprofit which matches corporations with volunteer opportunities and made the unusual request for a railroad project.  CRTT was contacted and the result is a partnership which will honor Steve and preserve something he loved for future generations.  The company is picking up all the expenses for the project.

Volunteers will be cleaning the track area and placing a geo-textile fabric between the rails.  Most of their time will be spent shuttling wheelbarrows to the preservation site and spreading the CR8 gravel.  Joe and Cindy Loverde, local business owners, are picking up the tab for the volunteers’ lunch at the Café on the Grove.

Several local businesses have jumped on board to make this project possible.  Link Mechanical Services has donated the labor to run the machinery which is provided by ABC Equipment Rental at deep discounts.   When finished, interpretive signage highlighting the historical significance of the rails will be added.

For more information, contact CRTT Volunteer Coordinator, Maureen Sweeney Smith at 443-326-5474 or by e-mail at sweeneysmith@comcast.net.

Location (for GPS): across the street from 47 Wade Avenue, 21228

To see a rendering of what the trail will look like, click here Wade Avenue Preservation Project

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