Putting in long hours on weekends, usually on Saturdays, a small, dedicated group of volunteers has been hammering away at a task in an industrial neighborhood of Hancock that, at times, seems daunting.
For the past year or so, the volunteers have been working to restore a decrepit, old steam-powered locomotive that hasn’t run in 65 years. And no matter how much progress they make — which currently is measured in how much rust they chip off or corroded bolts they loosen — they know they could have several years ahead of them to complete the job.
Richard Glueck, president of the group working to make the engine run again, said that on any summer weekend, as many as 18 people might show up to help out at the Down East Scenic Railroad service yard in Hancock’s Washington Junction neighborhood, just over the city line from Ellsworth, where the dismantled locomotive sits under a large, tarp-covered arch. Using their own tools or donated equipment, they don hard hats and work gloves and go about removing rust with pneumatic needle-scalers or taking wrenches to seemingly unmovable nuts as they try to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be replaced.
A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....
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