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Who owns the Thurmont Trolley?

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(2/7) Though the old trolley returned to Thurmont, a question seems to remain as to whether it will be going somewhere else from here.

When asked at a recent Thurmont town meeting about the status of the old Thurmont trolley car that is sitting on East Main Street near the entrance to the carnival grounds. The trolley has been there since August 2006 when a group of citizens brought it from the Rock Creek Trolley Museum in Rock Creek Furnace, Pa.

John Kinnaird, who has been spearheading the effort to restore the trolley said things were at an “impasse” because he considered the ownership in doubt.
The Rock Creek Trolley Museum donated the trolley to the Hagerstown and Frederick Railway Historical Society. However, they were unable to move the trolley from the museum so they donated the trolley to Thurmont First.

Once the trolley was in Thurmont, Kinnaird said, “They’ve said to me twice no we’ll just come and take it away when we’re ready for it.”

Kinnaird said he has wheels and track ready to use to restore the trolley, but the railway historical society wants only authentic parts used, which are much more expensive. Because of this, Kinnaird said he thinks it would be irresponsible to ask people to commit more time and money for a project that might be taken from the town.

Chief Financial Officer Bill Blakeslee said that there are no ownership papers for the trolley and officers of the railway historical society were told that the trolley belongs to the town.

Town Commissioner Glenn Muth suggested sending a letter to the railway historical society thanking them for their donation to the town. If the letter is not contested, then it would be seen as the railway historical society agreeing that the trolley was donated to the town.

Blakeslee considered this move unnecessary because of his conversations with the officers that the town now owned the trolley car.

The town has also applied for a $25,000 grant from the state, which would pay for the all of the needed renovations to the trolley.

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