Members of Beverly Town Council voted unanimously to approve a partnership with the West Virginia Railroad Museum at their Monday meeting.
Denver Barnett, the West Virginia Railroad Museum board member in charge of grants, asked the council to partner with his group in support of obtaining grants. Barnett was accompanied by West Virginia Railroad Museum President Julia Elbon and member Arden Swecker.
"Transportation enhancement grants come from the gasoline tax we pay at the pumps," Barnett said. "Because the West Virginia Railroad Museum is a not-for-profit group, we must partner with a government agency sponsor to obtain those grants. We are asking if Beverly Town Council will partner with us for this purpose."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Representatives of the West Virginia Railroad Museum ask Beverly Town Council to join as partners for grants during the council’s meeting Monday evening. The group previously partnered with the Randolph County Development Authority. Member Denver Barnett, above, tells council about a passenger car the group is working to obtain.
Barnett said his group had partnered with the Randolph County Development Authority for the last nine years, but said "the Development Authority is getting out of the grant-making business."
The museum is working to obtain a grant to bring a 1937 Pullman paired window coach back to restore and hopefully put into use.
"The coach has an observation area in the back and it is in decent condition," Barnett said. "It was part of the Royal Blue service and ran from Washington, D.C. to New York City. It is rumored that Harry Truman used it a couple of times and we are working to authenticate that. The coach was given to us, but it has to be transported here and cannot come by rail."
Barnett said the person who gave the coach to the museum, Tom Cunningham, has passed away, and while his family agreed to the transfer, the property where the coach is stored is being sold. He said the car must be transferred within a reasonable time from the property.
"There were only three of these cars - one has been destroyed and the other is in York, Pa.," Barnett said. "We will also use the grant to make the car weather tight and do some roof repairs. We need to check the break lines as well."
Barnett said the group hopes to restore the car to its former glory and lease its use to the Durbin and Greenbrier Railroad.
"We can use it for a wine and dine car, or as a wedding car," Barnett said.
Elbon thanked the group for agreeing to partner with the museum.
"Thank you very much," Elbon said. "Exciting things are planned for Beverly, and if the steam train comes to Beverly, it will be a wonderful addition to this historic town. Remember, the train museum is a rolling museum and is on the go."
The next meeting of the Beverly Town Council is slated for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14.