MBTA Gold Star Memorial Coach Headed to North Adams
The MBTA's Gold Star Memorial Coach is inscribed with the name of every Massachusetts soldier, sailor, Marine, Guardsman or airman who has died during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The coach will be at Building 4 at the State Street park for viewing between 9 and 9:45 a.m.
The coach was unveiled at Boston's South Station last May as a rolling memorial containing the names of the more than 130 Massachusetts members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan.
MBTA recording secretary Paula Fallon confirmed on Tuesday that the name of Army Spc. Michael DeMarsico Jr. of North Adams, who died Aug. 16 in Afghanistan, has been added to the train car.
The coach's first run was to Worcestor and it was expected to run over every line of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail system in the eastern part of the state.
That's what makes Wednesday's visit to Western Massachusetts so unique.
In an invitation to Gold Star families and veterans organizations to view the train, Fallon notes, "This is one of the rare occasions and most likely the only time the car will be able to make it out to the western part of the state."
After the viewing, state Department of Transportation officials will board the car for an inspection trip of the Hoosac Tunnel. PanAm Railways wants to heighten the 19th-century tunnel to accommodate double-decker cars and the state was awarded a $2 million federal grant for preliminary studies of obstacles along the rail line.
Officials will also tour the repairs to the damage on Route 2 caused the last year's Hurricane Irene before returning to North Adams City Hall for a public meeting of the MassDOT board at 1 p.m. MassDOT representatives will also host a public forum on future transportation needs in Pittsfield on Thursday.
Fallon said she believed the train car would return east after the tunnel inspection and that it is not expected to stop anywhere else.
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