BOSTON – The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum has received $200,000 in state funding to help it move some of its equipment to North Adams.
The railway is partnering with North Adams and Adams to develop the Hoosac Valley Service line between the two municipalities, with help from the state.
The money will aid in the nonprofit in bringing necessary equipment north from its headquarters in Lenox and in developing a ticket booth and boarding area in North Adams. The town of Adams recently authorized the purchase and renovation of a former car wash as a boarding area near the projected southern terminus of the rail on Hoosac Street.
The North Adams train station was torn down in the 1960s, but a development group is hoping to raise funds for a new building to house local museums and the new scenic railway needs.
The funding is a Community Development and Tourism grant from the Executive Office for Administration & Finance.
A total of $616,210 was awarded to four projects in the district of state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield.
The program, funded as a pilot initiative with a $2 million appropriation in the fiscal 2014 state budget was developed to promote community development and tourism in central and Western Massachusetts. Activities eligible for funding included: capital improvements to recreational, community, cultural and historical facilities as well as the outreach and promotion of recreational, community, cultural and historical opportunities. Eligible award recipients included municipalities, school districts and not-for-profit organizations.
Twenty awards were given to projects in Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, Hampden and Worcester counties. Locally, the following grants were approved:
• Town of Dalton/Dalton Historical Commission – Rehabilitation of the historic Fitch-Hoose House: $180,000
• Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum – Relocate train equipment and build a facility at a new northern terminus in North Adams: $200,000
• Arms Library Association, Inc. – Restoration of the Pratt Memorial Library building in Shelburne: $180,000
• Franklin County CDC – Regional award, from Athol to Williamstown, helping to leverage the 100th Anniversary of the World Famous Mohawk Trail to create a unified strategy and collaboration along the trail: $56,210
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