[Hpn] Train cars will be leaving Market St. station for good
William C. Tinker
Wed, 18 Apr 2007 07:19:55 -0400
Train cars will be leaving Market St. station for good
County authority selling Amtrak car and Flagler private car for $15,000
JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES firstname.lastname@example.org
Though painful to some, the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority voted
Tuesday to sell two train cars at the Market Street train complex in
R.M. Delevan Inc., of Duryea, will pay $15,000 each for the Amtrak and
Authority member Diane Kopcha Katlic said she is torn because she would like
to see the cars preserved and kept at the site for historical purposes.
Board member Eileen Melone agreed.
However, Kopcha Katlic made a motion to sell because the authority doesn't
have the money to restore them.
Authority Director Allen Bellas said the Amtrak car doesn't have historical
value, and he estimated it would cost $750,000 to restore the Flagler car.
The cars were not incorporated in plans to develop the complex into a
visitor center and eatery, he said.
R.M. Delevan will be responsible for obtaining permits and paying to remove
the cars from the site.
Even if the authority opted to hold onto them, the cars would have to be
removed and stored under cover because more than a decade of exposure to bad
weather and recent vandalism are destroying them, Bellas said.
"We have homeless people sleeping underneath them and people breaking into
them," he said.
A Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum in Florida and the Flagler Museum in
Florida were interested in the private rail car that belonged to the family
of railroad pioneer Henry Flagler, Bellas said. It was not clear what R.M.
Delevan will do with the cars.
Bellas noted that a private organization has been set up to restore the
Vulcan Iron Engine that was housed at the site - a project that is already
estimated to cost more than $300,000.
The engine was constructed in Wilkes-Barre by a Luzerne County-based
company, Vulcan Iron Works, for the U.S. Army.
In other business Tuesday, the authority:
. Tabled plans to build a water tower in Swoyersville that will open up
roughly 50 acres of land for development. Authority members are waiting for
design plans and a cost estimate. The project will be funded by a tax
revenue diversion program that has already been approved by Luzerne County
commissioners, Swoyersville Borough Council and the Wyoming Valley West
School Board, Bellas said.
. Approved a plan to fund $2.2 million in work on the Murray Complex in
Wilkes-Barre. Similar to the Swoyersville water tower plan, taxes on
improvements made at the complex will be diverted to help pay off the $2.2
million loan. It's part of an $18.6 million project to build condominiums
and commercial space. The county, Wilkes-Barre and Wilkes-Barre Area School
District have approved the tax diversion, Bellas said.
Jennifer Learn-Andes, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at