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A Father, Son and an Engine That Could

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 A Father, Son and an Engine That Could

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The heyday of steam engines and railcars used for transportation has gone, but one father-and-son team is keeping rail heritage chugging along.

John and Barney Gramling have their very own Flagg Coal CO #75 traveling steam locomotive as a reminder of days gone by, and they travel across the across the country with "Hank the Tank," making stops at train museums and depots for public excursions.

At age of 19, Byron Gramling -- who goes by Barney, a name his father John says they called him "before he was born" -- decided it was high time he had own his own steam engine. He'd been volunteering at a tourist railroad since the age of 12, and Barney finally got his wish with the purchase of the FCC75 steam engine in 1991.

It took another 10 years of blood, sweat and possibly some tears to restore the tank engine to its original splendor.  

You can see Hank the Tank starting June 23, while it operates for three weekends at the Walkersville Southern Railroad (34 West Pennsylvania Ave., Walkersville, Md.), just north of Frederick.

Regular train excursions are on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with dinner trains on the first and third Saturday of the month.

Related Topics history, museums, events, kids
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