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Chairman David Whelan on Latest Restoration Development
As of March 17th, 1998
Our ambitious plan for the "Grand Opening" ceremony of May 31, 1998 is underway. The original
plan to have a Valley RailRoad steam train at the ceremony has been the most difficult component and
yet the most exciting part of our plan for that day!
Mr. Frank Heppner is heading up the effort to have the steam train for that day. He has recently been
invited to meet with Amtrak Officials and Valley RailRoad executives to determine how this might
be accomplished. Mr. Heppner cannot attend this planning meeting but is being represented by a
Friends of Kingston Station Inc. "sub-committee", Craig Stedman, Mike Leckie, Jack McCabe, and
myself. This is meeting will take place in the week of March 23rd, and we should have more
confidence about this part of our plans after that meeting.
Martha McCabe is assured that at least two musical bands will be present (see the newsletter).
Decorative period lamposts are being wired. Shrubs, trees, and grass seeding work is finished for this
season except of a few small areas where equipment installation is in process. Interior plaster and wood
refinishing is underway. The heating system is working! The exterior paint job is complete and very
attractive. The handsome wooded deck which surrounds the station is planked with PAULOPE, a
brazilian hardwood. We estimate that RIDOT will advise AMTRAK within four weeks from this date
that the building is ready to be occupied.
The process of recruiting a private party to operate the station as a concession which RIDOT initiated,
was terminated by the R.I. Departement of Administration before a selection was made.