Campaign to save train station kicks off

A campaign to save the Pennsy Railroad Station along North Broad Street in downtown Ridgway has already begun.Ridgway resident Dennis D. Heindl and wife Rose met with borough officials and Genessee & Wyoming property manager William V. Gentilman on Tuesday morning to present a $50,000 check to assist in restoring the outside of the train station to its original condition.Heindl hopes to raise an additional $50,000 to $75,000. As an added bonus, all contributors who donate $250 or more will have their name engraved on a plaque that will be displayed outside of the station.Work on replacing the roof began earlier in December. Heindl said old black-and-white photographs of the station will be used as a guideline for the restorations.Aside from the overall restoration of the outside of the building, work will include replacing the windows and adding dormers. The brick parking lot will be leveled and relaid.Heindl said the station could not have been saved without the help of Gentilman and railroad officials."He [Gentilman] was very easy to work with," Heindl said. "He was very interested in saving the station; his interest went a long way in order for it to be standing here today."Railroad officials have also donated money for the project and have agreed to pay for the lighting.According to the contract between borough and railroad officials, there will be no insurance demands set forth by the railroad and the building cannot be torn down, moved, or altered unless it is not kept up to borough code."The railroad can use the building for whatever they want to use it for," Heindl said. "They can use it for storage, they can rent it out or lease it, but if they rent it out or lease it, it goes onto the tax rolls and the borough can collect money from the taxes."Pick up a copy of the Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.