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Work begins on old train station

October 30, 2002

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - The restoration of the historic Harpers Ferry Train Station has begun, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park officials say.

This process will be completed over the next several years and will involve several phases of work, park officials said in a news release.

Through Nov. 8, the exterior of the station will be cleaned. This gentle washing of the station will remove surface dirt and grime without harming the historic fabric of the building, the news release said.

On Friday, the parking spaces adjacent to the front of the station will be blocked off to allow that section of the building to be cleaned. The washing process will occur on weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will take approximately eight days to complete.

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In 1999, the 109-year-old train station on Potomac Street was named as one of the Top 10 Most Endangered Stations in America by the Great American Station Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It resembles a point in time during the early 20th century when trains were one of the primary sources of travel in the country. The local train station often welcomed passenger trains like the Metropolitan, National and the Diplomat, which brought people from metropolitan areas to Jefferson County to get respite from heat and congestion, park officials said.

Park and town officials say they want to renovate the train station, believing it could boost tourism in the area.

The CSX Corp. and the National Park Service negotiated for four decades over transfer of the historic U.S. Armory Grounds, which includes the original site of John Brown's fort and the train station. The transfer was finalized in the fall of 2001.

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