HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Tucked behind the Jonathan Hager House at City Park lies Hagerstown’s rich history of railroads and trains and the City Park Train Hub held a grand re-opening to welcome back guests for the first time in 2021.
Amy Riley is the Recreation Coordinator for the City of Hagerstown Parks and Recreation and began working with the city in 2013. She was stunned to learn not many people even knew about the museum despite the well-known railroad history of the city. She explained the City Park Train Hub has been working over the last few years to redefine itself and become a popular and welcoming attraction in the city.
“A lot of folks that didn’t even know we were back here, and it just kind of blew my mind,” Riley said. “We have this beautiful sight with our Steam Engine 202, a retired caboose from western Maryland, we have a museum to offer history about Western Maryland railroading and why we’re called the Hub City.”
Renovations on the City Park Train Hub began in 2018 after the recreational area was named in honor of Hagerstown’s legacy as the Hub City. Renovations included a new train-themed playground, enhanced exhibits in the museum, and a brand new pavilion.
After a year of working from home and watching her children complete distance learning, she was more than excited to not only see children enjoying the newly renovated areas but to be able to see their smiling faces.
Abigail Rohrer grew up in Hagerstown and recalls the recreation area didn’t offer too much when she was a kid. She is excited about the opportunities it can offer her young son.
“It’s really cool. I’ve grown up around here so coming to see this, it’s immacurale [sic] and it’s just crazy how he can go and see all kinds of history,” Rohrer said. “There was stuff down there when I was a little kid, but right here, there’s other stuff that he can grow up [with] and potentially bring his kids down.”
Lisa Fields traveled all the way from Frederick, Md. for the grand re-opening and was excited to show her kids around the City Park Train Hub. Her daughter, Beau, exclaimed that neither she nor her younger brother had ever been on a train and were excited to explore the historic train cars.
“It’s actually completely new for us so I heard about this only like a few days ago, and we immediately got so excited and this place is super cool,” Fields said. “It has all this stuff that the kids have never seen before.”
For more information and operating hours of the City Park Train Hub, please visit their website.