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ALCO Museum to hold grand opening

— One local museum is ready to hit the rails on the area’s locomotive history.

The ALCO Heritage Museum will hold its grand opening on Sunday, June 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. at its new site at 1910 Maxon Road in Schenectady.

“Our baby steps have become walking steps now,” museum director James F. Cesare III said. “It kind of ties in the whole railroad and industrial history of the Capital Region.”

Cesare said he is excited to open the museum to the public and educate people on the history of Schenectady and ALCO’s important role in it and beyond.

“It just has a great industrial past,” he said. “It is important to preserve that and also the present it to the public and the new generation that doesn’t know about that.”

Some of the larger historical artifacts on display include a M-47 Patton Tank and the 1909 Black Beast Automobile, both built by ALCO. An operational Canadian Pacific Railroad locomotive will be displayed, too.

There will also be several of exhibits, including a model railroad, “ALCO and the Civil War,” “ALCO and Defense,” ALCO oral histories, an erecting shop and a FA-1 Locomotive Simulator that’s currently under construction.

“It is educational and it is fun; it is going to be a fun place,” Cesare said.

Rep. Paul Tonko, Senator Hugh Farley, Assemblymen James Tedisco and George Amedore and Mayor Gary McCarthy will be featured speakers at the free event.

The ALCO Heritage Museum aims to preserve the cultural and industrial history of Schenectady, with a focus on the American Locomotive Company and its precursor. In 1848, John Ellis created the Schenectady Locomotive Works. In 1901, it merged with seven other steam locomotive manufacturers to form the American Locomotive Company.

For information on the museum visit www.alcoheritagemuseum.org.

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