Thomas R. “Tim” Zimont, 56: public servant, lover of trains

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YARMOUTH — Thomas R. “Tim” Zimont, 56, of North Conway, N.H., died on July 2 after a long illness. He was born on Aug. 22, 1955, in Portland, the son of Patricia (Hincks) and Walter W. Zimont and grew up in Yarmouth.

Zimont attended Yarmouth schools and was a public safety employee in southern Maine for 30 years, working as a public safety dispatcher for agencies including the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police, and cities of Portland and Westbrook. He also dispatched part time for several communities in the suburban area, including Windham, Raymond, Yarmouth and Standish.

In addition, Zimont was a firefighter and ambulance attendant in several communities. His first assignment was South Windham, as a member of both Windham and Gorham departments. When the new Windham Central Station opened in 1989, he became a charter member of the newly formed Windham Center Fire Company. He also served fire and rescue departments in Raymond, Waterboro and Falmouth.

After 30 years serving the public, he left to pursue his original passion, railroading. While working for Westbrook, he also took a part time job at the Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway, N.H. In 2006, he went to work there full time and held several positions including conductor, assistant manager, safety coordinator and utility worker.

He also put in time at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad in Portland and the Belfast and Moosehead Railroad in Unity. He coordinated and directed operations in the first “Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine” event at the Narrow Gauge in Portland in 2005, which ran 52 trains in six days and carried 15,000 passengers.

Zimont was an avid rail fan, spending many hours trackside watching and photographing trains, becoming a familiar sight to many train crews in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Tim was also a founding member and vice president of the Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Club, a nonprofit group formed to save the historical roundhouse in Bartlett, N.H. and preserve railroad history of the Maine Central Railroad on the Mountain Division in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Zimont is survived by his parents, of Yarmouth; three daughters, Erica Hamby and her husband, Matt, of Windham, Nicole Crosby and her husband, Adam, of Freeport and Amanda Zimont, of Windham; five grandchildren Jordan Canfijn, Rachel Dulac, Jacob Hamby, Joshua Hamby and Vanessa Crosby; as well as his sister Julie Zimont, of Saco.

Zimont wanted to extend his appreciation to all of his family, his railroad friends for their kindness and support during his illness and especially to Russ Seybold of the Conway Scenic Railroad, whose support and encouragement was invaluable.

A time of visitation and celebration of Zimont’s life will be held on Friday, July 13, from 5-7 p.m. at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth.

Zimont has requested, instead of flowers, donations be made to: The Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Club, Inc., PO Box 16, Bartlett, NH 03812-0016.

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Thomas R. Zimont