Monday, October 27, 2008

A busy autumn weekend!

Thanks to the many RMNE volunteers this past weekend at the Thomaston Shop, we were able to make progress on many projects. In the photo at left, Chad Boutet and Matt Lawson 'buck' a tie tight to the rail while Hal Reiser drives a spike home.

One of our locomotives, the Naugatuck 2203 underwent a periodic inspection under the careful eye of 2 of our members. Another member assisted by replacing a circulator pump on the locomotive's standby furnace, which keeps the engine nice and warm on cold nights, alleviating the need to keep the diesel engine running to keep the engine's cooling water from freezing.

This past weekend, our “inside crews” were working on the Thomaston Shop building and on projects such as coach 5805 and a 16-cylinder EMD diesel engine. The shop building work centered around the on-going installation of electrical services along the four walls of the shop. Conduit and junction boxes, brackets and fittings and wire are being added to the building, bringing the permanent electrical services (both 110 volt and 220 volt) to more locations in the shop. Another crew was working on the restoration of coach 5805, a 1924 Canadian National car. The original mahogany interior is being carefully restored, including all new windows. The effects of 85 years of wear and tear on the steel structure of the car is being reversed, with deteriorated sections cut out and new steel being fitted and welded into place. It’s been a long project, but the 5805 is showing the results now, as it looks better each week.

Two volunteers continued the rebuild of a V-6 Cummins diesel engine for our 1969 Hough front-end loader, and the massive, 38,000 lb EMD Model 567C V-16 diesel engine destined for B&M GP9 #1732 also received some attention. That EMD engine rebuild will be a project that will continue over the coming winter.

We also continued preparing for our big Track Blitz next weekend. The final yard switch continued to progress along nicely with the help of several of our members. Building a switch is by no means a small task, the sheer volume of parts required to build a switch is astounding. It is still not too late to sign up for the track blitz! We need all the help we can get to move forward toward finishing out the yard at our shop site allowing for additional storage space for our precious equipment. See the details about signing up to help out in our Track Blitz post.

As can be seen by reading above, there are limitless opportunities for one to lend a hand help restore a bit of our history. From track work, to train operations, to car restoration, to locomotive maintenance, there is never a shortage of work to be done, and the volunteers of the museum are never bored! If you are interested in joining and getting your hands dirty and help out, see our volunteer page on the RMNE website. If you're unable to give your time, but still want to help the museum to move forward with restoration work, tax-deductable financial contributions can be made directly online through Network for Good or

Thanks to Scott Hartley for providing the photos.

Photos above: Pondering the virtues of a switch frog... Howard Pincus, Dave Manning, Sam Walker and Bob Eberheim take measurements, and test fit bolts to hold the rail tightly to the frog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maine Central boxcar 6323

Maine Central boxcar 6323, currently used for storage at Thomaston Shop and Yard complex.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

November Track Blitz Planned

The RMNE will be holding its first Fall Track Blitz weekend on the 1st and 2nd of November at the Thomaston Shop Yard. Work will concentrate on the outside yard tracks west of the shop building, and if necessary, the completion of the final switch in the current stage of track construction in the yard. Tie and rail placement, spiking, ballasting and surfacing are planned on the two new tracks, which we hope to extend to opposite the south end of the shop building, which will provide much needed secure storage space for our most valuable equipment. We also hope to finish surfacing the busy shop lead track. All members are encouraged to attend and non-members are also welcome – so bring a friend or two! Not all the work will be heavy – there will be plenty of support work to do to keep the track gangs busy, such as supplying tools and material. Participants should wear appropriate clothing, such as boots, hard hats, gloves, and safety glasses as necessary. Work begins following a briefing at 9:00am. Lunch will be served to everyone by reservation only to insure adequate quantity – please RSVP team leaders Chad Boutet at 207.590.7442 or Steve Butterworth at 781.631.6415 at least one week prior to the event.

October Thomaston Shop Report

Coach 5805 continues to see metal renewal in the north vestibule inner wall. The preparation and priming of the upper ceiling is just about complete, and the replacement of the 3 damaged lower ceiling panels continues. Needle scaling of the truck frames continues.

Coach 4980 has received repairs to its lower deck roof surface, which had pulled away from the clerestory, making for some serious leakage. Weep holes were also drilled into the bottom rail for ventilation. Al Pomeroy, Howard Pincus, Hal Reiser, Matt Lawson, Jeff Fruithandler and others have been working on this project.

CTVR (ex NH) flatcar 17221 has been getting protective enclosures built and installed by John Cerreta. The large crate-like covers are crying for some patriotic slogans to be painted on them, such as “another load of P47 aircraft engines for Our Victory over the Axis!” in WW II era script.

Locomotives – NH 529 and NAUG 2203 have been sharing passenger train responsibilities, with the standby locomotive receiving normal maintenance as needed. FL9 NH (CDOT) 2019 has had its dead batteries changed out and is undergoing additional testing.