UPCOMING PROJECTS AND EVENTS
NORAC Book of Rules Classes
Chief Rules Examiner Ralph Harris will be conducting rules classes for RMNE members who wish to participate in the operations of the Naugatuck Railroad. Please contact him via e-mail to register or for those without e-mail call 860.482.3240 before 8:00pm. Classes will be held at the Thomaston Town Hall, likely downstairs in the Senior Center, beginning at 8:00am on Saturday 7 Mar, Saturday 21 Mar, and Sat 4 Apr.
Spring Track Weekend
Our second annual Spring Track Weekend will be held on the 18 and 19th of April. This year’s work will be on the main line and will include tie replacement and surfacing in the Thomaston Station area – so there will be no need to worry about “comfort facilities.” Other projects will also be running concurrently, such as “spring cleaning” on the Thomaston Station grounds. Work will begin 9:00am each day, and lunch will be served to those who reserved. Proper safety gear, including a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves and safety-toe boots will be mandatory for all on-track workers. Please register with project leaders Chad Boutet or Steve Butterworth at least one week prior to the event to allow planning and food purchases to be made. This project will be a great opportunity to introduce new volunteers to railroad work. If you know anyone who has had some interest, bring them along for a nice day of exercise and education!
MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENTAfter 5 long years filled with a seemingly endless search for parts, the Cummins-powered front-end loader was started and run successfully. Some final adjustments will be completed over the next few weeks before the vehicle departs the shop. Congratulations to Gene Pfeiffer, Bob Harrington and the others that helped. This was just in time as the IHC-powered loader recently failed, and its inline-6 diesel’s head was removed and brought into the shop for some work.
Other recent projects included work on the RMNE’s scissor lift and regular maintenance on the Chevy Hi-rail pickup TC30.
BRIDGES AND BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT
Brent Bette and new member Matt O’Brien have been working on various displays for the station, including some permanent display housings. Brent has been preparing some of the “jewelry” from CPR 1246 for display, including the bell, number board and headlight. He also is continuing to prepare a Pullman display and could use some assistance. Contact Brent if you'd like to help.
Howard Pincus and whomever he could coax up onto the scissor lift have now completed the installation of the heating unit components, and next the contractor will connect them up to our gas service for operation. The installation of the 3-ton overhead traveling crane has begun over the east shop track (#13). The electricians continue wiring and fixture work and conduit installation both near ground level and “up in the higher altitudes.”
John Cerreta, Dave Kornfeld, Dave Manning, Kevin Meehan, and Howard Pincus have been busy preparing the northwest corner of the future office area as a dispatcher’s center. The lower wall surface has been paneled with plywood, and a counter has been formed over the concrete foundation area. The radio and marker chargers, bulletin board, standard clock, and train register will soon be moved there.
The shop air compressor motor has been replaced with a NEW 3-phase unit.
LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENTLong-time resident FL9 locomotives NH (CDOT) 2002 and 2019 have now become RMNE –owned thanks to a donation by CDOT. The pair has not operated recently due to the need for some maintenance work, their high fuel consumption, and the need to operate the locomotives as a pair due to their design.
Our Canadian Pacific steam loco #1246 has been receiving some needed attention prior to a planned move to the Thomaston Station display track later this year. Project leader Brent Bette has lead a crew building a roof section over the coal pocket, with design assistance by Al Pomeroy. The current locomotive display, NH (CDOT) F7 locomotives 6690 and 6691 will most likely be moved to the Chase Yard for long-term storage.
CAR DEPARTMENTRebuilding work on our CN heavyweight coach continues at Thomaston Shop. The south end outer vestibule metalwork is taking shape, with virtually all the metal in the lower 1-foot section of the end being replaced. The window opening preparation project has about 8 windows remaining to be completed. The four lower-deck curved ceiling panels have now been installed, completing a major phase of the interior overhaul project.
--Bill Sample, Editor