Monday, April 13, 2009

April Order Board

The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, 13 June 2009, at 6:30pm, at the Senior Center, Thomaston Town Hall, on Main Street.

Our second annual Spring Track Weekend will be held on the 18 and 19th of April. The current National Weather Service long-range forecast is for partly cloudy weather both days with temperatures around 62 Saturday, 57 on Sunday – excellent working weather (Thanks, Dave M)! This year’s revised work plans are for three separate projects...

1. Extension of the Thomaston Shop Yard Trackage: Extending Tracks 5, 7 and 9 (the outside tracks) southward from the current end of trackage to allow room for additional equipment. This trackage will be permanent in construction but somewhat temporary in location so it can be adjusted to suit the eventual location of a car barn. Our work will hopefully allow enough space for the secure storage of 4 or more cars and/or locomotives.

2. Completion of the surfacing of the TSY lead track from the main line switch into the yard as far as possible. The lead track sees plenty of action theses days and we hope to complete ballasting and tamping this important piece of our real estate. Our tamping machine will do most of the work, but some jacking and shoveling will be necessary.

3. Main line work at the north end of the Thomaston passing siding. This is another long-in-tooth project that includes replacement of some switch timbers and ties at the private crossing north of the “timber mountain” tie pile. Finishing this will eliminate the slow order at this location, allowing an easier climb up Walcott Hill to the Dam. The slow order is right at the bottom of the hill – preventing an easy assault on the grade under the North Thomaston twin bridges.

Work will begin 8:00am 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. Anyone with spare hard hats please label them with your name and bring them to share with those in need. We’ll try to have some spare earplugs on hand as well. Registration will be very helpful in planning work and food needs. Please register with project leaders Chad Boutet (Boutet.c at or Steve Butterworth (bworth5 at as soon as possible. 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 out and a good education!

Bob Harrington reports that all equipment is serviceable with the exception of the IHC front-end loader. The MVD staff, primarily Gene Pfeiffer and Bob, has been very busy preparing the M of W equipment for upcoming work. The tamper recently received servicing from Bob and Scott Paribello.

Thomaston Station - Brent Bette and Matt O’Brien continue work on station displays including the Pullman display and could use some assistance. Contact him at bbette at Tony Pratt is assisting with graphics. The station and Comfort Coach have had a good spring-cleaning thanks to Ralph Harris and “others.” Gene Pfeiffer, Walt Hermann, and Lou Beres have also been involved with various station maintenance duties.

Thomaston Shop - Work continues inside the shop with gas piping to heating units largely complete. Don Chepurna continues his steel painting on the roof beams and seems to be over halfway done. The operating department “office” is in operation at the north end of the building – let’s keep this area uncluttered. John Cerreta has completed another set of flange way guards, this set being the middle crossing over the pit track. These flange way guards make for a much safer passage of mobile equipment over the crossings. Jack Tarter, Stewart Fritts, Rich Edling and others continue with electrical utility installation. Conduit sections for both wall and ceiling continue, with some preparation work being done off site. Permanent lighting installation will follow the completion of this wiring. A contractor is in the process of installing an overhead crane the length of the East/Office/13 Track. It will have the capacity for lifting such items as power assemblies from engine blocks.

B&M 1732’s replacement engine was repositioned for the start of its exploratory surgery. Dave K. and Dave Manning removed the first head and the prognosis so far is favorable.

NAUG 2203 remains in service. The loco recently received its 92-day inspection and service and ran well during our Easter weekend service. Some of the tasks attended to included a major overhaul of the rear sanding system, work on the air dryer and spitter valves. Scott Paribello, Dave Manning, Matt Lawson and Carl Weber were on this.

NH 529 has received a “new” auxiliary generator, thanks to Dave K. and Al Pomeroy.

PTM 198, our locomotive crane, is receiving attention to its air system. Timothy Reed, Matt Lawson and others are assisting. Window frame repairs are also underway by Sam Walker.

Coach 5805 continues to see substantial progress. Virtually all the new metal on the south vestibule has been fitted, and the replacement side sheet on the east side has been installed. Not too far behind this is the completion of the west side. 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 4 windows remaining to be completed. The ceiling panel joint overlays are now being formed and fitted. The “usual suspects” participated.

CV “van” 4014 has finally occupied the east shop track and owner Al Pomeroy has headed up an overhaul of its roof. Al is looking for some assistance – send an e-mail to and it will be sent to Al. This caboose saw much RMNE service during the early years.

Future project: Parts salvage on four coaches to be retired. Details to be announced.

Our 42nd Annual Dinner, organized by Nancy Pratt, was another resounding success in many ways. The food was great as was the service, and the ever-popular “Year-In-Review” show, produced by Howard Pincus and Brent Bette was thoroughly enjoyed. Andy and Jen Kromer attended with their recent addition to their family, Clara Anne. Howard Pincus was presented with a genuine electric cattle prod for possible use in crowd control situations in the future by an appreciative Hal Reiser, who is rapidly recovering from a badly broken ankle suffered during one of the recent winter’s nasty ice storms.

Thanks to Bob Harrington, Chad Boutet, Jack Tarter, and Sue Sample for help with this issue. --Bill Sample, Editor