NEXT MEETINGThe next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, 12 September 2009, at 6:30pm, at the Senior Center, Thomaston Town Hall, on Main Street.
UPCOMING EVENTS & PROJECTSDAY OUT WITH THOMAS 2009 - VOLUNTEER STAFF NEEDED: President Ralph Harris has most of the arrangements completed for this year’s visit by Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, which remains the largest by far RMNE fund raiser. Nancy Pratt again will be using her organizational skills as the DOWT Crew Dispatcher and is now taking requests for positions. The event will be running July 31, August 1-2, and August 7-9, our usual Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule. Please contact her as soon as possible at her new e-mail address or 203.578.5930 – Thanks!
FINAL RULES CLASS FOR 2009: The final NORAC Book of Rules Class will be given on Saturday 11 July. For details such as time and location as well as to register, please contact Kevin Meehan tel 860.965.2938. Kevin is also requesting the donation of a large chest-type freezer or ice machine for use in the DOWT trailer. Having cold water and ice on those hot summer DOWT days is nice!
Train and Station Crews URGENTLY Needed: We’ve begun our 2009 operating season and train and station crews are needed! Please call Barb Walcott at 203.525.5290 or 860.283.5790 so that she doesn’t have to spend all her time tracking down the necessary staff.
Weekday Work Opportunities: Gene Pfeiffer continues to spend a lot of time on weekdays on the railroad, usually at the Thomaston Shop. There are a number of projects that Gene is working on and he could use some help, you can contact him at 860.605.0454. Gene has been the go-to guy for getting a number of different tasks done on the property and he can be even more efficient with a helper or two.
Car Department Job Sheets Posted: On the east side of coach 5805 Sam Walker has posted job sheets describing car department tasks for the next few months for a number of different coaches. Here are some of the items listed: 5805 – complete welding along west side of carbody, body filler to finish seam for priming. Fill hex-head bolts, finish other bolt installation. Complete installation of step hanger brackets. Complete riveting of n/w end sheet, diaphragm mounting area and corner post. 5046 – Complete hardware installation on new windows, install window latches on new guides, install in coach, removing old windows for re-use or disposal. 4990- Remove traps on west side north and south, prep and fit replacements. Vestibule outer doors – scrape, repair latches and windows, and repaint. C4989 – remove salvageable windows; remove lift hardware from scrap window frames. Remove n/w trap and any remaining trap hardware.
Locomotive Department Work Needed: NH 529 – batteries have been removed so this is a good chance to vacuum battery boxes, prep and repaint so the next set of batteries will have a good home. See Howard for details
Communication & Signal Department: Steve Butterworth will continue the crossing signal repainting program later in the summer. He thanks Chad Boutet, Hal Reiser, and Dana Hunt for their assistance. Steve says “it’s clean work with no heavy lifting!” Contact Steve at his email for details on how to join his signal appearance upgrade detail.
MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENTGene Pfeiffer and Bob Harrington report that the boom truck’s electrical illness has been cured, and Gene has found that many hard-to-get parts can be obtained at Dowling Ford. The boom truck is ex-UI and has a number of non-stock heavy-duty components. Good detective work, Gene!
LOCOMOTIVES AND ROLLING STOCKNaugatuck 103 – The RMNE’s other steam locomotive now resides on the Naugy after completing an over-the-road move from its long time home on the Valley Railroad at Essex, CT. A mighty tip of the hat goes to RMNE member and rigger extraordinaire Bob Eberheim, who planned the move with Howard Pincus, then made it all happen. Two Link-Belt quad axle mobile cranes did the locomotive lift, placing it on a low bed operated by J A Miara Riggers and Heavy Haulers. The locomotive was set onto home rails by 9:15pm on 25 June. A cosmetic restoration is planned prior to a public display at the Thomaston Station.
NAUG 1732’s future 567C model diesel engine has now had all 16 heads removed from the block and next come the cylinder liners, with 3 removed by the end of June. A rig to do this had been designed by RMNE locomotive staff and RMNE friend Bob Carlson. An initial air pressure test has indicated that the “top deck” of the engine was not damaged by freezing but a more definitive test is needed to confirm this. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!
NAUG 2203 carries on, and is currently “running like a champ” – your editor can speak from hands-on experience! Scott P, Dave K, Dave M, Matt A, and others have kept it that way. Some routine maintenance is scheduled in early July to keep the 2203 “shipshape” – after all it is a “U-Boat” - and up to date on its paperwork.
NH 529 will be taking an extended vacation. The “new” auxiliary generator that had recently been installed has been trouble prone and has been removed for rework or replacement. A fairly serious water leak has been discovered which will require the removal of one of the cylinder heads, and a high pressure fuel pump will need work. The locomotive’s wheels, which have been reprofiled at least twice and there’s no “meat,” are in need of an expensive replacement and we will be turning up the heat on fundraising to make this possible.
CDOT FL9m 2019 is again moving under its own power and continues to receive attention to get it into standby status. Triennial brake work is next to get its paperwork up to date. Get your barring-the-engine-over muscles ready folks! The loco will likely see service on the DOWT runs this year. An historical note for those who haven’t heard: Metro-North has finally retired their 6 remaining FL9s, being the second batch of CDOT-owned locomotives appropriately attired in NH colors. Thus, the final former NH locomotives are retired from main line service, returned their ancestral home at New Haven to await their fate.
Coach 5046’s window replacement project continues with 8 new windows installed as of late June. The project will continue into July. Contact Sam to help or for other car dept. info.
Coach 5805 has now felt the pounding of hot rivet installation on its northwest end sheet. Al Pomeroy worked the gun while the “usual suspects” heated, passed, inserted and “bucked” the rivets. Al’s experience at this ancient art made the work look easy. Inside the coach, Stan Bogacz and company continue to work on the lower deck ceiling, and Tony Pratt has continued his patch fitting.
NH Shop Car W-221 has had its first truck-frame painted and it sure looks good! Thanks, Chris and Dawn.
Claremont & Concord 50 narrow monitor Caboose is in desperate need of roof protection. Hopefully it is not too late to save the historic car. A shrink-wrap candidate?
Thanks to the following for their help with this edition: Dave Manning, Barb Walcott, Howard Pincus, Steve Butterworth, Bob Harrington, Gene Pfeiffer, Sam Walker, Kevin Meehan and Sue Sample.
—Bill Sample, Editor