We’re well into 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.
ANNOUNCING “THE NORTHERN LIGHTS EXPRESS”
With the gradual erosion of the revenue generated by the Day Out With Thomas event, your Board of Directors -working with the Special Events Committee - has decided to upgrade the Naugatuck Railroad’s holiday season offerings in 2009. This upgrade includes after-dark services with an increase of the festive lighting both inside and outside of the train. The tentative evening schedule will begin on Thanksgiving Sunday 29Nov then will run on 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, and conclude with 26 and 27 of December. We’ll need and good turnout of train, engine, onboard and station volunteers. This operation has the potential of being a greater income producer than DOWT, as we will be running the event in its entirety and won’t have to share revenues with any management company. Income can go right back into the railroad and its preservation activities.
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING DATE CHANGED
Our 2009 Annual Membership Meeting has been rescheduled to November 14 to avoid interference with Holiday operations. Time and location to be announced.
WEEKDAY WORK OPPORTUNITIES
Gene Pfeiffer rcontinues to spend a lot of time on weekdays on the railroad, usually at the Thomaston Shop. There are a number of projects, primarily Motor Vehicle Department work, which Gene is working on and he could use some help. Another project that Gene has started is digging away the embankment at the end of the shop track leads so that they may be extended a few car lengths southward. He is also continuing work on the parking area at the main gate and the access road. Contact Gene on his cell phone 860.605.0454
MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENT
Bob Harrington reports that all of the vehicular fleet is in service except for the IHC front end loader. Gene Pfeiffer and Bob have been busy – as usual – helping in other areas, including site improvements (parking area and shop track extension areas) and with railroad telephone pole removals near East Litchfield.
Reminder - 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. Like other departments, the Car Department has been pressed into DOWT service over the past few weekends but now car work is resuming. Contact Sam Walker to help or for other car dept. info.
NH 603, ex-Parlor “Forest Hills” currently remains in the shop, undergoing a general cleaning and roof refurbishing that has been spearheaded by Jon Chase. The plan is to make the roof weather-tight by removing all coatings down to the galvanized bare metal, patching and caulking where necessary, and priming and painting to finish. It was decided as part of this process to remove rain gutters and ventilators as these are likely places for corrosion damage to begin. To date, most of the lower roof including the air conditioning duct cover, and the clerestory side has been stripped, with part of one side needing some finishing touches. The ventilators will be refurbished and stored pending reinstallation during the actual restoration, when new rain gutters will be installed.
Work remaining includes continuing the cleanup of the interior and vestibules, including the toilet area. The upper roof needs to be stripped – be sure to tie off the ladder bottoms to prevent sliding on the shop’s concrete floor before using them to get to the roof! The ends also need stripping, access by using scissors lift. There are a few small rusted areas that need cutting out and patching. Jon has written up a more detailed list of work for this car that we hope to have posted in the shop.
A specific fund-raising effort has begun to finance the above work and improvements – please remit to RMNE, attn Treasurer, P O Box 400, Thomaston, CT 06787-0400 and note that the donation is for NH 603.
NH W-221 (ex 2789 former RPO/baggage/express) – work on this car will resume when it can be switched to a more accessible location as it is currently two tracks away from power and air access. As was stated earlier, this car – with the 603 and NH 529 – could form a historically accurate Naugy train of 1950 someday – what a good exhibit that would be. Few other “heritage railways” could match this type of display.
C4989, the “C” standing for “condemned,” is currently parked on the middle outside track at TSY awaiting more salvage work. See the list taped to the 5805. Some windows were recently salvaged for re-use in other cars by Stan Bogacz and Win Bissell. Other tasks are listed on the east side of coach 5805. 4992 received schedule air brake service; unfortunately this had to be done outside because all three available inside bays were filled with other active projects. Al Pomeroy was assisted by Jon Chase and Chris Sampson. 5805 had inside and outside work ongoing. Inside work continued on the lower deck ceiling area, concentrating on where the batten strips will be installed between the panels. A panel that will be used for these strips was set up in the bending jig. Stan Bogacz, Win Bissell, Kurt Weiner were seen working on this, while outside Sam Walker kept busy fitting new corner posts to the north vestibule, a job much more difficult than one would think due various dimensional changes wrought by over 80 years hard service life.
Hopefully Claremont & Concord #50 (the narrow monitor caboose) will still be getting a trip to the shop for dry-out storage prior to some weatherproofing.
NH 529 (Alco RS3) was parked outside the shop on the pit track where Hal Reiser continued the cleaning and paint preparation of the battery boxes and steam generator compartment. Engine and auxiliary generator work remain as future projects on the locomotive. The replacement of the wheels is also a future project, as is a specific fund-raising effort to cover the locomotive’s rehabilitation expenses.
Our former CDOT EMD FL9 2019 is now the regular service locomotive until the 2203’s work is completed. NAUG 2203 is currently undergoing another oil cooler replacement, and is awaiting other work on the pit. We hope to have additional information in the next issue.
SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE
Vintage Express operations are tentatively scheduled for October 4 and November 8. Additional V/E operations will be considered over the Christmas Season, possibly as part of a revamped Holiday Season program.
BRIDGES AND BUILDINGS COMMITTEE
Jack Tarter has continued to build the intricate web of electrical service for the shop, with his talents saving the RMNE untold thousands of dollars. He recently has been working on additional heavy-duty outlets for welding machine use, and is well along with a large circuit box that will control the heating system’s control circuits.
There will be progress this fall in the Thomaston Passenger Station this fall as a preliminary waiting room ceiling and lighting will be installed. Ralph Harris is managing this project and reminds us that the station is our oldest major item on display. Not only will the appearance be improved but heating expenses should be reduced.
COMMUNICATION & SIGNALS DEPARTMENT
Steve Butterworth will continue the crossing signal repainting program later in the fall. Steve says “it’s clean work with no heavy lifting!” Contact Steve at his email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to help.
MAINTENANCE OF WAY DEPARTMENT
Our 2009 Fall Work Weekend, featuring a major track project, has been tentatively scheduled for 7-8 November.
Discussion has begun on the location of the outside yard tracks at the south end of the TSY site. Earlier this month Howard Pincus led a rail replacement crew near the Thomaston Station, and work continued on the Waterville passing siding.
That’s all the news that fits for now – thanks to all those who helped with this issue!
—Bill Sample, Editor