Monday, October 26, 2009

November Order Board

Train and Station Crews URGENTLY Needed
We’re winding up 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.

The 2009 Fall Work Weekend is scheduled for November 7-8 and most effort will be dedicated to track maintenance work. This year work will be done primarily on the main line, from just north of the Whyco Crossing toward Reynolds Bridge. Anyone who has been aboard a locomotive through this area can feel the need for attention. Food will be provided at either the work site or shop, so far lunch will be hot dogs, burgers, sausages, and Butterworth Beans.

Preliminary Work Also Needed
To properly prepare for the main event and the Spike-a-Thon, much preparation work must be done to ready ties for replacement. Besides loading ties for distribution, we will also need to re-gauge the trackage this work began the weekend of October 24-25 and will continue the following weekend. We will need a good turnout to support this effort so that we can insure a successful main event. Hal Reiser is in charge of this project and will appreciate any help you can provide. We hope to ready 100 ties for replacement – that’s 100 ties with 4 spikes each for our Spike-A-Thon goal of 400 hundred spikes driven. Please dress appropriately and bring safety equipment such as hardhats and work gloves. Other details may appear in a special mailing.

Our 2009 Annual Membership Meeting has been rescheduled to November 21 to avoid interference with Holiday operations. It will be preceded by the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner starting at 5pm, with the meeting at 7pm. Dinner reservations are required – please contact Barbara Walcott by phone (see above) or at wwalcott at by 14Nov.

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 upgrade of the festive lighting both inside and outside of the train. The tentative evening schedule will begin on Thanksgiving Saturday, 28Nov which will be in part a press run, replacing our former Light-Up-the-Town service - then Sunday 29Nov, and into December 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.

Thomaston Station Halloween Party Details
The RMNE will be hosting a Thomaston Station Fund-Raiser Halloween Party at the Thomaston Station on the 31st of October. RMNE members and friends are invited. This will be a costume party for adults only and will begin at 7:00pm and run until “the witching hour.” Dance music and party snacks will be provided, BYOB and BYO Food if your appetite dictates. A $10.00 per person donation is suggested – remember, the surplus is going to replenish the Thomaston Station Fund, which has been depleted by recent station improvements. Please help support this project and don’t forget to tell your friends! Please RSVP to Celeste Echlin, email cechlin at or tel. 860.283.7245.

Sidewalk Sale of Day Out With Thomas Merchandise
The RMNE will be hosting a Day Out With Thomas Merchandise clearance “Sidewalk Sale” 24-25 October. As sales were a bit off this summer, we’d like to take another opportunity to turn leftover items into income for the RMNE. This will be held at Thomaston.

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, 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

Car Department
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. Contact Sam Walker at sbwalker6 at to help or for other Car Department info. Best to talk with him at the shop – he’s there on most Saturdays – easier to describe tasks in person and on site!

4980, 4992, 5046 – the in-service coaches, need attention to ready them for the Christmas operation. Please remember that revenue generated by a successful December will support other projects through the winter. Work continues of coach 5805 inside and out.

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. Some holes remain to get patched, and some final wire wheeling under the “J-patch” areas is needed.

Locomotive Department
NH 529 is scheduled for more testing, including some runs during over the October 24 weekend. Former CDOT 2019 has been the mainstay of our autumn operations, running in a push-pull operation. NAUG 2203 continues to receive attention inside the shop and it is hoped that it will return to service by December.

Maintenance of Way Department
Highland Rail Service has completed rail replacement on the Huntingdon Ave siding at Waterville. A number of ties remain to be replaced later this fall. The use of NH 2019 in a push-pull operation has kept the siding clear for uninterrupted work.

Gene Pfeiffer, new member Jason Hartmann, and others have completed the rebuild of a push car to assist with upcoming MoW projects. Quite a bit of grading has been done south of the shop to allow access and future track expansion.

Bridges and Buildings Department
Gas service has been connected, electrical connections have been made and our heaters will be ready for service shortly after vents are installed at the north and south ends of the building.

Loretta “Pie Car Mama” Seibert
Word has reached me from Henry Moncrief that his Mother, Loretta Seibert, passed away on September 27 from the effects of prolonged dementia at a nursing home in Westmoreland, NH, the area where she has resided for a number of years. Loretta and her husband the late Jim Seibert were fixtures during the early CVRA years at the Valley Railroad, running the Pie Car (ex NH W-153 “Springfield” diner) feeding the volunteers on most Saturday nights. (“Pie Car” was a term for the dining cars on circus trains.) Her last appearance at a RMNE function was the dedication of locomotive NH 529 to the memory of her husband Jim, held at the Saybrook Yard about 15 years ago.

—Bill Sample, Editor