Train and Station Crews URGENTLY Needed
We’re well into our 2009 operating season and volunteer 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”
The tentative evening schedule will begin on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 29 and then will run on December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, and conclude on the 26th and 27th. 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 licensing management company. Income can go right back into the railroad and its preservation activities.
Weekday Work Opportunities
Gene Pfeiffer is often around the shop on weekdays, working on various projects, and could use some assistance. Contact Gene on his cell phone (860) 605.0454 for details.
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. Best to talk with him at the shop – he’s there on most Saturdays – easier to describe tasks in person and on site!
Coaches 4980, 4992, 5046 – the in-service coaches, will be needing attention to ready them for the Christmas operation. Please remember that revenue generated by a successful December will support other projects through the winter. 4980 and 4992 also need ongoing window repair – Sam, Stan Bogacz and Kurt Wiener recently have been on that.
Coach 5805 Summary: Interior work underway includes north end floor repairs and the ongoing ceiling repair and painting work. Next up: 1. Building and fitting insulation panels, lower wall areas beneath windowsills. 2. Steel window frame fabrication – final prep of window openings, cutting and welding in the metal channel pieces in the openings (possible training opportunity here – contact Sam) 3. Hal Reiser will be taking a lead on the rehab of seat frames, which will involve moving them into the shop from the BAR potato car on the DA track in Waterville, then removing any of the electric heating units (dating from service in an electric MU car) from the frames, including a partial disassembly, then “media” blasting the frames to remove all paint. Exterior work remaining includes finishing rivet installation on northwest, southeast, and southwest end panels, and finish body patch grinding and welding on west side.
NH Coach 603, ex-Pullman Parlor “Forest Hills” – space this car is occupying is needed for other projects we’d like to get this car properly prepared to return to the great outdoors. Basically the roof is getting a comprehensive overhaul to keep it tight to successfully battle the elements. Project mgr. Jon Chase has prepared a detailed list of the remaining tasks and will be happy to share it; some of the tasks are listed on the side of the car in the shop. Please remember to tie off ladders so they won’t slide on the shop floor. As of October 11, it sounds like the roof stripping has been largely completed and most work that remains outside of painting concerns the sealing of screw holes and vent openings, and some minor patching. Details are available from Jon Chase.
NH Alco RS-3 529 - Hal Reiser completed battery box overhaul. Batteries were re-installed, a new high-pressure fuel pump was installed by Howard Pincus, and the locomotive was started up Oct 4th only to find continuing charging problems. Some progress has been made to rectify this but more work is needed.
NH (ex-CDOT) EMD FL9 2019 - This locomotive continues as the regular service locomotive until the 2203’s work is completed. It is the last remaining FL9 in NH colors still operating on anything close to a regular basis in Connecticut... or anywhere else!
NAUG GE U-23B 2203 - This locomotive is currently undergoing another oil cooler replacement, and is awaiting other work on the pit. Batteries have been removed and Hal Reiser has begun repair work on the boxes, which had been heavily infested by the tin worm (much rust and rot to remove and repair).
ex-CDOT EMD F7m's 6690 & 6691 - These units were built for Southern Pacific; then renuilt and sent to the Wellsville, Addison & Galeton; then Pittsburgh's PATrain, then CDOT's Shore Line East startup! These two units have been formally transferred to RMNE ownership by donation from CDOT. They remain for now at the head end of the Thomaston Display Track.
Motor Vehicle Department
Gene Pfeiffer reports that the overhaul of the IHC engine is progressing. Other equipment is getting the usual maintenance, plus some brake work on the TC 40. Excavation continues for the shop track extensions at Thomaston Shop and Yard (TSY).
Bridges and Buildings Department
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. Howard Pincus recently activated the north end vent fan, helping to control the dust kicked up by the roof project on the NH 603.
There has been progress in the Thomaston Station this fall as a preliminary waiting room ceiling and semi-permanent lighting has been 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.
Maintenance of Way Department
Our 2009 Fall Work Weekend, featuring a major track project, has been scheduled for 7-8 November. This will include another edition of the Louis Edmonds Spike-a-Thon. As treasurer, Louis has plenty of incentive to drive as many spikes as possible to help bolster our treasury!
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.
—Bill Sample, Editor