Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Order Board for December


Naugatuck Railroad Holiday Operations

Our first runs of the holiday season have been made and so far the weather has cooperated and has not been a problem. As we did in 2009, we are running two separate operations: “The Santa Express” service is a 2:00pm run on Saturdays and Sundays, and the premium “Northern Lights Limited” service is scheduled for 5:00pm and 7:00pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We are also operating a pair of charter trains on the 16th which have been sold out. Please spread the word of their operation. As always, details can be found at our web site www.rmne.org or by calling 860.283.7245

Operations will be “pull-pull” using the U23B 2203 on the north end, coaches 5046, 4992 and 4980, and the FL9 NH (CDoT) 2019 on the south end. This year we have increased the exterior lighting with another “layer” and the locomotives are both decorated, including custom signage that is truly first class. The staff sign up sheet is still available in the Shop on the east side of coach 5805. There are a number of different positions to be utilized to fully staff the operation ranging from train crews to station service positions.

RMNE President Celeste Echlin asked me to share this e-mail we just received from a very satisfied customer:

“My family and I have been to the Thomaston train rides at least 4 times over the past 2 – 3 years. Saturday night was the first time we had ever been on the Xmas ride. It was the most amazing ride we’ve ever been on. After picking up Santa at his workshop, he took the time to talk to every single child on the train which was absolutely priceless. My grandson is only 7 months old but what an experience for him! He was all smiles for Santa & Mrs. Claus. We had such a wonderful time, we can’t thank you enough for your rides which we always loved but we have found a new Christmas tradition! I also have to thank you for a wonderful staff. Every time we are there everybody is so friendly and helpful. I have recommended your rides to all my friends. I am always gushing about the rides, now more so about the Christmas ride. Thank you so much for the wonderful memories that you create for families. In this day and age, that is beyond priceless. Sincerely, Rose G.”

Thanks to all the staffers who made the Gardner family’s visit such a pleasant experience!

Regarding the Holiday operations, the RMNE gives a hearty thank you to Western Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau. The WCCVB’s executive Director Janet Serra publicized our operation in their website, and Channel 30 (NBC Connecticut) arranged a visit and taped a feature that was shown on Friday, December 3. This certainly helped to generate some good business for the following Saturday and Sunday and hopefully beyond.


Indoor Plumbing In Service!

Thanks largely to the efforts of Gene Pfeiffer, a “temporary” toilet room and wash-up sink have been placed in service inside the Thomaston Shop. Bob Harrington, Bruce Hollis, Jack Tarter and Dick Edling (and probably others) have given movement to this necessary project, which is very good news to the volunteers at our shop.

UPCOMING PROJECTS

Once the Holiday operations conclude, it will be time to take down the decorations on the property and equipment. The well organized and careful storage procedures that we followed last year paid big dividends during set-up time this year and we will strive to continue this effort. The next Order Board will list the details, but in general the locomotives will be “de-frocked” followed by the coaches, mostly inside the shop. The final coach will be the 5046, which will remain inside the shop in the north bay of Track 5 for an exterior refurbishing, which will include new paint and lettering. This will need to be completed by April 16, 2011, as it has to be ready for the Easter Bunny Express on April 23.

Executive Director Tom Carver will be busy wrapping up some grant writing in early January to help with marketing, brochure production and various improvements within the organization.

The Special Events Committee will be completing the draft of the 2011 schedule to allow brochure production in time for the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show on 28 (set-up)-29-30 January 2011.


DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES – Bob Harrington

Bob reports that the MVD has kept the fleet ready to go in addition to installing the indoor plumbing mentioned above. The Dyna-hoe is currently inside receiving brake work, and the Chevy/GMC dump truck will be getting some attention. The front end loader that had been used at the Saybrook Yard will return to the Naugy to be available for snow duty.

POST-HOLIDAY SWITCHING

Dave Manning is developing a switching plan to rearrange our rail fleet for easy access over the winter hibernation period. Dates to be announced.

THOMASTON STATION - Kevin Meehan

Work inside the station is suspended until after the holiday season. We have received a number of positive comments on the work that Kevin and his crew have accomplished. The reversion rights agreement, a key part of receiving future grant funding, is showing some progress thanks to the effort of Trustee Ed McAnaney.

MAINTENANCE OF WAY

The November Work Weekend and a few extra days afterward saw the completion, except for ballast and surfacing, of the latest southward extensions of Tracks 1, 2, and 3 which now nearly reach the bottom of the driveway to the vehicle gate. Next extensions will be Tracks 4 and 5 when time will allow Gene Pfeiffer to get digging again.

CAR DEPARTMENT

B&M C72 R - Our modern caboose is in service as a snack dispensary at the Thomaston station for the duration of Holiday operations. The car department completed an access platform which was moved to Thomaston in late November.


LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

NH (CDoT/RMNE) 2019 is in regular use along with NAUG 2203 through the Holiday season.


WEDNESDAY PM WORK SESSIONS

An old RMNE tradition is being formally revived – Weeknight Work Sessions are being held on virtually all Wednesdays at the TSY, running from about 4:00pm until about 8:00pm. Sam Walker is heading this – please call him if you wish to confirm the session on cell 860-485-2569.

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED - Louis Edmonds, Treasurer

The RMNE has been incurring costs for a number of projects as described in last month’s Order Board. The RMNE is a 501c3 charitable organization – tax time is coming. Now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with. Louis has a new address - P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.

That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to all those who helped with this issue!

—Bill Sample, Editor

Sunday, December 5, 2010

See the Northern Lights Limited on TV!

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/video.



Thanks to our friends at NBC in Connecticut!

Friday, November 26, 2010

All aboard for the Northern Lights Limited!

The Northern Lights Limited is all dressed up and ready to go!



Enjoy the festive holiday atmosphere!

Our comfortable vintage coaches are ready to whisk you away on a magical holiday journey! It's fun for the whole family, won't you join us this holiday season? Our special trains run November 27 and 28 and December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19, departing at 5:00 and 7:00 pm. ALL ABOARD!

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Order Board

NEXT MEETING: THE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
The Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 20.  The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 7:30pm.


RMNE AND NAUGATUCK RAILROAD PROJECT NEWS


ANNUAL FALL WORK WEEKEND: 6-7 NOVEMBER AT THE TSY
Come help your museum on the 6 and 7 of November as we push our TSY tracks 1, 2, and 3 southward.  When completed these extension will allow 6 or more items to be stored within the secure confines of the TSY, and will help clear tracks 4 and 5 north of the shop building, important for access during our upcoming holiday season. A barbeque lunch will be served to those members who sign up in advance. Please notify volunteer coordinator Steve Butterworth if you’ll be there.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES – Bob Harrington
Bob reports that the MVD has kept the fleet ready to go.  The Boom Truck has been active with retrieving ties from the Plume reclamation area and lumber for various shop projects from Chapman’s in Thomaston.
Publish Post

THOMASTON STATION  - Kevin Meehan
Kevin Meehan and Lisa Drazen brought in a good-sized load of pumpkins for our Pumpkin Fest operations last month – these were unloaded by the Special Events Committee.  With the refurbishing of the east wall of the waiting room completed for now, the station rehab project will take a break until after December.  Kevin will be doing some fund-raising to cover the expenses incurred with all the improvements.  The waiting room’s appearance has vastly improved due to efforts lead by Kevin and also Ralph Harris over the past year.  A grant awarded to the RMNE from the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation will rebuild 5 windows along the west-facing wall of the station. November activities will primarily be decorating the station for the holiday operations.

MAINTENANCE OF WAY
There is much progress to report with the southward expansion of the Thomaston Shop Yard.  Tracks 1, 2, and 3 will each be extended 150 feet.  Preparatory work done by the end of October had the surface graded, and then ties were mined from the Plume “tie mountain” and brought to the TSY.  As of Sunday evening, ties were laid in place, plugged and tie plates were distributed on the entire length of tracks 1 and 2, and about 20 or so ties were set for track 3. About 50 or 60 more will have to be selected and brought down from Plume.  As mentioned above, the 1st weekend of November will see an all-hands effort to get this job done.  

CAR DEPARTMENT
B&M C72 R  - the former B&M 472 – has been backdated to its previous number as part of its overhaul.  The “R” addition to its number stands for “restricted” to home road service.  This buggy’s origins date back to a short wood-bodied car built by Laconia, but it received a new body c. 1959 and new trucks in the early 1970s, giving it a modern appearance.  Hal Reiser did a lion’s share of the painting, with Howard Pincus applying the lettering.  All of the body but the red ends and roof walks have been prepped and repainted – the roof walks will be stripped and painted later.  The red surfaces remained presentable as they were sheltered somewhat by the end of car roof over hangs. Both couplers were removed and rebuilt with the uncoupling mechanism on the underside to prevent buffer plate problems when used with passenger equipment.

Claremont & Concord #50, wood ex B&M Caboose – project leader Al Pomeroy thanks all who helped to cocoon the car with shrink-wrap for a period of outdoor storage.  The “buggy” has apparently been rescued from a certain death by deterioration.  Brought inside the shop for an extended period, its woodwork eventually dried out.  The car’s roof, floor surface, and cupola structure was removed during that time, which allowed a thorough inspection to determine what course of action would be needed to restore the car.  Temporary rafters and a plywood roof were constructed.  On the weekend of 30-31 October the car was prepared and shrink-wrapped by a team led by Bob Eberheim.  Later on Sunday, TSY track 5 was pulled and the C&C 50 was switched to a position just south of the shop on that track until the next stage of work can begin.  The MEC 6323 boxcar that had resided there will be transferred to the Chase Yard for storage.

Coaches 4980, 4992, 5046
– Our active fleet will be rotated through the north bay of track 5 for an extensive cleaning and installation of Christmas decorations, with 5046 being the 1st one in getting attention. Work is being done on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as well as weekends.  Contact Tony Pratt at tonypratt@comcast.net  for details

Coach 5805 – The carpentry team has been drafted to build some platforms for use with B&M caboose C47 R when it is assigned for refreshment distribution duty at Thomaston. Exterior work continues with rotted areas being removed from the east side of the car, mostly along the letter board.   Like many departments, many volunteers are working other than usual tasks as part of the effort to prepare for Northern Lights Limited holiday service.

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT
NH 529 has been buttoned up and removed from the shop for now. CDOT FL9 2019 will be in regular use along with NAUG 2203 through the season, and 2019 needs to have a heated storage area while in cold weather service.

WEDNESDAY PM WORK SESSIONS

An old RMNE tradition is being formally revived – Weeknight Work Sessions are being held on virtually all Wednesdays at the TSY, running from about 4:00pm until about 8:00pm.  Sam Walker is heading this – please call him if you wish to confirm the session on cell 860-485-2569.

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED - Louis Edmonds, Treasurer
The RMNE will be incurring costs for a number of upcoming developments, including the executive director, shop development, continuing the refurbishment of coach 5805 (including heating, sidewalls, roofing and seats); continuing progress on the B&M GP9 1732; wheels, carbody and prime mover projects on NH RS3 529. Treasurer Louis Edmonds will get some budget numbers together for an upcoming Opportunity Flyer, but now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with.  Louis has a new address: P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.

TRAIN, ENGINE and STATION CREW STAFFING
Crews will be needed for most of the following operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop and station support staff.  We definitely need a good turnout of crews for the busy month of December, which includes Friday and Saturday service.  Ed McAnaney is working with crew dispatcher Barb Walcott to set up a computer-based sign-up procedure, and it is hoped that volunteers will sign up ahead of time so that we can fill the vacancies.   The start of this program has been quite encouraging.  Please help by signing up ASAP!  A Northern Lights Limited sign up sheet is in the shop on coach 5805 but please also let Barb know what you signed up for.                       

That’s all the news that fits for now.  Thanks to all those who helped with this issue - Bill Sample, editor

Monday, November 1, 2010

Track Extension Underway at Thomaston Shop/Yard

The photo shows the progress of the track project by the end of Sunday afternoon at TSY. Well, actually not, because more ties were being harvested from the Great Thomaston Tie Pile by Louis Edmonds, Gene Pfeiffer, Bruce Hollis and Lou Beres (they were brought to the yard after dark). About 50-60 more ties remain to be harvested next Saturday, while the rail is being laid.

Saturday’s crew, led by Chad Boutet and Steve Butterworth, marked out the lines and started laying out and spacing ties and setting tie plates. Another crew, with Bob Harrington and Gene, were pulling out ties at Thomaston and bringing them to the shop yard.

Please participate this coming weekend. Our plan is to lay rail and spike it down, while some additional tie harvesting is going on at Thomaston. Thanks to all who helped this weekend, and to those who will be coming out to help this coming Saturday and Sunday!
—Howard Pincus

Monday, October 18, 2010

Boston & Maine Caboose Repainting Update

Boston & Maine C-472 is a steel cupola caboose, originally built in 1921 by Laconia Car Co as a wood-bodied car. Rebuilt as a steel car in 1959 by International Car Co., restored by Railroad Museum of New England volunteers in the 1990s and used regularly on the Naugatuck Railroad. Due for a freshening up and a few repairs, the caboose was brought in to Thomaston Shop. Once the exterior painting is complete, the intention is to return the caboose to its 1977 appearance and number.


  
Applying the first coat of B&M blue paint. The powered lift and the concrete floor inside our climate-controlled shop make painting a whole lot easier!

The second coat of B&M blue was applied Sunday, October 17. The caboose is going back to its 1977 appearance as C-72R.  Safety appliances (grab irons, ladders, brake wheels) are being painted white this week. New vinyl lettering decals will be applied to the car next Saturday.

Howard Pincus applies the first piece of the iconic B&M logo to the side of C-72R. Photo by Mike Smith

 
Hal Reiser applies fresh white paint. Photo by Mike Smith

 Here is a photo of B&M C-72R as it appeared in 1977.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Order Board for October

NEXT MEETING: THE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 20. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 7:30pm.

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DINNER

Also on November 20th at the Thomaston Town Hall Senior Center, The RMNE will be holding the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, free to those members who have volunteered their time in RMNE or Naugatuck Railroad service in 2010.  The dinner is by reservation only and we will announce the reservation procedure in the November Order Board.

RMNE AND NAUGATUCK RAILROAD PROJECT NEWS

THOMASTON STATION - Kevin Meehan and his various assistants have done a phenomenal job on improving the appearance of the Thomaston Passenger Station.  Over our September “break” the floor was painted, vastly improving the environment in the station.  Also, the plaster and drywall work on the east wall is virtually complete.  Next, the south wall of the waiting room will be receiving some attention.  A substantial curtain has been installed to cover the opening between the waiting room and baggage room.  Upcoming work includes wainscoting replacement, window improvements, display improvements, and possible additional work on the ceiling. Kevin invites anyone with an interest in keeping this project rolling forward to donate to the Thomaston Station Fund c/o the RMNE. In late-breaking news, executive director Tom Carver has announced that we have received a generous grant from the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation for the refurbishment of four windows on the west side. With all the improvements happening within the building, Kevin requests that we all work together to keep “foreign matter” out of the waiting room.

MAINTENANCE OF WAY - Repairs to the stone box culvert just south of the Thomaston Station have been completed and the speed restriction has been removed. A tie reclamation project has resumed up at the former Plume crossing area, with over 50 ties being pulled out of the pile for use in the Thomaston Shop Yard track extension project.  More of this work will continue on future weekends.  Steve Butterworth, Louis Edmonds, Bob Harrington, Lou Beres, Howard Pincus and Bruce Hollis were some of the participants.

CAR DEPARTMENT

Coach 4989 – Stripping of usable parts continues so that the tired, rusted, and rotted carcass can be scrapped. Jason Hartmann, Sam Walker, Jon Chase, Dan DiTullio, and John Cerreta have been seen working on this.

Coaches 4980, 4992, 5046 – Our active fleet has seen a major cleanup and interior upgrade, with floors being painted.  Various trim pieces are being repaired and painted as time permits, and window repairs and replacements continue on 4980 and 4992.

Coach 4990 has been brought up to the TSY for various repairs to keep it in standby service condition.

Coach 5805 – Work continues on the interior, including window fittings.  Exterior work will continue, including roof repairs to the damaged wood pieces at the north end.  Shelving has been built inside to provide a better more efficient work environment.

Caboose B&M 472 – As of late September repairs to the north coupler including the pocket were just about completed, and the south coupler was seeing good progress.  Surface prep was completed, and black paint was being applied.

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

The lube oil change on NH (RMNE/CDoT) 2019 was completed by mid September. NAUG 2203 (U23B) is the regular locomotive.


WEDNESDAY PM WORK SESSIONS

An old RMNE tradition is being formally revived – Weeknight Work Sessions are being held on virtually all Wednesdays at the TSY, running from about 4:00pm until about 8:00pm.  Sam Walker is heading this – please call him if you wish to confirm the session on cell 860-485-2569.

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED
The RMNE will be incurring costs for a number of upcoming developments, including the executive director, shop development, continuing the refurbishment of coach 5805 (including heating, sidewalls, roofing and seats); continuing progress on the B&M GP9 1732; wheels, carbody and prime mover projects on NH RS3 529. Treasurer Louis Edmonds will get some budget numbers together for an upcoming Opportunity Flyer, but now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with.  Louis has a new address   - P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Bob Harrington reports that the fleet is serviceable and active.  One loader is currently assigned to the Saybrook Yard assisting with cleanup.

TRAIN, ENGINE and STATION CREW STAFFING

Crews will be needed for most of the following operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop & station support staff.  We definitely need a good turnout of crews for the busy month of October, which includes Saturday service.  Ed McAnaney is working with crew dispatcher Barb Walcott to set up a computer-based sign-up procedure, and it is hoped that volunteers will sign up ahead of time so that we can fill the vacancies.   The start of this program has been quite encouraging.  Please help by signing up ASAP!                           

SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE

We had a good turnout of staffers at the BigE info counter on 29 Sep – thanks to Celeste, Sam, Tom, Diane, Tony, Nancy, Kevin, Lisa, Bill and Sue for handing out our brochures. Fall Harvest Festival operations 16, 17, 23, 24 Oct., with “Magic by Marie” Padilla reappearing on the final weekend. Halloween Party at TST station to benefit station 30 Oct., see next page for details.  Haight/Brown Vineyard Vintage Express 6 Nov, 60 tkts already sold.

NORTHERN LIGHTS LIMITED COMMITTEE

Next meeting will be Sunday October 10. Tony and Nancy Pratt are working on a staffing chart for the Holiday services, which will allow staffing needs to be seen at a glance and this has been posted on the side of coach 5805 in the shop.

That’s all the news that fits for now.  Thanks to all those who helped with this issue — Bill Sample, Editor

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday crew pictures

Brent Bette, new conductor;  Dana Hunt, veteran conductor; Dave Manning,  veteran conductor; Lee Van Iderstine, car host; Randy Patterson, new conductor. Brent and Randy were each promoted on Sunday October 3, 2010 (the date of the photo). Photo by Howard Pincus

From left to right: Dana Hunt, Brent Bette, Sam Walker (brakeman), Dave Manning, Lee Van Iderstine, Randy Patterson, and Scott Lent, our newly-promoted engineer, making his first solo trips on Sunday’s trains! Our all-volunteer crews receive the same rigorous professional training as our mainline counterparts. Does this sound like something you'd like to do? You can get involved! Photo by Howard Pincus

Monday, September 27, 2010

September Order Board - EXTRA EDITION

 

THOMASTON SHOP AND YARD TRACK BLITZ
Beginning next weekend, we will be preparing to extend the three yard tracks at the Thomaston Shop site. There is grading to be done, material to be moved and eventually track to be laid. This will allow us to expand our safe, secured storage yard at Thomaston Shop.

We have much of the material available, but not all of it. We would like to see if we can find enough people to help us sort through the tie pile near the Thomaston station to re-use any of the ties in that pile that would be suitable for yard track. This would save the museum a lot of money, and help us to use the brand new ties we have in stock in the mainline, where they are best used. Again, these endeavors require a lot of help. We are still working out the details as to start time and location, but for now, plan on meeting at Thomaston Shop around 9:30 AM each day if you’re able to assist. Please sign up in advance!

PREPARATIONS FOR HOLIDAY TRAINS
Also, beginning in late October, and lasting until mid November, we will need help in decorating our shop, station, and our train in preparation for our Holiday train events. Last year our holiday trains were our biggest fundraiser, and we need to ensure that is the case again this year. Everyone can help us in preparing for this most important time of year for the museum. A signup sheet is located on the side of the coach 5805 in the shop, and if you’re unable to make it to the shop to sign up, please send us an email. Work on decorating will begin around 9:00 am each day.


—Bill Sample, Editor

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Order Board

NEXT GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 11. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 6:30pm.

CURRENT MAJOR PROJECTS

As we will not be operating trains over the next two weekends, we will be taking advantage of this to perform necessary maintenance where not normally possible during the operating season.  These projects will be shown in bold print in the proper category below.  Howard Pincus already e-mailed a list of projects to many of you – sorry for the delay in getting this edition out.

THOMASTON STATION - Work will take place inside the station, cleaning then painting the floor.  Kevin Meehan is leading the project which will run on Saturdays 4 and 11 September.

MAINTENANCE OF WAY - Repairs to a stone box culvert just south of the Thomaston Station are scheduled starting Saturday 4 September.  2 or 3 people will be needed to assist on this project.

CAR DEPARTMENT

Coach 4989 – Stripping of usable parts continues so that the tired, rusted, and rotted carcass can be scrapped- Jason Hartmann and Bob Carlson have been seen working on this.

Coaches 4980, 4992, 5046 – Our three active coaches will be getting their floors painted at the Thomaston Shop/Yard facility starting Saturday, September 4 and continuing until completed.  This will involve removing seat cushions and doing a thorough cleaning – vacuuming and washing – before painting which will be cutting in new paint around the edges and rolling on the remainder.

Tony Pratt attacks the roof of coach 5805 from our platform lift, a most useful addition to the shop. Photo by Bill Sample
Coach 5805 – Work continues on interior, including window fittings.  Exterior work will continue, including roof repairs to the damaged wood pieces. Welding will continue on the exterior after Sam Walker returns from vacation.


Caboose B&M 472 – As of late August work continued both couplers, with welding being performed on the coupler pockets to build up worn surfaces.  Following the reinstallation of the couplers work will continue on converting the couplers to bottom linkages so that use with the coaches will be less of a problem.  Surface prep continues and the car will ultimately be repainted into a slightly older color scheme and renumbered to its earlier number C-72.


Caboose C&C 50 – Stripping of the car has continued with most of the floor planking being removed.  The entire roof has been stripped away along with many ribs.  The walls have had the lower boards removed to allow inspection of the interior support structure. The cupola (monitor) is in the process of being disassembled.

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

NH 529 will be returning to the shop pit for the reinstallation of it cylinder head following work on NH 2019. NH (NAUG/CDoT) 2019, the last FL9 operating on former New Haven trackage, is scheduled for a lube oil change starting September 4 at the shop. NAUG U23-B 2203 continues to receive sandbox work when off duty but has resumed service as the regular locomotive.


WEDNESDAY WORK SESSIONS

An old RMNE tradition is being formally revived – Weeknight Work Sessions are being held on virtually all Wednesdays at the TSY, running from about 4:00pm until about 8:00pm.  Sam Walker is heading this – please call him if you wish to confirm the session on cell (860) 485-2569.  Projects include Coach 5805, parts stripping on 4989 and possibly motor vehicle work. 


DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES – Bob Harrington

Bob reports that the fleet is serviceable and active.  One loader is currently assigned to the Saybrook Yard assisting with cleanup.

TRAIN, ENGINE and STATION CREW STAFFING

Crews will be needed for most of the following operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop and station support staff.  For September we need passenger conductors for the 19, 21, and 26 of September.  It is not too early to start thinking of working in October, when we will have a much busier schedule including Saturday service.  Ed McAnaney is working with crew dispatcher Barb Walcott to set up a computer-based sign-up procedure, and it is hoped that volunteers will sign up ahead of time so that we can fill the vacancies.   The start of this program has been quite encouraging.  Please help by signing up ASAP!                           

SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE

Our upcoming events include staffing an info booth at the Eastern States Exposition September 29, Fall Harvest Festival operations October 16, 17, 23, 24, Halloween Party at TST station to benefit station October 30, Haight/Brown Vineyard Vintage Express on November 6.

Marie Padilla, who had appeared in the past at the Naugy as “Prinkles the Clown,” will be starring on our September trains doing her “Magic by Marie” show – entertaining children of all ages with her magic and balloon creation talents.  This is a new marketing event to attract families during a traditionally slow time of the year.  She will perform in 2 of the 3 cars, leaving the 3rd coach as a “quiet car” for passengers who wish to concentrate on our ride. (Corrected 9/8/2010)

NORTHERN LIGHTS LIMITED COMMITTEE

A separate committee has been organized to specifically deal with our growing "Northern Lights Limited" operation, as we had done with the Day Out With Thomas events.  Tony and Nancy Pratt are working on a staffing chart which will allow staffing needs to be seen at a glance.  More details soon.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Executive Director Tom Carver has been in the process of setting up an office in  - what else – the Office Caboose (“New Haven C-507”) which has been relocated to the Thomaston house (display) track.  Tom has been very busy getting established at the Naugy is deeply involved with the special events and fundraising.

COMMUNICATION & SIGNAL DEPARTMENT

Steve Butterworth is still interested in resuming crossing signal and relay case repainting.  Contact him if you can get involved. It's one of the few jobs that pays off with immediate results!

Thanks to all those who helped with this issue! — Bill Sample, editor

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Train time along the Naugatuck Railroad... 1940s-1960s

Northbound just north of Highland Jct, Waterbury, shot from the Thomaston Avenue overpass.  Two year old 0504 pulling the through train from New York to Winsted (after dropping some coaches at Waterbury).  Note the new "stainless steel" 8600 coach; unusual first-line mainline equipment for this little branch train.  Photo by Kent Cochrane, labeled only "1949."
Another Kent Cochrane photo, no date, most likely 1947 or early 1948 from appearances. New Haven 164 on the Winsted freight, northbound at Reynolds Bridge with about 20 cars. The engine is right at the whistle post for the Jackson Street bridge grade crossing (the bond wires are still on some of our rails here). That crossing and bridge over the river was taken out by the 1955 flood and never replaced. A cut though the old quarry was then used to access the Jackson Street area. On the extreme left edge, what looks like a late 40s Buick convertible is southbound on Waterbury Road (original Route 8).
As far as we can tell, this was taken at the south end of our current Thomaston Shop Yard, along the tangent just south of the MP 6 curve. The train is coming off the "Stevens Curve."  The hillside and rock formations correspond to those above Route 8 across the river, and the topography of the land in the foreground is identical (except for all the trees that are there now). The engine is one of the F-5 class 2-8-0s, number 164, that were the usual freight power until the diesels took over in early 1948.  164 has 13 cars in tow, including two PRR X-29 boxcars, the same class as the one on display at Thomaston. Photo by Kent W. Cochrane.
Snapshot from a 1961 fantrip over the Naugatuck Railroad. Here we find the trip paused at the new Thomaston Dam, the scene not looking too much different from today.

—Caption information provided by Howard Pincus

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A look back at Thomaston Station

The view looking south at Thomaston on June 29, 1929. Notice the fuel oil dealer at far right, whose tanks are still located here today.

The view looking north at Thomaston,  June 29, 1929. Notice the brick enclosed water tank and the freight house on the right.

Looking across Main Street in Thomaston, Connecticut on June 29, 1929. These photos from 1929 were preliminary "survey" photos taken prior to the construction of the East Main Street bridge.


This view looks towards the west on July 23, 1931. The freight house is located on the far left of this picture.


Thomaston Station in the fall of 1955, only a few months after devastating floods tore through this area. Notice the "temporary" crossbuck flashers installed at this location.

Looking towards the north at Thomaston Station in the Fall of 1955. Plume & Atwood can be seen in the distance beyond the bridge, and the platform of the freight house is seen at far right. With steam engines vanquished from the Naugatuck, the brick enclosed water tank has been removed. Today you can board Naugatuck Railroad excursion trains from the Thomaston Station and enjoy a scenic ride through the Naugatuck Valley!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Starting up New Haven 529 for the first time in 1985

NH 529 on the Valley Railroad, 1985. Photo by Howard Pincus

Former New Haven Alco RS-3 529 was purchased by our museum from Amtrak in September 1985. Once the check was written and the documents signed, NH 529 arrived at our then-home on the Valley Railroad by mid-October. A few days before our first Railfan Day (which was held the last Saturday in October 1985), we prepped and started 529 for the first time in her preservation career. The still-visible outlines of the NH numbers had already been filled out with white paint. Valley Railroad (ex-Morristown & Erie) RS-1 #15 supplied the jump start needed for 529’s batteries (locos placed cab-to-cab for running the jumper cables). The Amtrak 138 numbers are still on 529, but the name has been painted out. More than 20 years later, this former New Haven workhorse continues to pull trains on a branchline in Connecticut, much like she did when new...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August Order Board

A minor tornado on July 21 brought many trees down onto the Naugatuck Railroad. Photo by Bill Sample

NEXT GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 11. This meeting will include discussion of a possible revision of the RMNE by-laws, which date from 2001. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 6:30pm.

CURRENT MAJOR PROJECTS WEDNESDAY PM WORK SESSIONS

An old RMNE tradition is being formally revived – Weeknight Work Sessions are being held on virtually all Wednesdays at the TSY, running from about 4:00pm until about 8:00pm. Sam Walker is heading this – please call him if you wish to confirm the session on cell 860-485-2569. Projects: coach 5805, parts stripping on 4989, and possibly MVD work.


DONATIONS ARE NEEDED - Louis Edmonds, Treasurer

The RMNE will be incurring costs for a number of upcoming developments, including shop development, continuing the refurbishment of coach 5805 (including heating, sidewalls, roofing and seats); continuing progress on the B&M GP9 1732; wheels, carbody and prime mover projects on NH RS3 529. Treasurer Louis Edmonds will get some budget numbers together for an upcoming Opportunity Flyer, but now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with. Louis has a new address - P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.


MAINTENANCE OF WAY

A weak but still powerful (EF1 scale) tornado struck the East Litchfield and Thomaston areas on Wednesday 21 July, bringing down a large number of trees with damage affecting the line at the north end of the Plume siding in Thomaston and also north of the route 118 overpass in East Litchfield. A work crew reopened the line north to the Thomaston Dam north cut on Saturday 31 July.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES – Bob Harrington

The DMV‘s equipment was ready to assist with tree removal at Plume. Having the equipment available for use in the Saybrook Yard project has been very helpful.

TRAIN, ENGINE and STATION CREW STAFFING

Crews will be needed for most of the following operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop & station support staff. Ed McAnaney is working with crew dispatcher Barb Walcott to set up a computer-based sign-up procedure, and it is hoped that volunteers will sign up ahead of time so that we can fill the vacancies. The start of this program has been quite encouraging. Please help by signing up ASAP!

MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT

The final dues billing for 2010 is about to be sent out – if you haven’t yet paid please do so! We could use your financial help.

SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE

Our upcoming events include staffing an info booth at the Eastern States Exposition 29 Sep, Fall Harvest Festival operations 16, 17, 23, 24 Oct., Halloween Party at TST station to benefit station 30 Oct., Haight/Brown Vineyard Vintage Express 6 Nov.

CAR DEPARTMENT

Coach 4989 – Stripping of usable parts continues so that the tired, rusted, and rotted carcass can be removed from the property and recycled.

Working on 5805. Photo by Bill Sample

Coach 5805 - From top to bottom: the scissors-lift certainly has helped with the removal of the roof covering down to the wood substructure. A few repairs to the woodwork will be dealt with. The wooden tack strip around the base of the lower edge of the roof was removed and the area was treated to some extensive rust removal using a wire wheel. Tony Pratt led this part of the project, assisted by Matt Andel and perhaps others.

The steel for the new window mountings is being fabricated for installation, and rust-hole repairs around certain windows and the upper half of the sides is underway. Inside, Stan Bogacz, Win Bissell, and Kurt Wiener continue the rebuilding of the north vestibule area including the threshold – this entire area suffered from severe damage to both wood and metal but most of the substructure has been completed. Extensive restoration to wood trim pieces is underway – nail holes, gashes, and other damages are being repaired with color-matched filler.

Caboose B&M 472 – Both couplers have been removed and are having repairs done to the carriers. Uncoupling rods will be converted to bottom type so allow easier hitches with vestibule buffer equipped cars. Car is being prepped for repaint. Al Pomeroy, Sam Walker, Hal Reiser, Jason “Hawk” Hartmann and others are helping.

C&C 50 inside Thomaston Shop - Photo by Bill Sample

Caboose C&C 50 – Al Pomeroy, Bob Harrington and others have cleaned out this ex-B&M narrow-monitor caboose, which has suffered insect and water damage over the years. The roof has been removed from about half of the car to date – thankfully we have the shop that makes this possible. Evaluation of this piece of equipment continues as we peel back the layers.

CDOT/NAUG 2019 at Reynolds Bridge. Photo by Otto M. Vondrak

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

NH (NAUG/CDoT) 2019, the last FL9 operating on former New Haven trackage, is the current locomotive for our regular runs.

NAUG 2203 (U23B) is receiving new sandboxes and some cosmetic work as it takes some summer time off.

COMMUNICATION & SIGNAL DEPARTMENT

Steve Butterworth is still interested in resuming crossing signal and relay case repainting. Please contact him if you are available to help.

THOMASTON SHOP IMPROVEMENTS

Jack Tarter continues the intricate job of installing needed electrical service throughout the shop. Electrical outlets are now available in most areas, eliminating the need for chains of extension cords. Work on a portable circuit panel continues.

That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to all those who helped with this issue – Sue Sample, Steve Butterworth, Barb Walcott, and Bob Harrington.

— Bill Sample, Editor

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Order Board


NEXT GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 18. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 6:30pm.

SPECIAL EVENTS – Celeste Echlin
11 July Charter Cancelled - The Saltwater Grille of Litchfield has cancelled their Singles Mix & Mingle due to low response. Only 8 reservations were received, all from women – so single guys mark the Saltwater Grille as a promising place to go!

29 September – The RMNE will again have an informational booth in the Connecticut Building during the Eastern States Exposition on Wednesday 29 Sept. Contact Celeste if you’d like to help.

30 October - The RMNE will again host a fund-raiser Halloween Party on Saturday, to benefit the Thomaston Station. Details will be available in the next Order Board.

Northern Lights Limited - Tony Pratt has taken the lead as the head of the “Northern Lights Limited” Committee, which will be in charge of the planning and operation of that event, now our number one fund-raiser. Tony and his wife Nancy will be developing staffing level needs for the event, which will commence in November.

TRAIN, ENGINE and STATION CREW STAFFING
Crews will be needed for most of the following operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop & station support staff. Ed McAnaney is working with crew dispatcher Barb Walcott to set up a computer-based sign-up procedure, and it is hoped that volunteers will sign up ahead of time so that we can fill the vacancies. July positions have been mostly filled so it is now time to think about August.

WELCOME ABOARD!
Tom Carver introduced himself at the recent RMNE General Membership Meeting. He is currently getting established as the RMNE Executive Director and contact information will be available soon. His initial work will mostly involve grant writing and fund raising. A request was submitted to the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation to cover the cost of new windows on the station’s west side. Tom’s role also includes volunteer allocation and activity and he has already been active on the Special Events Committee.

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED - Louis Edmonds
The RMNE will be incurring costs for a number of upcoming developments, including an executive director, shop development, continuing the refurbishment of coach 5805 (including heating, sidewalls, roofing and seats); Claremont & Concord ex B&M “buggy” #50, continuing progress on the B&M GP9 1732; wheels, carbody and prime mover projects on NH RS3 529. Treasurer Louis Edmonds will get some budget numbers together for an upcoming Opportunity Flyer, but now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with. Louis has been quite busy with a change of location for both his residence and business – his new address is - P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES – Bob Harrington
The RMNE’s DMV has been busy readying the borrowed Islargo Boom Truck for duty at the Saybrook Yard, and a on of the front end loaders will also go there. The DMV staff also re-secured the Jericho Bridge access gate to prevent illegal dumping alongside the Naugatuck River at that location. The DMV’s running of the coal operation during the Flagg Coal Co. #75 visit impressed locomotive owners the Gramling Family with their efficiency.

CAR DEPARTMENT – Sam Walker, Al Pomeroy, Jon Chase
5805 – Upcoming projects include removing upper clerestory roofing down to the wood, removing insulation above windows (dust masks needed!), and needle-scaling metal and prime area along drip rail. Work will also continue on planning interior finishing including seat overhaul.

Claremont & Concord 50- This historic caboose (“buggy” on the B&M, its original owner) was recently rescued from the brink of death thanks mainly to the efforts of Al Pomeroy with help from Jon Chase. Al is in the process of writing up a professional–grade repair and restoration plan for the classic car. The 50 is now in the shop, drying out, and some work has begun by Al and Jason Hartmann including removal of the remnants of the roof and interior cleanout.

B&M 472 – This far-younger B&M buggy is in the shop for running repairs and paint touch up.

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT
NAUG 2203 - remains in service. NH 529 – new wheels have arrived at the TSY, ready for fund raising and installation. NH (CDoT) 2019 – remains in standby service.


COMMUNICATION & SIGNAL DEPARTMENT
Steve Butterworth is planning on resuming crossing signal and relay case repainting starting at the Commons Crossing at Waterville. Contact him if you'd like to help a hand with this very visible restoration and maintenance project!

That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to all those who helped with this issue – Celeste Echlin, Ed McAnaney, Al Pomeroy, Louis Edmonds, Sue Sample, Steve Butterworth, Barb Walcott, Sam Walker, Jon Chase, and Bob Harrington. —Bill Sample, editor

Monday, June 14, 2010

June Order Board

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING DATE CHANGED

The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, June 26. This meeting will cover a possible revision of the RMNE by-laws, which date from 2001. Also, we will need formal voting membership approval for the appointment of Ed McAnaney to the Board of Trustees (BoT). Following a recent BoT meeting Ed, who is an attorney, began a review of the by-laws. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 6:30pm.

A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE

The recent visit by the Gramling Family and their locomotive Flagg Coal Co. #75, a/k/a “Hank the Tank Engine,” was a rewarding adventure for all who participated. Father John, Mother Pat, and Son Barney were a pleasure to work with, patiently sharing their skills with those of us who had never worked with steam either recently or ever. Although the 75 was designed as an industrial switcher, it still provided the sights, smells, feel, and sounds of those long departed New Haven Railroad locomotives that once ventured through the valley, bringing the steam experience to over a thousand and a half passengers and volunteer staffers. Visiting locomotives are a comparative rarity in the US, but this concept is fairly common in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom - a nation that leads the world in railway preservation. This concept serves an important need that allows the demonstration of a vital part of railroad history to areas that otherwise would not see it. We will cover this event in more detail in an upcoming issue of Along the Line.

TRAIN, ENGINE and STATION CREW STAFFING

Crews will be needed for most of the following operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop & station support staff. Ed McAnaney is working with crew dispatcher Barb Walcott to set up a computer-based sign-up procedure, and it is hoped that volunteers will sign up ahead of time so that we can fill the vacancies. For June we will need staff on most of the following days: 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, and 27 – hours vary by schedule.

SPECIAL EVENTS – Celeste Echlin

Upcoming special events and operations:

12 June - To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Thomaston Dam, we will be running 3 “Dam Shuttles” from TST to the Dam, economically priced at $5.00 each. Trains will run at 10:00am, 12:30pm, and 2:00pm

13 June - the RMNE will be participating in the second annual “One Tank Expo” at the Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT. The One Tank Expo is a free event where regional attractions with a one-fuel-tank range of the New York metro area can publicize their venues. The event runs 11am until 4pm. and parking is $5.00 per vehicle. Uniform will be RMNE shirts and Naugy hats. Please contact Celeste Echlin on cechlin@earthlink.net if you’d like to assist.

11 July we will be hosting another new event - the Saltwater Grille of Litchfield will sponsor a Singles Mix & Mingle on Sunday July 11, on the 2:00 pm scheduled train from TST. Purchase tickets now by calling 860-283-7245 any time (24/7) or purchase online at www.rmne.org. Advance Reservations recommended. Pick up tickets at Thomaston Station's WILL CALL window on the day of the event.


WELCOME ABOARD!

Tom Carver, well known to many RMNE members, has joined the staff of the RMNE as Executive Director. Tom’s railroad experiences go back many decades, including extensive travel on the New Haven Railroad’s Shore Line between New York City and the Mystic area. As Tom lived in the Stonington, CT area as a teen, he met Jim Bradley, who encouraged his railroad interests by introducing him to a number of New Haven Railroad facilities and employees. During these visits Tom began to learn the inner workings of the railroad, and these seeds eventually grew into an interesting and varied railroad career, which has seen service at several different railroads, including a stint as General Manager of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Tom will share his thoughts, experiences, and visions of the future at our next General Membership Meeting.

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED - Louis Edmonds

The RMNE will be incurring costs for a number of upcoming developments, including an executive director, shop development, continuing the refurbishment of coach 5805 (including heating, sidewalls, roofing and seats); continuing progress on the B&M GP9 1732; wheels, carbody and prime mover projects on NH RS3 529. Treasurer Louis Edmonds will get some budget numbers together for an upcoming Opportunity Flyer, but now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with. Louis has been quite busy with a change of location for both his residence and business. His new address is P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES – Bob Harrington

The RMNE’s GMC dump truck played an important supporting role during the recent visit from Flagg Coal #75 – it carried the coal from the stockpile to trackside. The dump body was painted to match the cab, and the dump body was lettered “COAL” by Al Pomeroy. The cab received RMNE markings on the cab as well. The MVD also designed and constructed a coal holding area for the visit of Flagg Coal #75.

CAR DEPARTMENT – Jon Chase

Coach 5805 - Both vestibule deck plates have now been fabricated and fitted by Sam Walker, Jon Chase, Dan DiTullio and others. The north vestibule reconstruction is just about complete, next will come step and trap installation. Parts from coach C 4962 are being used to rebuild the north diaphragm. The south deck completion will be next. “Upstairs” the lower deck roof fabric and wood drip edge strips have been removed along with the clerestory cladding by Al Pomeroy. The seat frames most suitable for this car have been selected – they are from a former Erie “Stilwell” coach. The frames most recently used in 5805 will be set aside for 6606 as they are the correct type for that car. Stan Bogacz, Win Bissell, Kurt Wiener and others have nearly finished the lower deck ceilings, and the floor has been completed inside the north end so that interior bulkhead wall work can resume.

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

No current report available, but NAUG 2203 remains in service.

COMMUNICATION & SIGNAL DEPARTMENT

Steve Butterworth is planning on resuming crossing signal and relay case repainting now that warmer weather has returned. Contact him for more information on how you can get involved!

BRIDGES & BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT

Thomaston Shop: Improvements continue in several areas. Jack Tarter and Stewart Fritts are designing a portable circuit panel that can provide multiple outlets where needed. General heavy-duty electrical service installation continues and it is hoped that some of the large machinery such as the milling machine can soon be in service.

That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to all those who helped with this issue: Celeste Echlin, Sue Sample, Steve Butterworth, Ed McAnaney, Barb Walcott, Tom Carver, Louis Edmonds, Jon Chase, and Bob Harrington. —Bill Sample, Editor

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thanks for your support!

A handful of the many RMNE volunteers who helped during the weekend steam operations pause briefly for a photo at Thomaston, Connecticut. Photo by Otto M. Vondrak

A big thanks goes out to everyone who helped support the two-week visit of Flagg Coal No. 75 on the Naugatuck Railroad in May! It was a very successful series of trips, and we hope to continue special events like this in the future. Thanks also go out to the "cast of thousands" who helped everywhere from train operations to loading coal to track patrol and crowd control.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Steam visits the Naugy

Flagg Coal 75 arrives at Thomaston, Connecticut - Photo by Jim Hinman

Relive the days of steam on the Naugatuck Railroad! Flagg Coal Co. #75 is a 40 ton coal-fired steam locomotive built in 1930. It worked in Pennsylvania coal mines and New York rock quarries until it was retired in 1953. #75 rusted away, forgotten until 1991, when it was purchased by father and son team John and Barney Gramling from Indiana. The Gramlings moved #75 to their farm and fully restored it to operating condition, completing it October 2001. Since then, #75 has since traveled as far as Florida, Michigan, and North Carolina as a living, breathing ambassador of American steam railroading. Flagg Coal Co. 75 will be operating on the Naugatuck Railroad May 28-31 at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. Buy your tickets now!

video
Video by Jim Hinman

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flagg Coal Co. 75 arrives at Thomaston!


Volunteers from the Railroad Museum of New England prepped Flagg Coal Co. 75 for a few trial runs on Thursday, and showing her off to the local press. If you want your chance to ride behind steam on the Naugatuck Railroad, get your tickets today!


Celebrate the Railroad History of New England
Paul Murnane - WCBS 880

THOMASTON, CT (WCBS 880) -- In Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, you may stop, look, and listen as a little bit of history comes down the track. Hell's waiting room has nothing on the smoking heat in the cab on #75. "This is the machine that built America," says Howard Pincus with the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston. Pincus says the 40-ton machine toiled on the tracks around foundries and coal mines in its 80 years. This weekend and next, it's pulling passenger coaches.

Museum volunteer Randy Paterson makes three generations in his family in the business. Paterson says, "My father and my grandfather have always said this is not, not reall the life. I think they're keeping a good secret from me." Running a grand machine like this, he says, you watch your fire, steam pressure, water, everything - and you keep her happy.

LISTEN: Paul Murnane reports from Thomaston

Flagg Coal 75 alongside the Plume & Atwood complex in Thomaston, Ct.
Photos by Howard Pincus

Friday, May 7, 2010

Order Board for May 2010

SUCCESSFUL MAY DAY VINTAGE EXPRESS CHARTER RUN

Thanks to a good turnout of volunteer support, starting with the superb leadership of Celeste Echlin, the Naugatuck Railroad carried about 120 members and friends from Waterbury’s St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary. The 90-minute train ride, which featured wine tasting, was bracketed by food and entertainment sessions in the upgraded waiting room of the Thomaston Station. The group thoroughly enjoyed their Naugatuck Railroad experience and already many have begun to offer the all-important word-of-mouth advertising that will benefit our operation.

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

Later in May we will be running other special operations:

May 8th: Haight/Brown Vintage Express (from Thomaston Station), departing 2:00pm for Waterville and Thomaston Dam.

May 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, and 31 - Flagg Coal #75, a coal-burning industrial 0-4-0 saddle tank. #75 will be running from Thomaston Station to a point near Watertown Frost Bridge Road. We will need extra crews for firing and servicing the locomotive, which will be coaled “bucket-brigade” style. Trains will depart at 10am, 12noon, 2pm, and 4pm. This will be the first known steam loco operation in the Naugatuck Valley since 1968.

Reminder to our members: Help support the RMNE – you can also buy tickets for family & friends to ride the Flagg Coal trains. Train rides on this special event are not free to members. This is an important fundraiser for the Railroad Museum and support from all volunteers and customers is much appreciated! Our members can either buy online or by calling 860-283-7245 anytime 24/7. Price will be $18.00 for all.

June 13: The RMNE will be participating in the second annual “One Tank Expo” at the Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT. The One Tank Expo is a free event where regional attractions with a one-fuel-tank range of the New York metro area can publicize their venues. The event runs 11am until 4pm. and parking is $5.00 per vehicle. Uniform will be RMNE shirts and Naugy hats. Please contact Celeste Echlin if you’d like to assist.

July 11: We will be hosting another new event - the Saltwater Grille of Litchfield will sponsor a Singles Mix & Mingle on Sunday July 11, on the 2:00 pm scheduled train from Thomaston Station. We would love our single members to come join the fun and buy a ticket. Be a customer for a really fun event on the Naugy! Climb aboard the Naugatuck Railroad for an exclusive Singles Mix & Mingle Event with Litchfield's Saltwater Grille! Adults only, limited to 50 passengers. Enjoy the romantic ambiance with wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and the vintage train ride through the scenic Naugatuck River Valley. The train leaves promptly at 2:00 pm. During the hour and 15 minute train ride, each person aboard the 1920's era passenger coach will circulate providing an opportunity for each man and woman to talk briefly. Follow up after the event will be provided to ensure that if a match is made, the journey will not end at the railroad station! Past events have produced a high success rate of happy couples. Purchase tickets now by calling 860-283-7245 any time (24/7) or purchase online at www.rmne.org. Advance Reservations recommended. Pick up tickets at Thomaston Station's "Will Call" window on the day of the event.

Crews will be needed for most of the above operations, including conductors, engineers, brakemen, car hosts and shop and station support staff. Also it is not too early to plan on helping with the staffing needs of our regular season that commences in June. Please contact Barbara Walcott at 860-283-5790.

WELCOME ABOARD!

The Honorable Edward G. McAnaney was appointed to the RMNE Board of Trustees during the April Meeting. Ed has been active at the RMNE as a passenger conductor and has recently become involved with museum strategy planning. Ed, who currently serves as a judge of the Probate Court in the Suffield CT area, brings a wealth of experience in civic matters to the Board. He is a retired Captain in the United States Naval Reserve.

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED

The RMNE will be incurring costs for a number of upcoming developments, including an executive director, shop development, continuing the refurbishment of coach 5805 (including heating, sidewalls, roofing and seats); continuing progress on the B&M GP9 1732; wheels, carbody and prime mover projects on NH RS3 529. Treasurer Louis Edmonds will get some budget numbers together for an upcoming Opportunity Flyer, but now is the time to plan what financial support you can assist the RMNE with. Louis has been quite busy with a change of location for both his residence and business – his new address is - P. O. Box 443, Georges Mills, NH 03751-0443.

ANNUAL ALL-MEMBER WORK WEEKEND – April 24-25

We had a small but talented turnout of about a dozen volunteers for our latest track project- continued tie replacement between the Thomaston Shop Yard (TSY) switch and the Reynolds Bridge curve. Thankfully many of the crew had prior track maintenance experience. Around 40 ties were replaced , spiked and tamped. We replaced 14 sets of the “wrap-around” angle bars with standard bars, which are believed to be a superior design, as they allow the use of "double-shoulder" tie plates – the plates lie between the rail base and tie, providing an extra cushioning and better weight distribution which leads to longer tie life. The wrap-around angle bars are converted to a standard style by a local metalworking shop, another way that the RMNE and Naugatuck Railroad benefit the community. Other activities that weekend took place at the TSY, both inside and outside. A more detailed account with photos will appear in an upcoming Along the Line newsletter edition.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

The RMNE DMV has just about completed preparing the roadbed area south of TSY tracks 1, 2, and 3 to allow for future track extensions. The GMC dump truck, which will be used to haul coal for Flagg Coal locomotive 75, is getting some new paint on its dump body.

CAR DEPARTMENT

Progress marches along on coach 5805 as the remaining steel needed for outside repair work is arriving. Sam Walker has made substantial progress on finishing exterior side sheet welding, and riveting has been completed on the north end. North end interior bulkhead work has continued, and a window repair project for coaches 4980 and 4992 has been utilizing the 5805’s interior workspace.

LOCOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

Getting ready for the coming season, former CDOT FL9 2019 (ex-NH 2049) has been filled with water and was switched into the shop for further “reawakening” work.

COMMUNICATION & SIGNAL DEPARTMENT

Steve Butterworth is planning on resuming crossing signal and relay case repainting now that warmer weather has returned. Please contact him if you'd like to learn how you can help.

BRIDGES & BUILDINGS

Thomaston Station: Kevin Meehan, Walt Hermann, Bob Martinchek and others have continued the interior station improvements, with the west, north and much of the east walls being painted. Kevin requested that train crews use the ex Waterville/East Litchfield ticket office to store station and parking signs as well as the traffic control guidance system (cones) to keep clutter out of the station.

Thomaston Shop: Improvements continue in several areas. Jack Tarter and Stewart Fritts are designing a portable circuit panel that can provide multiple outlets where needed. General heavy-duty electrical service installation continues and it is hoped that some of the large machinery such as the milling machine can soon be in service.

That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to all those who helped with this issue – Celeste Echlin, Ralph Harris, Sue Sample, Steve Butterworth, Howard Pincus, Kevin Meehan, Lisa Drazen, Barb Walcott, Dave Manning, and Bob Harrington.

—Bill Sample, editor