Monday, June 14, 2010

June Order Board


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.


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.


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 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 Advance Reservations recommended. Pick up tickets at Thomaston Station's WILL CALL window on the day of the event.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.