Monday, September 27, 2010

September Order Board - EXTRA EDITION


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!

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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


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!                           


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)


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 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.


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