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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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.

Bob Harrington 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 & 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!                           


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.


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