Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
at 6:43 PM