Thursday, February 10, 2011

February Order Board


Brent Bette and Al Pomeroy will be conducting classes for RMNE members in good standing who wish to participate in the operation of our Naugatuck Railroad. Details received are as follows:

RULES – Brent Bette

Northeast Operating Rules Advisory Committee (NORAC) instruction and exams will be given on Saturday, February 26 and Saturday, March 5, beginning at 8:00am and likely lasting until 2:00pm. Brent advises registration is not necessary. Location will probably be the Thomaston Town Hall Senior Citizens Center, in the basement of the Thomaston Town Hall on Main St.

We will add another date if necessary but Brent would like to see if the majority of our operating crew can be certified on those two dates. The third date will be a weekday mutually agreed upon by those who cannot attend either of the Saturday sessions. (Editor’s note – please bring your NAUG employee’s timetable, pen, pencil, and scratch paper.)

AIR BRAKE – Al Pomeroy

Air brake class will be held on Saturday March 12, 2011 starting at 09:00 (location to be confirmed but probably in the usual place in the Thomaston Town Hall) I have been advised that with the new rulebook due out soon that both engineers and Conductors will be required to pass this exam to continue in qualified service. Brakemen are encouraged to participate as well. A three-part download is available on request with an e-mail to alp4 at if you do not have class materials from previous classes. A limited quantity of new books is being printed and will be available at the class if you have not previously received one. A $25.00 fee for a replacement copy is available for those who have lost/misplaced their copy. This class is made available subject to advance reservation to the above e-mail address. Reservations must be made prior to March 7th 2011 so that the correct quantity of tests may be prepared. This exam will be for new and experienced qualified Naugatuck railroad employees only. Additional testing/retesting dates to be determined based on need. Any additional details will go out to those individuals who have reserved their place in the class.


We all owe a big thank you to Gene Pfeiffer for his continuing efforts in battling the record snowfall this season. Thankfully this did not start until after holiday operations ended but Gene was ready “just in case.”

January did see a number of substantial snowfalls and few if any days above freezing to reduce the groundcover. Gene has kept access to the Thomaston station, dumpster, and display track equipment open as well as keeping the greater Volunteer Shop and Yard areas opened – important for staff and emergency access. Gene has also monitored the interior temperature at the shop, which allowed the excessive snow to slide off the roof at the expense of the gutters – but the alternative was a possible roof sag or collapse under the snow load. Please use caution – icy conditions persist despite our best efforts at plowing and sanding our access areas. Watch out for falling snow from building and equipment roofs, and slippery footing especially on hidden ice.

The wintry weather now has precluded Naugatuck Railroad operations, limiting even switching in the Volunteer Shop Yard. Before the most recent foot or so of snow fell, coach 4992 was switched into the shop on track 5 north, and then 2203 headed onto the pit. Christmas decorations need to be removed and packed away from locomotive NH 2019 and coaches 4980 and 5046, likely to be done outside – Sam Walker reportedly will wear his snowshoes. At last report, Coach 4992 will remain inside to receive a new roof covering and tack strips, work to begin now.


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.

In Motor Vehicle Corner at the northeast end of the shop, Gene has opened up enough space to serve as a motor vehicle dept. repair area. Work on the Islargo boom truck has been completed for now, and our Ford boom truck, which has been a hard working part of the RMNE family for over a quarter century now, has entered for needed maintenance and repairs. The two front-end loaders have been busy with the snow clearing work mentioned above. One of the uses for our vehicle fleet will be further work at the RMNE Saybrook Yard once the weather breaks. We hope to have most of the yard clear of most non-rail equipment items by summer and will need MVD assistance.

Jason Hartmann recently hung up a pair of message boards on the south wall of the comfort station that list various equipment projects. In addition to these projects, electrical and air installation continue, mostly along the east wall.


Up at the Thomaston Station, work on interior repair and painting will resume when it warms up a bit. The east wall is almost completed, and the south wall awaits sheet rocking. Watch for further information in the next Order Board.


As expected, the privately owned former passenger station in Torrington, a victim of over 50 years of neglect, was torn down during the first week of January. Ralph Harris videotaped a segment of the demolition, which shows the south end of the building as it was ripped apart. It was unfortunate that no one in town had the will and financial ability to save the structure.

Also now missing in Torrington is a former B&M drop bottom gondola that resided on the bulk track for a number of years. Scratch the B&M W610 from your rosters... Sister NAUG 92788 survives.

Membership Matters

Membership Chair Pam Larson announced that the 2011 dues billings have been mailed. Please respond as soon as possible and don’t be afraid to upgrade your membership and add a donation!

RMNE Treasurer Louis Edmonds suggests that, as dues are a portion of the Museum's income, he would like to see members consider an upgrade to the next higher membership level. Also, since all levels of membership now will receive the same benefits, the value of membership dues paid above the base level of $35.00 is tax deductible.

And the Museum will always gladly accept direct donations to the General Fund, which is also tax-deductible. These donations should be sent directly to the Treasurer, either to the Museum at P. O. Box 400, Thomaston, CT 06787-0400 or the Treasurer’s home address at P. O. BOX 443, GEORGES MILLS, NH 03751-0443


- As most readers know, this winter has been a severe one with some extraordinary snowfalls. Several snowfalls in early January deposited around 2 feet of snow along parts of the line and it was decided to run a plow train over most of the length of the line on January 12th. Locomotive 2203 retrieved our snowplow X105, which formerly fought snow for the Green Mountain and Maine Central railroads since its construction in 1936. The operation was depicted on our web site and will appear in an upcoming “Along the Line.” Howard Pincus, Dave Manning, Al Pomeroy, Brent Bette and Randy Patterson crewed the move.

- Once again the RMNE appeared at the Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby show during the final weekend of January.

That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to Celeste Echlin, Louis Edmonds, Bob Harrington, Al Pomeroy, Brent Bette, Sue Sample and others who helped with this issue. - Bill Sample, editor