Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 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 – Change of Time - Brent Bette

Northeast Operating Rules Advisory Committee (NORAC) instruction and exams will be given on Saturday, February 26 and Saturday, March 5, beginning at 9:00am, breaking for lunch from 12:30pm-1:15pm, finishing up by 4:00pm. Brent advises registration is not necessary. Location will 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 is at the Senior Citizen’s Center, basement of 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 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. (Editor’s note – please bring your NAUG employee’s timetable, pen, pencil, and scratch paper.)


We will also be scheduling Roadway Worker Protection and Timetable classes as well as a possible additional NORAC class – a special edition of the Order Board will be sent out when this info is confirmed. If a member cannot attend either of the scheduled NORAC classes, they may contact Brent at so that alternate arrangements can be made.


While the most visible focus of RMNE activity is the hands-on work in the shop or Thomaston station, rest assured that many hours of behind-the-scenes planning work concerning the RMNE’s future does continue. The Board of Trustees and Executive Director recently met in a daylong that session to help write a strategic plan. Our progress will be reviewed at the next General Membership Meeting on March 12, and this will include details of our leasehold expansion south of the Volunteer Shop and Yard area and RMNE control of the reversionary rights of the Thomaston Station. Some of the foundation of the overall plan was established during the meetings held last winter, and the Board is most appreciative of the input and support offered by our membership.


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.


Celeste Echlin reports the RMNE was contacted by CPTV last week to see if we were interested in becoming a sponsor for their March fundraiser, which will air during the evenings of March 6 and 7 and possibly some additional dates. CPTV came to us through Robert Van Camp, the producer of the Great Scenic Railway Journeys series. He has been in the area to arrange for the showing of his new series “Celebrating North America’s Steam Railways.” We will be included with video footage taken by Ralph Harris, which will include Flagg Coal, NH (CDoT) 2019, and the Northern Lights Limited. Ralph’s footage will be edited into a presentation that will also include 30-45 second clips of the Cape Cod Central and the Delaware & Ulster lines. In return for this publicity, we will provide the CPTV a number of 4-pack tickets good for regular train rides. Celeste made a short presentation to Mr. Van Camp describing our operation, and this has spurred his interest in possible future work with our organization.

Pre- 2011 Operations Projects: – Sat, April 16, 10:00 am (& 4/17, as needed) will be clean-up day for the Station & the Train with the train parked at the Station to facilitate cleaning.

Sat, Apr 30 & Sat, May 14 are Flagg Coal planning dates with meetings at the Volunteer Shop, 2:00 pm covering operations, staffing & activities for the event. Please bring your suggestions!


Tom continues to research grant request and other income possibilities from a number of different resources. Tom is now the head of the Thomaston Station Development Committee, which will oversee the planning and financing of the restoration of the passenger station, of the crown jewels of our collection. In this position he will be meeting with various interested community and political officials beginning this spring.

Tom also reports that he has lined up a replacement air compressor for his locomotive (Alco C424 #4243) and he will be ordering other needed parts for an upgrade of the 251 series engine. Once the installations are completed, the locomotive will be test-run and if successful, the 4243 will be on its way to the Naugy.


Our friends up at the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum are in the process of ordering ticket punches and have offered to include our staff if interested. There are two types available – with a “chad” hopper (catches the punch-outs, less sweeping in the coaches!) for $28.60 each, or the hopper-less model for $24.10. Designs include "Heart," "Star," "T," "Rounded T," "Sideways Y," "Circle on Square," "J," "Key," "Wrench," Hammer," “L,” "Star with squared point," "Lightning Bolt," "P," and "Celtic Cross." Please contact Kevin Chittenden, Supt., BSRM, to order at his e-mail kchittenden at and be prepared to send a check made out to the Berkshire Scenic Railroad Museum to the BSRM, P O Box 2195, Lenox, MA 01240 – don’t forget to describe the design and with or without the chad hopper.