Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Order Board for May 2011

Col. Randal B Hathway, USAF (ret.), 1921-2011

RMNE member Randy Hathway passed away on Saturday evening, April 30, at his home after a period of declining health. Randy joined the RMNE soon after we began operations at the Naugatuck Railroad and was quite active in many projects, including the Thomaston Station rebuilding. He had been a Thomaston resident since 1931 and often shared his memories with your editor, including riding the last passenger train from Thomaston to Winsted and return.  A P47 fighter pilot in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II, he flew many combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Funeral services will be held at the First Congregational church in Thomaston on Thursday 5 May at 11am.  Calling hours will be at the Lyons Funeral Home on High St, Thomaston, on Wednesday 4 May 4-7pm.


Our first operation in 2011 was the “Easter Bunny Express” service, which ran 3 trains consisting of FL9 2019 and coaches 5046, 4980, and 4990.  Despite the weather being miserably wet and cold, we had a very good crowd of over 550, almost equaling last year’s, which had benefited from operations being on a fine spring day. Retail sales were also strong and our new, state-of-the-art point of sale and ticketing accounting system was ready for the task, and Celeste Echlin, Lisa Drazen, Barb Walcott and Executive Director Tom Carver put it to work.  Now gathering the various income flows will be far easier and take a fraction of the time.

Tom recognized Sue Sample for leading the cleanup and decorating of the station, comfort coach, and train; and also thanked Kevin Meehan and his crew for finishing up the sheetrock installation and painting of the waiting room.  Agent Joan Jackson was also thanked for her part in helping to get the retail department ready for the opening day. Tom, Bill Sample, Stewart Crouse, and others helped keep the parking lot operating smoothly.

Train crew was Hal Reiser, engineer; Ed McAnaney and Bill Sample share the conductors duties, Matt Andel was the brakeman, Matt Lawson the student brakeman, car hosts were Lou Beres, Lee VanIderstine, and Joe Viener and the Easter Bunny was portrayed by Sue Sample. As noted, the day was wet and cold but the train was warm thanks to the efforts of Sam Walker, Jason Hartmann and other members of the shop crew who had all three cars heated.


There are a good number of projects scheduled that could use YOUR help – please lend your museum a hand to get these things done!

Blue Flag Safety Class

Hal Reiser will conduct a Blue Flag safety class at the Volunteer Shop on the 14th of May (Saturday) 9:30am shop.  This will be a short class and it is recommended that all who might have reason to use the blue flag system attend.  Please register with Hal so he can prepare materials.  Please bring a pencil, pen and notepaper.

Other Classes

No other rule or air brake classes are currently scheduled.  Please contact Brent Bette concerning rules or Al Pomeroy about air brake classes. We will be scheduling Roadway Worker Protection and possibly Timetable classes at later dates, to be announced. An additional NORAC class may be offered if there is sufficient interest – please contact rules examiner Brent Bette so that arrangements can be made.


Motor Vehicle Department

Bob Harrington reports that work continues on the Boom Truck, and the Gradall has been brought to the Shop Yard from Chase Yard for some maintenance work by Gene Pfeiffer.

Car Department

Coach 4990 was returned to service for use on the Easter Train.  Jason Hartmann, Terry Hannon and others replaced worn or damaged seat cushions and backs with some from the currently out of service 4992.  We hope to have some new paint on the exterior prior to the Flagg Coal weekends.

Coach 4992 remains in the north bay of track 5 in the shop.  Work continues on the roof, with repairs to the wood base being nearly completed in late April.  Other work that can be done while the car is in the comfort zone of the shop is a thorough interior cleaning and floor painting.  Please consider assisting us with this important project.  Please report to Sam Walker for instructions.

Coach 5805 - Interior woodwork continues to see attention from Stan Bogacz, Win Bissell, Kurt Wiener and occasional others, although some of the crew has been pressed into service on 4992.

Locomotive Department

Currently FL9 2019 is in service while U23B 2203 continues to receive miscellaneous repairs.  The rebuilt governor was installed in later April using one of the new forklifts donated through the effort of Jason Hartmann. 2203 is also receiving some cosmetic work, particularly on the nose and cab, which will help to give it a less-rusty look until a complete exterior repaint can be done.

Tom Carver has prepared and submitted a grant request to the National Railway Historical Society for funds to assist with the 1732’s diesel engine rebuilding.


Kevin Meehan and crew got back to work inside the station once the weather warmed up, continuing the wall improvement project.  The remainder of the east wall was patched and painted, and the south wall of the waiting room was sheet-rocked and painted, being completed in time for a pre-operation spring-cleaning. The station hasn’t looked this good since long back into the 20th century.

Tom Carver, Sue Sample, Lou Beres, Kevin Meehan, and others helped with the big cleanup while the final installation of the new Point of Sale accounting system was completed.  Celeste Echlin, Joan Jackson, Barb Walcott, and Lisa were in the first training class.  All gift shop stock was entered into system prior to the Easter train.

May 14:  Flagg Coal #75 planning dates with meetings at the Volunteer Shop, 2:00 pm covering operations, staffing & activities for the event.  Please bring your suggestions! 

Volunteer Work Hour Records

As part of the renewed emphasis on obtaining grant funding, we must resume the recording of our volunteer time.  Please complete the Volunteer Worksheets that are available by the north door of the shop by the dispatcher’s area.  Sherry Edmonds will be recording the hours as submitted from these forms or also records can be e-mailed up to Louis Edmonds at

A Request from Our Treasurer

Louis Edmonds is looking for donations to help defray the expenses of re-roofing coach 4992.  These include plywood, supplies such as sandpaper and additions to our tools, the scaffolding, wood repair, and the rubber membrane surface and related installation items. 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 


- Membership Chair Pam Larson reports that about 100 members still haven’t paid their dues this year and a second and final billing will be going out early in May. PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES!

- Tom Carver reports that he and Celeste Echlin are resubmitting a grant request to Community Foundation of Northwestern Connecticut for stairway and signage supplies for exhibit track at the Thomaston station.

- Advertising is beginning for the Flagg Coal #75 visit and we will attempt to recruit school field trip visits to the Friday events.

- I will need crews for May 26,27,28,29, and 30, Flagg Coal #75 trains - Barb Walcott.  Contact Barb at 860.283.5790.

- Steve Butterworth would like to resume crossing signal painting as we get into summer and/or early fall

- Your editor has not heard any confirmation on any spring track project as of publication date.  Usually they are scheduled for May.  A special e-mail Order Board will be sent out if details become available.


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 next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, 11 June 2011.  The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 7:30pm.

That’s all the news that fits for now.  Thanks to Bob Harrington, Barb Walcott, Steve Butterworth, Pam Larson, Tom Carver, Celeste Echlin and others who helped with this issue.  —Bill Sample, editor