NEXT MEETING – CHANGE OF DATE!
The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, 18 June 2011. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 6:30pm.
FLAGG COAL COMPANY #75 RETURNS TO THE NAUGY
The Gramling Family brought their 0-4-0ST steam locomotive back to the Naugy in late May for another 7 days of steam experience. A number of the regular engine crew staff took their turns running and/or firing the locomotive, and this year one trip had two sisters – Sue Sample and her sister Sally Ostlund, running and firing – likely a unique type of crew in New England and certainly rare worldwide! While the ridership for the event was less than what was hoped for, we did not lose money and are looking forward to a return next year. John Gramling and his wife Pat were joined by their son Barney over the Memorial Day weekend.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND PROJECTS: HELP WANTED
There are a good number of projects scheduled that could use YOUR help, please lend your museum a hand to get these things done!
TRAIN AND ENGINE CREWS NEEDED
Now that our busy Flagg Coal #75 weekends are behind us it is back to our regular schedule of Tuesday and Sunday operations, plus Saturday the 18th of June. Engine and train crews are needed – engineer, conductor, brakeman and car host positions plus we can always use help at the station, in the office and also tour guides now that we have the B&M 1109 SW1 diesel and B&M C72 caboose on the display track Please contact Barb Walcott at 860.283.5790.
Your editor has received several requests for information concerning upcoming NORAC rule and air brake classes - none are currently scheduled as rules examiner Brent Bette is busy winding up the school year where he teaches and air brake instructor Al Pomeroy is recovering from surgery. We hope to have further information in the next Order Board about these and also Roadway Worker Protection and possible timetable classes.
PROJECTS AT THOMASTON VOLUNTEER SHOP
Jason Hartmann reports that he is building some heavy-duty shelves over a storage area for jacks and blocking, which will result in better space utilization. Jack Tarter and Dick Edling continue the construction of the electric service in the building. The shop air system is now accessible throughout most of the building – please keep air tools and hoses stored in their designated areas.
Motor Vehicle Department - Bob Harrington, usually the first responder to my requests for information (Thanks, Bob!) reported that recent weekends were spent preparing the Chevy dump truck for coal duty during the Flagg Coal #75 visit, an assignment that was successfully completed without any problems, as did the station front end loader. The Eslargo GMC boom truck received a new wheel seal. The tie inserter received running repairs, and the NYC 133 side dump car was serviced as has seen use with some washout repairs at the south Thomaston twin bridges. The Ford boom truck has seen considerable work with a hydraulic overhaul being completed, the bed being raised to provide better wheel clearance. Remaining work should be completed over the next few weeks. Gene Pfeiffer’s new job has him working on many weekends but he has working on weekdays as time permits.
Car Department - Coaches 4980 and 5048 had their floors repainted prior to the Flagg Coal Co. operations. Coach 4990, our reserve coach in recent years known as “The Beater” due to its well-warn appearance, can no longer be known as that as far as the interior goes. A number of volunteers under the leadership of Sam Walker completed a complete interior repaint in time for the Flagg Coal Co. #75 weekends. This, combined with window repairs by Sam, Stan Bogacz, Win Bissell, Kurt Wiener and others, got the car returned to service. Trap repairs were also continued, and the seat cushions were re-installed during mid May. We ran out of time before any exterior painting could be done – hopefully we will get this done later this year.
Coach 4992 remains in the north bay of track 5 in the shop where it took a time-out while full attention went to the other coaches in the operating fleet. Work should be resuming later this month after the scaffolding is reinstalled. Woodwork on the roof is mostly completed.
Coach 5805 – Like the 4990, activity on this car was halted so that the car department staff could concentrate on the active fleet.
NAUG 2203 – Our U23B has received much work through the spring, both mechanical and cosmetic. Details will appear in an upcoming Along the Line issue. As of early June the locomotive remains on the pit track but should be back in service shortly.
New Haven (CDoT/RMNE) 2019 is in service and was recently the “protect” locomotive for the Flagg Coal Co. #75 visit. As usual, #75 performed without operational problems but to save coal the 2019 hauled the 75 and its trains from the shop yard to the station and return. Fresh paint is also slowly appearing on this locomotive and this work will likely resume once the 2203 returns as the primary locomotive.
Other Locomotives – Jason Hartmann is beginning a general locomotive inspection program dealing with our out-of-service locomotives such as former Maine Central 557. This work will include the “barring over” of the diesel engines, inspection of stack and vent covers, and general clean up.
THOMASTON STATION AND GROUNDS
With the general freshening of the interior of the station by Kevin Meehan and his crew, the building was ready for the beginning of the 2011 season. The south waiting room wall was completed and all walls were re-coated, and the floor was touched up where needed. A temporary crown will be applied where the walls meet the ceiling later this year. The new point-of-sale system has allowed a ticket position to be located at the information booth display, which sits at the former location of the Thomaston ticket office. Outside, Howard Pincus and crew applied striping to the station approach road that helped with the traffic flow during the Flagg Coal event. Walt Hermann has continued his landscaping work with plantings around both the building and parking lot.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
That’s all the news that fits for now. Thanks to Bob Harrington, Barb Walcott, Steve Butterworth, Pam Larson, Jason Hartmann and others who helped with this issue. —Bill Sample, editor