Thursday, September 29, 2011

Track extension at Thomaston Shop Yard

The wooden Central Vermont caboose gets some attention inside the shop.

More track expansion at Thomaston Shop Yard! During the weekend on September 25-26, museum volunteers added 330 feet of new storage track to the Thomaston Shop Yard. Using the 1954 Portland Terminal Company self-propelled crane to handle the rails, the crew extended Tracks 1, 2, and 3 each by 110 feet. This track extension will allow us to house even more equipment at our secure restoration facility, helping to protect our historic equipment from potential vandalism and making it easier to access for routine maintenance. Photos by Howard Pincus.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Order Board for September


The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, 10 September 2011. The meeting will be held at the Thomaston Senior Center, Town Hall, Main St. and is scheduled for 6:30pm.


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 C72R caboose on the display track, which have been very popular with our visitors. Please contact Barb Walcott at 860.283.5790 or


Over the weekend of August 27-28 a well-watched former hurricane Irene passed over New England, leaving a path of destruction throughout most of the region, with only eastern Maine being spared. Virtually all railroad operations were effected, with such major routes as Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and the former Boston & Albany and Boston & Maine routes being shut down for days. In Vermont the destruction was worse, with some routes suffering damage that will keep them closed for weeks or even months. Thankfully, the Naugy was spared major damage from both wind and water, and was closed for two operating days due to weather and post-storm repairs.

A crew was assembled to inspect and start repairs to the line on Monday the 29th, consisting of Howard Pincus, Jason Hartmann, Lori Bean, Walt Hermann and Stewart Crouse. Hi-rail truck TC30 and the tie crane covered the line from Highland Jct. in Waterbury to the “DAM” block station at the west end of the Thomaston Dam, the current limits of regular operation. Several small trees were either cut up or moved off the track, and a number of silted-in drainage areas were cleaned out. The culvert north of the Chase Bridge held up well, remaining stable.

A Gradall run is planned before operations resume to touch up the few areas where minor erosion occurred. Once again the Thomaston Dam added to its value by preventing much downstream destruction of the type suffered in many areas of Vermont and New York.


Labor Day and the following weekend will be major project weekends as the Naugatuck Railroad will be on its usual end-of-summer shutdown. We are planning some significant work for the Labor Day weekend and the weekend after (Sept. 10 & 11). Work will include extending the outside trackage at the shop yard, preparing for tie replacement along the main line, running a work train to reposition equipment at Waterville and Thomaston, and repairing the roof of the comfort coach at the Thomaston Station.

If you have a friend who had always wondered about how this stuff is done, bring them along! We will plan to provide a grilled lunch at the Shop Yard on Labor Day weekend days, and will do likewise on the following weekend (although that may be a moveable feast, out along the line).

Motor Vehicle Department - Bob Harrington and Gene Pfeiffer have both kept busy assisting with other projects, mainly work at the Saybrook and Shop Yards. The use of equipment maintained by them saves a considerable amount of money that we don’t have to pay in rental fees!

Car Department - Coaches 5046, 4980, and 4990 continue in use on the regular service train. Coach 4992 remains in the north bay of track 5 in the shop and work is progressing on the roof. Currently plywood clerestory sides have been installed on the east side, and the scaffolding is being moved around to allow work on other areas. Over the next month or two we will be installing the roofing membrane and we will need an all-hands effort to do the job correctly. We will make a special announcement when dates are known and it will be very important to have an adequate staff of about 10-12 to handle the membrane and keep it tight so that we don’t get wrinkles. Other work needed on this car includes interior cleaning and floor painting. Please consider assisting us with this important project. Please report to Sam Walker for instructions.

Locomotive Department - Former CDOT 2019 (EMD FL9) has been covering most of the trains so far this year due to 2203’s operating problems. It is used in the push-pull mode at the south end of the train. NAUG 2203 is again marked up for use on a work train this month.


RMNE President Celeste Echlin reports that we have been awarded a second grant from the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation, bringing funding up to $3400.00 for restoring windows along the west side of the station and installing the rebuilt original doors where the sliding door currently exists. Two windows have been removed to Torrington Sash & Door fro repairs, and when these return two more will be sent out.


Check out our newly designed web site at Designed by museum members Otto Vondrak and Mike Roque (by remote control from California), look for continual improvements throughout the end of the season.

Advance sales and reservations for the autumn and holidays seasons are reportedly going well. Two complete trains have been reserved in December.

The RMNE will be appearing at the Eastern States Exposition in the Connecticut Building on 28 Sep. We will be displaying info on the RMNE and the Naugatuck Railroad.

It’s not too early to start planning to assist with our busy fall season. One area where we’ll need extra help is the Pumpkin Festival, where we will need “Pumpkin Wranglers” to assist with distribution.


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.

That’s all the news that fits for now- Thanks to Bob Harrington, Barb Walcott, Celeste Echlin, Howard Pincus, Jon Chase and Sue Sample for their assistance —Bill Sample, editor