ONGOING AND UPCOMING PROJECTS
We have now
arrived in the Operating Season and there is so much to do. Please
consider how you can help make this year a safe, prosperous and
engine and station crews are needed to cover our scheduled operations,
which are initially on Sundays and Tuesdays. We also have the visit of
Flagg Coal #75 coming up in June, with the additional operating days.
(#75 operation includes 7, 8, 9, 10 and 15, 16, 17 June) There will be a
special mailing for this event and its requirements. In addition to the
usual crews, qualified flaggers will be needed in Torrington for a
proposed operation in 7 June.
MAINTENANCE OF WAY
have been receiving the CDOT surplus ties at the Thomaston station
parking lot. All that arrived so far – hundreds – have been completely
removed and distributed to secure staging, storage, or installation
points, and all will be used along the main line. The initial
installation began on Memorial Day 28 May north of the Dam.
first trackwork of the season began on 20 May at the south switch of
the Huntington Ave. passing track in Waterville. Eight switch timbers
were replaced – 4 nine footers and four 14 footers. Hal Reiser, Al
Galanty, Howard Pincus, Dana Hunt, Rowan de la Barre, and George Wittman
comprised the team. Hope to have photos in an upcoming Along the Line.
North End Expeditionary Force has made appearances north of the dam to
clean up remaining tree and brush problems remaining from the 2011
storms. As of 24 May all but MP14.5 – MP16 was done. Additionally
flangeway cleaning in crossings will be done in East Litchfield and
Motor Vehicle Department - Jason Hartmann has repaired the tie cart by giving it a good realignment, and hopefully the vehicle will track better.
the first two days of operation, life inside the station has returned
to the “open station” mode, fit for public consumption. The floor was
cleaned several times and repainted, and work will continue on finishing
the upper walls and doing temporary repairs on the wainscoting in the
waiting room. Baggage room repairs may begin later, and it requested
not to alter any existing woodwork before documentation can occur.
Meehan requests that we now concentrate on caring for what we have
accomplished – a presentable station. This starts with keeping floors
and counters clean and mopped and trashcans emptied. Additionally, the
grounds need attention starting with outdoor trashcans. Walt Hermann,
Lou Beres and others have been doing a good job but could use some
help. As Walt is not as nimble as he once was, the gardens could use
some help, starting with the ones along the west wall of the station and
later down to the west edge of the parking lot by the station
approach. Are there any gardeners out there that could help? It sure
dresses up the appearance of the station. We have some photos of the
East Litchfield station “back in the day” that shows what good station
landscaping looks like.
We recently had a Thursday work
night at the station to get everything ready for the operating season
and the Flagg Coal visit. Celeste Echlin, Sam Walker, Jay Hartmann,
Kevin Meehan, Walt Hermann, Lou Beres, Tony Pratt, and Sue &
Bill Sample were there cleaning, organizing and setting up “kiddie
korner” with the O gauge layout. The excellent and educational
locomotive cutaway illustrations provided by Preston Cook have been
Tony Pratt and Bill Sample are setting up a photo display using vintage post card and photo views from along our line.
THOMASTON SHOP YARD
Schedule Change: Weekday work sessions are now held Tuesdays from 4:00pm-8:00pm
THOMASTON SHOP IMPROVEMENTS
work on the outside west wall of the shop hopefully will be completed
by early June. Rich Edling has been available to assist Jack Tarter on
certain weekdays so progress has been made: At this point all the
necessary wiring has been pulled. Actual devices (receptacles) will be
wired in and connection made to the distribution panel to wrap up the
job. Completion of the pit wiring is most likely next on the list.
Weed control to the shop yard and its nooks and crannies has been completed.
B&M 1732, GP9
–The locomotive remains on the pit, with the cleanout and hood removal
preparation continuing. Scott Lent continues the preparation of the
rebuilt 567 C prime mover for installation.
NAUG 2203, U23B – The additional new circuit cards and some control stand rewiring by Andy Kromer has returned the locomotive to service.
NH (RMNE) 2019, FL9
– The locomotive was returned to service in late March and used to
power the recent Haight/Brown Vineyard Vintage Express train.
– No one is happier than project manager Sam Walker that this work is
all but done. Earlier in May a work session was organized by Sam and the
upper deck roofing was laid out and glued down. Next the final edge
nailing was done and at last report the car is just about done except
for the ends. A thorough cleaning and seat installation will return the
car to service.
Coach 4990 — The roof needs to
be “glopped” (sealed). This is planned for right after 4992 leaves the
shop. This should only take one weekend if we can move the scaffolding
Saturday after one side is done. If time allows we can needle scale and
paint the vestibules. (Does not need super job - just chase away the
“potato chips” and paint).
Coach 5046 – This car
has about a 15-year-old exterior paint job and it is showing its age.
We hope to have this car in the shop for a refurbishment later this
spring. The interior, while generally presentable, could also use a
VINTAGE EXPRESS SPECIAL
Haight/Brown Vineyard Vintage Express wine train returned on May 19 and
was well attended. The sparkling Thomaston Station waiting room
impressed the visitors, especially those who remember the station in
years gone by.
THE RETURN OF “HANK THE TANK ENGINE”- FLAGG COAL COMPANY #75
– our big non-holiday event planning is well along for the 3rd annual
visit of Flagg Coal Company #75, affectionately known as “Hank the Tank
Engine.” The Gramling Family’s 0-4-0ST coal burner is scheduled to
appear June 8-9-10-15-16-17 at Thomaston. This year we have been
blessed with some major-league assistance with the promotion of the
event: Member Bert Brander, who has been the major force in the success
of the Simsbury Airport Fly In, building it into the largest event of
its kind in New England. Bert is working with Celeste Echlin and Tony
Pratt locally and this year’s increased promotion should make for a busy
two long weekends. (Please consider volunteering whenever you can to
help it success!)
Some of the advertising includes
radio - we'll be on WZBG-FM (97.3) at the end of May through Amy
Ferrarotti with ticket giveaways for the first weekend of Hank the Tank
Engine’s visit. We also will have 15 minutes with WATR (AM 1320.)
Tarter and Bert Brander have been working to get a DVD of the railroad
activities aired on Cablevision Channel 5 in the Torrington area. On a
recent Wednesday Jack met with a member of the public access staff and
signed the necessary paperwork for the program to air. I believe the
days will be Monday and Thursday evenings at 8:00pm.
all the news that fits for now- Thanks to Sam Walker, Celeste Echlin,
Bob Harrington, Kevin Meehan, Howard Pincus, Hal Reiser, Jack Tarter, Al
Pomeroy, and Sue Sample for their assistance
—Bill Sample, Editor