Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum Home Ghost Train Journal Back Issues
|Jeffrey Ricard, Editor||Volume 5, Number 9, September, 1997|
|Bob and I left town before the train, hoping to take more
pictures of it on it's journey northward. After a quick stop to tank
up (the car..not us!), we pulled to a stop on Rt.32 in Willington where
the tracks run parallel to the road. A great spot for photos.
Several railfans were already there and set up for the action. Thinking
we had plenty of time before the arrival of the train, Bob and I leisurely
piled out of the car and started gathering up our camera gear. "Holy
Cow!", I shouted (I really didn't say cow). "Here it comes already!"
Bob and I ran across the road as fast as we could and snapped off a couple
of quick shots as the train sped by. It was travelling much faster
than we had anticipated.
Now picture this: about a dozen railfans lined up on Rt.32, their vehicles all parked on the other side of the road. Each one of them thinking they have to beat the other guy to the next good photo spot. If you've ever seen l LeMans start at the beginning of an auto race then you know what happened next. A mad dash across the road, engines fired up and the screeching of tires, all in an effort to beat the other guy into the first turn. This scene repeated itself several more times on the way to Palmer Massachusetts, interspersed with the crazy caravan of cars and trucks careening down the road at better than the legal speed limit. Railfanitis makes you do strange things.
Palmer Massachusetts has many good places to photograph trains. However, Bob chose to position ourselves in a nasty little neighborhood that is apparently the breeding grounds for all the killer watchdogs on the entire east coast. I was unsure as to whether I should photograph the oncoming train or, for insurance purposes, snap off a couple of quick shots of the half crazed dog that wanted to tear off my leg or at least devour my car.
While in the Palmer yard, the diesel was cut off from the 142 and moved aside. The steamer was at last free of its captor. Steam pressure was built up and the mighty monster began to move on its own. With her whistle blaring, and her steam piercing the brilliant blue sky above, 142 made several photo run bys up and down the yard. This was without a doubt the highlight of the day.
Bob and I continued to follow the consist northward, the 142 back in the grasp of the diesel. After a stop in Amherst, we finally made it to Millers Falls. We had chased our two friends for over one hundred miles bu t now it was time to say good bye.
As we headed home I thought about the two short years that the 142 had spent with us in Connecticut. I never much cared for the idea of a new Chinese locomotive on the Valley Railroad. I would have preferred a restored American built version instead. I never liked her tender. I hated her red colored trim. But now felt sad that she was gone and I wished that I had enjoyed her more when she was here. I decided one thing though. If she ever comes back this way again I'll be coming down with another severe case of railfanitis much worse (or better) than before.
The railroad scene is ever changing. What seems common and mundane today could be tomorrow's treasure. Thanks to the efforts of the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum and other groups like it, some of these treasures will be preserved for future generations so that they will be able to see, touch, and experience the rich heritage of the railroad.
Order BoardJust a reminder that we have started work sessions during the day on Tuesdays at 9:00am. If you can volunteer your time please contact Burt Turcott or Dick Sobielo. Their phone numbers are listed on the back page of the newsletter.
Last quarter SNET donated another $21.84 to the chapter from the SNET Community Connections program. Please remember to sign up any of your friends! Any new member that would like information on helping the chapter in this matter, please contact an officer. Remember even if you already have SNET sign up anyway. It costs nothing, but helps the chapter !!!
Thanks to the following members
that have made contributions to the Locomotive fund for the month of August:
Paul Cichon - Engineer, Arthur Schnabel - Conductor, Mark Granville- Conductor.
Heritage Grant UpdateAs you may recall we received a grant to do engineering work on the turntable and to possibly have the bearing manufactured. To date we were unable to get an engineering firm to commit to doing the studies and drawing at no cost. We are currently negotiating to have the drawings completed by December 1997.
Dates to RememberOctober 5 - CV Historical Society will be meeting in New London. We have invited them to tour our site and take a look at our locomotives and rolling stock.
October 10-12 Walking Weekend. Our site walk will be on October 12 at 10am and again at 2pm. Please come on down and give us a hand.
October 18 - Balloon Festival in Willimantic. We will have the site open 9-5 for visitors to come and take a tour. The model T&A club may have volunteers bring some autos to the site. Volunteers are needed to staff.
November 15 - Annual Banquet. To be held again this year at Eastern CT State University in Willimantic. Move info will be at the September meeting and in the October Ghost Train Journal.
Entertainment for SeptemberMember Bob Carlson will present us with a slide show at the September meeting.
In August the chapter paid a visit to the Connecticut Central Railroad
in Middletown Ct. About 5 tons of track material was retrieved, including
6 switch stands, 6 derails, 10 gauge bars, 2 fifty-five gallon drums of
The next Scheduled meeting of the
Please note: The monthly business meeting will be held at the
News Flash!!Work sessions will now be held at the site now every Tuesday Mornings at 9:00am.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERSPlease welcome Mark Granville to the chapter.
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