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Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc.
Jeffrey Ricard, Editor  Volume 7, Number 4, April 1999 
An Old Train Order

This is an old train order from 1859 which appeared in the November 17, 1925 issue of the Concord Daily Monitor.  I thought you would find this interesting to read. 

Railroad men generally will be interested in regard to the text of a train order used to dispatch a train on the Old Central Vermont Railroad over a half-century or more ago.  The order is in the form of a personal letter to the engineer.  This was before the day of dispatching trains by telegraph.

From certain precautionary instructions given in the letter, it will be noticed that this was before the rules had become established and codified and acquaintance with them made an essential part of the engineer's fitness for duty.  Railroading was new and experimental when this order was written.  Contrasted with the brief summary of train orders received today, this careful letter of instructions will arouse a smile among younger generations of railroad men and the strange memories of half-forgotten days among the veterans.  The order is printed as it was written:
Northfield, VT., 

Oct. 7, 1859.

"Frank Clark, Engineer:

     "Dear Sir -- You will please follow No. 2 mail train this P. M. to Rouses point with the Mohegan.  The engine on mail train will carry a red flag for your engine which you will follow to the point, and carry a red flag for the Winookski which will follow your engine to the point and return to-morrow on freight.  You will be careful to keep safe distance from the train you follow and notify all concerned what your flag is for.  You will return to-morrow on freight.

                                        "E. B. PERKINS,"
                                          "M. M. Vt. C.V.R.R"
                                          "By R. Camp"
                                          "M. A. RANDALL"

Here are some bits and pieces of rail news that I thought I would pass along.  I can't really confirm any of this, so take it with a grain of salt.

Amtrak will be changing it's logo from the famous "Blunt Arrow".  The new logo will be announced during the early part of April.  As soon as we come across some additional information on this it will be passed along.

Amtrak has announced that the derailment of Train Mail #13 at Springfield MA, was indeed caused by vandalism.  For security reasons Amtrak will not give any additional details on what vandalism was done or how the derailment occurred.

Welcome New Members
Please welcome aboard the following members that  were voted in at the March 21st meeting.   

George Lee Jr. of Jewett City, James and Holly Sinkewicz of Lebanon, Jeffrey and Hilary Maynard of North Franklin, David and Darbee Percival of Mystic, Michael Richards of East Hartford, Richard Waugh of Moosup, and Bruce Clouette of Storrs.  Thanks for your support  and feel free to come and visit us on Saturday mornings at the museum site!

Due to the circumstances of the derailment, 4 deaths, and 1 trespasser injury resulting in a severed leg, (all this year alone)  Amtrak, CSO, and Conrail will be taking a very proactive approach  against trespassing on railroad property.  The railroads do respect railfans and
ask that they "take only pictures and leave only footprints".  They also will enforce the rule that if you step over a rail, you have gone to far.  CSO will ask railfans to obtain a pass when on CSO property for accountably and liability reasons.  CSO will also work with railfans with guided tours or schedules to aid in enforcing true trespassing

CSO will be sponsoring a Operation Life Saver day June 19th at Manchester, CT with the focus on trespassing dangers and railroad crossing safety.  The event will be aided by the Connecticut DOT Operation Life Saver.

Word has it that officials of Railtex, CSO, Connecticut DOT and New England Central will be having some meetings and discussions in May on the possibility of relaying trackage between Willimantic and Manchester.  These meetings will also look at the possibility of having commuter rail on the CSO between the Manchester and Windsor branches with partial service to the Regional Market area for the new Patriots Stadium.

It was noted at the last general membership meeting that the donations received at the train show were not reported in the newsletter.  The
donations were not lost they were reported at  the last meeting.  We would like to thank all those that did make a donation to the chapter at the show it was greatly appreciated.

The last SNET Community Connections update shows that chapter has received over $766.00 to date.  Ask us how you can get involved in this
great program without any cost to you.  All you need is SNET all Distance.

Here is the abbreviated Treasurers report that we will begin to report on each month in the newsletter.  This will save on printing unnecessary
copies for each meeting.   The Treasurer will continue to report at the meeting and any member is welcome to look at the complete report at any time. 

 If you have any questions about the chapter finances, please feel free to see the treasurer at our meetings.

Income for March $6656.61 which mostly came from the train show.  Expenses $2839.02, again train show expenses and advertising costs.

You Know You're a Railfan When ......

... you stop at all railroad crossings to wait for the gates to come down.

... you are happy to be at a grade crossing when a long freight is passing, while those around you fume.

... you see a headlight approaching at a grade crossing, and you slow down - when everyone else is speeding up.
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Story Time

Do you have a story that you would like to have published in The Ghost Train Journal?  What about an old newspaper clipping or picture with a short story?  The editor is always looking for interesting articles that can be shared with your fellow railfans.  Drop me a line at the address above, or better yet email me at

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Copyright ©1999 Connecticut Eastern Chapter, National Railway Historical Society April, 1999..