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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 8, Number 3  March 2000
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

April Meeting Date Changes

The monthly meeting for April has been moved to April 9th since the Connecticut Eastern train show is being held on the 16th.  The business meeting scheduled for April 2nd has also been moved to this date.


 For several years, the Chapter has participated in a SNET program which assists local community groups. The Chapter receives a payment each quarter based on the toll calls made by participants.  Last quarter, the Chapter received $82.83 and to date the Chapter has received $1065.28.

 To participate, you need only sign up with SNET for All Distance Calling, or affirm that you are already on the All Distance Plan.  In turn, the Chapter will receive 5% of your long distance bill.  It does not cost you anything to participate and the benefit to the Chapter will continue as long as you continue to use All Distance.

 At the present time, only 31 members are participating in this program.  Forms to sign up are available in the section house or you can call 1-800-635-7638 and sign up directly.  You do not have to be a member of the Chapter to participate, so mention it to your friends.  It will be a great help to the Chapter.

SNET Means $$$ For CERM


Calendar of Upcoming Events

Mar  19  –  Monthly Meeting
April   9  –  Business & Monthly Meeting
April 16  –  Connecticut Eastern Train Show
May  6-7  –  Victorian Weekend
Jul 11-16  –  NRHS Convention in Stamford

Connecticut Eastern Train Show

We will be holding our Spring Train Show on April 16th at Windham High School.  A lot of help will be needed to move the vendors in and out and to do various tasks during the day.  Contact Bill Robinson (456-4903) if you can help.

Volunteer Work Sheets

Our financial contributions and volunteer work determine the amount of many of our grant awards. It is important that you keep track of the time you spend on CERM activities and record the hours on a volunteer work sheet.  Periodically, or whenever your worksheet is full, leave it in the Willimantic Section House or give it to Dick Sobiello so that he can keep track of our in-time contributions.

Treasurer Passes Audit

The audit committee, consisting of Bob LaMay, Chairman, and Howard Raphaelson, have reviewed the Treasurer’s records for the past year and have found them to be in excellent condition.

Amherst Railway Society Show

Over 20,300 persons attended the show in West Springfield this year.  Connecticut Eastern had a booth, prepared by Mark Granville, featuring a display of the site and various activities around the site.  There was a lot of interest in the museum and many people indicated their interest in taking a look at the site.

Jeff Laverty brought calendars and other items for sale, which added to our treasury.  Thanks to those members who helped man the booth and explain our mission and goals.

Acquisitions Committee

The Acquisitions Committee has met and selected Bill Nickerson and Bill Robinson as Co- Chairmen.  They are currently preparing a wish list of items for the museum collection.  If you have any suggestions or have any leads on items suitable for our museum, please contact them.

Ghost Train Journal – Extra Copies

 Jeff Ricard has a few extra copies of newsletters dating from February 1997 to August 1999.  They are available to anyone needing them on a first-come first-served basis. They will not be reprinted.

 Send a LSASE to Jeff at our post office box (listed on the back page of the newsletter) with a list of the issues you are missing, or contact him for further details.

Did You Know?

Did you know that it takes approximately 20 ties for each length of rail at the museum?  Since we are using used ties, the old tie plates have to be removed and the holes plugged to prevent rotting.  If this work is done in advance, the Army can lay rail at a much faster pace.  Anyone can do this.  Come to the site Saturday morning and help us move ahead.


Is Acela a Turtle?

As reported by the New York Times, the inspiration for the new Acela logo is a turtle.  While Amtrak admits that a turtle does not move very fast, they selected the image of a sea turtle making stately and peaceful progress through blue waters as the key to the mood they wanted to suggest.  The result was an abstracted fin.

Thus far, the turtle appears to be an appropriate symbol for the Acela.  The starting date for the Acela Express has been continuously pushed back due to various equipment and other problems.

The first all electric run was made on January 31st from Boston using refurbished Amfleet equipment as part of Acela Regional Service, which is about 1 hour faster than the F-40 hauled trains, although not as fast as the high speed equipment will travel.  The initial run was 45 minutes late, but as might be expected, Bob LaMay was on hand to photograph it.

We hope things will work out better in the future.

New Haven Rails 2000

We expect approximately 800 visitors for lunch at our museum during the NRHS Convention trip.  Lunch will be divided into two sittings. We will need exhibits and other activities to keep half the people occupied.  What we will be able to do will depend largely on what we accomplish at the site during the next 4 months.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, contact Bill Jeske.  He will be happy to consider any ideas that would help keep 400 guests occupied.

Via RMNE Order Board

It was reported that the blocks of the last 2 Amtrak (ex New Haven) FL9 locomotives froze while being stored at Cedar Hill Yard.  The FL9’s had been recently used in work train service.  It is expected that they will both be scrapped.

Museum Operations Committee

The Museum Operations Committee has met to draw up plans for the coming year.  Howard Raphaelson has volunteered to be temporary chairman until a permanent chairman can be found. Anyone wishing to serve on this committee should contact him.

So far, museum activities have largely centered on promotion of the museum, acquisition of railroad artifacts and restoration of equipment and buildings.  The primary purpose of a museum, however, is to collect and display historic artifacts so that visitors can view and understand the role that these items played in history.

In the past, visitors to the site would walk around by themselves or, if someone was available, be guided around the museum.  For the coming year, we plan to have members trained to take our visitors around the museum site and explain the role played by our artifacts.  We will be creating a guide to help tell our story.

We plan to have the museum open every Saturday morning and will need guides to show visitors around the site.   If you feel that moving buildings, laying rail and restoration projects are too difficult for you, this is your perfect opportunity to help out at the museum.  Further information will be published as we get ready to begin operations in May.

Guilford Station Demolished
Via The (New Britain ) Herald

Guilford’s former railroad station was demolished by Amtrack on February 23rd.  The 148 year old station had not been used as a station for 50 years, but had been used in recent years for storage and a place for workers to report.

Town officials were upset at the sudden demolition since plans were being made to renovate the building.  Amtrak claimed that it was leaning and was in danger of falling on the tracks.

Another railroad artifact has been lost.

Upcoming Site Activities

As the weather improves, it will be time to start moving ahead on museum projects.  It is expected that work on rebuilding the roundhouse will begin shortly.  We also need to repair the turntable and obtain a bearing so that it can be made operational.  The Section House and Chaplin Station will be moved to their permanent sites.  Much restoration work needs to be done on the Groton Freight House and equipment.

Site work needed includes filling-in potholes in the roadway and fixing up the parking area with wood chips.  Also, we need to fill in the holes under the fence to deter unwanted visitors.

When the weather improves, plan on spending a few Saturdays at the site and helping out.

Treasurer’s Summary Report - February
By Jeff Laverty

Income for the month of February totaled $1,473.33, consisting primarily of sales department sales and train show tables.  Expenses in the amount of $843.68 were primarily for restoration of the Groton Freight House, 25-Tonner and Railbus, and various administrative costs.  As of February 29, cash on hand totaled $10,977.59.

Welcome to the Chapter!

We welcome the following new members who were voted into the chapter at the February 20th meeting:

Martin Piech, South Meriden, CT
Francis Saunders, Moodus, CT

 Martin serves with the 1205th Railway Battalion which is laying rails at our museum site. Francis is a former member who currently works for the Providence and Worcester RR.

CERM Train Show – April 16

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Copyright ©2000 Connecticut Eastern Chapter, National Railway Historical Society March  2000.