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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 8, Number 10  October 2000
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

October Speaker-“Reminiscences”

 Our guest speaker for the October 15th meeting will be Keith Sczurek from Lebanon. Keith’s family has owned Airline Acres Farm since the 1920’s.  The farm is approximately 3 miles west of our museum.  The Airline originally divided the farm.  The Szureck’s now own just one side of the right-of-way.  Keith will be recounting his own experiences with the Airline as well as stories handed down to him by his parents and grandparents.  He was part of the crew that removed the Kingsley Street bridge approximately ˝ mile west of our museum.

CERM Train Show

The Connecticut Eastern Fall Train Show will be held on November 5th at Windham High School. There will be vendor tables, numerous layouts and according to rumor, authentic railroad music by the Cider Press String Band.We will also be kicking off our brick paver fund-raiser for the roundhouse floor The museum will be open and we hope to attract many attendees to the site to show off our roundhouse and all that has been accomplished in the past year. We will need workers to help the vendors in and out of the building, sell tickets at the door, help with the food, staff the CERM museum table, and serve as guides to greet visitors and show them around our museum.  Please help out if you can.

Annual Banquet

Our annual banquet will be held on December 2nd.  Information as to time and location will available at a later date. The guest speaker will be Jack Swanberg, retired Lead Trainmaster of the Metro North Railroad, world traveler, rail photographer, and author of “New Haven Power.”

             A Day With Thomas

             Thomas the Tank Engine will be visiting the Valley Railroad on November 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th.  Advance tickets may be purchased by calling 860-767-0103.  Additional information about the Valley Railroad may be found at


 New Haven RR HTA Show & Banquet

 The New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association will be holding their 38th annual train show on November 11th at the Holiday Inn on Route 5 in North Haven (exit 12, I-91).  The show runs from 9 AM to 3:30 PM and admission is $4.00. There will be a banquet at 7 PM (cocktails at 6:30).  Peter McLachlin, a former New Haven Railroad fireman and engineer, will show some of his New Haven slides.  For further information, contact Ken Warner, 11 Bassett Rd, Branford, CT  06405.

 2001 CT Eastern Calendars

 The calendars for next year are now available. The price is only $4.00.  If you know of any possible distribution locations, take some calendars to them.  See Jeff Laverty or Ray Axelrod for additional information or to obtain some of the calendars.

 Election of Officers

 Our annual election of officers will take place at the October meeting.  Art Hall, Bill Mihancki, and Bill Robinson have been appointed to serve on the nominating committee to present a slate of officers for the coming year.  If you would like to run for one of the officer positions, or have any suggestions, contact one of the committee members.  Nominations can also be placed at the meeting.

CERM Web Site to Move

For many years, Tom Collins has provided space on his web site for the museum’s web page.  Since this space will not be available in the future, our web site will be moving.  Many thanks go to Tom for maintaining our site during the past years.  Bill Robinson has investigated various possibilities and we will have a new site shortly with an easier name to remember.  More details will be available in the near future.

        Projects, Projects, Project

Much has been accomplished at the museum in recent weeks due to the efforts of many of the older members and well as several of our newer members. As these projects are detailed elsewhere, we will not discuss them further.  However, many more projects remain to be done.  These include:

 Paint show dates on train show signs

Install wood frames in roundhouse windows

Scrape & paint metal columns in roundhouse

Complete Chaplin Station foundation

Grade land around buildings

Dig trenches for electrical system

Repair and restore Operator’s Shanty

Fix woodwork & chimney on Chaplin Station

Collect trash around site & take to dump

Mow grass and trim brush around site

Move supplies from Freight House to Section House

Track work, track work, track work

             It would be helpful if we could have some members serve as project leaders to supervise any of these projects.  If you have special skills, or want to learn how to do these jobs, contact one of the project supervisors below:

 Museum planning & design – Art Hall

Building repair and restoration – Duke York

Trackwork – Jeff Laverty

Painting & mechanical – Mark Granville


 Jeff Laverty and Mark Granville will be attending a program at Quinebaug Valley Community College on “How to Prepare a Business Plan.”


Calendar of Upcoming Events

 Oct          15 - Monthly Meeting

           28-29 - Fall Excursion to Brattleboro

Nov      4-12 - Thomas at Valley RR

                 5 - CT Eastern Train Show

               11 - NHRTHA Show & Banquet

               19 - Monthly Meeting

Dec          2 - CERM Annual Banquet                              Program by Jack Swanberg

                3 - Business Meeting

     November Business Meeting

 The business meeting scheduled for November 5th has been cancelled since the train show is being held on that date.

    Rail Excursion to Brattleboro

 Train excursions will be held again by the Transit Alliance on October 28th and 29th using Green Mountain Railroad equipment.  The trips will go from Willimantic to Brattleboro.  See the flyer for additional details. The museum will be assisting with the snack bar and also have a sales table with museum calendars and other items.  We will need volunteers to help staff the snack bar and sales table.  You will get a free ride if you help out.

 Railpace Index

Looking for some information that you saw in Railpace Magazine?  Check out the on-line index at

What’s New at the Site?

 Roundhouse pits 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 have been cleaned out.

 Member Warren Riccitelli has loaned the museum a Fairmont Speeder.  It is currently being stored in the Section House.

 The Army bulldozer has been removed from the site.

 The Operator’s Shack, previously thought to be a crossing shanty, has arrived at the museum.  It is currently undergoing repairs and restoration.

 A stone veneer is being cemented around the foundation of the Chaplin Station.

 The dirt pile between the Section House and Chaplin Station is rapidly disappearing and the surrounding ground is being raised to its permanent level.

 The cornerstone for the roundhouse has been received.

           Boston Writer Visits Museum

By Robert A. LaMay

 On Saturday, September 16, 2000, Kaleel Sakakeeny and his wife, Wendy visited the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum.  With them was the Director of the Northeast Connecticut Visitors District,  Michelle Mineo.  A tour of the site took place and numerous questions were asked.

 Mr. Sakakeeny was here to learn how our museum would impact tourism in Northeastern Connecticut.  He writes for The Boston Parents Paper.  He features a section entitled New England Booming.  His article should appear in a few weeks and we should receive a copy for our archives. He was very impressed with our museum and noted much work was ahead of us. He offered numerous ideas that we should consider in the operation of the museum.  We thanked him for visiting the museum.  Just as he was leaving, a New England Central freight train went North, adding more atmosphere to the museum.

CERM Christmas Ornament

 The Downtown Council has selected our museum as the subject for this year’s Christmas ornament.  You might want to get one for your collection.

          National Directors Report

At the NRHS Convention in Stamford, three new chapters were chartered: Longhorn Chapter of San Antonio, Texas; South West Florida Chapter of Cape Coral, Florida; and Willow Springs Chapter of Missouri.  One chapter was decommissioned: the Lake Brazos Chapter of Lake Jackson, Texas.

 As of July 10th, there were 175 chapters with a total of 18,901 paid memberships.

 Grants totaling $27,000 were made to 12 organizations.  One grant went to Connecticut’s Branford Electric Railway for work on New Orleans Public Service streetcar 850.

 Next year’s convention will be held in St Louis from June 19th through 23rd.

       Flying Yankee

 For up to date information about the restoration of B&M’s Flying Yankee, check out the web site at

 Treasurer’s Summary - September

By Jeff Laverty

 \Income for September totaled $704.14, primarily from calendar sales, train show table sales and contributions.  Expenses amounted to $3,133.46 and consisted primarily of calendar printing, roundhouse insurance, and building restoration. As of September 30, cash on hand totaled $7,869.43.

Welcome to the Chapter!

 We welcome the following new members who were voted into the chapter at the September 17th meeting:

Marvin Goldie, Lisbon, CT

Richard Cizik, Jr., Storrs, CT



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