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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 8, Number 11  November 2000
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

CT Eastern Annual Banquet

 Our annual banquet will be held on December 2nd at Windham Memorial Hospital.  The dining room is just to the right after you pass through the main entrance. The dinner will be buffet style, with primary courses of roast beef and stuffed chicken breasts.  Also included are vegetables, beverages, etc.  The cost of the banquet is only $15.00 per person.  At this price you can hardly afford to stay home.In addition to a great dinner, we will have Jack Swanberg, retired Lead Trainmaster of the Metro North Railroad, world traveler, rail photographer and author of “New Haven Power” as our guest speaker.  Whether you are looking in books, magazines or historical journals, you are sure to find some rail-related photos by Jack.  His photographs are legendary, so be sure to attend.

 Please return the coupon below with your payment.  The deadline is November 25th.


Banquet Reservation Form

# attending @ $15.00 each   _____________

Total Payment  _________

 Name:  ________________________________

 Address:  ______________________________

 City, State, Zip:  _________________________

 Telephone:  ____________________________

Museum Operating Schedule

 As we wind down our visitor operations for the year, it is time to reflect on what has happened during the past summer. We have been officially open on Saturdays since May between 9 AM and 2 PM.   In most cases someone has been around until 3 PM or 4 PM.  Most days, we have had between 5 and 20 visitors, all of whom were very impressed with our progress.  Many people also showed up on Sunday and were shown around when someone was at the Museum. Numerous people also showed up during the walking weekend and toured the museum.

We were offered a table at the recent Train Exchange show and many people had never heard of the museum.  Other comments ranged from: “When are you going to have rides?” to “I drove down there and the museum was closed.”

 It is time to start making plans for next year.  Some things to think about are:

 Ø       How can the Museum be publicized more effectively?

Ø       Will we have enough track to give rides?

Ø       Can we stay open longer on Saturdays?

Ø       Can we get volunteers to open up on Sundays?

Ø       Can we make up displays to attract visitors and make it interesting enough for them to return?

Ø       Can we get more members to act as tour guides or work on restoration projects?

Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

Contact any of our officers and help out if you can.

Speaking About the Museum

 For years, we have talked about the museum as “the site.”  While most members know what we are talking about, visitors do not.  A suggestion was made at the train show that we begin to refer to “the site” as “the museum.”  This is a good idea.  While up until recently, there wasn’t much at the museum except for the site, the roundhouse and other historic buildings are quickly becoming a museum.  When talking about the museum, please try to use the words “the museum.”  It is more descriptive and appropriate.



Richard Hanschka recently donated a B&M Home Signal used in Springfield, MA by the Montrealer, and New Haven signals and lenses to the museum.

 Railbus Publicity

A Hartford Courant reporter and photographer were at the museum on November 4th to observe the operation of our Maine Central railbus. It worked fine and they took a lot of pictures. On Sunday, November 5th, the Courant had a feature article on page 1 of Section B, with an 8”x5” picture and a 21 column-inch article about the railbus and the museum.

In Memoriam

We were saddened to learn that Joseph Snopek, 57, of Granby, MA died suddenly on Saturday, November 4.  Joe had been a speaker at the Chapter and was a co-author, with Bob LaMay, of “Diesels to Park Avenue – The FL-9 Story.” Our sympathy is extended to his family.

 Trains, Tracks & Trimmings

The Connecticut River Museum is presenting their 2000 exhibit by Steve Cryan.  The exhibit features an operating HO scale layout, Tug Boat Alley, a scale model of the Essex Steamboat Dock, Flying Boats and China Clippers, and World War II boats and planes. The museum is located at the end of Main Street in Essex.  The exhibit runs from November 24, 2000 to February 25, 2001.

 Our Web Site Has Moved

 The new address for our web site is  Bill Robinson has agreed to serve as the new webmaster and will be responsible for updating our web site.  This address should be a lot easier to remember, but for the time being, there will be a link from our prior web address.  There are still a few bugs that have to be worked out, but hopefully everything will be up to speed shortly.

Calendar of Upcoming Events


11   - NHRTHA show & banquet

19   - Monthly meeting 

        Speaker: Paul Reistrup


 2   - CERM annual banquet

         Program by Jack Swanberg

 3    - Business Meeting

17   - Monthly meeting


7   - Business meeting

 November Speaker - Paul Reistrup

The speaker at our November 19th meeting will be Paul H Reistrup, Vice-President for Passenger Integration for CSX Transportation.  His topic will cover our favorite subject – railroads and trains.


 Periodically we have had incidents of vandalism and we were hit again on the weekend of October 14th & 15th.  Unknown persons broke into the compound, the 25-tonner, the Alco S4, and the former New Haven coaches.  The vandals also stole anything loose that they could get their hands on.  While the damage was not extensive, it causes money to be diverted from our normal restoration efforts.  All of the vandalism took place outside the fenced museum.  We are now ready to begin laying track so that we can get our equipment behind the fence.  While this may not end the vandalism, hopefully it will cut back on it. We look forward to seeing anyone who can help on this project or any of our other projects.

Election of Officers

 The nominating committee, consisting of Bill Robinson (Chairman), Art Hall, and Bill Mihancki proposed the following slate of officers for the coming year:

President   – Joseph Cerrett

Vice-President   – Mark Granville

Secretary   – William Nickerson

Treasurer  -  Jeff Laverty

National Director  – Arthur Schnabel

 As there were no nominations from the floor, the recommended slate was elected.

 What’s New at the Museum

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

 The stone veneer has been cemented around the foundation of the Chaplin Station.

 The dirt pile between the Section House and Chaplin Station has disappeared and the surrounding ground level has been raised to near its permanent level.

 The railbus was taken out for a trial run on October 14th and ran fine.  Although there are still a few things to complete, the major portion of the restoration has been completed.

 The switch from the Hartford line into the museum has been largely completed, the track has been leveled, and the ballast has been tamped. Ballast and ties have been extended about 30 feet  towards the Chaplin Station.  The roadbed has also been graded back approximately 125 feet.

 Trenches have been dug for the electrical conduit to the Section House, Chaplin Station, Groton Freight House, and the roundhouse.

 2001 CT Eastern Calendars

 The 2001 calendars 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.

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