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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 9, Number 5  May 2001
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

Grand Opening and Dedication

It is only one month until the grand opening of the museum and dedication of the roundhouse on Sunday, June 10th.   A lot of work remains to be done.

Workdays will continue on Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM through the afternoon in order to get things ready.  Even if you can spend only a couple of hours, we can find something for you to do.

On the day of the Grand Opening, we will need a lot of members to help direct parkers, sell tickets and welcome visitors, act as tour guides, sell souvenirs, man buildings, equipment, and displays, etc.  If you can help out it would be appreciated.

After June 10th, we will need people to act as docents and tour guides.  Our first training session was held on April 14th.  If you would like to serve as a docent, contact Howard Raphaelson or Arthur Schnabel or just show up at the museum and we will give you a tour and the appropriate information.

P & W Excursion

The May 5th rail excursion was a sellout, a month prior to the trip.  In addition to New England residents, we attracted people from New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania.  We even had a rail fan from Illinois who flew in for the trip.

We should do very well financially.  Thanks go to Veronica Trudeau for all of her efforts in putting this trip together.

Whatís New at the Museum


The Town of Windham has helped fill in some of the potholes and smoothed the surface.

Electrical Conduit Trenches:

The electrical trenches have been dug out, conduit pipes installed, covered with concrete where necessary, and back-filled in.

Track work:

Some rotted ties in the yard area have been replaced, ballast added, and the rails spiked down.  Five loads of fill have been dumped behind the West end switch.  Laying of ties and rail has started towards the Section House.  A load of 107-pound tie plates, needed for our mainline track, has arrived at the museum.


The bearing for the turntable has been delivered and is in the Roundhouse.  The shipping box is only about 2 feet x 2 feet x 6 inches, but the bearing will be doing a huge job.


The roundhouse doors are nearly completed. Bob Hassett and Steve Melady have been working on constructing the hinges.  Timbers have been delivered for the track in the roundhouse and are being installed at pit 6.  Some 85-pound rail for the roundhouse pits has been recovered from the Kendall spur.  The first batch of roundhouse pavers has been ordered and will be installed at pit 6 upon installation of the timbers and the rails.

Chaplin Station:

Rotted wood and wood damaged during the move is being replaced.

Operatorís Shanty:

Rebuilding of the Operatorís Shanty has been completed.  Two students from ECSU have sanded the building and are painting it.


The Alco S4 has been moved behind the fence for security purposes.  Valley Railroad #0800 has received a new name.  It is now Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum #0800.

Our new CV boxcar has been delivered to the museum.  Richard Cizik has repaired the small speeder.

Semaphore Signals at Willimantic, Conn.

While doing research for a visitorís guide at the Dodd Research Center located at the University of Connecticut, I came across some interesting information regarding semaphore signal usage in Willimantic, Conn. The information comes from a New York and New England timetable No. 7 effective 12/04/1892. A section in the timetable explains the usage and set-up of the semaphore signals.

The various semaphore signals refer to rail operations at Airline Junction, Bridge St., and the New London Northern Grade Crossing.

a.)    The upper arm set in a diagonal position (after switches have been properly set) by day, and with two green lights at night (which will show the position of the arm), gives New York & New England trains a right to proceed, and stops all New London Northern and NY, NH & H trains.

b.)    The upper arm set in a vertical position (after the switches have been properly set) by day, with two green and two red lights at night (which will show the position of the arm), gives New London Northern trains a right to proceed, and stops all New York & New England and NY, NH & H trains.

c.)    The lower arm set in a diagonal position, after the switches have been properly set, by day, with two red lights at night (which show the position of the arm) and upper arm in horizontal position, by day, or two green lights and one red light at night (which show the position of the arms), gives all NY, NH & H trains a right to proceed, and stops all New York & New England and New London Northern trains.

d.)    Both arms set in a horizontal position by day and with two green lights and one red light on the upper arm, and two green and two red lights on the lower arm (which show the position of the arms), stops all trains.

The Switch and Signalmen must be very careful to have the switches and signals, as above, and not change the position of the switches, until after both arms of the signal have been set in a horizontal position.

Note! All trains will come to a full stop within five hundred (500) feet of, and before running over, the switches named above.

Welcome to the Chapter!

We welcome the following new members who were voted into the chapter at the April 8th meeting:

Ralph & Jan Harris, New Hartford, CT

Richard Arnold, Bolton, CT




 Calendar of Upcoming Events

May  20   - Monthly Meeting

Jun    3   - Business Meeting

Jun  10   - Grand Opening & Roundhouse Dedication

Jun  17   - Monthly Meeting

July    1   - Business Meeting

Upcoming Museum Tours

May  19   - Connecticut S-Gaugers

June 5   - Lions Club

June  7   - Dan Kane Ė Channel 3

Paver Blocks

We have sold 124 paver blocks as of April 8th.  Sales are going well.   Have you ordered your paver yet?

CERM Promotion

by Bob LaMay

Railpace - May 2001:

Picture of the Operatorís Shanty with other buildings in the background.

Plastic Ties Anyone?

The Chicago Transit Authority has ordered 26,000 new ties made out of recycled plastic.  It is expected that they will last twice as long as the wood ties and can then be recycled again.  Each tie costs $90 and uses the equivalent of 1,000 milk bottles.

44-Tonner Operation

Engine number 1 does not run and needs a new injector.  While engine number 2 is operating, it currently has an oil leak that needs to be repaired. Steve Melady and his repair staff will be working on this engine during the upcoming weeks and months to repair the oil leak and get engine #1 operating properly.  Major equipment damage could occur if this equipment is used during this repair period.

If you need to use this locomotive, please contact Steve at 860-228-2185 prior to using it to insure that it can be used without causing additional damage.

Equipment Operators

In the near future, we plan to be operating our equipment for both work purposes and visitor rides. The safe use of this equipment is of the utmost importance to both our visitors and our selves.

Equally important is the proper use of the equipment. Locomotives and rolling stock are expensive mechanical devices that can easily receive major damage that we could not afford to repair.  Each piece of equipment operates somewhat differently and requires special operating procedures.  Each operator needs to know these procedures and requirements.

Operating rules and procedures are being developed to insure that anyone operating the equipment is following these requirements.  A new roster of Engineers, Brakemen, and Conductors is being developed.  If you want to be considered for one of these positions, contact Paul Shamonis at 860-649-6713.  We will be holding training classes on the rules and conducting exams to qualify operators on each piece of equipment.


The Edwards Motor Car Company is still producing rail handcars.  You can get one for only $4,000.  They recently built a new railbus for the West Virginia Central from old blueprints.

Alco S-4 Locomotives

Alco S-4 Locomotives were built from 1950 through 1961, with a total of 797 being built.  They were 1000-hp switchers built with turbocharged versions of the six-cylinder 539 engines.

Special License Plate

The State of Virginia is considering offering a special license plate showing the famed N & W steam engine No 611.

Treasurerís Summary Ė April

Income for April totaled $10,766.48 and came primarily from P & W ticket sales, train show tables and admissions and the sale of roundhouse pavers.

Expenses amounted to $8482.09 and consisted primarily of costs for the P & W excursion and the train show.  Other costs included: insurance for the museum and excursion and conduit for the electrical service.

As of April 30, cash on hand totaled $31,023.38.

Loan Certificates

CERM members have purchased 10 additional loan certificates, enabling us to reduce the bank balance to $17,000.  Once the bank loan is paid off, we can begin paying off the loan certificates. If you would like to help, contact Jeff Laverty.

Grand Opening is June 10th



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