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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 9, Number 8  August 2001
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

Dues Increase

The April directors meeting of the NRHS voted to increase the national dues to $20 per member and $3 for family members.

Chapter dues have been $10 for many years.  This covers little more than the costs of printing and distributing the Ghost Train Journal.  At the July 15 membership meeting, a proposal was made to increase the Chapter dues to $15.  It was pointed out that we now have higher costs with the opening of the Museum and all members receive free admission with their membership.  Members also receive the knowledge that they are helping to preserve railroad history in Eastern Connecticut.  It was voted unanimously to increase the dues to $15.

Combined National and Chapter dues will now be $35 for an individual membership.  Family members will be an additional $3.

August Program

Bob Hassett recently took a ride up to the Northern Branch of our museum in Morrisville, VT to see how our equipment there is holding up.  Some equipment was open so he took steps to secure them and lock them up.  He plans to show some slides of his trip at our August Meeting.

September Business Meeting Cancelled

The business meeting scheduled for September 2nd will not be held because of the Labor Day Holiday.

Report From St Louis

Outside of a few problems at the convention hotel, the St. Louis Convention generally ran with a minimum of problems.

The Wednesday trip went to the Museum of Transportation, just outside of St Louis.  The museum was founded as a private organization, but was later taken over by the County.  They have a tremendous collection of equipment, including many old steam engines and rare and unusual equipment. Unfortunately, some of the older equipment is in need of repair or restoration.  They have a short trolley ride of approximately ¼ mile.  Later in the day, a trip was taken to the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific, a 12-inch gauge live steam railroad for a two-mile ride over the original right of way of the Pacific Railroad.

On Thursday, we went on a steam trip using Frisco 1522.  The trip went from St Louis through Hannibal to West Quincy, MO, along the Mississippi River.  The Saturday trip, also using Frisco 1522, ran west alongside sections of the famous Route 66.  On both rides I was fortunate to ride on former New Haven car “Pine Tree State”.

At the Director’s meeting, it was voted to eliminate the half price dues from June to August. Effective next year, anyone joining between January and August 31st will pay full dues and receive copies of all publications issued during the year.  Persons joining after September 1st will pay full dues and receive membership for the balance of the current year as well as the following year.

Recent Donations

We recently received a donation of the bed of the old Chaplin Station baggage cart. While parts of the cart were missing, we do have parts from a similar cart that will help us restore it.

What’s New at the Museum


Additional track has been spiked back towards the Section House and a crossing has been installed to the rear of the Roundhouse.  The pump car ramp to the Section House has been completed.  Additional fill has been placed near the tail and the track has been spiked down.


Installation of the doors has been completed and they are now being painted.

S-4 and 44-tonner:

Repair work is continuing on the S-4 and 44-tonner to repair various problems.

Storage Area:

Ken Sigfriedson found a buyer for most of our surplus fence and 100 landscape ties.  This enriches our treasury by $2100 and eliminates a lot of clutter.

P & W Excursion

On September 29th, the museum will hold another excursion on the P&W Railroad.  The trip will leave from Plainfield, CT and head north to Worcester and Gardner, MA.  It will then head south, passing through the Taft Tunnel and traveling along the Thames River to Groton and finally returning north to Plainfield.  A photo run-by will be held, weather permitting.  The train will board at 8am and return at approximately 4:30pm.

Tickets are only $45.  If you are interested, send a check, payable to Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum to: Veronica Trudeau, 2421 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, RI 02814.  For additional information, call Veronica at (401)568-6202 before 6pm.


If you are a new member of the museum or have just recently begun to work on museum projects, it would be helpful if you would fill out a volunteer worksheet indicating any projects you were working on and the time spent working on them. Volunteer time by members may be used in many cases to provide matching effort by the Museum for grant funds.  Forms are available in the Section House.  Filled out forms may be given to Dick Sobiello or left in the Section House in the appropriate folder.

Museum Visitors

There is an old saying “If you build it they will come.”  This has proven to be true with our roundhouse and museum.  Museum attendance to date is as follows:

Paid Guests/Children Total

Grand Opening          669            260      929

June                               47              15        62

July                              129              59      188

Total-to-date              845            334    1179

Besides admission fees, many visitors purchase souvenirs or a paver, join the museum, donate money or railroad artifacts to the museum, or sign up for the SNET Community Connections Program.  All of these help to make the museum better.  Help promote the museum by wearing your museum T-shirt or cap.

Tour Guides Wanted

We need ticket sellers and tour guides every Saturday and Sunday.  Even if you are unable to sign up in advance, come to the museum and you may free up someone who can work on construction projects.

Calendar of Upcoming Events


Aug    9   - Canterbury Senior Center Tour

        19   - Membership Meeting

        26   - Model T&A, CERM, NMRA Picnic

Sept 16   - Membership Meeting

        29   - Indian Summer Express Excursion

        30   - Trip to CAMA Fall Festival

Nov    4   - Connecticut Eastern Train Show

Free Admission for Members

Members of the Connecticut Eastern Chapter of the NRHS are entitled to free admission to the museum.  Unfortunately, we do not always recognize the faces of the members, so please bring your NRHS/Connecticut Eastern membership card when you visit the museum.  Non-working members and visitors should park outside the fence in the parking area.  If you are a working member, you may park inside the gate behind the roundhouse.

Connecticut Antique Machinery Association Fall Festival

The museum is sponsoring a bus trip on Sunday, September 30th to the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association’s Fall Festival in Kent Connecticut.  CAMA's show is a major public event, a culmination of the years' activities when the grounds are filled with all sorts of operating antique machinery. There will be operating exhibits including gas engines, steam engines, narrow gauge railroad, construction equipment, tractors, steam traction engines, steam launches, antique motorcycles, hot tube ignition engines, rock crusher, shingle mill, large diesel engines, well drillers, wood sawing, antique cars and trucks, mining museum, vendors selling mechanically related wares, food on the grounds, including their famous engineers steam cooked soup for a full day of fun.  The bus will leave the museum at 8am and will return at 6pm. Bus fare should be about $20 per person.  If you are interested in going, please call Bill Robinson at (860)456-4903 or email at

In Memoriam

Long-time museum member, Patricia Brett, passed away recently.  Our sympathy is extended to her family.

What’s Happening?

A meeting was held at the museum on Saturday, July 14th with the Army Engineers regarding the installation of the turntable. The discussion involved what needed to be done and whether the Army Reserve had the equipment needed to do the job.  They indicated that they wanted to assist us with this and possibly other projects.  The project will most likely be done in the fall.

Major Martin Piech, commanding officer of the 1205th TROB, brought two representatives of the United Kingdom Defense Rail Executive to the museum for a tour on August 5th.  Major Gary Draisey and Warrant Officer Ian Thorburn are currently visiting some of the 1205th’s training sites.

Rails and Tie Plates

Did you know that rail comes in different lengths and weights?  We are using 107-pound rail for the main line of our museum.  The rail is classified by the weight per yard, thus 107-pound rail would weigh 107 pounds for each yard of length.  In the roundhouse, we are using 80-pound rail and we plan to use 80-pound rail in our sidings and yard areas.

Tie plates, which are used to help hold the rails on the ties, are also classified by the weight of rail for which they are designed.  The ties that we have received from the DOT, have 132-pound tie plates attached.  Since these are too wide for our rail, we must remove them and replace them with 107-pound tie plates.  When installing them, the wider edge must be placed on the outside of the track because the tie plates are thinner on the inside and heavier on the outside, thus tilting the rails slightly to the inside.

Picnic – August 26th

The Model T & A  Club, the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum and the Nutmeg Division of the National Model Railroad Association will hold a joint picnic on August 26th.  Please sign-up on the enclosed form.

Treasurer’s Summary – June

Income for June totaled $6,099.57 and came primarily from Grand Opening admissions & food sales, sales department sales, contributions and the sale of roundhouse pavers.

Expenses amounted to $5,098.38 and consisted primarily of installation of electrical service, inventory purchases for the sales department and restoration cost for the roundhouse.

As of June 30, cash on hand totaled $21,307.87.  Our bank loan balance has been reduced to $16,500.00.

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