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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 9, Number 11  November 2001
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

CT Eastern Annual Banquet

The annual banquet will be held on Saturday, December 1st at Windham Community Memorial Hospital.  The dining room is just to the right after you come through the main entrance.

The dinner will be buffet style and we have been assured that there will be plenty of food for everyone.  The low price for this dinner is only $17.00 per person.  For this price you can’t afford to stay home.

After dinner, we will have a presentation by Albert C. Song, PE, Mechanical, Office of Rail Operations, Connecticut Department of Transportation.  He will talk to us about yard and main line operations.  To conclude, we will have a short review of the year’s activities by Joe Cerreto.  Be sure to attend.

Please send your reservations to Jeff Laverty, 68 Mulberry Road, Mansfield Center, CT 06250.  The deadline is November 24th.


Banquet Reservation Form

 ________# attending @ $17.00             

Total Payment  $_______________              

Name: _____________________________

 Address:  __________________________

 City, State, Zip: ______________________ 

 Telephone:   ________________________       


Election of Officers

The nominating committee consisting of Art Hall, Bill Robinson, Walt Dumas, and Jack Krieger presented the following slate for next year’s officers at the October 21st meeting:

President – Mark Granville

Vice-President – Duke York

Secretary – Bill Nickerson

Treasurer – Jeff Laverty

National Director – Joe Cerreto

As there were no further nominations, the slate was elected as nominated.

An Era Ends

After 10 years, the CT Eastern Chapter has a new president, Mark Granville.  Mark thanked Joe Cerreto for his many years of service to the Chapter and promised an appropriate roasting at the banquet.

Joe expressed his thanks to everyone for his or her hard work, dedication, and loyalty during these past 10 years.  He indicated that without the establishment of the Chapter and the museum, he never would have made the many new friends he made during this period.  He expressed his hopes that the members continue to support the new president, as they did him.

2002 CT Eastern Calendars

The 2002 calendars are now available for only $4.00.  With so many people interested in trains, they are easy to sell or use as nice gifts.

If you know of any possible distribution locations, take some calendars to them.  See Jeff Laverty (429-7961) or Ray Axelrod (228-3197) for additional information or to obtain some of the calendars.

What’s New at the Museum


A concerted effort was made to remove all of the remaining 132-pound tie plates from the tie piles so that we can exchange them for needed switch ties and other switch supplies.

Track has been extended just past the Chaplin Station.

A pile of rail has been moved from the old Kendal spur area to the museum.


The primer coat of paint on the roundhouse doors has been completed.

Guard Rails

You may have noticed some rails with a parallel rail adjacent to it in our rail piles.  These are guard rails, used to help prevent major derailments on bridges or areas where it would be hard to fix.

Army Track Laying

The Army track laying day on October 20th was a big success with additional track ballasted, laid, and spiked down past the Chaplin Station (around 99 feet). The 44-ton locomotive was moved down to the station and was the first train to stop at Chaplin Station in over 100 years.  The entire day was filmed for publicity purposes.


Moving Equipment

Several pieces of the museum’s equipment are located at other locations including Old Saybrook CT, Palmer MA, and Morrisville VT.  We have also been offered additional pieces of equipment that must be moved within a relatively short time.  Some equipment may be able to move by rail, but most will have to be moved by truck, probably requiring a crane at both ends of the move.

Do you know of any truckers or crane operators that might be able to help us, preferably for as little cost as possible?  If so, contact Bill Robinson at 456-4903 or





On the Move

All membership and business meetings will now be held at Windham Community Memorial Hospital, 112 Mansfield Avenue, Willimantic, CT.  Park in the main lot at the top of the hill and walk into the main entrance.  We will be meeting in the banquet room on your right.  Our previous meeting location at the Willimantic Police Station is being remodeled for other uses and is no longer available.

Calendar of Upcoming Events


Nov    2   - Willimantic School trip to the museum

          4   - Business Meeting

        18   - Membership Meeting

Dec   1   - Annual Banquet

                  Program by Al Song, Conn-DOT

          2   - CT Eastern Train Show

        16   - Membership Meeting

Fall Train Show

Our fall train show will be held on December 2nd at Windham High School from 10 AM to 3 PM.  We will need help setting up the tables and chairs on Friday evening.

On Sunday, we will need workers to help the vendors in and out of the building, sell tickets at the door, help with the food, and staff the museum’s table.  Please help out if you can.

December Business Meeting

There will be no business meeting on December 2nd because of the train show.

Committee Assignments

It will soon be time to sign up for committees for next year.  You may sign up for any committees for which you have an interest.  If everyone takes a small part, the burden is not as heavy on a few people.

The Museum in the News

Trains – Nov 2001:  Picture of the roundhouse.

Buried Treasure

Recently an employee of the Ginther Coal Company in Pennsylvania was shoveling at a refuse bank when he hit a large piece of metal pipe.  After further excavation, a steam locomotive was uncovered.  It apparently was an old saddle tank Vulcan that had exploded during the 1930’s and later buried.  Restoration of the locomotive is currently underway.It has long been rumored, according to articles in the Hartford Courant and Meriden Record-Journal that we have buried treasure in Silver Lake in Meriden.  Reportedly, railroad cars from the late 1800’s that derailed on the causeway at the Lake were pushed over the edge and buried alongside the track.  So far, nothing has been found.

Thomas the Dummy

The Strasburg Railroad has contracted to build 4 replica “Thomas the Tank” Engines.  The new engines will include 3 standard gauge and 1 narrow gauge engines and will be purchased by museums in Colorado, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  They will be slightly smaller, be unpowered, and will require a real engine to push or pull the train.  Completion is expected by January 1, 2002.

North Carolina Railroads

Are you interested in the railroads of North Carolina?  The State of North Carolina has a free 28-page publication that covers mostly the short lines but includes much information.  The publication is “The Railways of North Carolina, The Official Directory – Spring 2001.”  There is also an 8.5”x11” map showing all trackage in the state.  Both are available free from the North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division, 1553 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1553.

Museum Visitors

Museum attendance during October consisted of 111 paid admissions and 45 children and guests.  $86.85 in donations was received.

Welcome to the Chapter!

We welcome the following members who were voted into the chapter at the October 21st meeting:

Frederick Dulac, Southington, CT

Richard Peiffer, Groton, CT

Bert Phillips, Jr., Baltic, CT

Treasurer’s Summary – September

Income for September totaled $5,732.48 and came primarily from P & W Excursion ticket sales, souvenir sales, roundhouse pavers, and admission fees.

Expenses amounted to $9,321.84 and consisted primarily of the P & W trip, purchase of museum souvenirs, purchase of track ballast, and purchase of inscribed pavers.

As of September 30, cash on hand totaled $16,636.65.

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