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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 10, Number 1  January 2002
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

2001 – It Was A Very Good Year

We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the founding of our chapter of the NRHS in 2001 with the dedication of the roundhouse and the grand opening of the museum to visitors.

During the year, we had 1874 visitors - 1271 paid visitors and 603 children and guests.  This includes nearly 1000 visitors at our grand opening.  If you add visitors who came in when we were not officially open, our total attendance was probably around 2000.

So much has been accomplished it is easy to overlook something, but here are some of them:

 * Roundhouse doors installed and partially painted.

 * Pit six in Roundhouse restored with track.

 * Paver blocks sold and installed.

 * Operator’s Shanty restored.

 *    Track extended from Hartford Main Switch down       to Chaplin Station.

 *      Crossings built over tracks.

 *     Underground conduit for electrical   &   communications system completed.

 *      Electricity installed in Section House.

 *   Turntable lowered into turntable pit.

*    Bearing for turntable donated to Museum.

*      25-Ton Locomotive painted.

*      Displays set up in Chaplin Station and Freight House.

*      Surplus ties and rail plates sold.

*      Ramp from Section House to tracks constructed.

We owe so much to so many, it is impossible to name them all.  Perhaps the greatest debt of gratitude is due to the many members who have made the museum possible with their hard work in so many areas.  We also owe thanks to the 1205th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion for assisting us with the track work and to the  members, community, and rail fans in general, who have donated money, equipment, supplies and artifacts to the museum.  Since our primary purpose is to educate the public through our educational displays, we also owe thanks to the many visitors who paid admissions fees, bought souvenirs, made donations, and told their friends about the museum.





What’s Planned for 2002?

This year we hope to:

*      Complete ballasting of track already in place.

*      Extend track to the East gate, back to Freight House, and over to the turntable and Roundhouse.

*      Complete installation of turntable.

*      Bring rolling stock from Bridge Street to the Museum grounds.

*      Construct platforms for the Chaplin Station & Freight House.

*      Complete restoration of the Freight House.

*      Begin restoration of various rolling stock.

*      Bring equipment and rolling stock from outlying areas to Museum.

*      Set up more displays for visitors.

*      Welcome our 1,000,000th visitor (more or less).

What can you do to help?

*     Pay your dues promptly.

*     Send in a donation if you are able.

*     Sign up to serve on a Committee or Department.  Call Mark Granville at 860-456-3956.

*     Serve as a tour guide.  Call Howard Raphaelson at 860-429-1340 or Art Schnabel at 860-666-2386.

*     Help with track work or restoration projects.  Just show up at the Museum on Saturday morning.

Help with any of the many projects to be done.  We have members who can help you find something to do!

What’s Happening?

On December 12th, Mark Granville and Art Schnabel presented a slide program about the Museum to the Mansfield Numismatic Society.

Bob LaMay has three pictures in the 2002 Mystic Valley Railway Society calendar.  He also has six pictures in the December Waybill.

The Willimantic Chronicle Album had an article on December 22nd about Bob LaMay and his suggested paint scheme for the new Genesis locomotives that has been adopted by Conn-DOT for their locomotives.

Museum in the News

Willimantic Chronicle – November 26, 2001: Photos of crane lowering turntable into pit.

Trains Magazine – November 2001: Photo of roundhouse.

Railpace Magazine – Dec 2001: Painting the Roundhouse doors, photo by Jim Shaugnessy; photo of P & W Indian Summer Excursion.

The Waybill–Mystic Valley Railway Society – December 2001: Photo of visitors riding on the handcar; photo of two diesels on new tracks.

Bridge Line (D & H) Historical Society Bulletin – December 2001: Comments about members visit to Museum; Comments about Vermont Excursion.

Railfan and Railroad Magazine – February 2002: photo of 1205th TROB laying track.

Trains Magazine – February 2002: Vermont Railway diesel in Brattleboro leading Transit Alliance/CERM Fall excursion.


Calendar of Upcoming Events

Jan    6   - Business Meeting

        20   - Membership Meeting

Feb    2   - Amherst Railway Society Train Show

          3   - Amherst Railway Society Train Show

        10   - Business Meeting

        17   - Membership Meeting

February Business Meeting  Feb 10th

Because of the Amherst Railway Society Train Show on February 3rd, the monthly business meeting has been moved to February 10t

Museum Visitors

During December, we had a total of 101 visitors - 11 paid admissions and 90 guests from our train show.

December Entertainment

After our December meeting, we viewed two videos.

Bob Hassett brought a that included views of our rolling stock in Vermont, the Danbury Railway Museum, the turntable installation, and assorted equipment in Rhode Island.

Jeff Alson is a professional videographer who has volunteered to tape museum activities and events and produce a professional video that can be used by the Museum for publicity and fund raising purposes.  The initial version of his video, which was used at our train show, covered the Grand Opening and other activities.  He had a few extra copies available to the members for $8, which included a donation to the museum of $5.

Roundhouse Pavers

Thanks to several public service ads in the Chronicle, provided by Kevin Crosby, we sold 35 paver bricks in December.  Other paver sales in December brought our total to 45.  Thanks Kevin.

What’s New at the Museum

Track work: The track area near the old crossing behind the roundhouse is being leveled so a permanent crossing can be installed.

Buildings: Concrete has been poured for the platform piers at the Chaplin Station and the Groton Freight House.

Framing has been installed in the Roundhouse window openings.

More sand has been brought into the Roundhouse in preparation for laying additional floor pavers.

Roadways: The roadway in the village area has been filled and leveled.

The big hole in the roadway to the left of the Roundhouse has been filled in and graded.

Work has begun on the permanent crossing in back of the Roundhouse.

44-Tonner: A loose battery connection has caused damage to the batteries.  Bob Hassett is checking it out to determine what needs to be done to fix it.

Recent Donations

Flagpole and Flag:  Burt Turcotte recently saw a flag set at BJ’s Warehouse and donated it to the museum.

Fill:  The Town of Windham brought 10 loads of gravel/sand fill to the museum on Dec 19th

Committees and Departments

The committees and departments listed in the previous two issues of the Ghost Train Journal form the lifeblood of our organization and the Museum.  Please consider signing up for one or more if you haven’t already done so.

We particularly need additional people for membership services, museum operations and activities, train show, archives and library, entertainment, maintenance of way, mechanical, newsletter, property management and security, and sales.  Call Mark Granville at 860-456-3956

Security Report

We have been rather fortunate this year with a minimum of security problems.  Recently, however, we had two incidents.  Near gate 3, someone tunneled under the fence and near gate 4, someone cut the fence from top to bottom.  As far as can be determined, nothing was stolen and nothing was damaged.  When you are at the museum, if you notice anything unusual, please notify Jerry Griffin at 860-228-9703 or any of the officers.

Welcome to the Chapter!

We welcome the following new members who were voted into the chapter at the December 16th meeting:

Leighton Haeseler, Canterbury, CT

Charles Fairbrother, Canterbury, CT

Treasurer’s Summary – November

Income for November totaled $4,336.80 and came primarily from souvenir and food sales, train show admissions, table sales, and caboose storage fees.

Expenses amounted to $1,442.26 and consisted primarily of train show expenses and supplies for restoration and other projects.

As of November 30, cash on hand totaled $15,854.08.

A payment of $11,500 was made towards our roundhouse bank loan, as voted at the November membership meeting, leaving a balance of $2,500.  Although we still owe a total of $39,000 for the member loan certificates, we have made substantial progress in reducing our loan balance and eliminating interest payments.








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