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Arthur W Schnabel, Editor ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 10, Number 4  April 2002
 Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

Pfizer #2 Arrives at Museum

On Tuesday, March 19th, a special ceremony was held at the Pfizer Global Manufacturing plant in New London, CT to formally turn over 2 locomotives, one to the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum and one to the Danbury Railway Museum. Danbury received SW8 #1 and we received SW8 #2.  Our locomotive arrived at the museum on Saturday, March 23rd via the P&W and NECR.

Our locomotive was built at Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors during Feb 1953 as an SW8. It was built for the Wabash Railroad and was numbered 130.  After the Wabash was merged into the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1964, it was renumbered 3130.  When the Norfolk and Western merged with the Southern Railway in 1982, it was renumbered 3730.

In 1985, the Norfolk Southern retired 3730 and sold it to the National Railway Equipment Company.  Pfizer purchased the locomotive and had it modified with a 567C, 900 hp prime mover and newer electrical wiring.  When received by Pfizer in March 1991, the locomotive was repainted in Pfizer beige and cream colors and renumbered 2.

Our mechanical department reports that the locomotive is in good running order except for some poor batteries.

Everyone is encouraged to come to the museum and give our newest acquisition a thorough examination.

New England Railroad Exhibit

The Danbury Railway Museum is presenting “The Way It Was – a Photographic Essay on New England Railroads in the 1930’s” through May 18th. These historic rail photos were taken between 1932 to 1937 by renowned author and photographer L Peter Cromwell and have never been shown collectively to the public before.

The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT.  For further information, visit the museum’s web site at, or call (203)778-8337.

A Trip To Remember

“Most tourist railroad operations are not, to put it mildly, extravagantly financed.  So the ticket seller for a certain operation in a northeastern state must have been pleased when a group proposed to charter their train for a special run.  However, once the train had started, the passengers took off all their clothes.  A female crewmember said afterwards that she’d felt strange, because when she went through the coaches to collect tickets, she was the only clothed person in sight.

The ‘naturists’ had lowered the shades before stripping, but perhaps one car was the modern sort with no shades.  In any case, one of the line’s neighbors saw the nakedness of some passengers and alerted the local constabulary, who met the train at the station.  Fortunately, the local authorities didn’t close down the whole rail operation.  But the nudists were told that they wouldn’t be allowed to come back for another ride.”

Bob LaMay Recognized

Conn-DOT held a press conference on Dec 17, 2001 recognizing Bob LaMay, the late Joseph Snopek, and Phil Ginkas, a graphics designer who designed the “New Haven” paint scheme used on the new Genesis locomotives.  This was originally published in their book “Diesels to Park Avenue” seven years ago as a “what if” design.

Another Artifact Lost

The old wooden Central Vermont roundhouse in New London was destroyed by fire on Sunday, March 31st.  It had not been used for railroad purposes in many years and the turntable had been removed years ago.

Besides being a CV roundhouse, it also had another tie to our museum.  Back in 1973, the Connecticut Valley Railroad Association (now Railroad Museum of New England) used the roundhouse to work on our 44-tonner #0800, which was then owned by the Valley Railroad.   It had just been returned from the Electric Boat lease and maintenance work was done there during February and March of that year.

What’s New at the Museum

Village Area:

Additional fill and topsoil has been placed between the Section House and Chaplin Station and graded to a final level and grass has been planted.

The deck frame has been completed for the Chaplin Station platform.

Some of the brush and leaves have been cleared out of the future picnic area.


Nearly all track remaining at the Kendall Spur has been removed and stockpiled to bring to the museum

Pfizer #2 :

Our new locomotive arrived at the museum on Saturday March 23rd and has been moved into the museum grounds.

Track Extension:

Fill has been spread east from Chaplin Station and ballast and ties laid in preparation for extending the track.


Calendar of Upcoming Events

 Apr     7   - Business Meeting

        21   - CERM Train Show

        28   - Membership Meeting

May    4   - Spring P & W Excursion

          5   - Business Meeting

        11   - Museum Opens for Season

        19   - Membership Meeting

Spring P & W Excursion

Our May 4th excursion on the Providence & Worcester Railroad is on schedule and only 20 seats are left.  If you want to go, please contact Veronica at (401)568-6202 as soon as possible.

Our next P&W excursion has been scheduled for September 21st.  It is planned to go to Providence with a 2-hour layover at the Roger Williams Zoo.


Museum Opening for 2002
Volunteer Staff Needed


The museum will be open from 10 AM to 4 PM every Saturday and Sunday starting on May 11th.  Volunteers will be needed to sell admission tickets, man the sales office, and serve as tour guides.  A sign up sheet will be placed in the Section House.  It would be very helpful if members could sign up in advance in order to improve scheduling.  If you cannot sign-up in the Section House, leave a message on Mark Granville’s answering machine at (860)456-3956.  Time slots are from 10AM-1PM and 1PM-4PM.

CT Trolley Museum Steamers

The Climax engine put up for sale by the Trolley Museum has been sold for $200,000 to the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR of West Virginia which plans to use it in excursion service.  The other two locomotives have been sold to Railstar Corporation.

Locomotive Air Hoses

A question in “Ask Trains” asks the purpose of the hoses on the sides of the couplers on diesel locomotives.  The reply indicates that they are multiple-unit (MU) air hoses used to connect the air brake systems in a locomotive consist.

The largest hose, nearest the coupler, is the equalizing line which connects the main air reservoirs and allows each locomotive in the consist to share in the charging of the brake pipe and reservoirs.  The middle hose is used to release the brake-cylinder pressure on the whole train.  The last hose allows the locomotive brakes to be applied or released independently of the train brakes.

Willimantic Trains

A snapshot of New Haven rail traffic on a typical day in 1955 shows 3 passenger trains each day between Hartford – Willimantic – Putnam and 1 freight train each way with 11 or 12 cars.  One freight ran each way between Willimantic and Plainfield with 10 cars.  The Airline had 1 freight train with 7 cars running to Amston and 2 continuing on to Colchester. Apparently, there was no regular service between Willimantic and Amston.

Timesheets and Work Days

Now that the weather is getting better and more members are working at the museum, please remember to fill out a volunteer worksheet whenever you are working on a museum project.  Forms are available in the Section House and may be given to Dick Sobielo or left in the Section House in the appropriate folder.

Speaking of summer, we will be resuming Saturday and Sunday work days when the museum opens on May 11th.

What’s Happening?

Bob LaMay presented a program about the museum at the Lebanon Historical Society on April 3rd.

A group of Boy Scouts were at the museum on April 6th working on their Railroad merit badges.

Museum in the News

Guide to Tourist Railroads – 2002:  Listing and write up about museum.

Connecticut Tourist Guide – 2002:  Listing of museum.

The Waybill – Mystic Valley Rwy Soc – Mar 2002:  Photo of business end of 25-tonner and photo of turntable and roundhouse.

Railfan & Railroad – May 2002:  Paid museum ad.

SNET Community Connections

Last quarter the Chapter received a check for $77.85 from SNET for participating in the Community Connections program.  To date we have received a total of $1,706.65.  The Chapter receives 5% of the long distance telephone bill of participants, even non-members.  Have you signed up yet?

Treasurer’s Summary – February

Income for February totaled $7,044.51 and came primarily from membership dues, donations and contributions, and the sale of tables at the train show.

Expenses amounted to $2,301.81 and consisted of payment of National NRHS membership dues, and various restoration, train show and administrative expenses.

As of February 28th, cash on hand totaled $22,326.08.

The Roundhouse loan balance was reduced to $1,000 with the payment of an additional $500.  The loan certificates outstanding currently total $39,500.


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