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Editor- By Committee ~ Mark Granville, Asst. Editor     Volume 10, Number 5  September 2002
Hopefully Published Monthly by the CONNECTICUT EASTERN CHAPTER of the N.R.H.S., Inc

Return of the Ghost Train Journal

Our editor, Arthur Schnabel, passed away unexpectedly in May.  Since then, we have been unable to publish the Ghost Train Journal.  A temporary committee has been formed to allow us to resume publication.  The committee is searching for a responsible chapter member to take over the duties of editor.  A permanent member is needed in order to guarantee continued timely publication of the Ghost Train Journal.  Until an editor is found, the journal may be published on an irregular schedule.

The job requires basic computer skills and e-mail capability.  The journal is currently put together using a template in Microsoft Word 2000.  The editor is mainly responsible for content.  The assistant editor will take care of style, spelling and grammar and our publisher will take care of copying, addressing, stamping and mailing.

Most of the content can be obtained from business and membership meetings and from working members.  The job shouldnít take more than three to four hours each month.  Anyone interested should call our president, Mark Granville, at 860-456-3956.

Arthur Schnabel

I feel lucky to be a part of one of the many organizations that Art graced with his participation.  He was always caring, considerate, and helpful.  He was a great resource for information.  In April, several of us were discussing the original location of the Chaplin Station.  The next time I saw Art, he gave me copies of an old map that shed some light on the mystery.  Periodically he gave me updates from the Internet regarding plans or events that will affect our equipment in Northern Vermont. He also knew how to use a rake and shovel.  Every time I started to grade an area, heíd jump right in and help.  I must admit, though, that I did test the limits of Artís good nature.  Once, shortly after the fence around the museum was installed, I locked that gate as I left thinking that everyone was out.  Art has stopped to take a photograph and was still inside the fence.  Several of us had stopped near Bridge Street to talk.  After a short time, Art came walking up the driveway somewhat scraped up from crawling under the fence at a low spot in the ground.  We filled the hole and Art got his own key. Iíll miss his many contributions to our common goal and most of all, Iíll miss this fine person.

New Haven Returns to the Shoreline

As we enter the month of August 2002 Connecticut is experiencing a heat wave thatís going into its 9th day of temperatures in the mid 90ís. Thatís not too high but the dew points are in the low to mid 70ís.  Add to this the normal three ĎHísí: Hazy, Hot, and Humid.  This year itís having an impact upon the electrified railroad operations along Connecticutís shoreline between New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut. During long periods of high humidity, the overhead catenary wires from which electric locomotives draw their source of power sag much lower than usual.  Locomotives that stand taller than the normal electric locomotive sometimes strike these sagging wires and short out the catenary.  This happened a few times along the section between New Haven and Stamford. During December 2001, Shore Line East started operating direct service from Old Saybrook to Stamford.  With a schedule change on June 24,2002, a second train was added to Stamford.  After it was disclosed that certain diesel locomotives were striking the catenary, a pair of vintage ex-New Haven FL9 locomotives were assigned to the two Stamford trains.  The FL9 was built in two groups (1957 and 1960) specifically for the New Haven Railroad.  The unique thing about the FL9 was it had two separate propulsion systems under one roof.  While operating in open areas it would use the normal diesel electric mode and while operating in 3rd rail areas and in tunnels, it would use electric mode drawing power from the 3rd rail similar to subways. The most recent period when FL9ís were on the shoreline was in 2000 when Amtrak used a pair on work trains, then again in 2001 when a protect set would go out as rescue units to help disabled electric locomotives.  Prior to that, four sets of push pull trainsets were used to assist Shore Line East in 1991.  This happened when Christmas crowds were much larger than expected and more capacity was needed to meet the demands.  The last time FL9ís were used in regularly scheduled passenger service was during the early years of the Penn Central era from 1969 into the early 1970ís.Iím sure once the weather turns cooler the FL9ís will be returned to their normal duties in Western Connecticut and Southeastern New York. However, till then letís appreciate seeing them once again on home rails, along Connecticutís beautiful Shoreline between New Haven and Stamford.


One of the consequences of not publishing the Ghost Train Journal since April is that most of the membership has forgotten that the Zoo Train Special is scheduled for September 21.  It is important that reservations be made as soon as possible so that we will know if there will be enough participants to warrant holding the excursion.  Note that the fare includes admission to the zoo.

Please call Veronica Trudeau at 401-568-6202 or Mark Granville at 860-456-3956 and leave a message to let us know that you are sending in your reservation.  Be sure to tell us how many seats you want.


Calendar of Upcoming Events


   8   -Business meeting

 21   -Zoo Train Special

22-Membership Meeting


  6   -Business Meeting

20-Membership Meeting, election of officers

Museum Calendars

The 2003 museum calendars will be available in a few weeks.  Jeff, Ray and Mark have been working hard to get the calendar drafted and set-up to take to the printer.  They went through quite a few photographs to select ones with a wide geographical coverage of Eastern Connecticut railroad history. Help of the membership is needed to get the calendars out to stores and other locations where they can be sold.  If you canít distribute them but have some places to suggest, please call Ray Axelrod at 860-228-3197 or Jeff Laverty at 860-429-7961.

Welcome to the Chapter

We welcome the following new members who were voted into the chapter at the July membership meeting:


Gorgon Cochrane Jr., Foxboro, MA

Ed Shekleton & Pam McCormick, Willington, CT

Thomas Nanos, Coventry, CT

Scott Whittlesey, Windsor, CT

Richard Deuso, Hope, RI

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Copyright ©2002 Connecticut Eastern Chapter, National Railway Historical Society October  2000.