January 04 Newsletter

Dear Members,

Hope all is well with you. It’s hard to believe that we’ve made it through the holiday season already. The summer and fall are far behind us now. I’d like you to know that we’ve had a good year at the Museum. We’ve all worked very hard running the different departments in the yard and station, very professionally, and I’m very proud of you all.

I’d like to update you with some of the important events that have happened over the last few months or will be happening shortly. First off, I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Britt as Vice-President. Bill has been an active member of the Museum for four years, working diligently in both the yard and station. He has an excellent business sense which I’m sure will be an asset to our organization. He also knows of our varied needs and his input will be greatly appreciated. Bill will serve out the remaining year and one-half term until 2005 as Vice-President and Director. I wish Bill the best of luck and look forward to working with him.

We have now entered that time of year when there isn’t much outdoor work going on so we must begin our planning for the upcoming 2004 season. We have signed a contract with Metro-North for the “Day Get Away” program starting in May 2004. Metro-North will promote the Museum in New York City and system-wide, and will bring people to Danbury by train both Saturdays and Sundays for tours and train rides at the Museum. This of course will entail a further commitment from our personnel and of course an additional strain on our equipment. I strongly feel that this is a commitment and offer that we must take for it might not come to us again. I would hate to have had a chance like this and not taken it. We must continuously try to expand our horizons by bringing in guests from different lucrative regions and try to enhance our financial incomes. In the near future, we must also begin a plan of getting the local businesses and restaurants around us, and the City of Danbury, involved in this program. I am sure that this could, and will be, a win-win situation for the parties involved in this program and ask for your full support.

Finally, over the years we have all talked of raising a three-stall structure at the site of the roundhouse and turntable area. We have unfortunately not been able to pursue this fully for whatever reasons but we are now at a stage where it should be one of our top priorities for our Museum. Our equipment and maintenance needs have grown over the years with, unfortunately, a very limited area to work in and, of course, a very limited time span available for maintenance and restoration. It’s just too cold or wet during most of the year to expect anyone to spend their time doing this kind of work in that environment. Also, our RS1 has reached a stage where the moisture from sitting outside has begun to affect its electrical circuitry. Over the next several months of winter, we must pursue and see this plan through—raising a three-stall workshop and maintenance building at this site. There remains much planning and work to do with this project but we must take that step forward for the advancement of our Museum and for the protection of our valuable collection of operating equipment.

I suspect by the time that you read this we have already gone through the Holiday season so I’ll take the time now to thank you all for your service to the Museum and hope your holidays were pleasant and wish you good health through the new year.