August 2005 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack

††††††††††† The column this month is an update on activity in the railyard. Itís been a busy summer season with many different projects progressing simultaneously.

††††††††††† We have received the Pennsylvania Railroad RPO (railway post office) car which was graciously donated to us by the Housatonic Railroad this past spring. We have plans for restoring this unique piece to its original splendor once funding and budgets have been secured. Bill Britt has come forward as project leader, and is in the process of formulating a plan for the carís eventual restoration. Our grant-writing committee has applied for money to fund this project. Once it is accessible to the public, the RPO will be a unique and informative display on the history of these cars and the people who operated them. Of course we need your help and support, both with volunteer hours and donations, to move this project forward.

††††††††††† We have begun work on the 1402(RS 11-DL 701) locomotive restoration. With the help, expertise and guidance of Bob Pitcher, the short hood of the unit has been patched and repaired. The next step will be sanding down the finish to prep for priming and the eventual painting. Just as is the case with the RPO car, this is an extensive project requiring the ongoing efforts of a group of volunteers contributing their time to keep it moving toward completion.

††††††††††† By the time you have received this issue of the newsletter, our new sign with a representative map of the railyard will have been installed at the entrance to the yard. This sign, subsidized by the Meserve grant awarded to us this spring, is essentially a guide to our pieces of equipment and their location in the railyard. It is both colorful and informative. It gives our guests an overview of our collection, as well as the scale and size of that portion of the yard. Bob Pitcher created a handsome and sturdy stand for this 6í by 4í sign. Iím very pleased to see this long awaited addition to the yard and Museum.

††††††††††† We also have spent time adding and painting more of the attractions for our guests to see. Among other things, the CN caboose has been lettered, a Pennsylvania passenger truck painted and displayed, and many new signs explaining equipment put up.

††††††††††† All in all, we have been very busy this year, with volunteers contributing their time and talents throughout the week. As always, I thank all of the dedicated people who have helped our Museum grow.

††††††††††† I am looking forward to meeting you at our Membersí Annual Picnic on August 21st. Prior to the 5pm picnic this year,we would like to show those interested in volunteering what we can offer as opportunities along those lines at our Museum. Area and project leaders will be on site between 2 and 4pm to explain what they do, what the opportunities are, and speak to your interest as a volunteer. Please visit the Museum, and see what weíve accomplished!