July 2008 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack

Dear Membership,

††††††††††† Hope all is well with you this summer.

††††††††††† Weíve been very busy this season working in the yard clearing and cleaning up the scrap metal that has accumulated over the years. The Museum has made a substantial financial gain through this process, and the yard has never looked this good. If you can, please visit us to see the difference that we have made. There are a lot of people out there who have made this possible, and I would like to thank them all for their generosity and help to make this change in the appearance of the yard. We have also been clearing out the boxcars and the blue baggage car to make them a more suitable workshop area.

††††††††††† By the time that you read this we will have experienced another Little Engine That Could event. I feel that we must look at other events that are generated by the Museum using whatever means we have at our disposal, and keep the event in-house to eliminate the overhead or additional costs incurred by outside contracts. The present economy is a definite factor in low ticket sales and lack of turnout for this event. The public is not spending or traveling as it did before the gas crisis, and this is affecting us and all of tourism as a whole. We must focus on events that are easy and inexpensive to run, like Pumpkin Patch, Santa Trains, Easter Bunny, etc. We have purchased an inflatable jump-around locomotive which will be a substantial savings to us for future events. It will pay itself off in no time just by avoiding the rental fees that we otherwise would have to pay. I will add though that our volunteer staffing was very adequate and professional in running the Little Engine That Could event, and I would like to thank everyone involved for helping out.

††††††††††† In other news, our volunteers, under the leadership of John Ivansco, are in the process of moving the Segar Street pumphouse building into the yard, and setting it up near the turntable area at the east end of the yard. We discovered the foundation of the old sandhouse will accommodate the pumphouse almost perfectly. Of course this will be an added attraction to this area of the yard, and to the Museum. We also plan on building a platform for unloading passengers in this area once the pumphouse is installed. The larger plan for this area is to pour footings and re-erect the Botsford water tower just east of the pumphouse. This is one of the long overdue projects of which we seem to have hundreds at the DRM. I am very excited by these ideas, and hope we can see this all thorough in the near future.

††††††††††† I am looking forward to the Danbury Railway Day, and Membership Picnic coming up on August 9th, and I am hoping you can join us in this event.

††††††††††† In closing this report I must tell you there are other events that will be happening soon, and I will tell you of them as they unfold. I do not want to report on anything that is not definite because things will change as quickly as the weather. As always, I look forward to meeting you and talking about your interests in the Museum, concerning its past, present, and future.