January – March, 2009


            Hope all is well with you this month. I have not been in touch with you over the past several weeks, so I would like to update you on what has been going on at the DRNM. To begin with I would like to thank all the people who helped keep our yard and walkways open during this winter season. Although we did not have large storms, it was enough to make our facility extremely slippery and hard to walk through. My thanks go out also to Justin Chapin for using his personal vehicle to plow and keep our roadways open. I am hoping that once the weather breaks we can spend time working on the DRM pickup that we purchased last fall for plowing.

            Several weeks ago I received some sad news that I will share with you. Long-time member Charlie Bardo passed away after along illness. Charlie, a devout historian who was on our original Board of Directors, was a walking history book. Charlie was also an early supporter of the Museum from the beginning and always commented on our diversity of interests. He knew and actually lived the history that we pursue. Not too many people were aware of Charlie’s unique hobby of painting miniature landscapes on handsaws. He had quite a collection of them, and took much pride in displaying them when he could. Our condolences go out to the Bardo family.

            As you may know by now, the Tonawanda Valley has been graciously donated to the Museum by Dr. Diana Beardsley. I am also very pleased to tell you Bill Britt has come forward to be the project leader in the restoration. Bill and company were responsible for the restoration of our RPO car, which has turned into a showpiece for the Museum. I am looking forward to helping Bill in any way possible with the success of this project. Please help us with this unique piece, either by providing financial assistance or by talking with Bill and joining this restoration team, if you want to be part of preserving railroad history.

            In other news, I am very happy to report that the FL9 2006 has been donated to the DRM by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. This has been a long and stretched out process for me, but perseverance has won out in the end. We have no operational plans initially for this New Haven classic, but eventually would like to turn this into an accessible display, allowing our guests into the cab, and teaching them the history of FL9’s, possibly using photos in the cab.

            Finally, in mid-March the Museum will be receiving the donation of a coal loading conveyor from a gentleman from Brewster, NY. This piece, although non-operational, just reeks of railroad and would fit very nicely in our yard as a display. The Museum must continue to explore, pursue, and obtain pieces such as this for unique exhibits and a diverse collection in the yard and Museum.

            Spring is just around the corner, and we have many projects before us this year, but unfortunately with a very limited budget. I am hoping that we can work on projects within our restricted fund accounts, such as the cosmetic restoration of the RS11 #1402, stabilization of the Boston & Maine steam locomotive #1455, and restoration of the NYC wooden caboose. There still is track work to be done! There are enough projects to go around for everyone to help.

            Talk to you next month!