September 2009 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack


††††††††††† In this monthís report I first wish you all a pleasant fall season which is before us now. Summer has slipped away very quickly this year, or maybe it was not really here at all. We had too many rainy weekends to dampen a lot of our projects in the yard, and now we seem to be scurrying quickly to try to finish at least some of what we were working on.

††††††††††† Our track work is moving slowly, but we are making progress. Track 42 is our main focus now, with replacing about 30 ties in the area just west of the turntable lead switch. Apparently the more we look, the more we find. Many of the ties in this area have begun failing and causing the gauge to spread. Our goal and priority is, of course, train operations at the Museum, but safety is our utmost concern. We must reach a point, if possible, where our infrastructure becomes a lot more stable and reliable. Of course that is easy for me to say, but the workload before us is staggering and our volunteers are very few. I will praise the people who have come out to help with this hard work on Saturdays, though. These are people who fully understand that this is the priority of the Museum - to sustain our Railyard Local; this is why our guests come to the Museum - to ride the trains. It has been my fear that someday soon we will not be able to operate anymore because of the poor trackage and lack of volunteers. That continues to haunt us.

††††††††††† In other much better news, work continues on our turntable. Several weeks ago I had tried for a turntable work day, but, alas, it rained that weekend. I truly believe in dedicating ourselves to one selected project and deploying everyone who comes to the yard on that project. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us, so we had one more rescheduled weekend! We have had several people who have dedicated themselves to this project though. Art Slothower, new member Bob Wohlken, Rob Bell and Steve Mayerson have tirelessly been scraping and cleaning the main girder of the turntable, and Art singlehandedly painted the rust converter on both sides of the structure. During the past 15 years or more our turntable has never looked this good. I am hoping in the next several weeks we can apply a finish coat to further protect this important artifact. My respect goes out to their dedication to this project. Understand that what we are doing now is a stabilization just to buy ourselves time on this structure.

††††††††††† In closing my report this month, as usual, I will tell you there is a lot going on at the Museum. I talk about the things that I feel are a priority to me, the progress of the Museum, and some of the things I am involved in, but there is a lot more happening around us. There is so much happening at our Museum, with many volunteers involved, that I feel that oftentimes different aspects of our Museum and volunteer staff are not acknowledged enough in my reports. There are the activities of the Station Staff, the Model Railroaders, the Library, and all of the different people who come through the place. There are many people who are in the background doing their best to keep us moving forward as a vibrant Museum. As always these are the people I support. It has been hard though for me to acknowledge everyone involved in our growth, but remember that you have my support. I just hope you support me, too.

††††††††††† Once again, I have new ideas and many different projects in the making. We must continue to try new ideas, although some will work and others will not, but we must keep trying to keep things fresh.

††††††††††† I will talk to you next month on some of the latest developments.