August 2010 President’s Report

By Ira Pollack


            In this month’s report I will update you on some of the things going on. There is a lot happening so maybe I will just list them for you.

1) Turntable – Welding and painting on the operator’s house has been completed. A new diamond-plate floor has also been fabricated and installed. I have recently been in contact and invited representatives of the State Historical and Preservation Office to assess the progress of our stabilization of the turntable. Their visit to the Museum was apparently a very pleasant surprise. I do not think they expected to see the extent of our operation and facility, and were very excited by it. We will expand our relationship by updating them periodically on the progress of the turntable. I am hoping to tap into a higher level of expertise and knowledge to guide and help us in this grand project.

2) Yard – As you may know I am trying to expand the time limit on the lease of the yard and possibly extend our operations just beyond our east gate. This has been an arduous task, but we are slowly making progress in our negotiations with CDOT. This has entailed looking ahead to our future, trying to plan out an upgrade of our trackage, and make the whole yard operable at a minimal Class I FRA standard. I have presented both CDOT and the DRM Board of Directors with a ten-year plan for this restoration. Some of this work can be done by our volunteers, but unfortunately the majority is out of our mechanical and budgetary means. We will be having an inspection shortly by CDOT and Metro-North officials to assess the conditions of our trackage and to recommend a more detailed plan for this goal.

3) Albany Electrics – I have not spoken much about this project over this past year, but I can tell you it is still moving forward. There has been a lot of behind the scene negotiating between PS&G, CSX, RJ Korman, and our benefactors to make this a success. As it stands now, CSX will be moving the electrics by way of heavy duty center-depressed flatcars. What actually remains is finding a suitable area to load them. I have remained somewhat quiet about this project because the circumstances and logistics have changed numerous times, and I do not want rumors starting. When it happens, it will happen, and if not, I know that the people involved in the preservation have done everything in their power to make it work. I also have a lot of respect for these people for their knowledge and expertise, plus their drive to succeed with this project.

            In closing my report this month, I will go back to the turntable. We have worked together as a team to get to where we are now with this project. We have had a very wide range of volunteers working on this as one goal. I am very proud of what we have done to date and hope we can continue the momentum of this project. I would love to be able to work this way through all of our many projects at the Museum – working together toward one goal.