September – October 2017 President’s Report
As I write this, we are in the midst of a very successful Pumpkin Patch season. The weather has been great and the trains are full. Let’s hope our good fortune continues right straight through the Santa Trains.
If you have not been to the yard lately, please consider coming down to see some of the work that is being done. Our two Canadian National cars have been repainted in correct colors by Art Slothower and are awaiting lettering (not always an easy task). As most of you know, we use one of the cars as our Santa and Easter Bunny car. The other car will be used for storage - containing items we need for the two events. It will be a lot easier on members not having to pull things out of other storage areas to set up the Events Car. Art continues to spruce up the Tonawanda Valley and we open the car on special occasions. About six weeks ago, I was taking numerous photos and measurements for a theatre set designer who was working on a production of the musical “20th Century Limited.” Wish I could see the set first-hand, but it is Melbourne, Australia.
Also happening in the yard, we have begun repainting some of the coaches we use in the Railyard Local. We will finish this work next year. When Peter McLachlan is available, he will open the New Haven FL-9 which has proven to be a very popular exhibit. As with the Tonawanda Valley, we really need someone on the equipment to explain and protect it. Work continues on the New York Central caboose and the 1455, usually on the weekends. Project managers Gerry Herrmann and Philip Beard (respectively) are more than happy to explain their progress. Jim Teer continues to do track work and can always use help.
To help with track work, we have purchased a tamper from the Catskill Mountain Railroad. In fact, this is the same tamper we sold them about ten years ago when we thought it would not be used at the DRM. CMRR repaired what needed to be fixed and used the tamper for a number of years on their trackage out of Kingston. It became surplus when they purchased another model.
A couple of major projects are still coming along. We have the replacement timbers for the turntable and work has begun with Jeff VanWagenen and Justin Chapin overseeing the work. As for the Mill Plain Station, our contractor has stripped off the roof material and will soon begin dismantling the additions. We still need to figure out a way to move the station into the yard around a very tight corner that is problematic. Fortunately, we have been in touch with a crane company that is familiar with the corner having moved the substation for Metro-North.
So while the weather is still good, consider visiting the yard and seeing all that is going on.
Next issue, I’ll bring you up-to-date on what is going on inside the Station and archives.