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Amherst Railway Society
May 18, 2004
Meeting Announcement


The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 8:00 P.M. at the Amherst Middle School.

“Inside EMD”
A Program by Preston Cook

INSIDE EMD is a very unique color slide show about the original EMD plant in La Grange Illinois, a facility that was demolished several years ago. This program was developed over a period of 30+ years by Preston Cook, a former EMD Training Center Instructor, and is based on the tours of the plant taken with the Training Center class students. Many former EMD employees also provided material from their collections to assist in the development of this program. It provides a short introduction on the history of EMD, followed by a tour of the facility as it appeared in the peak production years of the 1970s. Engine and electrical equipment manufacturing, frame and carbody fabrication, locomotive assembly and testing, and the painting and shipping of units are all discussed, in a tour which includes many of the most colorful and unusual EMD products produced in the era.

The program also looks into locomotive development, compares some of the features of the Dash-2s with the 50 and 60 series units which followed them, examines the electric locomotive programs, and explains locomotive replacement orders (LRO’s) with before and after views of trade ins and new products. It concludes with views of the final demolition of the historic original plant after locomotive production was moved to London, Ontario. It is a trip back to a place and a time that now survives only in photos and in the memories of those who worked there.

Preston Cook is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University of Massachusetts. He worked for the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors for 16 years as a Field Service Engineer, Training Center Instructor, and District Engineer managing accounts with the US Government and Military Services.

In 1987 he went to the Morrison Knudsen Companies and subsequently to MK Rail as Training Manager for the MK1200G Natural Gas Switcher project. Following purchase of the company by Wabtec he became Sales Manager in the Eastern United States. He presently manages 37 Boise rebuilt F40PH-2C locomotives operating on the MBTA in Boston. He is the author of four all-color books (ERIE LACKAWANNA MEMORIES (1987); BEFORE GUILFORD (1988); C&NW MEMORIES (1989); and THE RAILROAD NIGHT SCENE (1991) all published by Old Line Graphics. He has also authored many magazine articles on railroad, marine, naval, military and travel subjects.


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The Nominating Committee will present their report at this meeting, and we will vote on a slate of officers in June. The committee includes Sy Berger, Ernie Strong, and Bill Kaiser.

Many of you know long-time member Bill Mihancki. In past years at our “Big Railroad Hobby Show”, he has spent most of the weekend in the show office doing many helpful tasks. This past February, after the show, he was taken ill and has been at Haven Health Center for rehab and physical therapy since. It has been decided that it is in his best interests to reside permanently at this facility. His sister has asked that we not forget him - he could be picked up and brought to a meeting or the next show. She says that he is missing us. Please call or send him a card or better still, visit if you are in the area. His address is William Mihancki, c/o Haven Health Center of Windham, 595 Valley St., Willimantic, CT 06226. Room#115. Phone: (860)423-5151

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October 2, 2004 - Mt. Washington Cog Railway Trip! Save the date! This will be an all day trip from Warren and Northampton, MA to ride the Cog Railway up Mt. Washington. For more info, call Doug Moore at (413) 436-7071.

Valley Railroad Tour of the Line & Photo Special -
Saturday, June 19, 2004

This is a Mass. Bay RRE excursion aboard a steam-powered passenger train covering all the currently operable track of VRR from its junction with Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor in Old Saybrook, CT to its Northern end at Goodspeeds yard in Haddam, CT. The train trip itself runs from 4:45 P.M. to 7:45 P.M. If enough people are interested, we will rent a vehicle and leave from Amherst. Boarding will be from Valley RR in Essex, CT. For more info, call Doug Moore at (413) 436-7071.

BIG RAILROAD HOBBY SHOW - Jan. 29 and 30, 2005


This page was updated on: Wednesday, May 5, 2004
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