[ ARS Logo ]
Amherst Railway Society, Home Page
General Info
Calendar of Events
Membership information and application including map to meeting location
Big Railroad Hobby Show
 Amherst Belt Lines

Amherst Railway Society
April 19, 2005
Meeting Announcement

The April meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, April 19, 2005, 8:00 P.M., at the Amherst Middle School.

A Program by Preston Cook

As the major railroads dieselized their locomotive fleets, similar changes were taking place in the marine operations of the companies that operated fleets of railroad tugboats. Starting with a few installations of diesel engines in steam tugboats, and a handful of new construction diesel railroad boats built in the 1930s, many railroads entered into an era of wholesale dieselization of their marine departments as World War Two ended.

This program will look at memorable railroad tugboat designs developed by Joe Hack, Thomas Bowes, and the General Managers Association of New York, tracing some of the surviving vessels into the commercial lives that followed their years of railroad service. The program also features a walk around tour of one of the very successful railroad tugs designed by Joe Hack, who developed designs for the Lehigh Valley, the Erie Railroad, and the New Haven Railroad. Color coverage of railroad marine operations includes the ex-New Haven and Erie railroad boats operating on the New York Cross Harbor carfloat operations, the former B&O and CNJ tugs of the Chessie System Railroads Marine Department doing shipdocking in Newport News, Virginia, and the Santa Fe Railway carfloat operations on San Francisco Bay. This railroad marine tour also provides very rare photo coverage of the two Chessie System super-tugs CHESSIE and SEABOARD, which operated only two years in railroad service.

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 several major shipyards, 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 MK1200 Natural Gas Switcher project. Following purchase of the company by Wabtec he became Sales Manager in the Eastern U.S. He presently manages 37 Boise rebuilt F40PH-2C locomotives operating on the MBTA in Boston. He is the author of 4 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.

It is with great sadness that we inform you all of the passing of Ernie Lapierre, longtime member of the Society. Ernie often could be found at the Railway Post Office table at our hobby show. Some of you will remember him going along on our trips to Steamtown in Scranton, PA..

Tom Laware has graciously volunteered to be one of the new refreshment committee members. One cannot do it alone, so we need two more people to take over this important job in the fall.
No committee = No coffee or donuts.

Ringling Bros. Circus Train Viewers! For those of you who want to catch a glimpse of the circus train, the Blue Unit leaves Wash. D.C. April 18th, and arrives in Worcester April 19th; leaves Worcester April 25th for Albany, NY. The Red Unit leaves Philadelphia May 2nd, and arrives in Providence May 3rd; leaves Providence May 9th for Hartford, CT.

Upcoming Events!!

  • Mass Bay RRE Granite Railway Quarry to Wharf Tours - one week-end per month, April to October. Call Vic Campbell, 617-822-4046
  • The Spring Convention of the NE Region, NMRA will be held at the Marriott Hotel, Nashua, NH, Fri. thru Sun., May 13-15, 2005. (860) 568-5075 or john_NER@yahoo.com
  • Chester On Track - May 21, 2005, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a great celebration in a real country, railroad town. See the Chester Station/Railroad Museum that our Society has donated funds to restore, a parade, train show and craft fair, live entertainment, Mass 10th Civil War Re-enactors, steam and gas engines, historic exhibits, food, etc. (413) 354-7752 or dpiercedlp@AOL.com.

We encourage all members to bring items to share with the group - models, photos, etc. A table is set up at the rear of the auditorium for that purpose.

Copyright (c) Amherst Railway Society