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Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
 Amherst Belt Lines

Amherst Railway Society
January 20, 2009
Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society will be on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School.

RR Bridge Inspections in general and the reopening of the MBTA Greenbush Line in particular"
by Chris Ward

Chris will discuss Railroad Bridges, design, maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement. Descriptions of different types of bridges and their use in the Railroad Industry. There will also be discussion on the Greenbush Line reconstruction and future expansion of the MBTA Commuter Rail system.

Chris Ward is a 1983 graduate of Tri-County Regional Technical High School. His railroad career began June, 1985 with the Boston and Maine RR. as a Bridge and Building Dept mechanic working at Boston Engine Terminal. With the labor strife resulting from the Guilford Transportation takeover of the B&MRR, D&HRR and the MECRR and the Amtrak takeover of MBTA Commuter System in January 1987, Mr. Ward became an Amtrak employee.

In his first year at Amtrak, he was promoted to Foreman of station maintenance and several years later he started work as foreman of a heavy bridge maintenance crew. This work involved steel repair and replacement, masonry and stone work, timber trestle repair, bridge timber replacement and several complete bridge replacements. He became a Bridge Inspector July, 1998.

Mr. Ward's current inspection territory includes the following MBTA Lines Franklin Branch, Needham Branch, Stoughton Branch, Dorchester Branch, Middleboro Mainline, Plymouth Branch and Greenbush Branch. Future lines may include Fall River, New Bedford, Boston-Worcester, Grand Junction and Framingham Secondary.

Message from the Show Director:

Another year is behind us. As I write this, the Show is just under 30 days away…again. I am sure I just wrote that line only a few months ago…it couldn’t have been a year! I have some interesting updates with regard to this year’s show:

We continue to make good on a promise of keeping the show fresh each year with the addition of new exhibitors and things to do. For our 2009 show, it all starts with Model Railroading University’s Bachelor’ Degree Program. Sixteen hours of instruction in layout design, bench-work, track laying, wiring/soldering, DCC, rolling stock running, trouble shooting logic. Miles Hale, MMR, his wife Fran Hale, and John Lowrance, MMR, will be your instructors. This course is usually offered at $950.00 dollars but is offered to the Amherst Railway Society at $150.00, an $800.00 savings! The class will be conducted in the Young Building on the Eastern States Exposition Grounds on Thursday and Friday from 8am to 5 pm. Registrants for the course also receive a ticket to the Show!

This year we will see over 20 new exhibitors, providing a variety of layouts, NFP groups and historical societies and manufacturers. For a complete list, do not hesitate to visit www.railroadhobbyshow.com . Each year we are delighted with the traffic to the site. On December 1, we reset the counters with regard to visitors and we have already seen over 13,000 visitors to our “show-specific” site! Please check out all the new information.

Even though we have doubled the size of the clinic areas, we still continue to see standing room only during some of the sessions. Miles Hale and crew continue to do a great job with the “hands-on” theme of “make and take” clinics. Further, we will again have a “Manufacturers’ Room” where manufacturers and distributors can show off the latest and greatest and even supplement the clinic schedule. Again, several Manufacturers have already signed up this year! It is because of the growing theme of our show (clinics, education, hands-on) that this year we have encouraged some specific manufacturers to also have table side clinics in addition to all that we have previously mentioned. You will see a variety of folks showing you “how the experts do it.” More learning, education and just plain “look how easy this really can be…!”

One final note worthy of mentioning is that of this year’s affiliation with the Baystate Children’s Hospital and Baystate Health Foundation. We are holding a special raffle to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. The Amherst Railway Society is raffling off a 5 X 9 foot layout. All monies raised will go directly to the Baystate Health Foundation. This layout was completed by our members and we are proud to be assisting our friends and neighbors at Baystate.

These are the moments that make this all worthwhile for me. I may have said it before, but I remain proud to be a part of what we do. I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Railroad Hobby Show!!!

John Sacerdote, Show Director

From the


Happy New Year from the Amherst Belt Lines Module Coordinators: Sudro, Clark and Alan!

Here it is January and time for the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show. Details about module participation are in the latest edition of the Modular Mumblings which has been posted on the web site - www.amherstrail.org/abl/modmum2008.12.pdf . The layout design is coming together and should be published prior to the show. If you are interested in helping with the setup of the layout before the show, operations during the show, or tear down on Sunday night, please contact Sudro, Clark or Alan (AmherstBeltLines@amherstrail.org) by January 9, 2009 and let them know you would like to help so that we can get you a badge!

After the Amherst Show, our next show will be the Worcester Model Railroader’s show at the end of February. The show will be Sunday, February 22, 2009, is held at the Auburn Elk’s Club in Auburn, MA and is very easy to get to from the Amherst area. This is a true one day show, with setup starting at 7:00AM Sunday morning and the public part of the show running from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. With such a compressed time to setup the layout, we appreciate all the help we can get. If you are interested in helping put together a relatively small layout, please let Sudro, Clark or Alan know. Check out the Worcester Model Railroader’s web site at http://www.wmrr.org for more information and directions. Come on out to the show and support a terrific organization!

Show Schedule Update

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April. As with every rule, the NMRA National Convention and Train Show in July will be the exception in 2009. If you would like to mark your calendars ahead of time for shows the Belt Lines will be attending, here are the dates for the rest of the 2008/2009 schedule:

  • January 22-25, 2009: Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show – West Springfield, MA
  • February 22, 2009: Worcester Model Railroaders Club Show – Auburn, MA
  • March 28-29, 2009: Nashua Valley Railroad Association – Shirley, MA
  • July 5-11, 2009: NMRA National Convention and Train Show – Hartford, CT

On behalf of the President's office

Volunteer Opportunities with the Amherst Railway Society... Help make the Society what "you" want it to be...

Library Committee

– We really need an additional person to help with material storage between meetings. This is a benefit that the membership actively uses. If .we are to continue to offer this service, we need someone to take over for a retiring member of the committee.

Railroad Hobby Show January 24 and 25, 2009

Amherst Railway Society
P. O. Box 2351
Amherst, MA 01004-2351

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