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Amherst Railway Society
March 17, 2009
Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School.

“RR New Orleans Trolleys: Old and New"
by Bradley Clark

Bradley Clarke will present New Orleans rebuilt Canal Street line using the green cars from St. Charles.  These cars were pressed into service as a consequence of the damage done by hurricane Katrina to the red replica cars normally used on Canal.  Car number 972, the last car to run on Canal Street in 1964 returns to its old stomping ground in several scenes that, absent the contemporary surroundings, could have been taken forty five years ago.  As an interesting comparison with present day operations, the riverfront and St. Charles lines will also be shown, as well as earlier shots from St. Charles in the 1960’s.

Bradley H. Clarke has had a life lone interest in mass transportation particularly in electric railways.  Clarke is president of the Boston Street Railway Association (BSRA), and a former Public Trustee of the Seashore Trolley Museum. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University and has worked for many years in the bio tech, pharmaceutical, chemical, and electronics industries and is now retired.  Clarke has lived in Massachusetts all his life, growing up near, and now residing in, Boston.  The author of 9 books on transit in Boston and Massachusetts, he thanks the Amherst Railway Society for their grants for the BSRA’s efforts to restore Type Five car 5706, which was built for the Boston Elevated Railway by the J.G. Brill Co. in 1924

click on image to see it full size


2009 grant requests must be received by March 31, 2009.  If you need a copy of the application, it can be downloaded from the web at http://www.amherstrail.org/2009GrantApplication.pdf

Message from the Show Director:

One day after the show ended, I had to be in Richmond, VA for 2 weeks of training.  Needless to say, I have had trouble seeing straight!  The good news is that with every ounce of me that is exhausted, comes with it an equal amount of satisfaction.  I love what we do at this show.

Here are some real examples of that satisfaction:  For our 2009 Show, early indicators are that we will be able to give away approximately the same amount in grant money as last year.  This means several organizations will be able to continue with their programs of restoration and education of railroading in the US.  With the advent of our annual raffling away of a layout, we were able to raise over $5,000.00 for the Baystate Children’s Hospital (that was a great feeling).  And, our exhibitors tell me that they continue to grow their businesses because of our show.  We touch many lives folks, and I am happy to be a part of it!

We are once again in “maintenance mode” for Show related tasks.  We added the ability to take credit cards this year and now we can incorporate that into the site so that people will be able to purchase tickets on line directly.  And, exhibitors can even pay for their table space on line as well.  It gets better every year!

Exhibitors have continued to press us for more space, larger areas.  We will accommodate them with many changes over the next year.  Charlie Ro, for example, wants a quarter of the BLC as an example (maybe not quite that much), but we will be doing some things to accommodate his growing business.  Many of the layouts are expanding and are looking for larger areas as well…so much growth, so few buildings!

Once again, we have gathered info from our floor managers and volunteers with regard to “hits and misses” – what worked and what didn’t work.  We have already incorporated all the necessary adjustments into the procedures for the 2010 show. (January 30th and 31st BTW)

Finally, get ready for our second annual silent auction!  Again, we have accumulated many interesting things, from power packs to locos, to collections to kits and more.  The auction will be at the beginning of the final meeting of the season.  We were able to raise about $800.00 last year in just over an hour!  Let’s see what happens this year….It was a lot of fun last year and I look forward to a bunch of bidding wars (as we saw last year!!!)

As always, I encourage anyone with any ideas, thoughts for the show, possible new vendors – you name it; we would love to hear from you.

John Sacerdote, Show Director

From the


Let’s start off this month with a very hearty “Thank You” to all who participated with the Belt Lines at the Railroad Hobby Show at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds this year.  The cast of characters involved this year, as in all years, is far too large to thank individually.  Please know that your help in setup, operation and take down of the layout is greatly appreciated, and without it we would be unable to complete such a mammoth task!  “Thank You” to all who participated in West Springfield.

The Belt Lines hasn’t been idle since the Amherst show.  On February 22, a small layout made its way to Auburn, MA for the Worcester Model Railroader’s annual show.  This was a quick show with setup starting at 7:00AM the morning of the show.  Many hands make for light work, or in this case quick work, and the large turn out of participants got the layout up and running by the time the show opened at 10:00AM.  Thanks go out to everyone who participated here as well.  Without your dedication to coming early and digging in to the work of setup, this would be a very difficult task indeed.

Our next show, and last official show of the season, will be the Nashua Valley Railroad Association’s show in Shirley, MA.  The show will be Sunday, March 29, 2009, and is held at the Shirley Middle School, 1 Hospital Road, Shirley.  Setup will start on Saturday in the afternoon; as of this writing, details are not available.  The setup will continue Sunday morning and the show will run from 10:00AM to 4:00PM.  If you are interested in bringing your modules or helping put together or operate the layout, please let Sudro, Clark or Alan know at the meeting or by email at AmherstBeltLines@amherstrail.org .  Alan needs to get a module count very soon, so please let him know right away if you want to participate with a module.  For additional information you can visit the Nashua Valley’s web site at http://www.nvrra.com/PDF/NVRRA_2009_Show.pdf .  Come on out to the show and support a terrific organization!

Looking in to the future, the Belt Lines has applied to be one of the display layouts at the National Train Show during the Hartford National NMRA meeting in July.  We haven’t heard if we have been selected, but as soon as we have details, we will let you know.

Thanks again to all who participated at the shows and support the promotional efforts of the Amherst Railway Society and Amherst Belt Lines!

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 we are invited.  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:

  • March 28-29, 2009:  Nashua Valley Railroad Association – Shirley, MA
  • July 5-12, 2009:  NMRA National Convention and Train Show – Hartford, CT  

From the President

A hearty **THANK YOU** to all those who helped make this year's Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show one of the best in the world...Although our attendance was down a little we still put on a great show... **THANKS**

If you didn't help with the show this year, there are still a lot of things you can do to help the society function... Clark can use some help at the meetings with the Company Store... We still need folks to help with setup and operation of our trips... We also need help with the Library...

An emerging area is going to be managing some of the donations we are beginning to get... We will likely need to run another "auction" for members later in the Spring and perhaps we can make some of the equipment available at our or other shows on a "white elephant" table or two or...

From the Trip Director

Saturday, April 4 will be both

ARS is not running a bus to either event, these are do-it-yourself trips. Vermont is only 2 1/4 hours from GFLD, quite drivable and one can chase the other train.

Southeastern Mass is about the same miles/time, easy trip with GPS.

If anyone wants to carpool they can gather before the March meeting in the front of the auditorium and exchange name and phones.

Phil Johnson Trip Committee

From the Trip Director's email box

We would like to introduce our Retreat facility at The Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk Beach, Maine . The Franciscan Guest House and Monastery estate is located only 90 minutes north of Boston, and 1/4 mile walk to the Kennebunkport-Kennebunk shopping district and 1/2 mile walk to the beach. We are located on 66 acres of parkland on the Kennebunkport Harbor with a variety of walking trails and gardens. The estate was landscaped by the Frederick Law Olmsted Brothers, designers of Boston's Emerald Necklace and New York's Central Park. We have 65 affordable guest rooms, each with their own bathroom, air conditioning and TV.

Most importantly we are a short drive from The Seashore Trolley Museum. Check out their website at trolleymuseum.org. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to call us at 207-967-4865 or check out our website at franciscanguesthouse@yahoo.com

We would be happy to give you a tour of the facilities.

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

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