Amherst Railway Society

October, 2009

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
West Springfield, MA January 30-31, 2010

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Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
 Amherst Belt Lines

Amherst Railway Society
October 20, 2009
Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School Auditorium.

"ROOTS ON THE RAILS: Creating North America's Moving Music Festival"
by Charlie Hunter

There's something about music and trains that just goes together. The relentless rhythm of steel wheel against steel rail; the sense of leaving it all behind; the unfolding panorama of the North American landscape. From great cities to the lights of small towns, the majesty of the Rockies to the wide-open plains. Join us as Charlie Hunter shares his journeys - how he came to create a series of incredible music adventures on great trains with great music and great people, and just what can go wrong when the air conditioning fails crossing Mexico's Sonoran Desert in late summer. (This program will include oral transliteration for the hearing impaired)

Charlie Hunter was a music manager for 12 years as a partner in Young/Hunter Management. Currently Amherst MA based, Young/Hunter evolved over the years to represent many notable singer/songwriters such as Chris Smither, Dar Williams, Fred Eaglesmith, Richard Shindell and Peter Mulvey. Mr. Hunter currently works as a painter both of plein aire landscape (his show of railroad stations around Vermont, "Arrivals & Departures" just opened at Stowe's West Branch Gallery - and as creator of old-time travel posters in the style of greats such as Leslie Ragan and Walter Green. His poster clients include Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society . Mr. Hunter also enjoys promoting 'alternative' folk festivals, including founding Roots on the River in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and Roots on the Rails (North America's Moving Music Festival) on board various long distance trains.

For more information about Roots on the Rails, click on:

Travel Poster by Charlie Hunter at

Fiddle Train Poster from the Roots on the Rails website,

From the Treasurer    

All donations to the Amherst Railway Society may be tax deductible.   As Amherst Railway Society Inc. is a 501 C(3) tax exempt organization, your donations ( of either cash and/or property) may be deducted on your Schedule A, Form 1040 of your Federal income tax.  Consider the Amherst Railway Society in your estate planning.  Your gifts can be restricted or non-restricted (you can pre-determine how you want your donation used).  Upon request, and proper documentation of course, the Treasurer will issue you a letter to be used as justification for you tax deductions

From the Clerk

Please check your mailing label.  Your membership expires on June 30 of the year listed on the label.  You will not be able to check out items from the library, or participate in other benefits of membership after that date.  Now is the time to think about renewing.  Free for Full Time students, 1 year for $20, 3 years for $50 and 5 years for $80

Student memberships require the name of the school, and the class/year in addition to the student contact information.

Message from the Trip Director:

Mass Bay RRE announces Annual Fall Circle Tour on Providence & Worcester RR.

Mass Bay RRE wraps up its 75th anniversary year with a special all-day rail outing on the Providence & Worcester Railroad and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. Saturday, October 17, 2009. ARS members can order tickets at member prices at:

Tour de Chooch

We have received the 2009 Tour de Chooch schedule, see the announcement on the website for details. The full flyer, with maps to each layout, will be posted at the ARS Website when it is available   We also plan to include it in next month’s newsletter.

This is a good chance to see home layouts in northeastern Mass and southeast New Hampshire

  • Nov 28, 2009 9 am – 4 pm
    Massachusetts: Acton, Beverly, Georgetown, Groton, North Chelmsford, Reading, Saugus, Wakefield(2 layouts), Wilmington,
    New Hampshire: Chester
  • Nov 29, 2009: 9 am – 4 pm
    New Hampshire: Atkinson, Exeter, Epping, Epsom(2 layouts), Greenland, Hollis, Hudson, Meredith, Milford, Newington, Northwood.

Disney Train Coming

Walt Disney Pictures is having a chartered Amtrak train tour the country promoting this falls release of “A Christmas Carol”.  The tour includes stops in New York City Oct 30 – Nov 1.  For other dates see the ARS website:

<abel logo>From the AMHERST BELT LINES…

The Belt Lines has just returned from Pepperell, MA and the first show of the fall season:  the Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club Model Railroad Show and Open House.  We’ll report on the details at the meeting.  Now it is time for us to turn our attention to the next show, sponsored by the Bedford Boomers.

The Belt Lines will be travelling across state lines to attend the 27th Annual Model Railroad Exhibition at the McKelvie Intermediate School in Bedford, New Hampshire on Sunday, November 8, 2009.  (This was incorrectly reported as being in Bedford, MA in last month’s newsletter)  This is a non-commercial show without any vendors.  Displays range from N scale to Garden Railroading and Live Steam, with an occasional speeder in 1:1 scale tossed in!  The show runs from 10:00AM to 4:00PM on Sunday.  Setup starts Friday night.  If you are interested in attending, see Sudro, Clark or Alan at the meeting, or drop them an email at the address below.  See the Modular MumblingsFall 2009 edition on the web or in print for details.

Email address:

Show Schedule Update

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April.  Our schedule as we know it through January of next year is below.  If you would like to mark your calendars for shows we will be attending, here are the dates for the rest of the 2009 and start of 2010:

  • November 8, 2009:  Bedford Boomers Railroad Exhibition – Bedford, NH
  • December 5-6, 2009:  New England Model Train Expo – Marlborough, MA
  • January 30-31, 2010:  Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show – West Springfield, MA

2009 Craftsman Structure Show

The time is drawing near... CSS09 is offering up a special to ARS members. Simply get 5 or more members of the ARS to attend CSS09 together, and they discount your admission fee by 50%

- That's just $40.50 for each member for the complete CSS 3/5 day package.

Two day passes, or a one day pass is also available.

All that is needed are 5 members. They must sign up at together, and only by contacting Phil Johnson, the ARS Trip Manager before the end of the 10/20/09 ARS meeting If you're asking "What's CSS09?" visit

This year's show will be better than ever. We've added a day of Premium Workshops on November 11th. Get small group, one-on-one training with Brian Nolan, Dave Revelia, Dave Frary, Doug Foscale and Scott Mason.

Don't miss our fantastic slate of clinics, including several never-before seen. We're also featuring several new clinicians this year including author Mike Rose, Neil Schofield, George Barrett, Dario LeDonne and more.  New this year is the Thursday and Friday evening series called "The Modelers Studio" which will run from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. - Bring something to build, or watch as modelers like Scott Mason, Brian Nolan, Dave Revelia, Doug Foscale and many more dive into craftsman kits, roll up their sleeves, and start building. This should be a fun event, as well as a place to share techniques with other great modelers.

Add to all that a once-in-a-lifetime layout tour opportunity to see Great Model Railroads

2008 cover layout, Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley Lines, and Bob Van Gelder of South River Modelworks exceptional South River and Millville layout. Jimmy Deignan's Pennsy Middle Division, and Scott Mason's Rutland Railroad are also open this year.

The CSS09 website is updated with the new clinic schedule. The official CSS09 show kit, Sarno Woodwork, is available too.

Make plans to join us now. The clock is ticking! And we look forward to seeing you at the 2009 Craftsman Structure Show on November 12-14th at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, Massachusetts.


RAIL Magazine to Host Connecting Communities: A Passenger Rail Symposium, May 24-25, 2010, Long Beach, Calif.: For the first time, RAIL Magazine will hold a national gathering to discuss the future of passenger rail. Leaders from across the passenger rail industry will share their vision for how rail systems of all kinds can fuel economic growth, shape land use trends and connect our communities, regions and our nation.

This gathering will focus on a number of important and dynamic topics in passenger rail, including:

  • New Momentum for High-Speed and Intercity Rail
  • The Emerging Mode of Regional Rail
  • Building True Intermodal Connections
  • Rail-Oriented Development
  • New and Historic Passenger Stations
  • Innovative Passenger Rail Products & Services
  • ...and Much More

Plans for this exciting event are still unfolding, but be sure to stay tuned to and Fast Mail for Rail for the latest details, or email for additional information.

CTAA Offers Financing for Railway Facilities: A special loan fund to develop passenger rail sites, multi-modal facilities, park & ride lots and maintenance or garage facilities to improve community mobility and enhance economic development is available.

A good example of historic rail station development is a project done by Stagecoach Transportation in Randolph, Vt. The Community Transportation Development Fund lent Stagecoach $145,000 as a local match to renovate Randolph's historic rail station, creating office space for Stagecoach, an intermodal connection (Amtrak) for all travelers, and space for other small businesses in the area. Many similar efforts are being undertaken across the country and the FUND has the resources to support these efforts

Announcing: The First Annual Best in Rail Awards: There is much in passenger rail that is exemplary. From captivating stations to distinctive vehicles, much can be celebrated as iconic, unique and worthy of honor. In that spirit, RAIL Magazine will be presenting the first Best in Rail Awards in 2010. As this publication covers the entirety of passenger rail -- intercity, high-speed, heavy metro, commuter, regional, light rail, streetcar, trolley, monorail, airport trains, funiculars; anything that has rails and moves people.

We invite you to nominate outstanding passenger rail achievements in the following categories:

  • Most Distinctive Vehicle (post-1980)
  • Best Modern Passenger Station (post-1980)
  • Best Historic Passenger Station (pre-1950)
  • Most Influential Rail Leader (living, non-fictional)
  • Outstanding Commitment to North American Rail Manufacturing
  • Top Passenger Rail Service (all modes)
  • Most Innovative Design Element (i.e. bridge, map, icon, nuance)

While these categories may seem vague, that is exactly the point: entries are open to your interpretation and best judgment. To submit a nomination in any or all categories, simply send an email to, or send your submission by standard mail to our editorial offices at 1341 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. Submissions must be received by Dec. 31, 2009.


Most of our new first time members joined because they saw the Amherst Belt Lines award winning modules set up at a recent show.  We would like to find out what the model railroaders hope to get from their membership in the railway society.

Previously a session was offered at the Palmer public library with the idea that it would be for youth.  The majority of the people attending were adults.

Our monthly meetings are 8 – 9 pm on a school night, and have traditionally been focused on prototype railroads.

Some of the ideas that have been discussed are:

  • a meeting topic that is more for model railroaders;
  • a chance for our student members to arrange to attend an operating session at a ARS member’s layout (limited number of people  by reservation not open to ‘drop in’)
  • Clinics on a model railroading topic, at a time other than our Tuesday night meetings

Please click on the form button below or or write to Clerk, Amherst Railway Society P.O. Box 2351, Amherst MA 01004-2351 to let him know what you would like. The responses will be passed on to the officers of the ARS.


Regular Member / Student Member / Not Yet a Member

Name: ___________________________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________________________

City, State Zip: ___________________________________________________________________

email address: ___________________________________________________________________

Phone: ___________________________________________________________________

Scale you model, or wish to model: ___________________________________________________________________

Ideas for programs, why you joined the society, help you would like to get, other suggestions: ___________________________________________________________________







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

Copyright (c)2009 Amherst Railway Society