Amherst Railway Society

Amherst Railway Society

March, 2010

Amherst Railway Society

Amherst Railway Society, Home Page
Contact Us
Calendar of Events
Membership information and application including map to meeting location
Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
 Amherst Belt Lines

Amherst Railway Society
March 16, 2010
Meeting Announcement

Click on this link to download the complete March Newsletter in pdf form.

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show – West Springfield, MA January 29-30, 2011

The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium.

“Member presentation night"
by you and other ARS members

(This program will include oral transliteration for the hearing impaired)

Attendance at January’s meeting, “The Life of the FL9” by Bob LaMay, was 93 people.

Please bring in your items to share. There is a limit of about 10-15 slides/images per person. If you need someone else to narrate your presentation, please have that arranged in advance and be sure the person has a script.

If you plan to present, please contact to let him know what you are bringing, and what equipment you will need.
The following equipment will be provided

- Carousel Projector with individual slide capability

- spare carousel(s) for onsite loading...

All meetings are in the MS Auditorium
Interpreted for the Hearing Impaired
Apr 20, 2010 Craig Della Penna: Rail Trail update

May 18, 2010 Dan Bigda "Freight Car Futures"

June 15, 2010 Annual Business Meeting and Silent Auction

NOTE: for the following four items the pictures should be in .jpg or .jpeg format
- DVDs via computer and digital projector
- USB Flash Drives
- handle CDs
- Also mini presentations using Power Point

We may be able to provide 8 or 16mm Movies projectors, but absolutely need a week or two notice for this!!!

From the President

Spring 2010 layout tour in Southeastern Mass and Rhode Island

A hearty *THANK YOU *to all of our members that helped to make the 2010 Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show a GREAT success! As a volunteer organization our success depends on our members.

Message from the Trip Director:

NRHS – Palmer MA Chapter

The Seven Railroads Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is forming in Palmer.
The next meeting is March 27th at the Palmer Library’s Community Room at 10:00.
Palmer Public Library is at 1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA. 01069
Parking is behind the library or across Main St in the public lot.
Any interested parties are welcome to join, more info at the meeting on how to join.
Join now to become a Charter member.

Spring Layout tours

We have received the Spring 2010 layout tour schedule. See this link for details.
This is a good chance to see home layouts in southeastern Mass and Rhode Island
SAT April 10th 2010 from 10:00am - 4:00pm

Message from the Show Director:

30 days ago, I was making final preparations for what was to be our largest show in the past 4 years. Our near record breaking attendance was something to see. At one point on Saturday afternoon, we were told that we needed to open a few extra exits in the new Mallary Complex because the crowds were getting too large. Wow! What’s interesting about this is that we continue to learn every year, making adjustments to continue to make our Show the best in the business.

Speaking of the new area, we have gotten dozens of compliments about the new carpeted children’s area not to mention the train rides and the LEGO™ layout! The new additions to the clinics were also a point of interest and more compliments for this year, especially the Iwata Air Brush Clinic that was held the day before the Show as well as on Saturday. We continue to grow with clinics and meetings. The “Masters” clinic tripled in size from the year before, resulting in our moving that to the Carriage House for Thursday and Friday! The 1/87 Club was a huge success and they have already asked to be included in our Show for next year and have requested more space. The latest news, just in from the NMRA: They have now recognized this as one of the biggest shows in the country and are asking us if they can participate more….stay tuned as it sounds VERY interesting.

Some of the compliments included long-time attendees telling us that “this was the best show in the past 15 years,” and “I had a 2-day pass and still could not see everything…have you thought about making it longer!” These compliments were probably due to the new exhibitors, the re-arrangement of the show with new manufacturers, and the overall addition of many more clinics, not to mention 60,000 additional square feet. Other results included more buses to the show than in the past and this year we doubled the number of unique hits to the website; over 75,000 visitors – since October 1, when we reset the counters! Have you been checking the internet blogs and chat rooms….we are even on You-Tube. Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine has an 18 minute video on our Show! The point is that people know about the Amherst Railway Society…and that’s great to see.

There’s more: For our 2010 Show, early indicators are that we will once again, be able to give away approximately the same amount in grant money as last year. Organizations will be able to continue with their programs of restoration and education of railroading in the US. For the second year in a row, we were able to raise over $4,000.00 for the Baystate Children’s Hospital. And, this year more any other, our exhibitors tell me that they are growing their businesses because of our show and their success in it. We continue to have a direct effect on so many lives and I am extreme proud to be a part of it!

We were able to take advanced ticket sales again, this year having more than 7 times the amount from last year with over 750 advanced ticket sales! Most were from out of the area and for 2-day tickets as well. People are beginning to realize that you can bypass the wait in lines by purchasing advanced tickets. We have more planned for the web site, so please continue to visit.

Folks on the wait list – there are still over 250 exhibitors – are pressing us more than ever before. The word is out that this is The Show – the biggest Show of its kind in the United States (not just New England) and it is a command performance, a must attend! Exhibitors that are in the show are delighted with their new digs, especially our layouts that have asked and received much more space. Did you see the Bachmann exhibit, complete with carpet and 4 running layouts – not to mention the “Hall of Fame” exhibit…..very classy! How about the Narragansett folks and their HOn30 layout with many more modules….beautiful. We cannot forget our own Amherst Beltlines, boasting their biggest and best layout ever, complete with EngineCAM, a favorite of those watching.

We have begun the process of gathering info from our floor managers and volunteers with regard to “hits and misses” – what worked and what didn’t work. As a result, we are incorporating adjustments into the procedures for the 2011 show. (to be held January 29th and 30th, 2011).

Finally, get ready for our third annual silent auction! Again, we have accumulated many interesting things, from power packs to locos, to collections to kits and more. In keeping with our tradition, the auction will be at the beginning of the final meeting of the season. We were able to raise an average of about $800.00 these past two years! I am looking forward to it already!

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

John Sacerdote, Show Director

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

If you just renewed for one year and your mailing label says 2010, yes you are due to renew again.

From the CNE annual bus tour organization

Hello All - April is getting closer

We are taking reservations for the 2010 segment of the annual bus tour along various portions of the former Central New England Railway. The 2010 tour will be on Sunday April 11 (rain or shine).

In the past few years we have covered almost all of the old CNE except for the Springfield branch. For 2010 we plan to go back to the east end and start over. The tentative plan is to start from Tariffville and tour the area through Griffins and Bloomfield to Hartford. We are trying to arrange a real operating, current day CNE Train for a run-by on the original CNE tracks between Hartford and Griffins. Details when we get it nailed down.

Lunch will be back in Tariffville. In the afternoon we will cover the Springfield branch as far north as Agawam. This will include the infamous Montague Farm blockage and bypass which contributed to the financial downfall of the CNE. We have done a couple scouting trips already with some of the people who know the territory. We will keep you informed as details are worked out.

We have reserved air conditioned buses with on board restrooms and they also have a PA system for narrating the trip. As usual, everybody will get a copy of the 2010 CNE Tour guide book.

Meanwhile mark your calendar for Sunday April 11, 2010.

The cost of this year's tour will again be $50.00 per person and payment should be made out to:
Joseph Mato CNE 2010
Be sure to include your E-Mail address so we can contact you if we need to. If you don't have E-Mail then include your phone number and address.

Send it to:
REDDING, CT. 06896

We don't issue tickets. Your name on our list will get you onto the bus on tour day. Any money that is left after the expenses will be used as "seed money" for next year’s trip.

As we did in past years, we will have two buses. In past years we sold all seats and had a waiting list so don't wait too long to send in your reservation. Please note that any request for refunds must be received thirty (30) or more days in advance of the tour date. If you can find a replacement to take your bus seat, that's OK just let us know who it is. We have to know who to let onto the bus when the tour starts. If you can't find a replacement then we may have somebody on the waiting list to suggest but we can't refund money that has already been spent on tour expenses.

If you have questions, send me a note at:


First off, a truly heartfelt “THANKS” to all the module owners, associates and volunteers who assisted in assembling one of the largest modular layouts the Belt Lines has put together at this year’s Railroad Hobby Show at the Big E! Without the help of the many hands that put it together and kept it running, we would not be able to manage such an impressive display. The layout provided a nearly 12 scale mile run which could take over 30 minutes to traverse at scale speeds! We ran the layout almost entirely with NCE radio cabs and the system performed far better than anyone would have expected in the Better Living Center, and Show, environment. Top that off with the attendance at the show this year, and we couldn’t have asked for a more successful Railroad Hobby Show!

The Belt Lines attended the Worcester Model Railroader’s Show in Auburn, MA on February 28. Compared to the 94’ x 74’ behemoth we assembled at the end of January, the 18’ x 30’ layout in Auburn Elks Club a month later was a postage stamp! The Worcester Show is always a challenge since it is a true one-day show. Setup started around 7 AM on Sunday and the doors opened to the public at 10AM! Thanks to all of you who came out to lend a hand with setup and to ‘beat the clock!’

Our next show, and the last one for the 2009-2010 season, is the Nashua Valley Railroad Association (NVRRA) Show in Shirley, MA. The show will be on April 11 at the Shirley Middle School from 10 AM to 4 PM. We will have more details about the show in an upcoming Modular Mumblings and at the meeting. If you’d like to help out at the show, it is never too early to let Sudro, Clark or Alan know – especially if you have a module you want to include in the layout.

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 April 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 spring season in 2010 and our start on 2011:
April 11, 2010: Nashua Valley Railroad Association Show – Shirley, MA
January 29-30, 2011: Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show – West Springfield, MA

February 26, 2010

Fast Mail for Rail

Fast Mail for RAIL is a regular compilation of the latest news and updates from the passenger rail industry that delivers timely information, resources, and announcements to RAIL Magazine subscribers, colleagues and friends. Please keep us posted on your latest news and developments by emailing your content to .

Amtrak Launches Safety Campaign : A new effort is underway to address the number of pedestrian train fatalities in the United States. Amtrak, along with the non-profit rail safety group Operation lifesaver, began a public awareness campaign Friday called "Common Sense." The goal of the campaign is to alert the public to the dangers of walking or playing around train tracks.

Maine Readies Plans for Downeaster Extension to Brunswick : The Obama administration has allocated $35 million in federal stimulus funds to expand Downeaster passenger rail service north to Freeport and Brunswick with connections on to Rockland as part of its $8 billion Recovery Act grants for developing a nationwide system of high-speed intercity passenger rail service. The funding is enough to complete the expansion for Amtrak's Downeaster service, including laying welded rail and improving 36 grade crossings along the 30-mile route.

Reminder: 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.

RAIL Magazine invites 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 RAIL Magazine’s editorial offices at 1341 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. Submissions must be received by May 1, 2010.

New York MTA to Rehab Six Pelham Line Stations : MTA NYC Transit announces the next phase of a major $89 million construction project to reconstruct and rehabilitate five stations on the Pelham 6 line. They are Whitlock Avenue, Elder Avenue, Morrison Avenue-Soundview, St. Lawrence Avenue and Parkchester. The first two stations to close for rehab are Whitlock Avenue and Morrison Avenue-Soundview. The stations will close beginning 5 a.m. Monday, February 8 and will remain closed until Monday, September 13, 2010. The rehab work at all five stations will include the complete replacement of the mezzanines, canopy roofs, track beds, platform edge safety tiles, and public address systems. The stations will also undergo an electrical upgrade and the installation of fluorescent lighting.

Vermont Advances Rail Expansion Plans : A bill in the Vermont Senate would make passenger rail service between Bennington, Rutland and Burlington a statewide priority. The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs unanimously approved S.288, An act relating to the Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2010 , on Thursday. The bill includes a section added by Rutland Democratic Sen. William Carris and Republican Sen. Vincent Illuzzi of Essex/Orleans, listing passenger rail in the western corridor as a specific statewide priority, rather than just a regional one.

MBTA (Mass.) Improves Real-Time Arrival Information : The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has begun providing real-time train arrival information on the Fitchburg commuter-rail line. The agency recently installed global positioning system equipment on the line to provide riders a six-minute countdown to the next train via electronic message boards. Passengers onboard trains also will hear automated announcements about an upcoming station.

Chicago Transit Authority to Purchase Hundreds of New Railcars : The CTA board took action Wednesday toward completing the purchase of 406 of the rail cars from Canada-based Bombardier Transit Corp., with an option to buy 300 more later if the money for it is available. The board approved issuing up to $550 million in revenue bonds to help pay for the $674 million deal, which will lead to the belated retirement of CTA trains that date to 1969.

San Francisco Begins Rehabilitation of Torpedo PCC Cars : The first of the four double-ended Muni PCC streetcars has left San Francisco for a complete rehabilitation in Pennsylvania, at Brookville Equipment Company. No. 1008, which operated in passenger service until 1982 and was then converted into a "repair car" to tow broken-down streetcars back to the barn and perform other services, left Metro East Feb. 9. When it returns, it will be painted in the green and cream "Wings" livery in which it was originally delivered to San Francisco in 1948.

Upcoming dates that may be of interest

Mar 21 – 7 pm :  CV and NH Steam in Eastern Connecticut

Windham Memorial Hospital 112 Mansfield Ave | Willimantic, CT    

Apr 16    FLYING YANKEE FUNDRAISING CELEBRATION , Executive Court, 13500 South Willow St., Manchester, NH. 6-11 PM. Cocktails, silent auction, dinner, entertainment. Tickets $60. Info: FlyingYankee Restoration Group, Box 145, North Woodstock, NH 03262; 603-881-3317; e-mail: ;     

June 4 -5     New England / Northeast Prototype Modelers Meet Collinsville CT

June 12-13     Pioneer Valley Live Steamers Work Weekend Southwick MA

June 15        All materials borrowed from the ARS library are due.

June 18-20     Fathers Day weekend –

Pioneer Valley Live Steamers annual open to the public weekend

June 22-26     NRHS Annual Convention – Scranton PA

July 11 -17     NMRA National Convention – Milwaukee WI

Aug 6    Flying Yankee Dinner Train – Lincoln NH 6:00 PM - Catered by Hart's Turkey Farm aboard the Hobo Railroad Train with Mr Phil onboard for entertainment.

$40 Adult, $35 Child - A portion of the proceeds will benefit the restoration project. Purchase tickets online at

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

Copyright ©2010 Amherst Railway Society