Amherst Railway Society

June, 2010

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Amherst Railway Society
June 15, 2010
Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at the Amherst Regional Middle School The Silent Auction will begin at 6:30 and end as the Annual Business Meeting is called to order at 8 pm. Following the Annual Business Meeting will be the presentation by Mr. Greene

"Quabbin's RR: The Rabbit" by J. R. Greene

rail trail map

A history of the 1869-1935 branch that was purchased by the  Boston & Albany RR in 1880 that connected Athol and Springfield, MA through the doomed Swift River valley.

The narrated slide program will include a brief history of the Athol Branch of the B&A, and scenes of some of the stations and villages along the line, especially the part lost to Quabbin Reservoir. The speaker will offer copies of his books for sale, autographed upon request.

J.R. Greene is a lifelong resident of Athol, and holds a B.A. degree from the Univ. of Mass., Amherst. He currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of the Friends of Quabbin, Inc., of the Athol Historical Commission, and is a 19 - year member of the Metropolitan Water Resources Authority Advisory Board.

He is the author of fifteen books about the Quabbin Reservoir, Mass. railroads, and Calvin Coolidge, including a two - volume history of the Athol Branch of the Boston & Albany RR. A collectibles dealer, he has been a vendor at the ARS annual show since the late 1980s.

Download this Newsletter in pdf format

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

The amount of the dues has not changed in a couple years, so the rates are due to reviewed. Now is the time to think about renewing. Currently, the rates are: 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

2009 – 2010 Meeting Topic Review (average 80)

  • Sep Maine Central Railroad – George Melvin (no attendance recorded)
  • Oct Roots on the Rails - Charlie Hunter (76)
  • Nov announced as Railcar Futures, actually was (80) NYC subway system – Richard Solomon
  • Jan Life of the FL9 – Bob LaMay (93)
  • Mar Members’ Night – various members (82)
  • Apr Rail Trail Update – Craig Della Penna (69)
  • May announced as Railcar Futures, actually (approx 75) was Some railfan pictures by Phil Johnson

Report of the Nominating Committee 5/16/2010

The Committee presents the following slate for consideration at the June meeting:

President: Sudro Brown
Vice-President: Tom Laware
Clerk: Bruce MacCullagh

Board of Directors:
Joe Albano
Alan Rice
Peter Veneman

Respectfully submitted,
Sy Berger
Dick Joyce
Tom Lowry

From the Librarian

Just a short note to remind everyone that all VHS Tapes and DVD's are to be returned to the library at the June meeting. This is so they may be inventoried, and repaired, relabeled, if necessary. At this time, steps are being taken to get the inventory process automated, so it is very important that we have as accurate an inventory as possible. If you are unable to attend the June meeting, perhaps you could give any Tapes or DVD, you have to return, to a friend to bring to the meeting, or even mail them to me.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Bruce Hoffman, A R S Librarian...

From the Trip Committee

upcoming trip by Massbay to the Valley Railroad on June 19

Persons interested should call 978-470-2066, or send e-mail to: No calls after 8:00 PM Eastern Time, please.

I need help with making arrangements for more trips.

As you travel around this summer, please support local railroad museums by visiting and spending a few dollars there.

Everyone is watching money this year and these folks all need visitors and their donations. Be sure to mention that you are a member of Amherst Railway Society.

Near here is the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, which has an original SFTM 114-year old trolley running on the original tracks. SFTM will be having their annual Trolley Fest on June 26.

Amherst Belt Lines LogoMessage from the Amherst Belt Lines:

From the Caboose – the Year in Review
This has been a great 2009-2010 season for the Amherst Belt Lines! It started in July last year with attendance at the Hartford National Train Show of the NMRA® where a few of our modules received awards and recognition. It continued with our regular series of shows in Pepperell, Massachusetts (Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club), Bedford, New Hampshire (Bedford Boomers) and Marlborough, Massachusetts (HUB Division of the NMRA®) – all terrific shows – to finish out 2009. Our own Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield started off 2010 and was the venue for one of our largest layouts to date with numerous new modules by long term and new, or relatively new, associates. While we have been using radio cabs for some time now, 2010 proved to be a landmark season where the all three of our shows, including the Railroad Hobby Show, were exclusively wireless for mainline operation! We finished our year with shows in Worcester (The Worcester Model Railroaders) and Shirley (The Nashua Valley Railroad Association), Massachusetts. All-in-all, it was a great season and we look forward to doing it all again next year – without the National Show, of course!

Our thanks go out to all of our associates who have participated in setting up, operating and breaking down the layout this past season. It is because of you that the layout is what it is, and that the Belt Lines continues to grow.

While our show attendance may be on hiatus for a few months, now is the perfect time to start planning and building your own module! If you are interested in operating a large and variable modular layout, and displaying your own modeling efforts, see Sudro, Clark or Alan and we will be happy to ‘sign you up!’ Remember, you don’t need a module to participate with the group!

Email address:

Show Schedule Update

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April. Our schedule as we know it today is below. If you would like to mark your calendars for shows we will be attending, here are the dates for the fall season in 2010 and our start on 2011:

  • October 3, 2010: Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club, Pepperell, MA.
  • November 7, 2010: Bedford Boomer’s Railroad Exhibition, Bedford, NH.
  • December 4 and 5, 2010: New England Model Train Expo, Marlborough, MA.
  • January 29-30, 2011: Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show – West Springfield, MA.

We will publish additional details as invitations are sent to the Belt Lines.

Upcoming dates that may be of interest

  • June 12-13 Pioneer Valley Live Steamers Work Weekend Southwick MA
  • June 15 All materials borrowed from the ARS library are due. ARS Annual Business Meeting and Silent Auction
  • June 18-20 Fathers Day weekend –Pioneer Valley Live Steamers annual open to the public weekend
  • June 22-26 NRHS Annual Convention – Scranton PA
  • June 25 – 27 West Virginia Rails, Petersburg WV
  • June 26 Trolley Fest, Shelbourne Falls Trolley Museum, Buckland MA.
  • July 11 -17 NMRA National Convention – Milwaukee WI
  • July 10,11 & 18 Berkshire Limited – Passenger Rail Service between North Canaan CT and Great Barrington MA with North Canaan departures at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m., and Great Barrington departures at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. $15 Tickets will be available through the Canaan Chamber of Commerce. Service is part of Canaan’s annual Railroad Days. Money raised will be used to restore the Canaan Station.
  • 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
  • Sept 9 - 12 Northeast Region NMRA Convention Burlington VT
  • Sept 21 First Amherst Railway Society meeting in the fall

Railroad Hobby Show LogoMessage from the Show Director:

I have very little Show data to discuss this month. I can tell you that we are in the middle of revamping the entire PR budget for the show. If you’re asking why, there are a few reasons. First, the expenses continue to grow every year, so we are doing what we can to keep them down. Second, we are always trying to keep the show fresh and attract more people. As new technology and other avenues become available to us, we are willing to consider if these new ideas will in fact make the Show a better show. Finally, we never lose sight of what we are doing and why. If we can promote railroading, have some fun doing it and allow us to raise more money for our grant program as a result, I’m all in!

By the time we return for the fall season, all contracts will have gone out to all our exhibitors and we will be well into the preparations for the 2011 Show. I can also tell you that the structure of the Show will change a great deal, including jobs and duties with some positions being eliminated and others being created because of our “new areas.” So, with regard to the Show, let me leave you for the season with this… “You ain’t seen nothin’, yet!” (The 2011 Show will dazzle you with its new format!)

Finally – and, let me say that this is my second most, favorite time of the year - it’s silent auction time…!!! As a reminder, the silent auction will begin just after set up, so come early to place your bids….We are projecting an opening at approximately 6:15 – 6:30 pm….it will begin as soon as we are set up….it will close promptly at 8:00pm and while we are conducting our meeting, we will tabulate results, allowing for pickup just afterward.

This is your chance to pick up some great stuff (many items are new), and all are at ridiculously low prices. Items include works of art, cars and locos, vintage Lionel, kits, scenic materials, books, specialty/educational magazines, throttles, clothing and more. THIS IS THE LARGEST OF ALL SILENT AUCTIONS TO DATE….we will have a great deal of fun to be sure!

I look forward to this finale…see you there!

John Sacerdote, Show Director

2010 Grants

The Society received grant requests to help fund 35 projects totaling about $1.4 million. A total of about $93,000 was requested to fund or partially fund these projects. The BOD approved full or partial funding of 30 projects for $52,988 as shown in the table below. Nineteen projects are funded at the full amount requested. The BOD asks the ARS membership to ratify their decisions at the June 2010 meeting.

Requesting Organization Project Location Project Grant
Alco Historical & Technical Society Cohocton, NY Preparing and transporting rare Alco C636 demonstrator locomotive to Schenectady NY $3,000.
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Inc. Lenox MA Remove and replace wheel sets on Also S-1 #0954 $3,000.
Boothbay Railway Village Boothbay, ME Restoration of S. D. Warren Locomotive No. 2 $2,000.
Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. Guilford, CT Ongoing restoration of Boston Type 5 trolley 5706. (2nd Vestibule, flip over seats. $1,500.
Branford Electric Railway Association/Shoreline Trolley Museum East Haven CT Car 865 interior and motors $2,000.
Brooks Preservation Society Brooks ME Brooks Railroad Station Preservation $1,000.
Bucksgahuda and Western RR Company St. Mary's PA Secure and restore a Penn RR Signal $1,015.
Central Vermont Railway Historical Society Burlington VT Clean mend and preserve 1883 era maps of the New London Northern Railroad. $1,000.
Chester Foundation Chester MA Install custom made Plexiglas panels to protect station windows. $1,600.
Connecticut Antique Machinery Association, Inc. Kent, CT Build 3ft gauge handcar from original hardware $500.
Connecticut Electric Railway Association East Windsor CT Visitor Center train shed track $2,500.
Danbury Railway Museum Danbury, CT Repairs to NH RDC #32 $3,000.
Friends of Bedford Depot Park, Inc. Bedford, MA Railroad Image Display System $880.
Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, Inc. Chama, New Mexico Rotary Plow Interpretive Program $1,680.
Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. Rockhill Furnace, PA Rattan upholstery cloth for Combination Baggage passenger cars. $1,000.
Friends of the Keystone Arches, Inc. Kiosk for the Chester and Becket Trail. $1,500.
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum Portland, ME and Alna, ME Labor to replace rigid and flexible staybolts on B&SR steam loco #7 $3,000.
NRHS - Central New York Chapter NRHS Marcellus, NY Replace Martisco Station Asphalt Platform $1,500.
NRHS - Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Chapter Scranton, PA B&M #3713 Restoration $2,000.
NRHS - Rochester Chapter Rush, NY Replace main and equalizing air brake reservoirs on GE 110 #8 $1,863.
New England Electric Railway Historical Society/Seashore Trolley Museum Kennebunkport, ME Interior restoration ARV wooden combine No. 70 $2,000.
New York Central System Historical Society Mentor, OH Move of Archives $1,500.
Old Colony & Fall River Railroad Museum Fall River, Ma Raise Yard office 6", replace joists, subfloor and floor $450.
Old Colony & Newport Railway Middletown, RI Repairs to sills on 1884 Parlor car $1,000.
Railroad Museum of New England, Inc. Thomaston, CT Continuing Restoration Coach 5805 $3,500.
Railway Restoration Project 113 Minersville, PA Renew all worn or broken steam manifold valves $1,500.
Railways to Yesterday, Inc./Rockhill Trolley Museum Rockhill Furnace, PA Overhaul and rehab of trucks and motors for Johnstown 311 $2,500.
Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum Buckland, MA Overhaul of one GE-80 Traction Motor $2,000.
Windham Rail Trail Alliance Windham, NH Windham Depot Building Renovation $1,000.
Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum Alna, ME Volunteer Rest Quarters $2,000.

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

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