Amherst Railway Society

September, 2010

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Amherst Railway Society

September 21, 2010
Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, September 21, 2010, at the Amherst Regional Middle School.

“New Age of New England Railroading " by Kevin Burkholder

This program takes a look at the changing decade of 2000-2010 in New England Railroading.  From the tip of Maine to the borders of New York, most New England routes are covered to some degree.  See the end of F40 operations the former Iron Roads and the implementation of the Montreal Maine & Atlantic; follow Guilford action with GP9s and GP35s dominating the rail scene in solid grey/orange consists; watch the short-lived Sunbury scheme roll through Maine on the New Brunswick Southern; dive into coverage of the New England Central and Vermont Rail System, along with some adjacent Canadian Pacific operations and the advent of Pan Am Railways.  The evening will start with a 7-minute musical presentation recapping a decade of change in the US railroad scene.

Kevin Burkholder was exposed to trains at a very young age - growing up along the Reading Railroad in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, his first photos were taken at the age of 5 with a 110 camera, while accompanied by his grandmother, who lived just 200 yards from the busy Lebanon Valley Branch.  Taking advantage of every opportunity to shoot trains into the early Conrail years, Kevin would be further influenced by both his father and school teacher Greg Phillips, who introduced Kevin to 'the world of rail fanning' with trips to photograph the Delaware & Hudson in the early 1980s and to coastline locations on the New Jersey Transit.  Those early years, coupled with having photos published by Railpace and Railroad & Railfan Magazine, set the groundwork for a lasting obsession of rail photography.  In time, Kevin would have feature stories and photographs published in every major rail publication, including: Trains;- Railfan & Railroad; Railpace; Diesel Era; CTC Board (Railroads Illustrated); the old Railnews; and even the model railroading publications.  Focus in recent years has been a more photo-journalistic view, with concentration on capturing the New Age of New England Railroading.

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

If your mailing label says “EXPIRED” your membership has expired.  Now is the time to renew.

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 81)

  • 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         
  • Jun      Quabbin’s Railroad: The Rabbit " by J.R. Greene (92)

Conway Scenic Names Engine 252

Engine 252
image-0.png Kurt Ward, age 34, one of our members who was an active in the Amherst Belt Lines, died July 13th, 2010 after an accident while working at Deerfield Yard. Kurt loved the Conway Scenic Railroad, and he worked extensively on 252 at Pan Am. At the suggestion of Hal Raven, to honor Kurt, the Conway Scenic  added Kurt’s name to the engine. A picture of his mother, Lee, and the 252 was posted to Facebook .

Amherst Belt Lines Logo

Message from the Amherst Belt Lines:

Welcome Back!

We hope that all of you have had an enjoyable summer and that you have been able to do some rail fanning!  Perhaps your pictures from this summer will show up in a member’s night, or perhaps a meeting topic of your own.

Maybe this summer you got som-e great modeling ideas, and one that is just perfect for that module you have been thinking about building.  We welcome new modules to the layout all the time.  If you need specifications, or help planning a module, let one of the module coordinators know.

The month of September is when the Belt Lines starts thinking about the upcoming Show Season.  Our first firm show is in October with the Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club.  The show will setup on Saturday the second and be open to the public on Sunday the third.  It will be held at the Varnum Brook Elementary School in Pepperell, MA.  Our other firm show for the season, other than the Railroad Hobby Show in January, is the New England Model Train Expo sponsored by the HUB Division of the NMRA®.  The show will be at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlboro, MA on December 4 and 5.  Setup starts on Friday the third.  We also expect an invitation to the Bedford Boomer’s Railroad Exhibition in November – details are forthcoming.

Your module coordinators – Sudro, Clark and Alan – are always happy to have your help at these shows, so let ‘em know that you are ready to lend a hand!  Help is always needed to operate the layout during show hours, and there is always something to do during set up and tear down.  See our current schedule below; more details will be coming out in the Modular Mumblings , or talk to one of the coordinators.

Show Schedule Update

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April.  So far we have invitations to three of the shows, including our own, through January of next year.  If you would like to mark your calendars for shows we will be attending, here are the dates for the rest of the 2010:

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

2008 Show Logo.jpegMessage from the Show Director:

The Bad News:  Summer is over.  The Good News:  Back to working on the Show! 

There is no REALLY BIG news this year.  We will once again be in the Mallary Complex, making us one of the biggest Shows in the country with over a third of a million square feet.  We have reconfigured space a bit to allow for a better flow through the building…that bottle neck in the hall in the Mallary Complex caught us a bit by surprise!

Contracts were out the door over a month earlier than last year (our automation is starting to pay off big time) and we have many exhibitors with paid contracts already back to us!   One of the greatest things about our Show is the fact that some of our manufacturers use our Show to debut new products.  Once again that is true and Accucraft, for one, will surprise the heck out of us with the debut of their new line.  All I can tell you at this point is that they require more than double their current space to introduce their new line to us properly!

Our badge style will be the same again for this year, on lanyards, but the actual format of the badges will change as they will each year.  They will be easy to recognize and we ask at this time that all volunteers have them clearly displayed at all times. This is a perfect time for me to mention volunteers – as I do every year…So, while this may be that same old appeal for volunteers, let me explain what’s new in this area.

We continue to need more volunteers each year as the Show grows.  Volunteers are extremely important to us as they are the “behind the scenes” folks that make the Show happen.  This year, volunteers will be assigned specific duties at specific times. We will be changing the volunteer form to reflect that.  This way, you will know what to expect and how long you will “be on duty,” leaving plenty of time to check out exhibitors as they set up!

Once again, admission price continues to be in a holding pattern.  We have, however, raised the table prices, to coincide with the never ending increase in expenses, which including a huge price increase in utilities (heat and light) at the Big E grounds.

The ability to purchase advance tickets online by credit card has been active for over a month!  Even exhibitors can now pay with a credit card, a convenience that many have noted.

As we get closer to the show date, we will report to you any exhibitors, new ideas or exciting changes that will be happening for 2011.

John Sacerdote, Show Director

airs rail logo.pngvolunteer ARS.pngairs rail logo.png

to Volunteer for the 

Amherst Railway Society
2011 Railroad Hobby Show

We need volunteers who are serious about helping with the Largest Show in North America!  Please sign up using the form that will be available here in a few days:
Please click here to complete this form and return to us ASAP.

All Volunteers are eligible for FREE PARKING!!

Available Jobs Include:


  • Signs, including table numbers (mostly in the am)
  • Tables and chair set-up and placement (all day long; coordinate with Boy Scouts in evening)
  • door monitor/traffic control (all day long, but in shifts)


  • door monitor/traffic control (all day long, but in shifts)
  • tables set-up and placement (Friday am only)
  • barrier providers/set-up (all day long, but in shifts)
  • hands on volunteers
  • kids layout setup and breakdown
  • kids layout operation
  • test tracks
  • time savers
  • reception center set up
  • Floor Manager (monitor vendors and assist and supervise with set up)


  • reception centers (greetings)
  • post office (Stroh bldg)
  • hands on layout operation and supervision
  • door monitor/traffic control (extras on doors 3,5,7 in BLC)
  • treasury (special volunteers requiring approval)
  • Floor Manager (monitor vendors and assist public during show)

CLOSE JOBS AVAILABLE (Sunday afternoon)

  • door monitor/traffic control/door guard (no vehicles until notice; in shifts)
  • break down of reception center (late afternoon)
  • collection of signs, numbers, easels, homasote boards, AV equipment (late afternoon)
  • Boy Scouts assistance and coordination of table and chair breakdown (late afternoon)

For more information or to return this form, contact:

John Sacerdote, Show Director at
or call the show office at 413-267-4555
or send your form to: Amherst Railway Society
P.O. Box 247
Monson, MA 01057-0247
or just bring your completed form to the Next Meeting!!!

From the Trip Committee, Upcoming dates of interest







NER-NMRA, Burlington VT



Dave Brown @ MassBay Information Line 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066


Open house

Glory Days of RR, White River Junction, VT

at the Amtrak Station


Open house


railfan wkend

Conway Scenic RR, N Conway, NH


Open house

137  Schofield Ave, Dudley, MA


Train Show

Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Varnum Brook School, 11 Hollis Street, Pepperell, and at their clubhouse, 41 Lomar Park Drive, Unit 4, Pepperell.


Train Show



special move

Lakeshore Ltd, WB private car move



Open house

North Shore MRC is in the basement of Brother's Restaurant, 404 Main st, in Wakefield, MA 01880



Dave Brown @ MassBay Information Line 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066



Conway Scenic Website


Train Show

McKelvie Intermediate School, Bedford, NH


Train Show

 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Holiday Inn adjacent to exit 12 off I-91



Coming of the Train 2, GCC


Train Show

Saturday  and Sunday at Best Western Trade Center, Route 20, Marlboro, MA



Dave Brown @ MassBay Information Line 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066


Train Show



Train Show


 Railroad News:

The hard copy version of the newsletter included a selection of news stories from  

There are several pieces of local interest, including a story about the Housatonic Railroad hiring a Northampton Company to conduct comprehensive study to determine ridership demand for a passenger rail service without public subsidies on the currently existing lines between Pittsfield and New York City.  The website includes more national stories as well.

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

Copyright (c)2010 Amherst Railway Society