Amherst Railway Society

October, 2010


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Amherst Railway Society
Meeting Notice
October 19, 2010
8:00 PM

The October meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School Auditorium.

"Steel Wheels and Submarines -
Railroading Along The Thames River in Connecticut"
by Tom Nanos

rail trail map
New England Central train NERWNE heads south along Smith Cove in Waterford, CT on a foggy morning.

rail trail map
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 passes through the US Navy's Submarine Base in Groton, CT with a variety of submarines in the background.

rail trail map
Self portrait while riding along with the crew of Connecticut Southern Railroad train CSO-1. Taken at the Springfield, MA Amtrak station while waiting to head south on the Springfield Line to New Haven, CT

Photography is something that has been a passion of mine since Christmas in the mid-1980s when my parents gave me a basic darkroom kit as my gift. This, along with my father lending me his Minolta XE-5 SLR, sparked my interest in photography.  In the decades since then, my dedication to the art had ebbed and flowed until late 2001 when I began photographing railroad operations.  Mixing my passion for photography with my childhood love of railroads has proved to be the right formula to sustain my interest in the photographic arts – after nearly 20 years I finally put the peanut butter and chocolate together, so to speak.

I primarily photograph railroading in and around southern New England, in particular focusing on southeastern Connecticut. While shooting, I usually try to intertwine some of the sights around this end of the state into my photos, giving things a sense of place. Those elements can include simply a station sign where one once stood, or a state-of-the-art US Navy attack submarine, or even literally the elements – the varying New England weather. As that last part alluded to, I shoot in all conditions – day, night, sun, rain or snow. Basically, if the trains are running, so are my cameras.

And this is what my show will feature – railroading around the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut. I’ve titled the presentation “Steel Wheels and Submarines” – which describes the area around the river very nicely. The Thames hosts not only four railroads, but also the US Navy’s Submarine Base, the Electric Boat shipyard, and the US Coast Guard Academy. I’ll be intertwining all of the rail and nautical subjects together into a virtual tour around the river, covering each town. Those towns are Norwich, Preston, Ledyard, Groton, New London, Waterford, Montville and Uncasville.

In “real life” I’m a husband and father of two daughters and live in eastern Connecticut, and am a senior systems analyst/software developer at a major pharmaceutical company in the southeastern area of the state. Those two facts should explain my focus on railroading in this end of the Nutmeg State.

-Tom Nanos

Tom's website is:

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.

From the Librarian

Stop by the library table. VHS Tapes that have been declared as surplus will be on sale.

Bruce Hoffman, A R S Librarian...

Upcoming Amherst Railway Society Programs (subject to change)

  • November 16, “Building a Railroad Museum” by Bob Lamay
  • January 18, “Holyoke Railroads” by Ira Laby

2008 Show Logo.jpegMessage from the Show Director:

Help Wanted Ad

Immediate openings for part-time positions on various shifts in a busy 4-Building Train Show. Able to work effectively as a team member as well as on own once given a task (such as setting up tables and chairs, taping numbers to poles, etc). Previous Train Show experience a plus but not required. Ability to read blue prints can possibly make you an immediate supervisor. Download and complete a volunteer application on-line or apply in person at The Amherst Railway Society monthly Meeting and job fair for your position in January. Benefits include early entrance to Show (great preview and purchasing opportunities) as well as networking with friends.

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
Please click here to complete this form and return to us ASAP.
or just bring your completed form to the Next Meeting!!!

From the Trip Committee, Upcoming dates of interest

Date Event Location Contact
10/10/10 special move Lakeshore Ltd, WB private car move
10/16/10 Open house North Shore MRR Club, Wakefield, MA North Shore MRC is in the basement of Brother’s Restaurant, 404 Main St, in Wakefield, MA 01880
10/16/10 Excursion P&W Triangle Trip, MBRRE Dave Brown @ MassBay Information Line 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066
10/16/10 Excursion Conway Scenic RR, Crawford Notch Conway Scenic Website
11/7/10 Train Show Bedford Boomers, NH McKelvie Intermediate School, Bedford, NH
11/13/10 Train Show NHRHTA, North Haven, CT  9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Holiday Inn adjacent to exit 12 off I-91
11/17/10 Lecture Coming of the Train 2, GCC Greenfield Community College website
12/4/10 Train Show NMRA, Marlboro MA Saturday  and Sunday at Best Western Trade Center, Route 20, Marlboro, MA
1/2/11 Excursion Conway Scenic RR, Steam in Snow Dave Brown @ MassBay Information Line 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066
1/29/11 Train Show Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield
1/30/11 Train Show Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield

Amherst Belt Lines Logo

Message from the Amherst Belt Lines:

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:

  • 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


Can you help me to find the year when the first generation diesels appeared in the Readville Car shops in Boston? My father, the late Bud Demers, worked there all of his life, starting out as an apprentice. I can recall the steam locomotives going by the house when I was growing up in the 40s-50s.

I would also like to know if there were any steam locomotives in the late '50s, early '60s - along the Northeast Corridor or on any small feeder lines.

Most of the men in my family worked for the railroad. I believe my grandfather helped to organize in the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen's union. My grandfather worked in the paint shop and died of throat cancer very young. I always wondered if it were work related.

My dad actively tried to save the pensions of widows after the demise of the NYNHH railroad. They named a post after him in Dedham.

Thanks so much for your help.

     If you have information regarding this inquiry, please notify

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

Copyright (c)2010 Amherst Railway Society