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Amherst Railway Society

January 2011

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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

Download this newsletter in pdf format (pps. 1-5)

Download newsletter p. 6 (announcement of
MassbayRRE trip to Newport)


Due to inclement weather the Amherst Railway Society meeting scheduled for this evening, Tuesday, January 18th is CANCELED.

January 18, 2011
Meeting Announcement

The January meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, Jaunary 18, 2011, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School Auditorium.

2011 Amherst Railway Society
Railroad Hobby Show
January 29-30
New Feature
Songs and Stories
Katie Green and Bob Reiser

Reserved for picture

Sunday, January 30th at 2 PM
in the Young Building Clinic Area
One Performance Only

"Connecticut River Railroads" by Ira Laby

The slide show will begin in Springfield MA, and will encompass from the late 1950’s through the next 40 or so years. Springfield and Holyoke will be covered, as will various towns to the north, with some time spent while Mr. Laby was working on a dam in Claremont, NH. A few slides north of there will round out the program, along with some of the Claremont & Concord Railway.

Ira Laby’s interest in trains dates from when he was 4 or 5 years old, in the mid 1930’s. His father was the manager of the Paramount Theater in Springfield, one side of which faced the embankment leading to Union Station. His older brother and he did not always get along, and his mother found it prudent to ship one of the other boy off with their father, when he came home for lunch, to spend the afternoon in the theater.

His brother ran up and down the aisles and terrorized the ushers; Ira discovered that if he sat in the assistant manager’s office quietly, he could watch trains right up at the same level as the office. Very shortly, the elder Mr. Laby refused to take Ira’s brother, and Ira got a lot of train watching, back when there would be some movement every few minutes. 

Ira’s association with the Amherst Railway Society goes back to when the meetings were held at the University of Massachusetts.

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 your tax deductions.

From the Clerk

For many of you, this is the first newsletter that you have received in the mail this season. We are trying to reduce costs by sending you the newsletter to your email address. The email should still include your expiration year, as well as the postal address we have on file.

In November this system worked out very well as the people receiving the email version of the newsletter received current information on the topic for the November meeting. Since the topic changed as the newsletter was being prepared for mailing, we were not able to include details in the printed version of the newsletter.

Please note that your membership card is NOT a pass to the show. The paper copy of this newsletter should include a show pass that can be exchanged for a ticket to the show. Only life, active paid, and active student members will receive the show pass.

Upcoming Amherst Railway Society Programs (subject to change)

March 15 Members night, each person will be limited to 10 minutes and 15 slides. Contact Tom Laware Sr.
April 19 “F40 Historical Society ” by Rowan C. de la Barre,
May 17 “Lining Towers: Precision Surveying in the Construction of the Hoosac Tunnel" by Jerry Kelley
June 21 Annual Business meeting, and silent auction. “Building a Railroad Museum." by Bob LaMay

Attendance this year

  • (September 2010) New Age of New England Railroading " by Kevin Burkholder (94)
  • (October 2010) Railroading Along the Thames River in Conn by Tom Nanos (88)
  • (November 2010) “NYC — Subways and Trolleys — Part 2." by Richard J. Solomon (69)

2008 Show Logo.jpegMessage from the Show Director:

We are ready for the 2011 Show! Here 's a brief run down:

We start the show early again (on Thursday) with part 3 of the Model Railroading University courses.

This year, the “Doctorate Program ” consists of sixteen hours of instruction in advanced technique, including animation and molds and casting technique. Once again, the course will be given by Miles Hale, MMR, his wife Fran Hale, MMR, and John Lowrance, MMR. Three Master Model Railroaders will be your lead instructors, but they are bringing 2 additional MMRs with them as they want the instructor/pupil ratio to be low —very nice. This course is usually offered at $950.00 dollars but is offered to the Amherst Railway Society at $295.00, a $655.00 savings! The class will be conducted in the Young Building on the Eastern States Exposition Grounds on Thursday and Friday from 8am to 5 pm. Registrants for the course also receive a ticket to the Show! The class is almost full with 22 registrants, so there are 3 seats left if anyone is interested.

On Friday (another early start) Iwata Air Brush folks, will be there to give a 2-hour clinic on the techniques of airbrushing. This course is a must for anyone who really wants to learn the basics from one of the top airbrush companies in the world! This course will be presented by Scott Mason, an expert modeler that most of us know. The course will be 2-4 pm on Friday and it is free. Space is limited so it is first come, first serve and will be given in the Offices of the Mallary Complex (which is now our second, invitation-only clinic area). The course will be repeating from 12 noon — 2 pm on Saturday as well. Please sign up for one of these! NOTE: The Friday Clinic is filling fast so please let us know if you wish to attend ASAP!

Next, we have something very new that we have never tried before. We have two professional “Story-tellers ” coming to perform a railroad story the likes of which you have never seen or heard before. This is absolutely worth seeing and it is meant for adults and children alike. The performance will be given by Katie Green and Bob Reiser and will be conducted only once — on Sunday, at 2 pm in the clinic area. It will last for 45-50 minutes! Special Reminder: You have got to see this!!! Visit the web site to learn more.

The next item of news is the actual show configuration. The entire back of the Mallary Complex has been redesigned. For those of you who were there for our first year (last year), you will not recognize it. First, it has grown by approximately an additional 20,000 square feet (which BTW, puts us over 350,000 square feet or just over 8 acres). This year, we have over 35 new exhibitors and the Show is absolutely full — there is not an extra table in the entire show — of over 1500 tables! For a complete list, do not hesitate to visit . New and moved exhibitors have been highlighted within the list of over 470 exhibitors! Traffic to the site continues to grow. The counters were reset on August first and we already see over 135,000 visitors to the site. That 's 10 times the number of hits from last year! Please check out all the new information.

The “Manufacturers ' Room ” where manufacturers and distributors can show off the latest and greatest is full with a clinic just about every hour of both days. Be sure to check in on the first clinic of each day entitled, “What is JMRI? ” This clinic will be brought to you by Ken Cameron, Member of JMRI Developer Team. Folks, this clinic is absolutely state of the art and all DCC interested people should attend. Keep in mind that our guest speaker is Ken Cameron — he is on the development team for this new java-based software that will help you program your decoders and much more! This is as good as it gets.

Other clinics continue to spring up throughout the Show. One big example is that Woodland Scenics is back in the Show this year with a major splash in that they will have 400 square feet of floor space, complete with a new product line as well as clinics on the spot!!!

We continue to grow more for the kids — the future of our hobby. Our indoor, riding train is back, as is an expanded kid 's area. We will also continue to add to that area in the future. IN fact, we have moved the reception area to the back of the Mallary Complex.

For our exhibitors, the exhibitor 's lounge is back as is the Saturday evening dinner that we now host for an average of 225 people. Remember, any registered volunteer is a guest of the ARS and can attend. If you are a volunteer at the Show, please join us for a great dinner.

We continue with our affiliation with the Baystate Children 's Hospital and Baystate Health Foundation. Once again, we are holding a special raffle to raise money for the Children 's Hospital. The Amherst Railway Society is raffling off a 4 X 8 foot HO layout. Built by our friends at Bachmann, it is modeled in the style of the original “Gorre and Dephetid ” railroad!

We are also inviting “kids with cancer” to attend our Show as our guests, so you may see some of them at our Show. This year, we are also helping the Greater Springfield Big Brothers and Big Sisters as well as The Asperger 's Association of New England. Having all these groups at our Show is a wonderful thing to see!

I have said this before and I continue to have no problem saying it: These are the moments that make this all worthwhile for me. I remain proud to be a part of what we do. I look forward to seeing you at this year 's Railroad Hobby Show!

John Sacerdote, Show Director

If you volunteered for the show, and haven 't received your assignment yet, contact Doug Moore at (413)-436-9787

Amherst Belt Lines LogoMessage from the Amherst Belt Lines:

Happy New Year from the Belt Lines!

Welcome to 2011! We are now in the home stretch for our own show at the end of this month.

If it hasn't been mentioned already a dozen or so times in this meeting notice and newsletter, the Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show is January 29 and 30 with setup starting Thursday afternoon. We also have our show schedule finalized for the rest of the 2010-2011 show season; see the Schedule Update below.

The first weekend of November found the Belt Lines in Bedford, NH for the Bedford Boomer's Annual Exhibition. The all display show was well attended — both by Belt Lines associates and the general public. One of the highlights, for the participants, was a "live steam" 7 1/2" gauge timesaver layout set up in one of the corridors on Saturday. A few of the gang from the Belt Lines tried their hand at it — although no one broke any records! December found us at the NMRA ® HUB Division New England Model Train EXPO in Marlborough, MA. Attendance at the two-day show appeared to be better than last year, which will hopefully be an indicator for our show!

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

The Belt Lines will begin setup on Thursday afternoon, January 27, in the Better Living Center. All modules must be in the BLC by 10:00 PM Thursday, so we can get setup and operating before the show opens Saturday morning! If you aren't bringing a module or otherwise volunteering at the show and are looking for something to do later in the day Thursday, or almost anytime on Friday, the Belt Lines can always use a hand with leveling and clamping modules, connecting buss wires, stringing command wires or connecting rail joints in order to get operational. With approximately 100 modules involved in the layout, it takes many hands to do all the work. If you are interested in helping, stop by the layout and look for Clark, Alan or Sudro — we will be happy to find something for you to do! This show is also a great opportunity to operate on a large HO scale layout with a mainline run that is typically around 10 to 12 scale miles in length. Operators are welcome on Saturday and Sunday; we will do our best to find you a train to run! Remember, you need to be on the list of volunteers to get a name badge to enter the buildings — our deadline for submitting names is January 9, so please email us at the address below if you need a badge.

Worcester Model Railroader's Model Railroad Show and Sale

February 27 will find the Belt Lines in Auburn, MA at the Auburn Elks Club hastily setting up for the Worcester Model Railroader's show. This show is a true one day show, with setup starting at 7:00AM Sunday morning and the doors open to the public at 10:00AM! The Belt Lines goes with a small layout, but a lot of hands to get up and running before the doors open. Come along and help, or just come out to the show and support a terrific club!

If you want to attend any of these shows with the Belt Lines — to help out with setup and operation, or any aspect of the show — let Clark, Alan or Sudro know and we will get you more details on any show. Drop us an email at , all three of us will get it. Remember, you don't need a module to come to the show!

See you in West Springfield! And remember: Modular Railroading is FUN!

Show Schedule Update

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April. If you would like to mark your calendars for shows we will be attending, here are the dates for the rest of the 2010 — 2011 Season:

  • January 29-30, 2011: Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show — Eastern States Exposition Fair Grounds (Big E), West Springfield, MA
  • February 27, 2011: Worcester Model Railroaders Model Railroad Show and Sale — Auburn Elks Club, Auburn, MA
  • April 10, 2011: Nashua Valley Railroad Association RailFair 2011 — Shirley Middle School, Shirley, MA

From the Trip Director:

Not yet on the MBRRE website is a 4 hour trip on the Old Colony and Newport Railroad, Sunday 4/9/2011: the 12:00
train from Newport to Hummocks and return, and should cover all trackage of the OC&N, returning about 4 PM at
Expect at least one photo stop, as with all MassBay trips.
MassBay is taking Ticket reservations in January, and pricing is not yet available.
Only 2 cars will be on this trip, so plan on purchasing your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Remember, Amherst Railway Society members get one ticket at MBRRE member prices, mention your Amherst
membership when calling for tickets. See the flyer at this link for more information.

From the 2011 Annual Bus Tour Former Central New England Railway:

The 2011 tour will be on Sunday April 3rd (rain or shine). CAUTION this is the weekend when the clocks change to Daylight Savings Time. Don't be late.

We will depart from the parking lot in Simsbury, CT. This was one of the spots where we stopped in 2010. The 2011 tour will cover the CNE between Simsbury and Norfolk, CT. This section covers some well known wreck sites and also Satan's Kingdom and Winsted. Due to the narrow roads and lack of suitable parking in much of the general area of our tour, some locations can only be shown from the bus or in photographs.

As usual, everybody will get a copy of the 2011 CNE Tour guide book. We have a lot of ground to cover so we will have coffee and buses will roll at 9:00.

The cost of this year's tour will be $50.00 per person & payment should be made out to:Joseph Mato CNE 2011 Be sure to include your E-Mail address, or phone number, so we can contact you if we need to. Send payment and contact information to: JOE MATO-CNE 2011 62 WOOD ROAD REDDING, CT. 06896

Please note that any request for refunds must be received before March 3, 2011. 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.

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

Copyright (c)2010 Amherst Railway Society