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Amherst Railway Society

June, 2011

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Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
 Amherst Belt Lines

Amherst Railway Society
June 21, 2011
Meeting Announcement

2011 Grants Announced

The June meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School Auditorium. The presentation will be preceded by the Amherst Railway Society's annual business meeting.

"Building a Railroad Museum"
by Robert A. LaMay

My slide show traces from trees, shrubs, and a debris riddled area to a complete early 1900 railroad village. Initially founded by the Connecticut Eastern Chapter of the NRHS the museum was formed and today is called the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum located in Willimantic, CT. It was founded in November 1991 so, this year 2011 we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. After finding the remains of an old New Haven RR roundhouse built in 1892 the next 9 plus years was spent uncovering the remains of the roundhouse foundation along with its six inspection pits, and turntable pit. Literally moving tons of debris, cutting down numerous trees and cleaning up much shrubbery. Finally in the late 1990’s we received a very nice grant from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic Development. This allowed us to start phase one, the reconstruction of the 1892 six stall roundhouse which was completed in the year 2000.

The next ten years were spent building the Village of Columbia Jct. Today it comprises of the roundhouse along with its Armstrong turntable, Willimantic Section House, Chaplin Railroad Station, Groton Freight House, a blacksmith shop, Versailles Operators Shanty (used as the museum’s ticket booth), A State of Connecticut M6 Trainee module (used as museum’s gift shop, and the Chaplin Crossing Shanty. Our rolling stock consists of five locomotives, four passenger cars, one baggage car, one flat car, two box cars, and three cabooses. We also have a number of pieces of rubber tire vehicles, namely, a pick-up truck, Gradall, boom truck, hi-railer, tractor with bucket and backhoe attachments, a car-mover, and a manual pump car. Highlights at the museum each year consist of Blacksmith festival in May, Night photo shoot in September, a Spring and Fall train shows, and tours are given each weekend the museum is open (Season runs from May to October).

I am the current editor of the museum’s monthly newsletter – The Ghost Train Journal and my name is Robert A. LaMay.

• • •

Robert A. LaMay has been photographing trains and writing about them for the past fifty plus years. His work has been published in just about every rail publication to date. Even as a youngster his Dad used to take him to the railroad station located in Burlington, VT. Bob’s love of trains never diminished but just grew stronger as he grew older. Since 1995, he has been a vendor at our Railroad Hobby Show.

Click on pictures below to view them full size in a separate window.

Columbia Junction

The Roundhouse

Bob LaMay


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


The Annual Meeting of the Amherst Railway Society will be at 8 pm on Tuesday June 21. Members will vote for the 2011-2012 Officers of the Society, as well as other business of the Society.

If your email, or mail envelope says 2011, your membership expires this coming June 30. Please remember that ARS memberships expire at the end of June, the year of your membership expiration. A one year membership is good for one show pass. Members that joined in the fall of 2010 for a one year membership need to renew when their membership expires in June. Student Membership is free but requires letting us know your current school, and your grade, or year of graduation. A one year renewal is $20. Three years is $50. You can get a “Free” year with a 5 year renewal at $80.

Attendance this year averaged 80 people per meeting

(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)
(January 2011) Show canceled for weather, attendance not taken. Our apologies to those that didn’t get the word that the meeting was canceled.
(March 15) “Connecticut River Railroads” by Ira Laby, (74)
(April 19) "F40 Historical Society" by Rowan C. de la Barre , (68)
(May 17) "Hoosac Tunnel Lining Towers " by Jerry Kelly, (83)

From the Nominating Committee

President: Sudro Brown
Vice President: Tom Laware, Sr.
Clerk: Bruce MacCullagh

At Large Directors:
Alan Rice
Peter Veneman
Joe Albano, Jr.

From the Librarian

As the June meeting is the last, please make a maximum effort to return all VHS tapes and DVD's, to the library, so a complete inventory can be completed.

Thank you, Bruce Hoffman....Librarian

LAYOUT CONTEST for anyone born on or after Feb 1, 1996

A reminder about the U16 layout building contest for our 2012 Show. “U16” stands for “Under 16 years old.” This is for the kids! Many prizes and even educational scholarship money will be awarded to the winners. Please check out the contest rules, how to enter, and anything else you would need to know by visiting the web site. Entries will be a part of the 2012 Show. It should be a great time!
The deadline for registration is October 15, 2011


The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is auctioning off two one way (1.5 hour) cab rides on the Pioneer Valley Railroad. This is part of a 3 hour round trip rare mileage trip leaving from Westfield MA at 1 pm on Saturday, Sept 24, 2011. Round trip passage on the train is available for $50 per person, and includes catered hor d'oeuvres in the dining car. The trip is sponsored by the PVRR. Send your check to SFTM, c/o PVRR Trip, PO Box 272, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

<abel logo>From the AMHERST BELT LINES…

Want to Operate a Large Model Railroad?

The Amherst Belt Lines is taking a much needed break from shows over the summer, but we will start up again in October, with our 2011-2012 Season below. If you have never had the opportunity to operate on a large model railroad, you might want to volunteer to work with the Belt Lines at our own Railroad Hobby Show in January. This layout is regularly 10 to 12 scale miles in length – much longer than most home and some club layouts. You don’t need a module to participate, so you can jump right in and ‘test the water,’ if you will, by helping to set up and operate the layout.

If you are interested in operating a large and variable modular layout, building a module or displaying your own modeling efforts, see Clark, Jim 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 for 2011-2012

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April. Our tentative schedule for 2011-2012 as we know it today is below. We have only received a formal invitation to our own show, but expect to attend the others. If you would like to mark your calendars for shows we will be attending, here are the dates for the fall season in 2011 and our start on 2012:

  • October 2, 2011: Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club – Pepperell, MA. (tentative, pending site issue)
  • November 2011: Bedford Boomer’s 29th Annual Railroad Exhibition – Bedford, NH.
    (Usually the first weekend of November. Not yet announced.)
  • December 3 and 4, 2011: New England Model Train Expo – Marlborough, MA.
  • January 28-29, 2012: Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show – West Springfield, MA.

We will publish additional details as invitations are sent to the Belt Lines.
Have a great summer and remember… Modular Railroading is Fun!

<show logo>Message from the Show Director:

First some news: Eastern States Exposition properties have survived the recent tornado…thankfully, very little damage was done. Folks in the office actually watched the tornado travel down the tracks and into the Connecticut River. It also skipped over our storage facilities which are located just opposite Gate 9.

As summer begins to warm up, it means it’s the end of the year for us with regard to our meetings – bad news. But, there’s also good news – Can you say SILENT AUCTION!

You know what that means…this is my second most, favorite time of the year! We will begin just after set up and this year we are arriving early. My best estimates are that we will be totally ready to go by 6pm, giving all of our “bidders” a full two hours of fun before the final meeting. We will close promptly at 8:00 pm 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 over 50 locomotives – including several unused Broadway limited locos, NEW and still in the box sound equipped Bachmann locos, custom painted Atlas diesels almost all of which are new and in suburb condition, 10 MRC throttles, dozens of cars (freight and passenger as well as cabooses) most with Kadee Couplers and weighted, buildings, track, switches and accessories. Did I mention books…over 50 books including some of the best printed about New England Railroads….total value well over $1000 dollars. There are also works of art and scenic materials. I’ve said it in the past and because it keeps growing, it is safe to say that this is THE LARGEST OF ALL SILENT AUCTIONS TO DATE….talk about fun….this will be a site to see!

I love these finales to the year, so come early and be ready to bid…I look forward to seeing you there!

John Sacerdote, Show Director


Calendar of Trips

  • 20 Jun Tacoma WA NRHS Convention
  • 21 Jun Amherst MA Amherst Railway Society Annual Silent Auction
  • 25 June Shelburne Falls, MA Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum
  • 31 Jul Conway, NH MBRRE Steam Trip on the Conway Scenic Railroad
    Phone: 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066
    Email: or
  • 18 Sep Charlton, MA P&W Club Show
  • 24 Sep Westfield, MA PVRR Diner car trip with catered hor d'oeuvres.
  • 13 -16 Oct Warwick, RI NMRA NER Convention
  • 14 Oct Peabody, MA Model Railroad Clinics
  • 15 Oct Worcester, MA MBRRE FALL EXCURSION on the Providence & Worcester
  • 3-4 Dec Marlborough, MA New England Model Train Expo
  • 7 Jan 2012 Conway, NH MBRRE Steam in the Snow on the Conway Scenic
    Phone: 617-489-5277 or 978-470-2066
    Email: or
  • 28-29 Jan West Springfield, MA Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

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

Copyright (c)2011 Amherst Railway Society