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Amherst Railway Society

November, 2011

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Amherst Railway Society, Home Page
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Amherst Railway Society

November, 2011
Meeting Announcement

This month's meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School Auditorium.

"Hurricane Irene VS. New England Central RR
Disaster and Recovery"

by Charles Hunter

2012 Railroad Hobby Show dates:
January 28 & 29, 2012

Charles Hunter is Asst. Vice President of Government Affairs for RailAmerica, Inc.

Based in St. Albans, Vermont, Charles works with elected officials and department of transportations across the US and Canada on policy, planning, and grant work with RailAmerica’s partner states and delegations, with a focus on the eastern seaboard and the gulf states.

During 2010, while working with the State of Vermont, he was successful in securing a $55M High Speed Rail grant to upgrade the New England Central Railroad.

With 30 years of rail industry experience, Charles had held various operating and management positions during his career, including trainmaster, dispatcher, V.P. & G.M. of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic RR and G.M. of the New England Central RR & Connecticut Southern RR.

A native Texan, Charles lives with his wife, Mary, in St. Albans, VT.

Hurricane Irene, Randolph
Hurricanc Irene, Randolph, VT 9/8/2011

MP 64.96
Hurricane Irene, MP 64.26 9/1/2011

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

Robert A. Buck died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011

2007 photo by JB Mentzer

after a two month illness. He was the son of Marjorie A. (Tucker) Buck and James E. Buck, grandson of Alice (Demond) and Arthur Tucker, whose hardware business Robert carried on for 33 years. His mother was descended from the first white settlers of Warren which was established in 1741. He leaves his wife, Sylvia G. (Walker) Buck; sons: Kenneth J. and Russell D. Buck, and grandsons: Adam and Jonathan Buck. He was born Oct 12, 1929, in Warren where he resided all his life, but his lifelong love of railroads lured him to travel, beginning with a 10,000 mile rail trip in 1953, followed by family camping trips every summer to National Parks and the abandoned railroad road beds in the mountains of Colorado.

He operated Tucker's Hardware store for thirty-three years, holding Open Houses many years, one year awarding a 14 day vacation for two to a local girl, another year winning for himself an automobile in a hardware jobber contest. In 1981, he sold that business and opened Tucker's Hobbies shop in his ancestral home on Bacon St.

He served on the Warren Board of Fire Engineers, the fund raising committee for reconstruction of the church kitchen and Sunday School rooms of the Federated Church of Warren, as a field consultant for the Salvation Army and for several years, on Warren Parks and Recreation Commission which won a federal grant for construction of a baseball field. He fought successfully to preserve the small town character of Warren and surrounding towns by serving on citizens action groups such as "STOP IT" (an organization to stop the state siting of a hazardous waste treatment facility in Warren) and "Never in New Braintree" (to stop the state locating a prison in New Braintree.)

He was a charter member, and President and Program Manager of Amherst Railway Society for many years. He co-founded their Annual Railroad Hobby Show, which began as a three hour event in a classroom at UMASS and eventually moved to two large buildings at the Big E, operating over two days and attracting more than 25,000 visitors every year. It is considered the largest railroad show in the northeast. Over $300,000 in profits from the Show has been donated to railroad historical societies and museums for restoration projects and scholarships.

He was honored by the Amherst Railway Society for his 31 years of leadership at a dinner in April 2007 and by the Eastern States Exposition for his years of service as show director at that location. His interest in trains, from life size to tiny scale models, has made him friends all over the country and a few abroad, as well. The hobby is one he passed along to his sons and grandsons. It led to his helping to found the Quaboag Valley Railroaders which set up an operating scale model layout at the old school in East Brookfield.

His other compelling interest was in classical music. He has held a season ticket to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra since 1952. (This story is the text of Bob’s Obituary, published before the funeral)

From the Clerk

Attendance last year averaged 80 people per meeting

  • September 2011 (81) “Rail Transit in the Pioneer Valley " by Dana Roscoe
  • October 2011 (74) “Freight Car Futures” by Dan Bigda

Remaining meetings this year

  • (November 15, 2011) “New England Central and RailAmerica" by Charles Hunter
  • (January 17, 2012) “Museum Trains in Germany and Denmark” by Joshua Redenz
  • (March 20, 2012) “American Locomotive Heritage Museum” by Richard Steinbrenner
  • (April 17, 2012) "Boston & Maine Operations---Sept. 1950" by George & Kathy Melvin
  • (May 15, 2012) "A Decade of Railroads ----the 1990's" by Buddy Winniarz
  • (June 19, 2012) “A Slice of the Cheshire" by Jim Dufour

From the Trip Director:

For more trips, see the calendar page.

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

to Volunteer for the 

Amherst Railway Society
2012 Railroad Hobby Show

We need volunteers who are serious about helping with the Largest Show in North America! Please click here to complete the sign-up form and return to us ASAP.

All Volunteers are eligible for
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 the volunteer form, contact:

Doug Moore, Coordinator 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!!!

Breaking News

November 3, 2011 - received after print edition was sent out.

Norfolk Southern plans to hire 500 employees in eight states

Job openings for entry-level and experienced applicants in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia

NORFOLK, VA. -- Norfolk Southern Corporation plans to hire 500 employees in eight states by the end of 2011 to meet the growing demand for freight rail service and to replace employees retiring in coming years.

The railroad is seeking applicants as conductors, freight car repairers, machinists, signal maintainers, and track workers in the following locations:

Illinois:                        Chicago, Decatur

Indiana:                        Fort Wayne, Princeton

Maryland:                     Baltimore*

New York:                    Buffalo

Ohio:                            Cincinnati

Tennessee:                   Chattanooga, Knoxville

Virginia:                       Manassas*, Roanoke

Pennsylvania:              Altoona, Harrisburg*, Pittsburgh

*Employment information sessions are scheduled at these locations.

“These jobs offer excellent pay and benefits and the opportunity to build a long-term career at a company that has been vital to the U.S. economy for more than 180 years,” said Cindy Earhart, NS vice president of human resources. “Norfolk Southern has hired more than 3,500 employees so far this year and anticipates adding 2,600 employees in 2012.”

Most of the jobs involve working outdoors and at night, on weekends, and holiday shifts. Substantial travel might be required to help keep Norfolk Southern's 2,000-plus trains per day running across the railroad system.


Job descriptions

Conductor: You'll start as a conductor trainee, operate track switches, couple cars, and work on freight trains in rail yards or travel with trains. Significant travel may be involved, and you might spend a day or more per week away from your home terminal. Watch this video to learn more. This job leads to becoming a locomotive engineer.

Machinist: You will inspect, repair, and maintain the engine and mechanical components of the railroad's 4,100 diesel locomotives. Experience with welding, hydraulics, or equipment maintenance is beneficial.

Signal Maintainer: This job involves the construction, repair, and maintenance of 6,000 railroad signals in 22 states. Electronics training is useful.

Freight Car Repairer: You'll inspect, repair, and maintain Norfolk Southern's fleet of more than 87,000 freight cars. Experience in welding or mechanical repairs is preferred but not necessary.

Track Worker: Employees inspect, maintain, and repair 36,000 miles of main line and yard tracks across the Norfolk Southern network.

Interested individuals can learn more about careers in the railroad industry at three employment information sessions for job openings in Baltimore, Harrisburg, Pa., and Manassas, Va. During the sessions job candidates will complete an application and assessment and may be selected for an interview.

Harrisburg, Pa.                                     Baltimore                                 Manassas, Va.

Nov. 29, 2011                                        Nov. 30, 2011                            Dec. 2, 2011

8 a.m.                                                   8 a.m.                                       8 a.m.

Holiday Inn Harrisburg East                 Marriott Hunt Valley                 Best Western-Culpeper

4751 Lindle Road                                 245 Shawan Road                     791 Madison Road

Harrisburg                                            Hunt Valley, Md.                       Culpeper, Va.

To apply for positions at other locations, visit Norfolk Southern's careers website and complete an online application. Our employment team will notify you if you are selected to participate in the next step of the recruiting process. If you have specific questions or need assistance with the online application, call our Human Resources Help Desk at (800) 267-3313. Applicants must be at least 18 and have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Those who receive a job offer are required to successfully complete a medical exam, drug test, and background investigation.

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.


Norfolk Southern contacts:

(Media) Susan Terpay, 757-823-5204 (

Media can request tours of local rail yards and interviews about job openings.

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

Copyright (c)2011 Amherst Railway Society