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Amherst Railway Society - News and Events

Save the Hyannis Roundhouse

Hy-Line Cruises, the current owner of the former New Haven roundhouse in Hyannis, Massachusetts has filed a petition with the town to demolish the building.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm. The hearing will be held at Town Hall, 367 Main Street, Hyannis, Massachusetts - Selectman’s Conference Room on the second floor.

Based on the hearing, the Hyannis Historic District Commission (HHDC) can issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for Demolition if the owner demonstrates that there is no feasible alternative use for the building. The HHDC can also refuse to issue the certificate if it believes that the destruction of the building is not in the public interest.

The argument against demolition

The former Hew Haven roundhouse is a unique piece of Hyannis Waterfront District history and could be restored and preserved. All the original wood structural elements are intact, and very few modifications have been made to the building.

The Hyannis roundhouse could actually be put back in working order. The rails are still embedded in the floor, and the turntable pit, although covered over, could be restored. And, there is a turntable in Rochester, New York that would fit.

There are many potential alternative uses for the building. Around the country, former roundhouse structures have been turned into transportation centers, visitor centers, restaurants, and museums.

What you can do

Attend the hearing - if you live in the area and can attend the hearing, speak against the demolition request using the arguments above.

Write to the Hyannis Historic District Commission (HHDC) voicing opposition to the demolition request using the arguments above.

Email correspondence can be sent to:

Elizabeth Jenkins is the Planner for the HHDC.

Surface mail can be sent to:

Elizabeth Jenkins
367 Main Street
Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601


Cheryl Powell
367 Main Street
Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601

Cheryl Powell is the chair of the HHDC

Correspondence must be received by the HHDC by Tuesday, September 17, 2019.


Amherst Builds/Contributes Diorama

On June 20, Historic Northampton unveiled the new - Making it on Main Street - exhibit.  The exhibit tells the story of 365 years of Main Street in Northampton, Massachusetts as a crossroads, marketplace, town center, and public square. It describes the people who lived, worked, played, and celebrated there, and how their lives shaped the Main Street we walk today.

Featured in the exhibit is a 12-foot diorama of Main Street as it was in 1847 - built and donated by the Amherst Railway Society. The diorama project was lead by Rob Roy and John Sacerdote with support from Joe Albano, Stephen Morrill, Mike tylick, and Richard Watz.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of this year.

More information, visit:

Last Run - on Sudro Brown's Wisconsin Central railroad

On January 3, 2019, a group of Amherst members gathered at Sudro Brown’s home to operate Sudro’s Wisconsin Central model railroad.

The session had been scheduled months ago, and Sudro’s son, Sudro II, decided to go ahead with the session as a memorial to his father who passed away in November. As a remembrance of the event, James Mayo and Mike Chapman recorded and edited the video of the session.

Model railroads tend to be a reflection of the people that build them. And, Sudro Brown’s Wisconsin Central layout was no different. The track work was meticulous, operating sessions were carefully planned, and train crews were expected to adhere to all train movement rules.

Prior to the session, Tom Lowry and Lynn Klock spent a day staging trains and organizing the paper work. No engines or cars were moved by hand. All trains were set up with physical moves.

And, on January 3, the session was run exactly the way Sudro would have run it.

Mugs and soda were fixtures at Sudro’s operating sessions. That was true on January 3, too. Each operator at the January 3 session received a commemorative mug from Sudro’s wife, Lucia.

At the end of the session, Clark Huber and Tom Lowry powered down the layout and turned out the lights… for the last time.


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