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THE TRANSFER TABLEThe Wilmington Chapter NRHS Official NewsletterInternet Edition

VOLUME 33   NUMBER 4 MAY 2010

Back To Wilmington Chapter Web Site

April 15, 2010 MEETING NOTES

President Mike Burkhart called the meeting to order at 7 PM. The minutes were approved as read by Secretary Dan Frederick. The Treasurer's report was delivered by President Mike Burkhart and approved as read. It was reported that our Toronto Trolley Trip was a success and contributed positively after expenses. The National Director's report was also given by President Mike Burkhart who also reported that Chapter member Dave Frazer has hurt his back and is unable to get to the meetings. We wish Dave a speedy recovery to pain-free health. Tom Posatko gave us an update on our corporate status.

After a short break, Mike Burkhart presented a great slide program that included the B&LE, the Monongahela, the Allegheny, PC&Y and the Ma & Pa. We got to see some rare equipment like an ex-Great Northern NW-5 and saw many great locations from Pittsburgh to Gettysburg to Toronto.

This month's program will be by special guest John Meise, a member of the Chesapeake Railway Association, who will present a program about "Railroading on the DelMarVa Peninsula" thanks to the efforts of Ed Thornton


From The Treasurer

2010 MEMBERSHIP DUES - The good news for the chapter is that everyone has paid their dues for 2010. Thank you for your continued support of our chapter. The confusing news for the few of you who paid your dues in February or later is that you may have received a "Final Notice" from National implying that you have not paid your dues. Please ignore that notice. National had the notices printed based on information they had through the middle of February, and didn't check to see who had paid in March before sending out the notices. Hopefully next year procedures can be improved to avoid this confusion.-- David Warner, Membership Chairman and Treasurer.


From The Editor

Alternate Income Manager Greg Ajamian received yet another large donation of four boxes of video tapes from Jim Maloney. Our Chapter owes him a huge "Thank You" for providing us with a great fund-raiser in pursuit of our new projector.


ONE LAST ALCO SAFARI

By Tom Smith

It has been over 40 years since an Alco builders plate was attached to a new locomotive at Schenectady. Natural attrition alone would account for the scarcity of remaining Alcos, and their minority status even when Alco was still building locomotives should have rendered them extinct by now. But there are still a few strongholds that keep the faith, and so Alco fans have made pilgrimages to Arizona, Arkansas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and a few other smaller operations to hear that familiar Alco burble and watch plumes of smoke erupt when the throttle is opened.

I was now down to my last objective. The Detroit & Mackinac Railroad in eastern Michigan had an all Alco roster from the time they claimed to be the first Class I railroad to completely dieselize with Alco RS2's in 1946, until the present. The D&M, now known as the Lake States Railway Co., has been loyal to Alco, even to replacing their RS2's with secondhand units from Alco and Montreal. But that was now changing; the LSRC was acquiring a small fleet of second hand EMD GP40's that would banish this last Alco bastion to oblivion. There was no time to lose.

It was perfect opportunity that Trainfest 2009 in Owosso, Mich. was only a couple hour's drive from Bay City, the southern end of the LSRC, so I planned to spend a couple of days on this line. There are many nice photo locations in the beautiful vacation country along the shores of Lake Huron. But there aren't any trains. There is just one train each way on the original D&M main between Alpena and Bay City and it runs at night on weekdays only. The LSRC also operates the exNYC line to Grayling in northwest Michigan.

I didn't see any sign of activity in the Bay City yard, and driving toward Alpena, all I saw was very rusty rails that could have just been idle over the weekend, but looked like they hadn't seen a train in weeks. But when I got to Alpena, I found an exCN M420 in the yard and a stone train with a GP40 and C424. The dispatcher told me the stone train was called for 4:30 PM, and the crew would add the M420 to the consist and head south.

It takes patience, a high ASA setting on your camera or film, and lonnnng summer days in the north woods to get action photos of this road. It is no problem to get ahead of the train with its 10mph speed limit, but by the time the train leaves the yard, it takes a long time to get to a good accessible photo location. One, maybe two shots and it's time to try nighttime action photography!

I stayed at a little motel on the Lake in Alpena, close enough to the tracks that I could hear a northbound train, if they had run one Sunday night. But next morning I heard a train horn, and jumped in my car to catch the incoming train on the Thunder River bridge. It was led by an M420 with a GP40 and C424 trailing. It appears to be a normal routine to cut off one of the road engines from the incoming train and use it for yard switching during the day, then pick it up again in the afternoon for the southbound road train.

The summer of 2009 could well be the last for the LSRC's Alcos. This was not a spectacular operation as some were, but of the seven LSRC locomotives I saw, five were Alcos or MLW's. Regardless, Alpena turned out to be a pleasant place to visit and had a nicely done maritime museum dedicated to shipping on the Great Lakes. It is unexpected little bonuses like this that add to the fun of railfanning.


NEWS BITS

Built in Juniata shops back in 1918, this particular K-4 Locomotive long served as a symbol of Altoona and the Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum. The Locomotive was on display for decades at the Horseshoe Curve before a comprehensive effort to refurbish and restore it was mounted. But after years of work, and a couple of million dollars devoted to the project, the K-4 remains and pieces and that restoration effort has come to an end. It was back around 1996 that the historic locomotive was shipped off to the Steamtown repair shop outside of Scranton.

Despite a lot of work done on the K-4 at that location, it's clear now the K-4 Locomotive will never be back in full working condition. The board of the Railroader's Museum decided at their last meeting that the K-4 restoration effort was being put on hold. While the change will be disappointment to steam train fans who wanted to see it return to the rails, museum officials say the K-4 will still be a great exhibit. Museum officials are confident the K-4 will add to their collection and attract a lot of attention. Still because the locomotive will never be able to meet current Federal Rail safety standards and return to service of any sort, there is disappointment for those who have long been involved in the restoration effort.

The schedule for returning the K-4 to Altoona will depend on the progress of a quarter round house building that slated for construction on the grounds of the Altoona Railroader's Museum later this year. That building will be needed to assemble and protect the new K-4 exhibit. (from http://wearecentralpa.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=165025 via Ed Thornton)

There are two important points that I want everyone to understand.

The NRHS is not planning to get out of the convention business. As discussed elsewhere in this issue of the Telegraph, the final details are being worked for a well- patronized convention in Scranton in June. Planning is well underway for the 2011 convention in Tacoma, and initial planning has begun for the 2012 convention in Cedar Rapids. NRHS management has reaffirmed our interest in proposals for 2013 and beyond. In the short term, NRHS management efforts have been focused on providing the support necessary to keep the 2010 and 2011 events on track. We expect attention will return to longer-term projects shortly.

All management decisions and actions regarding the convention business have been done for the good of the NRHS. Actions were taken for important business reasons. These changes were not arbitrary, nor were they the result of personal feuds or any other motives. All actions have been taken only after appropriate consultations among NRHS management and legal staff, and all are consistent with the NRHS Bylaws. We expect to keep the Board of Directors informed of further developments, and to make additional public announcements as soon as it is appropriate to do so.


SCHEDULE NOTES

Notices, announcements, schedules, etc. are provided here as a service to the members. The Chapter has no affiliation with any commercial operation, museum, or tourist line.

May 7-December?, 2010 History of Railroading in Delaware @ Delaware History Museum504 Market Street - Wilmington, DE 19801, For More Information: deinfo@dehistory.org or call (302) 655-7161

May 8, 2010 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m National Train Day Washington, DC Philadelphia, PA, Washington, D.C. - Meet and Greet with the National Spokesperson Philadelphia, PA - Baseball Junction: The History of Baseball and the American Railroad Both - - Train Equipment Displays, Model Train Displays ,AmtraKids Depot, Go-Green Express: Eco Exhibit National Park Service Trails & Rails Exhibit, Snapshot Station, Trains Move our Economy Exhibit, Amtrak Brand Display - Enjoy the journey® - - for info http://www.nationaltrainday.com/

May 21, 2010 Opening of New Exhibit - Railroads of Chadds Ford PA, Community Open House Event 5:30-8:30 PM, Chadds Ford Historical Society http://www.chaddsfordhistory.org/

May 21 - 23, 2010 Conrail Days @ RR Museum of PA The Consolidated Rail Corporation arose from a federal bail out of the railroad industry in the 1970s to become a profitable and successful private enterprise. The equipment, history and spirit of Conrail will be highlighted, in partnership with the Conrail Historical Society.

June 4 - 6, 2010 Pennsylvania Railroad Pennsy Days @ RR Museum of PA Discover the rich heritage of the famous Pennsylvania Railroad, the "Standard Railroad of the World." Noted railroad artists, photographers and authors display and sell their works. Special presentations, operating layouts, memorabilia and tours of "Pennsy" equipment are featured. See here for details.

June 6, 2010 Hamburg Dutch Train Meet Hamburg Fire Co. Field House, Pine St., Hamburg, PA.

June 12, 2010 MA and PA Day @ RR Museum of PA View amazing models trains, historic photographs and artifacts on display today by members of the Maryland & Pennsylvania "MA & PA" Railroad Historical Society. 2009 Details.

June 22-26, 2010 NRHS National Convention Scranton, PA (Radisson & Hilton Hotels) "Endless Mountain Rails" hosted by Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Chapter - www.endlessmountainrails.com

June 26-27, 2010 Great Scale Model Train Show, Timonium Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD State Fairgrounds Sat. 9-4, Sun. 10-4, Admission $9, under 15 free, family $18, tickets good for both days.

June 30 through July 5, 2010 Reading Railroad Days @ RR Museum of PA Regular Museum hours. Enjoy the remarkable Reading Railroad trains of eastern Pennsylvania history through tours of Reading Company equipment, a huge, operating model railroad and special presentations.

July 12 through July 16, 2010, for ages 9 & 10 Barons & Builders Day Camp @ RR Museum of PA

July 26 through July 30, 2010, for ages 11 & 12 Barons & Builders Day Camp @ RR Museum of PA Kids build, create, learn and play as they explore railroads and railroad history through a program of unique tours, innovative hands-on projects, field trips by train and special demonstrations. A limited number of openings are available for each day camp.

August 11 - 14, 2010 Railroad Family Days @ RR Museum of PA Great events for the whole family. Hogwarts Express parties August 13 and August 14.

Sept. 26, 2010 Members Day @ RR Museum of PA Special presentations and other events for members of the Friends of the Railroad Museum.

October 8 - 10, 2010 Model Railroading Days @ RR Museum of PA

October 9-10, 2010 Great Scale Model Train Show, Timonium Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD State Fairgrounds Sat. 9-4, Sun. 10-4, Admission $9, under 15 free, family $18, tickets good for both days.

October 10, 2010 Garden Railway Tours @ RR Museum of PA,1 pm to 5 pm Enjoy a self-guided tour of several private homes which feature beautiful garden railways, operating layouts and special model train collections. Garden Railways tour tickets are $10 per person for ages 6 and over. In cooperation with the National Toy Train Museum.

October 9-10, 2010 Great Scale Model Train Show, Timonium Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD State Fairgrounds Sat. 9-4, Sun. 10-4, Admission $9, under 15 free, family $18, tickets good for both days.

November 6, 2010 Taking The Swing Train '40s Dance @ RR Museum of PA 7 PM to 10 PM Jump, jive and swing to the popular Sound of Roses live band among the trains in the Railroad Museum's awe inspiring Rolling Stock Hall. Come in uniform or '40s clothing! Special savings combination ticket, per person, for the dance and both days of Trains & Troops: $35.00; Dance ticket only, per person: $25.00; Veterans and active duty service personnel and FRM members, per person: $20.00. Dance tickets should be purchased in advance by phone at 717/687-8628, ext 3008, in person at the Whistle Stop Shop museum store or on line, using a printable ticket request form. Dance tickets may be ordered online. 2009 Details and tickets.

November 4 -7, 2010 Fall Board of Directors' Meeting Lancaster, PA Lancaster Chapter

November 6 & 7, 2010 Trains & Troops @ RR Museum of PA, Regular Museum hours. Greet our guys and gals in uniform, experience many splendid railroad and military archival displays, enjoy the patriotic spirit. Ride the troop trains on the Strasburg Rail Road with living history re-enactors on both days of the Railroad Museum's Trains & Troops program. Troop train tickets are sold separately by the Strasburg Rail Road on line at www.strasburgrailroad.com.

December 11 & 4, 2010 Home For The Holidays @ RR Museum of PA  Regular Museum hours. Take a nostalgic glimpse at holiday rail travel. Meet costumed engineers, conductors, ticket agents and passengers representing the past century and enjoy seasonal music, festive decorations, Jack Frost Station and a Polar Express party for young children among our world-class collection of trains. Included in the regular Museum admission


CHAPTER EVENTS

Thursday May 20, 2010 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by special guest John Meisea member of the Chesapeake Railway Association will present a program about "Railroading on the DelMarVa Peninsula" program arranged thanks to the personal efforts of Ed Thornton

Thursday June 17, 2010 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Tom Smith entitled "Off the Main Line" --shortlines, industrials and tourist roads in the Northwest

Thursday July 15, 2010 7 PM Chapter Outing? in lieu of meeting - Juniata Terminal?

Thursday August 29, 2010 7 PM Chapter Trip? in lieu of meeting - River Line Camden/Trenton

Thursday Sept. 16, 2010 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Phil Snyder "25 Yrs. Ago"

Thursday Oct. 21, 2010 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Dan Frederick

Thursday Nov. 18, 2010 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Frank Ferguson

Sunday Dec. TBD , 2010 5 PM Holiday Dinner in lieu of normal monthly meeting

The Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) meets at 7:00 PM on the third Thursday of each month [except August & December] in the Darley Room at the Claymont Community Center on Green Street in Claymont, Delaware. Visitors are always welcome. Admission to regular meetings is free. Check out our Website (thanks to Russ Fox) at:


The Transfer Table is published six to ten times per year as the newsletter of the Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Items in this publication do not represent the official position of either Officers or Members of the Wilmington Chapter or the Editor of this publication.

Permission to reprint articles and news items appearing herein is granted to NRHS Chapters and other newsletters provided appropriate credit is given.

Contributions are always welcome and should be sent to the editor at SD40GMA@aol.com or send to:P.O. Box 1136, Hockessin, DE 19707-5136.Deadline for entries is the 25th of the month.

Chapter OfficersPresident: Mike BurkhartVice President & Historian: Ron CleavesTreasurer: Dave WarnerSecretary: Dan FrederickNational Director & Trip Director: Steve BarryEditor: Greg AjamianEvent Photographer: Ron CleavesWeb Master: Russ Fox

 

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