A busy autumn weekend!

Thanks to the many RMNE volunteers this past weekend at the Thomaston Shop, we were able to make progress on many projects. In the photo at left, Chad Boutet and Matt Lawson ‘buck’ a tie tight to the rail while Hal Reiser drives a spike home.

One of our locomotives, the Naugatuck 2203 underwent a periodic inspection under the careful eye of 2 of our members. Another member assisted by replacing a circulator pump on the locomotive’s standby furnace, which keeps the engine nice and warm on cold nights, alleviating the need to keep the diesel engine running to keep the engine’s cooling water from freezing.

This past weekend, our “inside crews” were working on the Thomaston Shop building and on projects such as coach 5805 and a 16-cylinder EMD diesel engine. The shop building work centered around the on-going installation of electrical services along the four walls of the shop. Conduit and junction boxes, brackets and fittings and wire are being added to the building, bringing the permanent electrical services (both 110 volt and 220 volt) to more locations in the shop. Another crew was working on the restoration of coach 5805, a 1924 Canadian National car. The original mahogany interior is being carefully restored, including all new windows. The effects of 85 years of wear and tear on the steel structure of the car is being reversed, with deteriorated sections cut out and new steel being fitted and welded into place. It’s been a long project, but the 5805 is showing the results now, as it looks better each week.

Two volunteers continued the rebuild of a V-6 Cummins diesel engine for our 1969 Hough front-end loader, and the massive, 38,000 lb EMD Model 567C V-16 diesel engine destined for B&M GP9 #1732 also received some attention. That EMD engine rebuild will be a project that will continue over the coming winter. We also continued preparing for our big Track Blitz next weekend. The final yard switch continued to progress along nicely with the help of several of our members. Building a switch is by no means a small task, the sheer volume of parts required to build a switch is astounding. It is still not too late to sign up for the track blitz! We need all the help we can get to move forward toward finishing out the yard at our shop site allowing for additional storage space for our precious equipment. See the details about signing up to help out in our Track Blitz post.

As can be seen by reading above, there are limitless opportunities for one to lend a hand help restore a bit of our history. From track work, to train operations, to car restoration, to locomotive maintenance, there is never a shortage of work to be done, and the volunteers of the museum are never bored! If you are interested in joining and getting your hands dirty and help out, see our volunteer page on the RMNE website. If you’re unable to give your time, but still want to help the museum to move forward with restoration work, tax-deductable financial contributions can be made directly online through Network for Good or justgive.org.

Thanks to Scott Hartley for providing the photos.

Photos above: Pondering the virtues of a switch frog… Howard Pincus, Dave Manning, Sam Walker and Bob Eberheim take measurements, and test fit bolts to hold the rail tightly to the frog.

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