Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Maine Memory Network: Great Source for Maine Railroading Images!

Run by the Maine Historical Society, this website has a lot of railroad related items!  Just type in what you want to find, and chances are, you will find something!

Recent New England Model Railroad Announcements - 12/29/10

Bachmann: GE 44-Ton Locomotive – B&M
Micro Trains: 40' Standard Box Car, Single Door – New Haven
Micro Trains: 50' Standard Box Car, Single Door, w/o Roofwalk – B&M (077 00 190)
Micro Trains: 40' Outside Braced Box Car, 1½ Door – Central Vermont
Micro Trains: 40' Standard Box Car w/Single Door, Full Ladders, w/o Roofwalk – Maine Central (073 00 120)


MBTA Quiet-Car Pilot Program

Quiet Car Pilot Program runs January 3 - April 3, 2011 on the Franklin and Fitchburg Lines

In a recent survey, thousands of our customers said they'd like to try a 'quiet car' on Commuter Rail. To test out the concept, we're running a 'quiet car' pilot program on the Franklin and Fitchburg Lines during peak times (see the shaded area on the train schedule for specific peak times).  The 'quiet car' will run for ninety days during which time we'll be surveying riders to see what they think of the experience. If it's a good one, we'll consider rolling it out on all commuter rail lines later in the spring.
View the schedule for the Franklin Line or the Fitchburg Line.
Tips for riding in a 'quiet car'
  1. Where is the 'quiet car' located on the train? The quiet car is the car closest to the locomotive.
  2. When will the 'quiet car' be running?  Beginning January 3, 2011, the 'quiet car' pilot program will run on the Franklin and Fitchburg Lines at peak times. The program is slated to run for 90 days or until April 3, 2011. We'll evaluate how well it went and consider the feasibility of extending it to other lines.
  3. What are the rules? Customers are asked to: refrain from cell phone use; keep pagers, cell phones, laptop and PDA sounds off; and speak quietly. Conductors will, of course, lift the quiet car restriction in times of disruption or severe overcrowding.
  4. What if I get on the 'quiet car' without knowing it?  Don't worry.  Conductors checking tickets will remind customers they are sitting in the 'quiet car'. If you prefer not to sit there, simply move to another car.
  5. What If I need to make or receive a call on my phone?  Kindly move to another car if you must make or take an incoming call. If you must leave your cell phone on, switch it to the vibrate function so that its ring won′t disturb others.
  6. What if another rider′s electronic device is too loud? Please keep in mind, quiet does not mean total silence. A certain amount of tolerance to noise is necessary. If needed, politely remind your seatmate that they are riding in a 'quiet car' and ask that they monitor the volume of their music, then let it go.  A 'quiet car' is also a peaceful car.
  7. Can I chat with fellow riders if I whisper? Yes, but please keep the tone to a whisper and the conversation brief.  If you find you need to whisper for the entire ride, it might make more sense to ride in the non-quiet cars.
  8. Can you disable the announcements in the quiet car?  We want to preserve a quiet atmosphere for the comfort of our riders; however, we must make onboard verbal station announcements.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New England Central gets new welded rail

New England Central gets new welded rail - TRAINS Magazine

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The L.B. Foster Co. has begun delivery of 28,500 tons of 115-pound welded rail to New England Central Railroad. The rail will be used to upgrade approximately 140 miles of track. The track improvements are part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program award to the State of Vermont and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The new rail will improve the speed of the Vermont-sponsored Amtrak Vermonter passenger service and add capacity for freight.

Chattanooga Choo Choo - GREAT Old Comedy & Trains!

A great collection of clips, well edited and set to the song "Cattanooga Choo Choo".  Look for comedians Buster Keaton, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, The Three Stooges, Laurel & Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, the Keystone Cops, and others.  Oh yes, and LOTS of cool old trains!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vermont upgrades tracks... poised to receive funds from canceled OH/WI

Vermont upgrades tracks... poised to receive funds from canceled OH/WI - TRAINS Magazine

By Kevin Burkholder
Published: December 13, 2010

MONTPELIER, Vt.Vermont is poised to receive an additional $2.7 million in high speed rail funds, while work proceeds on track improvements awarded in the first round of Recovery Act funds. The money is all going toward upgrading the route of Amtrak’s Vermonter over New England Central Railroad tracks.

Vermont’s project was not only the second nationally to find its way through the maze of requirements at the Federal Railroad Administration, it is successfully under way,” says Trini Brassard, assistant director of operations for Vermont’s department of transportation. “With threats of changes to the program, including reductions in funding for projects that are not making progress, we are in a safe position.”

The “threats” Brassard refers to originated with Congressional Republicans who want to take back unspent stimulus funds.

Charles Hunter, RailAmerica’s director of state relations in its eastern region, says it is too early to determine where Vermont’s new funds will go. The extra money comes from canceled Ohio and Wisconsin high speed rail projects.

Ron Bocash, New England Central’s project manager for the high speed upgrades, says that since receiving the first round of funding, a total of 14.87 miles of 115-pound welded rail has been installed. That work occurred between Oct. 28 and Nov. 24 through the combined efforts of crews from New England Central, Atlas Railroad Construction, RailWorks, and LB Foster.

With the onset of winter, the railroad has planned the rest of the project so that work can be done to get things ready to move in the spring. This includes signal work, such as replacing signal heads with LED lighting, bridge tie replacement, building crossing panels, and getting materials delivered and spread along the track.

Hunter says crews would be working toward the next round of funding, as the original application mentioned future signalization possibilities and the extension of passenger service to Montreal.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

‘Downeaster’ to get some money formerly bound for OH/WI

‘Downeaster’ to get some money formerly bound for Ohio, Wisconsin - TRAINS Magazine

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Brunswick extension of Maine’s Downeaster will get an additional $3.3 million in federal money that Wisconsin and Ohio turned away, Mainebiz has reported. It’ll go to help fund the $38.3 million extension project, which will extend northward the current terminus at Portland, Maine.

Though California and Florida will get the bulk of the money that Wisconsin and Ohio rejected, it’ll go to a total of 13 different states, and the Downeaster will be just one beneficiary. Nearby Vermont also won an additional $2.7 million for its projects.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lost Railroads of New England -- NEW EDITION --

Branch Line Press

Lost Railroads of New England

The 3rd edition of our railroad history classic, Lost Railroads of New England by Ronald Dale Karr, comprises a fully annotated directory to all abandoned segments of every common carrier railroad operated in New England, updated through January 2010, as well as a concise history of the rise and fall of New England’s railroads. The new edition includes all new maps with detailed city maps for areas of dense railroad activity; many more photographs; and new sections on rail trails and abandoned lines that have been reinstated.

Find out about the abandoned lines and rail rights of way you see in your favorite part of New England. 

Man survives leap from moving train Ayer MA

Man survives leap from moving train - The Boston Globe

December 6, 2010

Authorities said a man was taken by medical helicopter to Nashoba Valley Hospital last night after he jumped from a commuter rail train in Ayer. The man, about 30 years old, leapt from the moving train shortly after 9 p.m., said Lydia Rivera, an MBTA spokeswoman. Emergency officials found the man unconscious but still breathing. The Ayer Police Department and T officials said last night they did not have more information about the incident or the man’s identity.

Train Engineer's Quick Actions Save Man's Life

Train Engineer's Quick Actions Save Man's Life - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

MBTA Driver Spotted Man Lying On Tracks In Stoughton

BOSTON -- The quick actions of a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority engineer saved the life of Stoughton man who was passed out on the tracks.

An MBTA train was approaching the Stoughton center at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when the engineer, Christopher Holmes, of Kingston, R.I., saw someone lying on the tracks, the Patriot Ledger reported.

The train, that was traveling about 20 mph, stopped about 160 feet from the unidentified man.

There were no injuries reported, but the man was taken to Caritas Good Samaritan Hospital for evaluation.

Recent New England Model Railroad Announcements - 12/10/10

Microtrains: 50' Standard Box Car, Single Door, w/o Roofwalk – B&M (rd# 910)



The 2011 Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

( )

January 29th and 30th, 2011
Advanced Tickets
Now Available!
To learn more about the Amherst Railway Society,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Steaming Tender Restaurant - Palmer MA 3/19/11

(from the Flying Yankee newsletter)

 A  "STEAMING" TIME AT THE "TENDER" Jerry Kelley Hoosac Tunnel
Make a date to join us all at the Steaming Tender Restaurant  in Palmer, MA, March 19, 2011 for a night of great food, and great company.  Gayle Kelley has offered to present a wine tasting event for those interested.  Jerry Kelley is going to present a talk and a show about the Hoosac Tunnel.  Michael Tylick has also agreed to present a slide show on a subject to be decided.  Tommy Robichaud, of the "S" Gauge Group, will be the Auctioneer of various and sundry railroad related items  such as pictures, books, etc.  Joe Karas may be present (if the Bruins aren't plJerryaying) to sign his book as well as to entertain us.  The Stoddart's are being invited to show off their beautiful "wall" art.  If they are unable to attend, we will have pictures of their productions.  Chris Iorillo has also been invited with his phenomenal illustrations (you would be sure they are photographs).  Have a great dinner, connect with old friends, and enjoy a tremendous program all in a beautifully restored Depot full of memorabilia while the train traffic runs up and down the rail by the Palmer Depot platform (might rattle your plates a little but that's OK - right?).  Watch for the announcement/flyer that will publish right after the 1st of January, 2011.  Any questions please call the office at: 603-661-3317 or, email us at;
(Auction donations graciously accepted)   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Boston & Maine at West Concord MA 3/22/30

Pan Am Train NMED at Ayer MA

© 2010 Jonelle DeFelice

Commuters return to the rails in Boston

Commuters return to the rails in Boston - TRAINS Magazine

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has reached a two-year high for average weekday trips, making a slowly warming economy, the Boston Globe has reported. Average weekday ridership for October topped 1.3 million.

Rich Davey, MBTA’s general manager, said rising subway ridership led the trend. The red, orange, and blue lines averaged more than 532,000 per weekday, the highest level in four years. The green line was somewhat higher as well, with a 236,000 average, the highest in more than a year.

Steamtown, Green Mountain Railroad executive Robert Adams dies

Steamtown, Green Mountain Railroad executive Robert Adams dies - TRAINS Magazine
BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Robert “Bob” Adams, 85, one of the first employees at Steamtown USA and later President of the Green Mountain Railroad, died Dec. 2 in Townshend, Vt.

Born in 1925 in Bellows Falls, he worked 18 years for the Rutland Railroad. In 1961, he was hired by the late F. Nelson Blount as his first full-time employee to assist in establishing Steamtown USA, the predecessor of today’s Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pa. When portions of the abandoned Rutland became available for lease, Adams and several others encouraged Blount to form the Green Mountain Railroad Company, which is still in business today as part of the Vermont Rail System.

Blount’s death in an airplane crash in 1967 resulted in Adams acquiring majority stock ownership in the Green Mountain later that year. He became the Green Mountain’s President in 1968 and held that position for ten years, and served on Green Mountain’s board until 1993. Adams was an avid railroad fan and became an authorized Lionel electric train repairman. In addition, he was involved in clock repair work and was a member of the Bellows Falls Historical Society.