Yesterday, with the help of Ernie Darrow, Brian Semprebon, and David Coppola, we got ConnCo Open 840 switched out of the car shop and into Woods Barn. We first had to push the Elevated car 4436 all the way to the back. At this point Woods Barn is bursting at the seams. Both tracks of the barn have two cars on them that just allow the doors to close. Car 840 was moved out of the shop for two reasons. First, Fair Haven & Westville open 355 had to be moved into the shop to rebuild the Air Compressor. It is not a good idea to have both Connecticut Open Cars in one building. Second, in the coming weeks, work is going to be done over the dead track of the shop so the car could not sit there.
Out in the parking lot, Todd and Paul Chicoine were hard at work starting and early regrading the upper lot. There was a pile of old telephone poles stacked in the lot that they used to delineate the edges of the parking lot with. Hopefully by next weekend we will have the parking lot opened up all the way to the Northern Barn tracks. Ted Coppola and Pat McCann kept busy cutting down trees that were along the edge of the newly reclaimed parking lot.
Pumpkin Patch was a huge success on both Friday and Saturday. There was little space in the parking lot both days for additional parking. New this year to Pumpkin Patch is a scavenger hunt for the children to do..."Help Ponemah Learn to Run". "Ponemah" is our Ponemah Mills Locomotive built by General Electric. The children need to find the ghosts in the main hall that tell them what the next step is to start a trolley car. When they are done, they can turn it in for a prize. Of course, the favorite part of the event for the children is when they get to go out to the Pumpkin Patch at Airport Station and pick out their pumpkin. We can still use help for Pumpkin Patch for both motormen and people in the Visitor Center. If you would like to help, contact Carol at the museum.
Rails to the Darkside was also a huge success both nights. The West End has once again expanded to include an additional trolley car, and we have many new features. On Friday night, we had 150 riders, and on Saturday night we had over 300 riders. This is much better than last year's first weekend. We have an excellent cast in both the Visitor Center West End and the Newberry Siding East End. We can still use help from cast members, motormen, and people in the parking lot, so if you would like to help out, come by the museum Friday or Saturday nights at around 6pm.