Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flea Market Fast Approaching!

The market is still ON! As of this morning, Saturday's market is still taking place at the CT Trolley Museum. A final decision will be reached no later than 8:30pm Friday evening. If the market is being canceled, due to weather, it will be noted here by 9:30pm Friday evening.

If you have questions before the market, please contact Barbara at (860)798-5376. See you all Saturday. Set up is as early as 6am - 7:45 am. Please be patient when arriving - we will get you parked as quickly as possible.

As of today's date, we have over 110 vendor spaces rented and counting featuring a variety of items and great finds including antiques, collectibles, Revolutionary & Civil War items, military, coins, primitive items, household items, Vintage items, glassware, The Simon Foundation - animal rescue adoption day, We Adopt Greyhounds - greyhound adoption day, Party Lite Candles, furniture, Elm City Kettle Corn & Cotton Candy, All Things Beaded, Teach Art 2 Me - face painting and children's crafts, Pandora style & Murano beads, Scentsy Wickless candles,photos, Arbonne, baked goods, Pampered Chef, plants, Gary the Magic Guy, Mary Kay, bird houses, Thirty One Gifts, photos, Miche, Mary Kay, Jafra, crafts, Girl Scouts will be selling cookies, Pandora / Murano glass style beads, Tastefully Simple, clothing, plumbing items & hot tub, records, fishing lures, Tupperware, jewelry, garden items, gifts, Avon, a 13 year old custom jewelry maker and more! Come meet Corporal McNeice and Mack from the East Windsor Police Department's K-9 unit! There is something for EVERYONE at this year's market!

Space rentals may be paid by cash only! If you wish to rent a space, you'll need to contact Barbara @ (860) 798-5376 to make arrangements! Spaces are limited so don't wait!

Additional parking is available at Golden Gavel (Route 140). Shuttle bus will run every 20 minutes.

Interior Decorating

Or should I say Interior Demolition? Xian Clere has started aggressively working on the Bangor and Aroostook Caboose. While the interior for the most part is staying as is, the floor will be replaced. After we moved the caboose, we noticed that the floor was buckling. Initially, we thought that this was because of the move. Once we started pulling up the carpet, we found out that it was, in fact, because under the carpet was particle board. Water had made its way down under the carpet and the particle board had warped. George Contrada started working on the carpet on Saturday. Tuesday, Xian and I got together and finished pulling up the carpet and started pulling up the particle board. Under the particle board was 1" dense foam board which is the reason why the floor is so thick. We will most likely need to replace some of the foam board under the floor because some of that was wet as well. At least now the caboose is under the Visitor Center Train Shed so that it can dry out and work can begin.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rail Bonds

Throughout the day Saturday, Ben Wallace and I had to look for the tools to replace rail bonds. Once we were able to find what we needed (some tools being in the car shop), we proceeded out on the line and replaced two rail bonds. The rail bonds are necessary to allow for the signal system to function properly.

Up in the car shop, John Pelletier and Galen Semprebon were working with a crew of people to set up a gantry over the wheel lathe. This will be used to hoist the wheel set (wheels and axle) up onto the lathe for turning the wheels down. The wheel sets on New Orleans Car 836 are set to be turned down to eliminate the thin flanges that are on the wheels. Also, work was progressing on Illinois Terminal PCC 451. The "rain gutters" on the side of the car were sanded down and primed and work was ongoing on fixing a rot hole on the side of the car.

In Kelly Yard, Xian Clere has worked with Rob Levesque and Brandon Clark to replace the broken rail. The old rail was removed and the new rail was installed over the week. After borrowing a drill from the fire museum, holes for the guard rail bolts were drilled in the new rail and the guard rail was installed. There is still more work to be accomplished in Kelly Yard, but it is much better than it was at the end of last season.

Work is also progressing on the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad Caboose. George Contrada stripped the carpet from the interior of the caboose. Soon, the siding will be stripped and replaced.

Be sure to stop down for the Flea Market at the museum on this coming Saturday, May 21st! There will be over 100 vendors!

Monday, May 2, 2011


On Sunday, Camilo Santiago took the initiative to clean the Members Room. Since the beginning of the year, extraneous materials have been stored in the Members Room and a lot of dirt has been tracked in from outside. Now, the room has been cleaned up and is a comfortable place for volunteers to hang out, eat lunch, and relax after a hard days work.

Out by the section house, I was working on cleaning the grounds. When the section house was being restored, some of the track tools were stored under a tarp outside. The tools have now been moved back into the section house. While I was doing that, I found three level boards. A level board is used to check how much elevation is built into the track. For example, if the level board reads an inch of elevation on the east rail, that means that the east rail is an inch higher than the west rail. For the past few years, we have been using a homemade level board.

Remember, the Annual Meeting is this coming Saturday at 5pm. Earlier in the day, at 2pm, there will be a ceremony for the presentation of the donation from the WLPA.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Car Shifting

Most of the progress during the day on Saturday included shifting of various cars in preparation for the Annual Meeting.

First thing in the morning, Bill Wall and Bill Pollman stopped by the museum with tires and rims for the trolley bus that is scheduled to be shipped down to Baltimore. They have a similar trolley bus, but they need one of ours (we have three) for parts. The one big hurdle in getting the bus shipped is that it had no tires on it.

George Contrada, Galen Semprebon, Ted Coppola, John Cummins, Dave Coppola and I worked to move the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad Caboose under the Train Shed. In order to do this, we needed to pull the caboose down to the Powerhouse Crossing on the Visitor Center lead tracks so that the access track could be shifted over 2 bays. Then the caboose was pulled back up and pushed under the Train Shed.

Xian Clere and Camilo Santiago worked with Northern Tree Service of Palmer, MA to move around 700 relay ties that have been donated to the museum. The ties are now sitting on the back road to the loop.

Up in the shop, John Pelletier was working with another volunteer to service additional cars. They were able to finish working on Fair Haven & Westville Railroad Car 355 and Illinois Terminal PCC 451. Later in the day, Springfield Terminal Car 16 was brought up to the shop and minor repairs were continued on the car.

After operations was finished for the day, Camilo Santiago, Xian Clere, George Contrada, and John Cummins completed a switching operation which included moving the Reading Caboose to the North Road Lay-Up Track and clearing the Northern Barn Lead so that Aurora Elgin & Chicago Interurban 303 can be moved out for the Annual Meeting next weekend.

Morgan von Eisengrein spent the day working diligently in the office with the planning of our new fund raising event for this year, BBQ on the Line. More information on the event will be forthcoming.