Monday, April 30, 2012

Machinery Set Up

In the Lusa Car Shop, Galen Semprebon, Brian Semprebon, and John Pelletier have been able to get the dust collector set up and running.  Now, the wood shop is taking shape.  Machines are being placed in strategic locations and they are preparing to order the duct work for the machines.

Springfield Terminal car 16 is nearly ready to be returned to service, with newly painted steps & bumpers, a repaired roof & floor, and wiring for headlights!

After operations ceased, Ben Wallace, Al Goff, Xian Clere, John Gasper, Aaron Mangan, and I  went out on the line car to repair some issues with the signal system.  We were able to replace a cross arm bracket that had failed near Hancock Siding.  Other work was supposed to continue on Sunday.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Eagle Scout Project

Even with the rain yesterday, the Eagle Scouts were able to accomplish some work on Illinois Terminal car 451.  On Saturday, the windows were removed and yesterday the void behind where the windows once were was masked.  This will allow the exterior to be sprayed without causing any over-spray on the interior of the car.

Part of a new exhibit was put together and set up in the main display hall.  We are currently building an exhibit discussing local trolley history.  In it will have information and pictures relating directly to the Hartford & Springfield Street Railway and Piney Ridge Park.  The first component of this is the digitally scanned copies of a brochure that was distributed by the H&S explaining how to take a vacation by trolley between New York City, NY and Portland, ME including New Haven & Hartford, CT and Springfield & Worcester & Boston, MA.  Inside the brochure, it also gives a bit of information about Piney Ridge Park and Mount Tom.  As the year progresses, be on the lookout for additions to this exhibit and more exhibits opening.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shop Work

Up in the car shop, Galen Semprebon and Brian Semprebon were hard at work getting the dust collector put together. It is now up and running. At this time, the wood working machines can be rearranged and set up for use. Pat McCann and John Pelletier spent the day working on Springfield Terminal Railway car 16 preparing her to be released into service. John was able to sand and revarnish the window trim on the car.

In Kelly Yard, Kevin Mitchell and those helping him with his Eagle Scout Project were working diligently on Illinois Terminal car 451. The windows have been removed in order to prepare the car for painting.

Over by the Dining Car, Marilyn Rodriguez helped me clean up the entrance by removing the old lattice fencing and put up newer picket fencing. This really spruced up the area.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tie Replacement

On Saturday, we were able to replace 10 ties between Woods Barn Turnout and Borrup Road. Neil Newman, Xian Clere, Andy Cotton, Brian Semprebon, Dave Coppola, John Gasper, Aaron Mangan, and another volunteer helped me with tie replacement. We are hoping to get the tie handler and tie inserter running better so that we can use those machines to do tie replacement which will allow us to replace more ties in one session.

In the shop, Galen Semprebon worked on setting up the woodshop equipment in the car shop. John Pelletier repaired the hand brake on Line Car S-193. The brake cable had snapped, but luckily there was enough of it left to restring the brake cable. He also continued work on the electrical for the headlights on Springfield Terminal Railway car 16. Pat McCann repainted the bumpers on car 16 as well.

On Sunday, Camilo Santiago continued work on the Reading Caboose.

Pending weather, another track work session will take place this coming Saturday April 21st, 2012. We will either be working on replacing ties in the area between Borrup Road and the Hartman Siding Switch or removing spikes from relay ties to reuse.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Track Work

Track work begins at 8am on Saturday morning. Those who wish to help should arrive at the museum between 7:45 and 8:00! Be sure to bring something to drink (water or Gatorade), work gloves and NO open toed shoes. Work boots are preferable.

Monday, April 9, 2012


The museum was very busy on Saturday both for Easter Bunny Fun Day and the work that was accomplished. First, operations did an amazing job handling over 600 passengers and accomplishing some training runs as well.

Out in the shop, Galen Semprebon was busy working on building a patio, yes a patio. When the concrete was poured for the shop many years ago, there was about four feet in the rear of the shop that the concrete was never poured for. Using bricks and concrete blocks, Galen has made a much more usable surface in the rear of the shop. Next weekend, it is planned to install the air handling unit, which makes it one step closer to setting up all of the wood shop machinery.

In the Kelly Barn, I was able to fix the back of the barn where a trolley car must have hit it years ago. The gap in the rear panels has been there ever since I started at the museum. It is there no longer.

At the end of the day, Xian Clere, Aaron Mangan, and I pulled spikes and prepped a batch of relay ties. We will be having a track work session on this coming Saturday! All who are interested in helping should arrive at the museum between 7:45 and 8:00am on Saturday morning.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Activities

Yesterday was opening day for the museum and there was quite a buzz at the museum, including news crews from WFSB and NBC-Connecticut! Today the museum is open from 10am to 4:30pm for Easter Bunny Fun Day. Come on down and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wine & Beer Tasting

Be sure to purchase your tickets early for the 1st Annual Wine & Beer Tasting at the Connecticut Trolley Museum. It will take place on May 11th from 5pm to 8pm. All proceeds will go to support the repair fund for the three trolley cars damaged in the break in and theft of copper and brass that occurred at the beginning of this year. Money will also be used for security enhancements.

Tickets for this 21+ event are $25.00 and may be purchased at either the museum or Joe's Fine Wines & Spirits during normal business hours OR by calling 860.627.6540 OR by emailing

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Opening Next Weekend!

A lot was accomplished in the Visitor Center, most of it relating to painting and displays.

George Contrada worked on replacing broken windows in the New York Ontario & Western Caboose. Galen Semprebon meanwhile put up boards to prevent patrons from climbing up the ladders on the caboose.

In front of the caboose, the Ponemah Locomotive received some much needed paint on the interior and the trucks. Brendan Slane worked on finishing the painting of the interior floor and wire brushed & painted the trucks of the locomotive.

Fair Haven & Westville car 154 looks like a totally different car. The entire car has been painted with the exception of the lower area on one side where we need to preserve the original "CONNECTICUT" lettering. The trim has been painted as well. Galen took on this project and his son Brian assisted in some of the painting.

I have nearly finished the platforms to get into car 10 and the caboose. I will have to come in some night this week to finish them totally as we open on Friday.

On the other side of the parking lot, the Fire Museum is also almost ready to open. The fire trucks have been re-arraigned in the main hall and the lobby has been changed around. Gone is the old gift shop counter and display cabinet. The floor still needs to be cleaned better, but the fire sleigh is now located inside the lobby of the Fire Museum.