Not much to add to my esteemed colleague ZOG's report; his abacus may be missing a few beads, as 9 freight cars were moved from VRR to NAUG in the "freight-train-by-road" project. One car moved in Oct 05, and the rest between Feb 22 and May 10, 2006.
The 2006 Engineer For an Hour program is sold out, even after adding three additional dates in October.
At least one coach is getting a full set (45) of new mahogany windows; a second coach set will probably be done this winter.
Visitor counts are up for this year; the new directional signs installed along I-84 and Rt. 8 last fall have helped considerably. More group tours this year, too.
A revision of the Thomaston display track is planned for Spring 2007, with display signs for the equipment.
A revised website for RMNE (www.rmne.org
) has been well-received by visitors; it looks great and gets the information across simply and elegantly.
A number of new members have started training as brakemen, which is the starting point for anyone wanting to be involved with train operation on the NAUG (it's like basic training in the military-- even the officers go through "basic").
Fuel costs are up of course, by about 30-40%. Track ties now are $32 each instead of $27 a year ago (in truckload quantities-240 per load). Spikes-- $120 per keg vs. $75 per.
As ZOG so eloquently states, a look back over ten years shows amazing progress, and that serves as inspiration to accomplish more in the next ten. To you people out there reading this, come on and get involved with RMNE-NAUG--- learn something new, have an new experience, have a chance to get up close and personal with the big iron, put a smile on a kid's face, have the satisfaction of saving a bit of New England history, and meet a bunch of interesting new people, too!!
We have volunteers from southern New Hampshire, from Mass, from NY, from NJ, from right in Thomaston, too. So, don't think you're "too far away". "I don't know anything about that stuff"--- we have some good instructors to take you through the training process. We all have a lot of fun doing this, and it's great to see our visitors enjoying the results.
Brooks, glad you had a good visit with us-- I wish I had known you were coming so we could have met. And Jay, that long-standing invite (and offer of an "adult beverage") still stands. Any of you regular RR.net people are always welcome; when you visit, ask around for ZOG or Mr. Malone and introduce yourselves.
See you all soon!!
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."