• Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

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  by Otto Vondrak
 
Thread for the discussion of the Berskhire Scenic Railway Museum, it's operations, equipment and history...

Official Site: http://berkshirescenicrailroad.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Berkshire ... 1853902838

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsrm/
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Please consider supporting the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum as we start our 2011 season.

http://www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org/schedules.php

Your ticket purchase helps fund our many restoration projects.

-otto-
BSRM Volunteer Webmaster

ps - Please pick up a 2011 brochure and tell Kevin or Jay or Tom how awesome they are.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Two exciting excursions coming up:
Don't miss your chance to ride The Berkshire County Rambler on Saturday, June 18th and visit parts of the railroad our scenic trains don't go. See Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Housatonic and Great Barrington by rail on this joint BSRM-Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts one-time only excursion train. For more information and details, visit the MBRRE website. Purchase tickets on-line.

On Saturday, June 25th join us for BSRM's exclusive Wine Tasting Train featuring Furnace Brook Winery of Richmond, MA. Experience the beauty of a Berkshire summer evening by rail while you sample fine wines, enjoy light appetizers and finish off the evening with delicious desert from Hilltop Orchards. Purchase your tickets now for this popular event before they are sold out!
Buy tickets online! http://berkshirescenicrailroad.org/
  by blockline4180
 
I'm staying up in Lenox right now... I have tickets for Saturdays excursion and will be riding "BSRM special" that day.
Thanks!
  by shadyjay
 
Just got back from the ride which required me to drive 300 miles roundtrip, but it was well worth it.

After leaving my home base around 5:20AM, I got to Lenox Station at around 8:40am. The last time I was at this station, it was 1992 and it was much different. The tracks were in less than ideal condition and the platform I believe was fenced off. This was during the BSRY's hiatus period. So being able to go into a beautifully restored station with lots of exhibits and history was a plus right off the bat.

Our 5-car consist was bracketed by the #8619 on the north end and HRRC #3601 on the south end. We departed Lenox about 10-15 minutes late and headed north to Pittsfield and CP 150 on CSX's Boston & Albany line, right as an autorack train was passing our train. We then proceeded south to New Lenox and our first photo runby at the station. We returned to Lenox for a bathroom break and #3601 uncoupled and #8619 pulled in to the south end of the coaches so that #3601 would be leading. Second photo runby at Lee was actually 2 runbys, with the first being the regular-scheduled NB scenic train from Stockbridge returning through Lee to Lenox, powered by the #9128 in Conrail colors. Then our train backed up and ran by. Third photo runby at Willow Mills was a pair of runbys. Fourth was at Stockbridge Station, where a few passengers elected to not ride to Great Barrington and rode back on a different train. Upon arrival at Stockbridge, there was a brief memorial for a former NH/PC employee, Peter Lynch, complete with a horn "memorial" ("calling in the flagman"). Final runby was at Great Barrington adjacent to the station and "subway". At Great Barrington, the locomotives "ran around" so that #8619 led us home, coupled with the #3601. Heading north, we had a brief stop in Stockbridge, then returned to Lenox about 5:10pm.

The weather held up throughout the day, though it was quite warm and humid and overcast at times, sunny at others. Train wasn't completely full - if you wanted a window seat, you could find one, for the most part. I was really surprised at the condition of the railroad for being a shortline / excursion line. Welded rail was observed in several sections between Lenox and Stockbridge, something you don't usually find on these types of trips. There was also plenty of scenic beauty, from old stations and historic villages to waterfalls and of course, the Housatonic River. The "route description & guidebook" distributed by Mass Bay RRE for this trip has also come a long way since previous trips I've been on - now full color.

My thanks to the Housatonic Railroad, Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, and Mass Bay RRE for a great day!

Update 6/19:
Photo Gallery: http://picasaweb.google.com/shadyjayvt/ ... June182011
Runby Videos: http://www.youtube.com/shadyjayvt
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Excellent, Jay! If you have any photos to share, I'd love to post them to BSRM's Flickr page!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsrm/sets/

-otto-
BSRM webmaster
  by shadyjay
 
I've got no problem with sharing my photos to the museum's FLIKR site. Link to my photo gallery is above, then I can send the non-compressed full size images that you would like.
  by shadyjay
 
Looks like BSRM has picked up a "new" engine.. an RS-3:
http://photos.nerail.org/s/?p=190325

Strange that they replaced the HRRC's leased RS-3 with another, though this one may be more truer to its ALCO roots than its predecessor.

(Wonder what HRRC's plans are for their reclaimed RS-3)

EDIT:
Now that I re-read the caption, it says "laying over".... wonder if its going to Danbury if not staying in Lenox?
  by DutchRailnut
 
the unit is Berkshire scenics new power once restored, no mention of HRRC unit heading back to HRRC.
APC # 5 is suppose to be repainted in New Haven livery
see News by BSRM:
Greetings,
As promised last week, we can now share with you information about the museums latest acquisition. It arrived at the museum last night via NX-12.

Alco RS-3:
- Built as Birmingham Southern #151. Phase I car body, B/N #78251 and built September 1950.
- Locomotive went through a railroad performed Alco upgrade where it received the Phase III hood doors and upgrades to the prime mover to make it a 244h engine.
- BS bought by US Steel in late 1973. Unit renumbered briefly to #251 so it wouldn’t conflict with 100 series locomotives already owned by USS.
- Unit sold to Alpha Portland Industries shortly after BS took delivery of EMD switchers and was renumbered #5.

Contrary to speculation, it has been in continuous service at the 3 cement plants in the Alsen, NY area until the last coal train was unloaded at the Holcim Plant last October. The cement plants no longer mine and process limestone in Alsen. It became BRMX #5 on June 1, 2011.

This is a fairly rare example of an RS-3 in that it is completely original. It has not been modified: Original hardwood cab floors, all original gauges, switches etc in the cab and #6 brake.

Don’t let the exterior appearance fool you – its rough looking from the almost 40 years spent in the cement plant, but it is in very good mechanical shape and fully operational. It will go through a cosmetic restoration in the future – the faster we raise money for that, the faster you will be able to photograph a “New Haven” RS-3 plying the Berkshire Line - #562! As a side note, the museum seriously considered purchasing this locomotive in 1984, but due to its size and at the time, wheel condition, it was decided too big of a project for the then brand new museum.

Thank you for understanding our concern and need to keep the move under wraps. Come visit the engine in person at the Museum during operating hours and consider making a donation to its restoration!


Thanks,
Kevin


Kevin M Chittenden
Superintendent, Train Operations
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Inc.
(413) 537-6788 (cell)
  by Jack Powell
 
"APC # 5 is suppose to be repainted in New Haven livery."

It's great to see an RS-3 preserved, but the decision to present it as a fake is an odd choice for a museum to make. I believe the Recommended Practices of the Association of Railroad Museums frown on presenting historic objects to the public in such a manner, which essentially is a form of deception, although no doubt well-intentioned in this case. Imagine if the public were to discover that the Metropolitan Museum of Art, having no Renoir available to it, placed his signature on a Monet on the assumption that nobody would know the difference?

"This is a fairly rare example of an RS-3 in that it is completely original. *** It will go through a cosmetic restoration in the future – the faster we raise money for that, the faster you will be able to photograph a “New Haven” RS-3 plying the Berkshire Line - #562!"

Interesting choice of terminology. Wouldn't a restoration consist of returning the unit to its appearance at some point earlier in its existence, to paraphrase from the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation? Photographic interest would be a secondary concern at best.

Well-deserved congratulations to BSRM for acquiring this historic locomotive, but the decision of a museum's curatorial staff to interpret an artifact in this fashion seems rather unusual.
Last edited by Jack Powell on Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Jack Powell wrote:"APC # 5 is suppose to be repainted in New Haven livery." It's great to see an RS-3 preserved, but the decision to present it as a fake is an odd choice for a museum to make. I believe the Recommended Practices of the Association of Railroad Museums frown on presenting historic objects to the public in such a manner, which essentially is a form of deception, although no doubt well-intentioned in this case... blah blah blah...
No one is being mislead. I'm sure the museum will be quite up front about its representation of the New Haven recreation. Having a New Haven-painted locomotive that represents a class of diesel once operated by the New Haven in the territory once served by the New Haven seems okay to me. It is a recreation of a similar diesel once operated by the New Haven, not passing off a fake as the real thing.

Sheesh.
  by Reader#108
 
and while your at it, damn be the Valley Railroad for restoring a steam locomotive to look like an original New Haven......

I don't know why they dont just cut up all this old stuff and make license plates out of it.....

REALLY??????????? These places are trying to educate their customer on the historical appearance of what ran on the rails in the past.

I for one applaud what they are doing......since you can't get an original, get what you can, fix em up, and EDUCATE people about

what they are and what the did and what the looked like.
  by Jack Powell
 
Otto Vondrak wrote: seems okay to me.
Museums, by assuming that mantle, subscribe to objective standards, not just what subjectively "seems OK" to persons who may not. Those standards promulgated by the Association of Railroad Museums are the accepted ones applicable to railroad museums. If being held to such standards is not desired, then the obvious option is to not call yourself a museum, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Otto Vondrak wrote: It is a recreation of a similar diesel once operated by the New Haven, not passing off a fake as the real thing.
It was stated by a representative of the organization to be a restoration. In the museum world, such words have meanings.
Otto Vondrak wrote: Sheesh.
Suit yourself. But have you happened to notice the relative lack of seriousness with which the public views "railroad preservation," as opposed to maritime or aviation museums for example, as reflected in the absence of comparable support? You can rationalize this however you wish, but how many maritime museums "hot rod" their old whaling ships, and how many air museums pass off a fake "Enola Gay" ?
  by Jack Powell
 
Reader#108 wrote:and while your at it, damn be the Valley Railroad for restoring a steam locomotive to look like an original New Haven...... I don't know why they dont just cut up all this old stuff and make license plates out of it.....
I assume you intend your comment to be ironic. However, to the point of the discussion, the Valley Railroad is not a museum, although it does what it does very nicely. To what extent its current steam locomotive project will "look like an original New Haven" will doubtless be a matter of opinion, but it is not a restoration, nor is it particularly old. More importantly, nobody's damning anyone. You appear to mistake the application of information to facts as criticism.
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