Volume 61 – Issue 06                                                                                          1 June 2022

FROM THE BRASS HAT

Greetings Team!  Welcome to June.  It will be a very busy month with six ride days, Operate-A-Loco day and two Safety Training days.  I am very happy to announce that “The 10 are saved!”  Our ten railcars were successfully moved to our property over 2-1/2 days very quickly and without incident.  This move took several years of intense planning and serious fundraising on the part of many of our members.  Special recognition must go to Victor Varney who spearheaded the efforts once the Board decided we had to execute the relocation.  We must also recognize Jim Meade who led efforts to rehabilitate a sizable section of our Old Main Line (which runs alongside Beaver Creek Road) and even installation of some new rail on the tail of our House Track.  Bonsal Yard was stripped bare of all trackside structures to allow the large trucks and a very stout crane to maneuver for unloading.  We still have a lot of work to stabilize and protect some of the cars pending restoration.  In addition to all this, we also had to reset the yard area for a Brew & Choo between thunderstorms.  Many thanks to the Wednesday Crew who got everything ready just in the nick of time.

In other happenings, the Board of Directors has decided to zoom out a little bit to concentrate on strategic planning for the future of the Museum and Railroad.  We are forming a planning committee tasked with determining longer-term goals and ensuring we are all pointed in the same direction into the future.  Of course, we will be seeking input from our membership once we get the ball rolling.

Thanks to everyone who submitted stories and photos for this month’s Telegrapher.  I know the format looks like a term paper, but we are working on that and working to resume the hardcopy publication.

Thanks for all you do for YOUR Museum!

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Tilley, President, NCRM

New Acquisition

by Chris Tilley
The Ten has become Eleven!  Thanks to our new Museum Committee Chair, Tim Carroll, we received a donation of a 10-person unpowered crew transport car from CSX. Five bucket seats on each side will allow up to ten workers to ride behind the HyRail truck instead of riding in the truck bed. We can certainly get this back in shape and ready to use for the track recovery from HNP or other work parties along our line.


SAFETY TRAINING CLASSES SATURDAY JUNE 4, AND WEDNESDAY JUNE 15 

Two iterations of the NHV Safety training classes will be conducted at the Gazebo on June 4 and June 15, 9 a.m. Please arrive by 8:45 a.m., prepared to receive classroom format instruction (taking notes, etc.) followed by hands-on training (bring your train operating gear).  Rules and Safety test will be available for those who need the test.  Train crew must pass the test at least once every two years and complete one training class at least once per year to maintain FRA currency.

New Member Orientation Session

by Victor Varney
The next new member orientation session will be offered on Saturday June 11 from 10 am to noon. It will be held under the gazebo behind the yard office, and include a tour of the property along with some of our ongoing projects.

The new member orientation session is intended to give new members information about our history, bylaws, how to get information, who’s who, and most importantly how to get involved as a volunteer (and have fun). This session is open to those who have been members for up to 2 years. This is not a substitute for the rules and safety training sessions necessary to get involved with train operations, but we will explain how to attend those sessions, too.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to either Dennis Winchell at demawinch@yahoo.com or Victor Varney at rvv1@pacbell.net

LAST RUN

We are sad to announce the passing on May 20, 2022, of one of our long-time members, Jay Horn.  Jay was usually seen driving the “Limo” and operating the crossing signals on ride days, waving at all the customers with a cheery smile.  Jay served on the Board of Directors and was Vice President of the NCRM in 2017.  He is pictured here dancing and singing with member Mikayla Tilley during a Brew & Choo after seizing the microphone from the DJ during his favorite song.  That was something to see!  Jay was a great friend to all who knew him and will be sorely missed.

 

 

Looking for Save the 10 Photos and Videos

by Victor Varney
Quite a few of our members were able to take photos of some portion of the preparation for, and movement of the 10 cars to Bonsal.  Please share these with Victor Varney by posting them to the link below so they can be combined into a presentation for the annual membership meeting next January.  It is a Dropbox folder where you must create a folder with your name on it, and then upload your stuff to your folder so we will know from whom it came.  If you have any questions or problems with the upload, or if you would like to assist in the production of the presentation, contact Victor  for assistance.

Links to Recent NCRM Media Coverage

 PBS North Carolina Weekend, May 26, 2022

Duke Energy story on Save the 10 article, May 18, 2022

Watch Your Head and Watch Your Step

Pictured at left are several hard hats discovered in storage compartments in one of the cabooses received from the Harris Nuclear Plant as part of Save The 10.

These, along with numerous other items, have been removed to controlled climate storage for cataloging and preservation until such time as they can be put on display for the members and the public.

If you are interested in being part of the curation effort, please contact Tim Carroll for more information.

 

SAVE THE 10 UPDATE:  ALL TEN SAVED!

by Victor Varney
Moving day on 9 May kicked off with a Duke Energy mandated safety meeting, followed by Edwards setting up their crane to start work.

They got their safety check and were ready to move cars by around noon.  Then an issue arose. At some point the HNP security team removed the NCRM locks from the gates blocking the tracks into the plant, barring entry of our railcar mover, which came down from Cooper Road, for almost two hours.

This delayed everything as the car mover was needed to put each car under the crane.  The HNP security team found their key to remove their lock on the gate so our railcar mover could get to work.  Work began immediately to get the first three cars moved off the property.

One caboose on a flatbed trailer, a flat car on a new roll on/ roll off (RORO) trailer, and the C&O boxcar moved using rubber-tired dollies. The cars were delivered to Bonsal about 6PM.

Due to a lot of prior coordination and a year of line lifting, we ran into NO problems clearing any of the lines over the public roads between HNP and the NCRM! Spectrum, ATT and Duke Energy took care of all this over the past many months and didn’t charge us anything since we are a Non-Profit.

The first three cars were unloaded by about 9PM and moved to storage.

Tuesday started bright and early again with the “old” NS camp car (via dollies), another flat car (RORO), and caboose (on a flatbed trailer). Again, it was another long day with everything moving late in the day to the NCRM and another late night, but all got unloaded and moved without issue.

Wednesday started early too, with the unloading of the disabled car mover at 0630.  Next up was the ACL baggage car for loading at HNP (via dollies), followed by a flat car, and another flat car, both RORO.

Finally, the old Pullman sleeper (called the Calais or Alexandria, as now lettered) was moved on dollies. The first three got unloaded on Wednesday evening, but the Alexandria was left on the dollies and unloaded on Thursday morning.

After that, all that was left was to get the North Fork team together for a picture giving them a check for $84,000 [see last page]. They immediately got busy loading up all their equipment to head back to Virginia.  Save the 10 beat the heavy rains on Friday morning.

As the project finally worked out, we came in under budget and ahead of schedule to move all 10 railroad cars due to the months of planning.

We have not received the final invoice for crane work by Edwards at HNP, but looking at total costs to be in the $120-130K range.  That means that of the $190,000 plus raised (including $60K in loans from our members and the $50K from the state of NC grant), we still have maybe $10-15K to apply to immediate work to get the two cabooses into revenue service and initial preservation of our three passenger cars (big tarps to prevent further rain damage being priority!).  All of our members and donors should celebrate that we have completed this very important project after a 2 ½ year effort.

Follow-on projects include recovering the approximately ½ mile of previously donated rail at HNP to use at the NCRM. However, since we moved the 10 railroad cars, we have been offered another 2 miles of rail including everything within the plant, up to US Hwy 1, and then on to their former connection to the CSX (across from our parking lot).

Discussions and plans are now underway to figure this all out. We may have to hire contractors given so much track to move, but then the question arises as to where might we use all this track?  See the Telegrapher next month for some ideas…

Check Those Flipper Boards

by Bob Roule
Before one car could be moved from the Shearon Harris power plant there was preparation work that had to be done at the Bonsal Yard.

Loading platforms and fences had to be moved and that job fell to the Wednesday Crew. It was an all-out team effort to move the platforms and fences and then to turn around and move them back for the 28 May Brew ‘n’ Choo.

In some cases, the loading platforms are a bit closer to the cars than they were before moving. This means that car brakemen will have to be more aware of the flipper boards than they were in the past.

Roger Koss told everyone to make certain the flipper boards were folded away from the excursion cars and Conductor Charles Stirewalt reminded car hosts and brakemen to check flipper boards before each run.  The snazzy green and yellow livery of the flipper boards makes it easy to tell what position they are in. Thank Dennis Blazier for the paint work.

Uniform Shirt Ordering Information 

by Cindy Grau
The uniform shirt is a khaki-colored short sleeved shirt with the NHV logo embroidered over the left pocket and your first name embroidered over the right pocket.  The company that makes the shirts is Redkap, a company that makes many shirts for work place use.  The sizes are pretty true, but are sized as small to 5XL, not dress shirt sized.

As with all things, prices have gone up again.  Small through Extra Large will cost $30, 2XL and 3XL will be $32 and 4XL -5XL will cost $34.  You need to be able to pay upon delivery.  If you are interested, please send your name and shirt size, to Cindy Grau .  Or you can visit her in the Gift Shop for further information.

Seaboard Caboose 01190

by Nate DeWitt
Our Seaboard Caboose is under major renovations to ready it to join the train for our riders’ enjoyment.  The caboose was stripped down to the floor and its steel framing so that new electrical, mechanical, walls and ceilings could be installed.

A planning & design notebook was developed so the team and interested parties could have references to the current project ideas and directions.  The caboose is set for three seating areas in the south end for ten riders, two seating areas in the north end for eight riders, and cupola area with seating for four riders.

An area is being reserved for an ‘Air Head’ composting toilet in the southeast corner.   In addition, on the south end on the east wall near the cupola closet, we will have a refreshment table.  We will add air conditioning/heating for passenger comfort and a generator to power the systems while underway.

The caboose can be powered from Station Power while sitting at rest in the Yard using a switch to select which power source is provided to the power panel.  The power panel provides circuit protection for the outlets, lighting, CO and smoke sensors, toilet fan, air conditioning/heating units (if not fed from the generator), and battery trickle charger.  Provisions exist for providing power to other cars in the train.  The end of car red lights will be powered by a battery located in the east closet.  Green side lights were not provided as they were not originally installed on this caboose.

The caboose renovations have progressed since the team started from a vision statement provided by Mike MacLean and verbal directions from Rob Grau as well as input from Art Kotz.  The caboose has received a new paint job on the outside and will get new stencils as well as safety painting.

Tom Kreuzinger finished pulling the wiring for caboose systems in preparation for the wall and ceiling installations.  Jim Jatko installed new windows to “weather in” the caboose and has come up with a solution for ceiling furring strips.  Jim and Tom Snyder are working on solutions for the walls and ceilings including how to insulate the caboose.

An optional toilet room is on hold until ceiling and walls of the caboose areas are installed.   The air conditioning/heating compressor unit will be placed under the east cupola closet floor to support the mini-ductless units in the seating areas. The generator unit will be located under the southeast seating area floor next to the south (rear) truck.

The Seaboard Caboose is starting to come to life as we are getting ready for the interior installations and testing, Station Power cable fabrication, repairs to the trucks and brakes, installation of air conditioning and toilet systems, sealing and repairs to flooring prior to coatings, fabrication of seats and installation of both seats plus the tables, safety labeling, certifications of car readiness for being placed in service, reviews, and punch list completion. Come out to see the Seaboard Caboose in its temporary parking spot next to the Depot.

June Operating/Meeting Schedule

3 June, 1030 Friday Ride (1)

4 June Operate-A-Loco (4)

4 June Safety Training

8 June 1030 Wednesday Ride (1)

12 June 1100, 1230, 1400 Slow Down Sunday

16 June 1800 Board of Directors meeting

17 June 1030 Friday Ride (1)

22 June 1030 Wednesday Ride (1)

25 June 1300, 1430, 1600, 1730 Brew & Choo