Hello and Happy New Year everyone! As some of you may know, NARCOA had been dropped by their insurance carrier last year. Quick work by the NARCOA Insurance Administrator ended with an insurance policy being purchased through another carrier. We are lucky to have such dedicated volunteers within this hobby, as not having insurance in place would have jeopardized having any trips in 2011.
Getting more specific to our group, Craig Hartman asked to become a NARCOA Event Coordinator this year. I will be working closely with Craig so that he too can look for new venues for future motorcar trips. I personally thank Craig for expressing this interest and I look forward to working with him. There is a lot that goes into running these trips, and while it is fun, it takes quite a bit of time.
I have asked member Steve Weiss to ask the NYS&W to allow us to run two trips over their lines in 2011. Specifically a spring run (May) over the Southern Division. We are looking at doing something a little different on this run, but that will not be let out of the bag yet. A summer or fall run over the Northern Division’s Syracuse branch is also being requested.
The Utica Division is not currently being requested as there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work that went on to convince the NYS&W staff to allow us to run between Sangerfield and Sherburne. Loss of the line below Sangerfield reduces an eighty-plus mile round trip down to about forty miles. We would not be able to break even or make money on this trip with the fee the NYS&W charges.
We will again send a request to the Delaware–Lackawanna to see if we will finally be allowed to run between Scranton and the Water Gap. This is very preliminary, but supposedly the transfer of ownership has occurred between Norfolk Southern and the County to have the entire line under D–L control. This has been a sticking point in the past, so we will see if the D–L has had a change of heart.
We may also look at teaming up the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley with the Ulster and Delaware for a full weekend, but it will depend upon available dates.
Finally, a fall run on the Stourbridge Railroad may again be run. However the M&E charges a fee of $1,200 for the one-day run, so it may be out of our price range. Our 2009 run on that line – with a $1,000 fee – netted the VRA about $100 in the end. While this trip is fun and very scenic, we cannot run any trip that will lose money for our group. I look forward to seeing everyone on the rails.