Call to order – 7:00 pm by KC Smith

Presidents Report: KC Smith spoke to the membership, asked that more members get involved with the Hawthorne station restoration project. The station still needs quite a bit of work to be done prior to the Dedication Ceremony. The Station dedication is set for April 29, 2011.

VP’s Report: Craig Hartman spoke about the uniqueness of our group and our ability to work together to accomplish our projects.

Treasurer’s Report: Andrea Rebner gave a re-cap our savings account and Joe Weber fund financial statements. She also reported that as of our meeting, we had 31 paid membership renewals. KC Smith made motion to accept the Treasure’s report, Seconded by Craig Hartman and Chris Vitz.

Secretary’s Report: No report.

Committee Reports

Easter Bunny Train – KC Smith spoke about our upcoming Easter Bunny Train. He has requested an eight car train from NJT. Our bunny train will operate on the weekend of April 16th and April 17th, 2011. On April 16th, the Bunny train will operate from the NJT Wayne, NJ train station, on the 17th; the train will operate from the Glen Rock Borough Station.

NJ Transit has approved the departure times for Wayne, train will depart at 9.30am, 12 noon and 2.30pm. NJ Transit has a schedule change coming out this spring and as of our meeting, they have not set our schedule for Glen Rock. KC Smith has asked NJ Transit to avoid holding our train on the Hilburn runner for a lengthy period of time during our lay over [run continuously instead to Harriman and turn], as we experienced on our first Santa trip last December. We will have to advise our passengers who purchase Glen Rock tickets that our schedule is tentative with NJT and will confirm train times as soon as we possible.

As of now, we will have four Easter bunnies, two Elmos and Ernie. We are looking for additional Sesame Street characters. Matt Phalon is in charge of organizing the characters; Betsy Newberry is in charge of organizing train and platform crew members.

Hawthorne Station – KC Smith

Work Days: Work sessions are scheduled for every Saturday, beginning at 9am. More volunteers are requested to show up. Evening work sessions are a possibility, if anyone is interested, contact KC Smith.

Fence: KC Smith is going to contact Forever Fence to give us an estimate. One major obstacle with the fence is going to be working around the fiber optic cable that runs along side of the tracks.

Deck: The deck is going to run alongside the building starting from the ticket window and wrap around to the Royal Avenue side of the station. The fiber optic cable is going to be an issue; we might have to have a modular deck built in order to have certain sections be removed if a contractor needs to access the fiber optic cable.

Landscaping: Will begin in the spring.

Flooring: KC Smith advised that a laminate floor will be installed. This is more durable compared to hard wood flooring and it is easy to replace sections of the floor if necessary. The floor is scheduled to be installed within the next two weeks. Once the floor is installed, we can bring our book shelves and other items back into the station.

Pavers: Approximately 30 have been sold. VRA needs to get the word out to the public in order to get more sold.

Historic Grant:  KC Smith advised the VRA members that there is Grant money is available for roof and window replacements for historic buildings. A discussion was held regarding this grant.  Jon Berkemeyer will follow up with the grant application.

Motorcar trips – Chris Vitz.

Chris advised that Craig Hartman will mentor him as an event coordinator this year. Chris provided us with a tentative 2011 motor car trip schedule, below are the proposed dates:

NYSW Southern Division– May 21/22 or May 28/29. Chris is looking into running over the M&NJ/L&HR the same weekend from Pelton Road to Hudson Junction.

NYSW Northern Division – July 4th weekend. The thought is to run the Syracuse Line July 2 & 3, Utica on the 4th.  Possible cost is $180 per motor car. Craig Hartman and KC Smith discussed if the NORAC Rules class should be held the night before or the morning of the Northern Division speeder trip.

The VRA was approached by the CMSL about brush cutting the Cape May Point Branch. The CMSL is looking to run trains on this branch in the near future. The brush car (A5) needs to be ready for this assignment.

A discussion was held regarding a fall motor car trip, possibly on the LASB, the Ulster and Delaware or possibly on the CMSL’s Cape May Point branch.

Newsletter

Matt Phalon and Mike Gorlaski have taken over as Editors of the VRA newsletter. Matt and Mike received many compliments for their efforts, VRA members were impressed with the layout and the quality of the news letter. Matt and Mike would like to add more photos for every VRA activity that is reported in future newsletters. Photos and articles can be sent to vraeditor@vratrips.org.

Joseph K Weber Fund

Train Shows– Steve Gerritsen reported that the VRA will be attending the Jersey Central’s Mother Seton  HS Clark, NJ show on March 6, 2011 and will also be attend a model train show in Scranton the same day. VRA will attend the Black River Historical Trust show on March 26, 2011.

KC Smith reported that Hawthorne is interested in having a model train show. The Fire Chief had offered the use of Company #5’s fire house, the Mayor of Hawthorne suggested that the VRA use the Boys and Girls club for the event. The VRA is working out the details for this show.

Joseph K Weber Library – Paul Trabert reported that Joe Weber had 14 different magazine collection titles in his inventory. So far, Paul had cataloged 10 of the 14 magazines. He is working on the remaining four magazines.

URHS Report – KC Smith

KC Smith spoke about the Storage & Maintenance building that the URHS has purchased for use on the CMSL. The URHS and CMSL have worked out an agreement to have the building erected in Tuckahoe at the wye location. The building will be used to store a couple of the Liberty Historic Railway’s trolley cars and the CNJ Temple during and after its restoration. It will also be used for maintenance on the URHS locomotives that are currently being leased by the CMSL.

KC Smith spoke with Wes Weiss of the M&E at the RPCA convention in Denver last month regarding the lease of Erie #436. Wes is reviewing the contract and it should be signed within a couple of weeks.  When the M&E picks up the #436 in Garfield, they are also going to get the URHS’ U34CH locomotive. M&E will return the U-boat to Boonton.

KC Smith also reported that the URHS museum site committee is looking into a couple of different locations for the NJ State museum.

NJ Transit is in the process of signing off on allowing Boonton Township to oversee the inspections of the shop building at Boonton yard instead of the DCA.

Old Business: The ex Lehigh & New England Railroad Sheffield model 40B motor car was moved to the VRA’s container in Boonton.

Charlie Roselius: KC Smith requested that the VRA members observe a moment of silence for Charlie. He unfortunately passed away last month. KC Smith spoke about the kind and caring person that he was and how he was a dedicated VRA member. The VRA has created the “Charlie Roselius Award” and will choose one VRA member every year to receive this award.

New Business:

M&NJ Motorcars: KC Smith received a phone call from the M&NJ, asking if the VRA was interested in purchasing the M&NJ’s motor car and brush cutting car (Fairmont Brush Car). KC Smith, Craig Hartman and Frank Ball went to the M&NJ to inspect the pieces of equipment. KC Smith lead a discussion regarding the purchase of the M&NJ cars, he feels that we should purchase them.

KC Smith made a motion that the VRA offer $1,000 for the motor car and $1,000 for the alligator car. The motion was seconded by Craig Hartman, motion passed.

VRA Elections Results:

The following VRA members were elected to the following positions:

Craig Hartman – Director
KC Smith – President
Charles Smith – Vice President
Andrea Rebner – Treasurer
Matt Phalon – Secretary

VRA Membership Meeting Minutes 2-17-2011