We have had one heck of a busy 2011 and don’t see any let up for the remaining two months. Yet to be done are our Santa Train on December 3rd out of Wayne and on December 2nd we have a new addition when we take part in the Borough of Hawthorne’s Santa Parade and Tree Lighting. Both of these projects will be covered in detail elsewhere in this issue.
As for what we have accomplished these last three months I would like to thank and congratulate Chris Vitz and Craig Hartman for running two successful weekends of motorcar trips over the NYSW’s Syracuse line and also on the Stourbridge RR and new trackage now operated by the Middletown and NJ RR out of Campbell Hall NY. Unfortunately the freak snowstorm that hit on October 29th cut short our NYS&W Southern Division trip, which we will reschedule for spring of next year.
Next I want to give a big thank you to everyone who helped make our two-day yard sale to benefit the station a huge success. I want to especially thank my wife, Carol, who took on the chairmanship and did an outstanding job of organizing, publicizing, pricing and overseeing all aspects of the project. We grossed about $1700 in two days and immediately put that money to work by signing a contract to put a new roof on the station.
Speaking of roofs, thanks to Frank Ball’s leadership just three weeks after the yard sale the new roof went on the station and it looks great. We now need to get the wood clapboard and trim on the ends of the building between the upper and lower roof sections replaced. Frank has already reached out to our old friend Ed Newman to get us an estimate. We have decided that a professional should do this work due to the very steep pitch of the roof and the danger in putting volunteers up there to do the work.
Now on to the future. I am happy to report that we are working on a deal that will hopefully see us be able to expand our passenger train operations into New York State. All the details are not yet in place but we are meeting with two groups who want to work with us to run Easter Trains out of the Middletown NY area. We would most likely be giving the profits to two separate railroad preservation projects in that area and hopefully be making some new friends and customers.
As most of you know when I ran for President two years ago I said I would only do it for two years because I personally think it is a bad idea to have the same person in charge for any longer than that. I also said that I would not run for any office after my time as President was up because I am convinced that new blood in leadership roles is very important to allow for the continued existence of any organization. I have been helping to lead the VRA since we started back in 1993 and I think that now is my time to step aside. I want to thank everyone who has helped make the VRA what it is today; if it were not for all of you we could never have done what we have.