about a month to put this together. So the clock is ticking, find out next issue how we did. Society Happenings 2011 has been a very busy year on the BelDel. As you have read, the gift car got a complete overhaul and the 142 got a late start due to the gift car, its 5 year inspection and annual stay bolt issues. So much for the mechanical side of things, but a big thank you goes out to all those who worked on the gift car and 142 to get them back into service, notably Gary Matthews, Chris Cotty, Steve James, Ken and Kurt Christenson, Jon Andreason, Devin Stasek, Joe Trench and newcomer Dylan Vietes. Apologies to all the others who helped not mentioned here. On to operations, the year started off with record numbers riding the Easter Bunny trains. While these have always been popular, they were never the sellouts that Thomas and Polar Express were. That changed this year, with 10 of the 12 trips selling out. People were wowed by the new gift car, and sales there showed their appreciation. The regular season numbers were down slightly, no doubt due to the absence of the 142, the economic climate and some nasty weather. But once September came around, the Scouts came out, Cub and Girl, to ride and enjoy the corn maze. Then in October the pumpkin patch opened, larger than ever thanks to the efforts of Bill Lammers. You now have a clear open view of all 15 historic lime kilns from the train. Thomas and Sir Toppam Hatt came back to town in July and packed the house again, and this time the River/Mine train showed substantial increase in ridership. The professionalism of the Conductors Jim Stevens, John Stocker, Wayne Jennings and the entire train crew was noted by many. Thanks also to Kean Burenga for his help and leadership. As of presstime, the next big challenge of the year is still to come. By redoing the gift car we took out the snack bar area, and need one to handle the Polar Express. We have a car that has been prepped in Butler that needs to move to Phillipsburg, and have the vestibules renovated and an interior counter area put in. As usual, we only left ourselves We have had a very busy and productive year. The 7 SPV cars and 4 of the Long Island coaches we bought 10 years ago have been scrapped, turning unused equipment into needed cash. The M-1 finally left home rails to be used in Pburg. The old MCC Plymouth #18, which has been used as the Butler shop switcher, has also been moved to Pburg to see rehab and new life there. In addition to all the work going on in Phillipsburg, we have had a separate team working all spring and summer in our enginehouse in Butler. A crew consisting of Les Coleman, Chuck Parodi, Nick Zisa and Rory Lovelace have spent many days stripping the old cars for parts, cleaning out the 501 (new snack car to-be) of seats and garbage, cleaning out and prepping the M-2 and M-4 for movement to Phillipsburg. All 3 cars have had substantial brake work done with the help of Rob Mangles, Chris Cotty, Dylan Vietes, and Nick Zisa. Due to renovations to the Wyckoff Library, we had to find a new place for our bi-monthly meetings. Bev Shea came through for us and got us the Maywood Library Meeting Room to use. If you haven’t been there yet, you need to make a meeting. The room is nice, with all the digital AV needs available onsite. An aerial view of this years Corn Maze. The maze is thirteen acres and is cut by a GPS enabled tractor. There are two mazes in total in the design with over 8 miles of trails! 10

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