three weeks late, we were already in gear for the 2014 season. While our 11th season started with the Easter Bunny, it is May 1st we passed the ten year anniversary of the Bel-Del operation. The one Saturday in between was our annual rules class. As it turns out, the Easter Bunny was way -laid on the last day by a brush fire along the tracks that delayed the first train for hours and cancelled the second trip. It was not one of our better days. Ironically, we had just taken a radical step to keep T he last edition was a recollection of 25 years of mechanical doings. This issue is back to the usual business of more recent doings and will cover all from where I left off in 2013 through 2014. After retiring 142 for the winter came Polar Express, with its record timing sellout of the previous August. Expecting a sellout every trip was an issue going into the worst winter we can remember in a long time. The cold started three weeks early, which meant baby-sitting the diesels for a longer period. That was further complicated by a new power station for keeping them warm being operational some six weeks late. Then the snow started and we were once again faced with a day that many of our customers were unable or unwilling to come out. For the second time, we ran an extra weekend for makeup trains. The number of customers who missed didn’t add up to quite the number the last time it happened and we went for an entire weekend rather than two trips and opened it up to additional sales. It went just shy of sold out again. The winter also made it difficult to accomplish much, at least of any outdoor activity. When it finally broke, about the brush controlled along the way. The Society’s newest acquisition is a brush cutting machine, which went to work the week after the bunny retired to his hutch. Society members have often formed brush parties to keep the rightof-way clear on the whole railroad, not just the active part. This action on the out-of-service portion is important as the day a track gang starts to work on rehabilitation of the track, they don’t have to begin with several days of brush cutting. This saves on the cost and increases the productivity of the track gang. The brush cutter is also a potential source of income working for other railroads when not in use on our own. While this column sees about a two-month lag time from writing to mailing, photos tend to be more up-to-date and a photo of the new machine appeared in the last issue. Plymouth #18 was further reconditioned during the winter. The transmission had some issues, electrical wiring improved, new windows are in, the paint job is pretty much complete and it will be lettered “MW 18” to reflect its status as a piece of maintenance equipment. It will soon be able to make maintenance moves that are particularly important in the out-of-service track. Similarly, the member-owned GE 45 tonner nears completion. It has been numbered 146 and has a new herald on the cab showing “DRR” over a Pennsylvania keystone. This engine was never railroad-owned having come from the power plant in Holland, NJ. Another anniversary in May was for 142, when it became 25 years old and officially an antique. When it got its annual inspection pressure test, it showed no leaking The railroads new locomotive #1567 which we use for The Polar Express and The Easter Bunny Train. Photo Rick Glosser 18

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