While this is the normal offering of a faire, the main event was the train to the tournament. There, as “Queen Guinevere” described it, within Merlin’s time bubble, “you have been transported here by a conveyance, Merlin assures me, is from our future and yet, it is from your past.” The train was often referred to as the “metal conveyance.” In a shout-out to the strong-women-in-cinema fad in the movies, Lady Elaine is elevated to Dame Elaine via an archery contest and allowed to participate in the tournament to become the queen’s protector, but not without tampering from the evil Mordred in the process. Merlin also provides us with some of his magic along the way. As a first-time Renaissance Faire, the event was successful enough that we expect it to be the regular August, at least for now. The audience at the tournament was thrilled with the show and a new one will be written for 2016. Meantime, the show’s the thing and these folks are capable of three more of the seven for a half-mile addition to the run that we weren’t able to use until just into January. Well, it’s ready for our next season and the Wine stop moves south again. The hope is that there will be still more extension by May to actually step one foot into Riegelsville. There is yet another ballast issue once there, this time in the form of wash-ins. The next issue will have a further update. Returning to mechanical things, one theme we have been emphasizing of late is permanence. Having come to realize that the Bel-Del is home to our operation, temporary things are, or should be, no longer considered the normal way of business. In two years, 142 is going to need the most severe periodic inspection there is. That means a complete teardown and, as you can see, it adds to the necessity of a better facility to work in than what we have now. The immediate realization is that the cost of moving 142 to any location where we can find better accommodations CMO Gary Matthews puts on quite a show while reinstalling new screen in the smokebox of #142. other thematic shows that can be staged on the railroad. They are looking forward to working with us again as much as we are in having them back. A quick note to add one more movie credit to our operation. A film entitled The Broken Ones was shot in Lehigh Junction station October 21st. This appears to be a really low budget independent film but you can find it on the Independent Movie Data Base (imdb.com) and you can add another notch to our film credits. Not much to report on this year’s Polar Express either but we came close to it being notable. With the warm autumn, including a December that saw Polar crew in shirtsleeves, we got additional track work done. The two-tenths that got ties last year had the ballast issue rectified with two retaining walls to keep the ballast from sliding into the river. Another seventenths of a mile got ties installed but this section had a new twist to it. Two trees had grown under the rail so large as to disrupt the alignment. For now, we gain the two-tenths and 19 will probably cost us easily half the cost of building a new shop ourselves and, rather than tossing that money out the window on transportation, that will now be the push in advance of that inspection. It’s a big project, one we’ve done before and another step toward permanence. Once there, we hope to see increased activity on all our equipment. More on this in the next issue also. So again, it’s all about how we need help. Metal workers, painters and other specialties, while they can be hired, keep cost down if they’re done in-house. But grunts and gophers are also needed as are all levels in between. No special skill is required to contribute time to our restoration efforts and many skills can also be learned along the way. Our operations also need more people to run the trains or help out on the grounds during a special event. For either, you can contact Mechanical@nyswths.org for information on how to help.

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