Cold weather forced most activity inside for the winter. However great improvements were made in the physical plant and exhibits.The major accomplishment was the wiring of our railroad cars for electricity without the need to run extension cords.
This was graciously accomplished by a visitor who donated his time and expertise as a contribution to the museum.
In the left photo, Museum members Leo Zerhusen(R) and Larry Vansyoc (L) observe the underground feed to the cars. The connections between the cars are able to be quickly disconnected and the cabling blends in with the framework and air hose connections. Despite the lack of our featured exhibit (the maintenance train) January brought about 72 visitors to the museum for the inside tours.
February weather kept most operations inside except for two runs of the Little Yellow Train on the first weekend. Due to the extreme cold and snow, only 28 visitors bravedthe elements to stop by,
During most of January and February our maintenance train stayed dry if not warm inside the containers. Some brave members like Stan Mcinturff braved the elements to add a bulletin board to the passenger shelter.
Always optimistic that weather would surprise us with a warm up members cleared the passenger areas and train setup areas in preparation for Saturday. Alas the weather did not cooperate and no train runs were made on Saturday.
Members Don Kirkpatrick and Corey Smith bundled up and performed maintenance and check out of the train.
March heralds the traditional start of our train operations for the year. Although the train will usually run any weekend, weather permitting, from mid-march to end of October we try to have it running every weekend that rain does not cause a cancellation. The first weekend started slow with no train operations due to snow and ice. Below left –March 7, 2015 Museum’s Chief Mechanical Engineer Don K. finally finds out about the true range of his duties.
Below - Approaching mid March and the St. Patrick’s day parade, the weather cooperates an train operations finally return to normal providing trips for our museum visitors.
Left to right - top. The train is decorated in preparation for the St. Patrick’s day parade runs. Member Don K. awaits the return of the train. The train is positioned at the crossing at Joseph Mills Dr. and Main St. to help block traffic from the parade route on Main St. A wonderful place to see the start of the parade too. Bottom – member Don L. prepares to work on HO model RR module in the Boxcar. Always something new – Last two photos – CSX and rail contractor for the extension of the Virginia Railway Express line to the new Massaponax station stage rail cars containing cement ties for installation right outside the museum along Main St. This is an added bonus of having the museum in an active rail yard.
April brought us the first of our Spring Blossom Specials, Even though we have only the same route to ride on during the “Special runs” as we do on other Saaturdays the museum concentrates on a rail ride for fun instead of an educational experience of history and rail road safety. Of course, as always, each trip is conducted with passenger and crew safety as the first and most important element.
April 18, 2015, The train decorated for the Spring excursion leaves the Deep Run Depot at the museum. Train utilizes all 4 passenger cars (including hay bales on a flat car) and both motor cars. First two photos of the train at the Depot show the M1982 one cylinder diesel inspection car and the last (right) photo shows the A5 6 cylinder gas Motor car pulling the train at the excursion midpoint near the CSX main line.
Warm weather heralds normal operations of the museum's featured exhibit - the train excursion. It is also the designated anniversary month. A pot luck lunch is held after normal operating hours and most members board the train for a trip along Deep Run Spur. It is also a time that maintenance of the equipment goes into high gear.
Clockwise from top: Little Yellow Train (LYT) continues Saturday AM rides. LYT is configured in a typical work configuration with the Crane, work platform, motor car, and crew car. Family arranges a Birthday at the train party. Birthday party on the ride.