Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Willimantic, Ct. Turntable

Willimantic, Ct. Oct. 2011
Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
Armstrong Turntable

The handle which works the turntable with ease.
During my road trip to New England last October I visited the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum. I was given a quick tour then set free to roam the ground and take photos. At the turntable which is an Armstrong 60' replacement of the original, I took the following photos. It had been years since I last visited this site. At that time only the stone footings from the original turntable remained. Since then the Museum found, and installed a replacement which was an exact fit. The guide mentioned the difference was an inch or two. What a stoke of luck for this group to find a usable piece considering it probably has been laying around in the weather for decades.

Interviews done by the group with local residents indicated that the original Willimantic, Ct. roundhouse turntable which was 60' long had been removed and scrapped at the beginning of World War II.

The Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum found a turntable similar to the original unused in South Carver, Mass. The museum negotiated a price of $10,000 with the owner which also included delivery back in 1994. The replacement turntable was stored on site awaiting restoration. The museum volunteers worked on the mechanics from 2002 to 2008 when the operational Armstrong turntable was unveiled. The Boston Bridge Works Builders turntable is thought to have come from a Boston & Albany Ry. facility possibly in Dudley, Massachusetts. I was also told it may have been used in Palmer, Mass. The main point stated by members was it fit and works really well...George

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