Friday 9 March 2012

Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum

The roundhouse in Willimantic, Ct. is built on the old footings of the original NH structure in 2000. Since then the group has been very busy restoring and upgrading the grounds of the museum.
The Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
 Fall 2011 Visit

CV caboose 4029 is seen with plywood siding.

Last fall I visited the Connecticut Eastern museum located in Willimantic, Ct. The main reason for my stop was the CV cabooses in their collection. I wanted to take a close look at CV #4052 as I am building a model of this series.  Both of the CV cabooses I found tucked inside the roundhouse which left little room to manoeuvre for photos. It was nice to see the volunteers hard at work residing 4052. The original siding had been removed from both sides, and a lot of the interior flooring was also removed as work was being done on the frame. The end door was off and partly burned as someone at one point had started a fire inside. CV 4029 was in the next bay with plywood sheathing and awaiting its turn to be refurbished.

CV 4052 has all the original siding removed and a good amount of replacements have been already added.

Outside there was one CV outside braced boxcar in good condition and a CV flat. The string of equipment that ran down the side of the roundhouse was interesting to see but much of it was covered over to save it from the weather. Many of the pieces are NH but at the very end to my surprised was a wood sided Soo Line caboose. Also in the lineup is CV 8081. It is now in the black and white scheme with no indications of the green it once had. Speaking to CVRHS member Alan Irwin a few days after my visit, he mentioned the green paint was of poor quality and was peeling off. He thinks it just all flaked and peeled off through the years, maybe with a little help from the museum crew. I did get inside the 8081 and talk to the museum worker who was in the process of rewired. He mentioned working on it for a few years now. CV 8081 currently is not running but the hopes are bright for the future.

Below you will see a small group of photos documenting some of the equipment I saw on my visit. It was hard to choose which ones to share with you, so sorry if some of your favourite pieces are not seen.

On a final note back in the 1990's while I was the editor of the Central Vermont Railway Historical Society, I was invited to attend one of the early meetings, when this group was just starting out. The group was established in 1991 and currently has over 200 members. I did attend and was really impressed in the vision and focus they had. I also felt humbled that they looked for input from me and other members of the railroad historical groups that operated through Willimantic...George

A museum works endures many hours of wiring during the past few years inside the electrical cabinet of CV 8081

The last version of the Budd cars.

Ex-NH switcher

The last car in a long string of equipment is a Soo Line caboose.

All the bays are full and a lot is happening the day I visited the museum site. The group appears to have a very good volunteer base that comes out regularly.

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