Article From the Spring 2003 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation


We don’t have enough room here to do an article on all that goes on at the museum, but the following should give a little credit where it’s due, and give readers an idea of the variety of opportunity for involvement offered at NYMT. These items go back to summer 2002!

* Randy Bogucki put a new coat of paint on the passenger platform doors, and has continued to neaten up the piles of track parts and other items where visible to visitors.

* Sam Swisher has been getting the hand brake up to snuff on Brighton fire truck 307 so it can pass inspection. However, Sam says we need a qualified mechanic to help with carburetor problems that are keeping the truck off the road and out of local parades.

* We often host students from Rochester Institute of Technology seeking interesting subjects for a class assignment, and last year was no exception. Jana Cruder picked Northern Texas Traction interurban 409 as a period setting for a fashion shoot as part of her course in Advertising Photography.

A beautiful car deserves a beautiful girl! Christy Blackburne
is the model as Kijana Robinson helps Jana get the shot in 409

* Ted Thomas, when not logging his long hours in the Archives and building our website, has been returning pop cans for the deposit, and has also helped with group tours, housekeeping, and (with wife Anna) Gift Shop remodeling.

* Despite the heat and drought of last summer, grass and weeds grew like they always do. Thanks to Bob Miner, Randy Bogucki, Ted Strang and John Corzine, we managed to keep the fields, lawn areas and railroad right of way looking good.

* Randy (again!) is the guy to thank for picking up rotted ties removed from the rail line, cleaning up the wood room and the previously cluttered area around P*;W 161’s indoor parking spot, and making numerous trash runs.

* Doug Anderson donated a 3-drawer legal-size file cabinet that allows us to spread out our jammed (and growing) "vertical file". Shelden King is currently straightening out these files, securing photos in archival sleeves, etc.

* We hosted several "visiting firemen" as the expression goes during 2002, including folks from Illinois Railway Museum, Fort Collins Municipal Railway, the National Warplane Museum, and Shelburne Falls Museum. We even had some real firemen when the Rush Volunteer Fire Department came to get acquainted with our facility.

Ed Knitter, a director at the National Warplane Museum,
doesn’t limit his interests to airplanes according to wife Sue.

* A small token of appreciation for the many volunteers who staff the Gift Shop, sell tickets, and operate our track cars is a cookout on the last day of TC operations each October. Ted Strang did the honors at the grill, and everyone enjoyed getting together.

Waiter…what’s this fly doing in my soup?                 Phil McCabe photo

* Not satisfied with winter in Rochester, an intrepid team of Charlie Lowe, Randy Bogucki and Tony Mittiga attended a winter extravaganza at the Halton County Radial Railway in Milton, Ontario.

Just a couple of hours from Rochester, Halton County is our nearest trolley museum
neighbor and is well worth a visit.                                                   Charles Lowe photo

* The Young Modelers have been meeting once a month on Saturday mornings, operating their trains, learning about model railroad techniques, and keeping our HO scale layout in good running condition. But their big project is building an N-scale pike which is being laid out to represent the Rochester Subway.

This Young Modeler doesn’t look so young, but seems to know the drill.
Dick Luchterhand works on the General Motors loop.

* Last summer’s model steam and boat show was given added luster by four of Don Shilling’s spectacular HO-scale modules depicting wonderfully detailed period scenes. We hope we can talk him into bringing out some more for 2003!

Don Shilling points out some of the many details in one of his
modules to fellow NYMT members Norm and Florence Wright.


Running a museum of transportation history is a complicated affair. All the traditional requirements of running a business are combined with the unique endeavor of historical research and vehicle restoration, not to mention the delicate task of correctly interpreting history through exhibits and publications in a way that holds the attention of all age groups, enlightens, and provides pleasure. How do we do it?

Here are answers to two questions we suspect have been poised on your lips for years, and just never made it out. First, with all the work we do on top of P&W car 161, how do we get up there? Well, we used to just prop a ladder against the side of the car and scamper up, but that had a couple of problems. For one thing, after all the effort we put into 161’s new canvas roof and custom-milled drip edge, we didn’t like the idea of banging a heavy extension ladder against them. More important, it’s not the safest and easiest job in the world to climb off a ladder with a handful of parts and tools onto a curved roof surface.

Since the "we" in the above sentences is usually Don Quant, he put his carpentry skills to work a while back and created a scaffold that takes up little floor space and provides a convenient platform for staging parts and tools and for climbing up onto (and off of) the roof.

   Don Quant’s scaffold makes his roof work safer and easier.

Another question you’ve always been meaning to ask: How do we count all the change we take in at the soda pop machine and in the Gift Shop? Well, awhile back we were given a nifty old coin sorter and it does the trick just fine. It doesn’t take too much imagination to picture a machine like ours in the back office at the streetcar terminal in any mid-size trolley town. At the end of the day, the fareboxes would be brought in and emptied, and the money counted before sending it off to the bank. The machine makes short work of separating and tallying the various coins. And it’s fun too!

  Nick Stilson takes our coin sorter for a test drive…