Headend in PDF

The New York Museum of Transportation


Volume 31, Number 3 May-June, 2017


Nancy Uffindell in the gift shop.
Photo by Jim Dierks.

When the chairmanship of the Events Committee became open in April, Nancy Uffindell stepped up to fill the breach. The committee had already laid out a plan for this season’s events, and ongoing work will center on carrying out this schedule. However, work will soon begin in establishing a schedule for next year. To both carry out the 2017 and to establish the 2018 schedule, Nancy will need your help. Please contact Nancy with your ideas or your pledge of time to bolster NYMT’s series of special events.


Trainmaster Charlie Lowe and Chief Track Car Operator Rich Fischpera led the annual spring recertification program. At present, trolley crewmen include, in addition to Lowe and Fischpera, Doug Anderson, Bob Achilles, Steve Huse, Carlos Mercado, Dave Mitchell, Jack Tripp, Bob Sass, Jay Consadine and Carter Brown. Trevor Adams is in training to be a Trainman. The track car crew consists of Rick Fischpera, Rick Holahan, Taylor Reed, Carter Brown, Gary Lamphron, Jack Tripp, Bob Achilles and Charlie Lowe. New additions to these crews are always welcomed; contact either Charlie or Rich if you are interested in becoming part of the operating team at NYMT.



Carlos Mercado strikes a classic
pose with NYMT's Strafford cars.
Photo by Jim Dierks.

The Board of Trustees recently voted to add Carlos Mercado and Jack Tripp to its roster.

Carlos Mercado, motorman 14, has been volunteering at NYMT for over a decade. He rode to school on Philadelphia streetcars in the 1950s and gained a strong interest in electric traction as a result. Carlos’ enthusiasm for NYMT and his many associations in the community will surely aid the Board and the museum in the years to come.

Jack at the controls of car 168.
Photo by Jim Dierks.
Jack Tripp, motorman 16, has, like Carlos, been volunteering his services for more than a decade. He has been a track car operator all those years, and he became one of our motormen soon after regular trolley operations began in 2006. Your editor, who trained Jack as a motor-man, well recalls Jack’s smooth touch with the trolley controls right from the beginning. So deft was Jack’s handling of the car that your editor seriously asked “Jack, what trolley company did you work for?” Your editor was shocked when Jack replied he had never operated a trolley car before! Jack, though, held many positions during his working career and has a lifetime of successful adaptation to new challenges. Serving on the Board will doubtlessly be as clean a transition for Jack as was his becoming a motorman.


Philadelphia and Western 161 — Serious air system problems arose on car 161 this spring. The car’s safety valve kept popping at a low pressure, and it was moved to track 2 in the trolley barn for further examination. It soon developed that the car’s air dryer was clogged, letting some air get through but holding back so much of the compressor’s output that the safety valve was popping. The safety valve was removed, inspected for damage, thoroughly cleaned and replaced. The air dryer was removed and replaced with a through pipe. The automatic drain valve was removed and replaced with a petcock that had come, doubtlessly, from Magee Transportation Museum. A temporary means of supporting the piping, with the dryer removed from the car, was devised and installed along with the new piping. Working under the car was demanding but firing up the car and having it work well was satisfying. Bob Sass led the repair effort, with technical assistance from Charlie Lowe and additional help coming from Bob Achilles, Carter Brown, Bob Miner and Gary Lamphron.

Philadelphia and Western 168 — With the sidelining of car 161, car 168 was placed back in service as the museum’s operating car. So that crew testing could be undertaken, Jay Consadine led a crew in oiling the car. Air system tests followed, and the car performed well during training runs. It was placed on track 1 so that it could easily be parked after use, track 2 being a tight fit with G&W caboose 8 also on track 2. In early May, Bob Achilles and Jack Tripp finished the bulkhead window glass replacement project by installing the many tiny brass screws holding the quarter-round in place.

NJT 7 — Project manager Bob Sass traveled to Rockhill Trolley Museum in April to be trained on cleaning the many contactors on car 7.

R&E Shelter House — As the first part of the repainting project, Carter Brown successfully opened the door to the shelter. This door had been jammed shut, and Carter was the first person inside the shelter in perhaps a decade. Scraping and sanding old paint was underway in May and June.

Track — The track crew has been replacing track bolt lock washers on the section of the railroad between a point just south of Reid’s Crossing and BOCES Crossing. When built, this section of the railroad was built using “hardware store” lock washers which are much smaller than railroad lock washers. A great many of these had become jammed in the holes of the angle bars, were fully compressed or, in some cases, cracked through. About 150 lock washers required immediate replacement. New 7/8-inch-diameter railroad lock washers were obtained. Each replacement required the nut to be removed from the bolt, the old washer removed, a new washer installed and the nut tightened down with the proper torque. The track crew, led by Rich Fischpera and including Carter Brown, Rick Holahan, Gary Lamphron and Taylor Reed, worked through April and into May completing this arduous task. Nearly two hundred lock washers were installed as part of this Herculean effort.

Work also continues on the design of a new culvert for the loop track. The present pipe is crushed at its ends and is set so low that it acts as a dive siphon culvert rather than a free-flowing culvert with an air space. This pipe is so short that the embankment is far too narrow for electric cars to routinely use this track.

The track crew began work at the loop track culvert on May 31, with Carter Brown, Rick Holahan and Rand Warner shown here removing a reluctant spike from one of the ties to be removed for the excavation. Rich Fischpera photo.

Facility — The Ford tractor’s mower has recently seen work; the three-point hitch had to be disconnected as it was no longer working correctly. The two lawn tractors need work. The snowplow truck has its fuel tank lying on the ground so repairs here are needed, too. Dave Coon would like to hear from you if you can tackle any of these jobs. On the plus side, new “Trolley Ride” signs have been installed on the way out to the brick loading area.

Overhead — The construction of subassemblies for the electrification of the loop track has been completed. Attention is now turning to wiring the overhead to a point just south of Forest Lane.

Pavilion — The plan for the pavilion has been accepted by the Town of Rush. Scout Ryan Russell is shown at right with the building permit in hand.

Board — The Board of Trustees added Carlos Mercado and Jack Tripp to its number in March. In April, the Board reaffirmed longstanding practice with policies that formally state that only Board members may attend Board meetings, and that only Board members may become an officer of the corporation. The Board also approved the purchase of a track alignment tool for the track crew which will greatly ease the task of re-gauging track when it is found to be either too wide or too narrow. In May, the Board elected its officers for the following year and approved the 2016 Annual Report.


NYMT’s special events are a vital part of the museum’s income and require many volunteers to be successful. Please consider offering Nancy Uffindell your time and energy to make these events truly special.

June 18 ( Sunday) – FATHERS DAY SPECIAL

Dads and Grandfathers receive free admission today when accompanied by a youth(s) age 3 – 12. Trolley rides operate every Sunday through October 29 and are included with a museum visit. The only trolley operation in New York State brings back the interurban era of a century ago. The clickety-clack on the rails and the toots of the air whistle are a unique thrill as the 20-minute trip wends its way through beautiful rural countryside.

July 22 (Saturday) – TROLLEYS AT TWILIGHT

Many trolley companies across the country created popular amusement parks and picnic grounds. The New York Museum of Transportation recreates an evening at an old-time "trolley park" with the happy sound of the calliope providing the background for authentic trolley rides through the rolling hills. SPECIAL HOURS 4:00 p.m. - dusk

August 6 (Sunday) – RAILROAD DAY

Thrill to the romance of the rails with velocipede rides, “Gandy Dancer” track work demonstrations, model railroads, and much more. Trolley rides on the museum's own railroad bring back the clickety-clack on the rails as the 90-year-old trolley travels the scenic run.

September 17 (Sunday) – ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCKS

Pumpers, hook-and-ladders, fire engines--they'll all be there to kick off the museum's annual Fall Foliage ride season. These beautifully restored fire trucks are proudly displayed by the Genesee Valley Antique Fire Apparatus Association. Find out why firemen wear red suspenders! Trolley rides throughout the day.

September 17 – October 29 (Sundays only) – FALL FOLIAGE BY TROLLEY

Enjoy the beauty of autumn in western New York State from the window of an authentic 90-year-old electric trolley car. Trolleys depart every half hour starting at 11:30 a.m., and no reservations are required.


All aboard the Halloween Special! Children and their parents are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and join us for a special day at the transportation museum. The trolley takes you to the Pumpkin Patch where you'll decorate a free baby pumpkin and enjoy delicious cider and donuts. In the museum there's unique trick-or-treating in Halloween-decorated trolley cars! Special prices prevail and reservations are required.

December 3, 10, and 17 (Sundays) – HOLLY TROLLEY RIDES

Santa may still use reindeer power, but sometimes he joins you to enjoy a ride on our authentic 90-year-old electric trolley car, recalling another time when families rode trolleys to do their holiday shopping in the city. The museum will be decorated for the holiday, and the museum's large model railroad will be running three trains at once. Free hot chocolate and cookies for all!

Sundays through the winter (dates to be announced)

The New York Museum of Transportation is open all year, Sundays only. While our trolleys and trains won’t be running outside, we’re still running model trains inside! That's not all. We'll be scheduling a series of “mini-events”...slide talks, craft events, readings, and many other treats to tell the transportation story and brush away those winter blues.


In April and May, a team of negotiators from NYMT and Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum met to discuss operation of a steam-powered train north from RGV to BOCES Crossing. The final agreement calls for test runs of the train to occur on Friday, August 18, and regular runs to occur on August 19, 20, 26 and 27. Steam trains will not disembark passengers at BOCES but the NYMT trolley will operate to a point near BOCES Crossing, permitting NYMT visitors on August 20 and 27 to view and photograph the steam train when it reaches BOCES.

Bob and Laura Pearce spent some time cleaning up the front entrance to the museum recently. Extra effort like this is what makes NYMT happen. Photo by Jim Dierks.

ROCHESTER STREETCARS......................... No. 83 in a series

New York State Railways, Rochester and Eastern Car 926

© Charles R. Lowe

Rochester and Eastern’s 1904 freight motors 925 and 926 were rebuilt into combination passenger and express cars during 1913. In our company photo of car 926 on Commercial Street in Rochester, four windows flank each side of the central baggage door while only one had been present originally. At the rear of the car (the left side of the photo), the last two windows lack the bars found at the other six windows; the bars prevented window breakage in case freight shifted. This suggests that as many as eight seats were located in the passenger compartment, separated from the freight section by a bulkhead.

Perhaps this added capacity was of benefit to the R&E passenger department but with long layovers at Canandaigua and their second class nature, R&E freight trains offered only the slowest of service. Both R&E freight cars were rebuilt again in 1927 but the seats may well have remained in place. R&E freight (and passenger) trains ceased operation on July 31, 1930, and the freight cars were scrapped shortly after official March 1932 abandonment of the once-great interurban.


The New York Museum of Transportation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit museum chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. We are managed and operated entirely by volunteers, and the welcome mat is always out for anyone wishing to join our work. Open for visitors all year on Sundays only, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., we also welcome group visits during the week by appointment.

We are located at 6393 East River Road in the Town of Rush, and our mailing address is P.O. Box 136, West Henrietta, NY 14586. www.nymtmuseum.org is the place to find us on the internet and learn much more about us. Also, you can visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NYMTmuseum.

Want to contact us? Call us at (585) 533-1113 or send us an email at info@nymtmuseum.org. And, remember to tell your friends!

Consider becoming a member www.nymtmuseum.org/Membership.php .


Volume 31, Number 3 May-June, 2017

HEADEND is a publication of New York Museum of Transportation, © 2017. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.
www.nymtmuseum.org (585) 533-1113


Editor Charles R. Lowe
Associate Editor James E. Dierks
Printer Bob Miner
On-Line Publication Bob Sass

Officers and Trustees

President and Trustee Charles R. Lowe
First Vice President and Trustee Carlos Mercado
Second Vice President and Board Member Bob Sass
Third Vice President and Trustee Jack Tripp
Secretary and Trustee Jim Dierks
Treasurer and Trustee Bob Achilles
Trustee Doug Anderson
Trustee Ted Strang

Department Leaders

Archivist Jim Dierks
Chief Engineer Charlie Lowe
Chief Lineman Charlie Lowe
Chief Track Car Operator Rich Fischpera
Exhibits Manager Jim Dierks
Event Manager Nancy Uffindell
Facilities Manager Dave Coon
Gift Shop Crew Manager Beth Adams
Gift Shop Manager Doug Anderson
Group Tour Manager Jim Dierks
Historic Car and Building Manager Charlie Lowe
Marketing Manager Jim Dierks
Master Mechanic Strafford Cars Charlie Lowe
Master Mechanic Track Cars Rich Fischpera
Model Railroad Coordinator Bob Nesbit
Membership Manager Bob Sass
New Volunteer Coordinator Carlos Mercado
Officer of the Day Manager Jim Dierks
Substation Chief Operator Bob Sass
Trainmaster Charlie Lowe


By the time you read this, our season of special events will be underway. Special events are an important means by which museums reach out to new visitors. For volunteers, special events are a chance to perform new and different tasks. NYMT's upcoming special events are listed in this issue of HEADEND with the thought that readers will take a special interest in attending or, better yet, volunteering for duty.

Charles R. Lowe, Editor