Headend in PDF

The New York Museum of Transportation


Volume 31, Number 6 November-December, 2017


[Beth Adams, at the request of your editor, wrote the following article describing this new event at NYMT. Articles such as this are always welcomed for publication in HEADEND .]

STEM is an educational program developed to pre-pare primary and secondary students for college and graduate study in the fields of Science, Technology, Engi-neering and Mathematics. The whole experience is aimed at fostering logical reasoning and collaboration skills while learning interesting subject-specific skills.

Volunteers Trevor and Beth Adams created a STEM event (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for young inquiring minds that provided hands-on activities that demonstrate the simple machines and technology at work in various modes of transportation. Some of the activity stations included the making of a handcar that children could keep and run on an inclined plane on both a straight track and curved track to see how the slope of the plane affects the movement, stability and momentum. This activity, led by Noah Adam, took place next to our full-size handcar rebuilt by Rich Fischpera, Sr. and his father. We were fortunate to have Rich at this station to share facts about the history and utility of this mode of transportation.

Another popular station was the hands-on electricity station where children could learn about and make circuits and connectors to power a light bulb and a fan, and see how this source of energy powers an HO scale trolley.

This station, led by Trevor Adams and Jim Wiesner, offered a wonderful correlation to how NYMT’s feature attraction, trolley 161, functions and was a segue to the ride that was provided for this event, thanks to Charlie Lowe, Dave Coon and Jack Tripp volunteering to run the trolley for an extra Sunday in November.

Although STEM focuses on the sciences, of equal importance is the Arts. We included the arts with a station led by Mike Adams and Ryan Casler who helped families make train related tiles/trivets and railroad signs while chatting with youngsters about railway safety. One final station was in the gallery where families could begin a scavenger hunt that encouraged our guests to discover fun facts and aspects of the museum exhibits that perhaps they had not known of before. Nancy Uffindell facilitated this station and provided a raffle ticket to the children that completed the challenge. Congratulations to our raffle winner, Kieran W., who won a family pass to NYMT for 2018 and a remote-control train toy.

Many thanks go out to the volunteers who helped throughout the museum on the event day, including Jim Dierks, Carter Brown, Al Emens, Bob Nesbitt, Bob Miner and Doug Anderson, and to our guests who participated in the event with enthusiasm.


Area managers, listed in every issue of Headend, have been asked to prepare their budgets for Board approval. Volunteers working with managers should feel free to offer their input as well. The goal is to have a new budget ready for Board approval at the Board’s December meeting.

A first-ever Area Manager Budget Meeting was held at NYMT on December 2. In attendance were Doug Anderson, Dave Coon, Rich Fischpera, Rick and Missy Holahan, Gary Lamphron, Charlie Lowe, Carlos Mercado, Taylor Reed, Jack Tripp and Nancy Uffindell. Each manager made a presentation of their area. Charlie Lowe presided and presented an overview of the budget process. Some adjustments to the proposed budget were made at the end of the meeting, and this will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval at its next meeting.

Area managers will now submit their detailed budgets to the Board for approval. Until their area budgets are so approved, funds for work cannot be approved.

One new feature of this process is that Area Managers must show the distribution of their expenses throughout the year so that expenses do not outstrip income.

By living within the earning power of the museum, volunteers are doing their part to ensure a positive future for the museum.


Genesee and Wyoming Caboose 8 —The dauntless Thursday crew completed virtually all the installation of the replacement roof walk boards on the caboose. Jim Dierks, Don Quant and John Ross have been stalwarts on this project all these past ten years.

Philadelphia and Western 161 — Rick Holahan, Charlie Lowe and Taylor Reed oiled all sixteen motor bearings on 161 after the budget meeting on December 2 to ensure these critical bearings were properly topped off for Holly Trolley runs.

N. Y. S. Rys., Rochester Lines 1402 — The twenty-year-old tarp covering 1402 finally shredded during windstorms earlier this year. On December 3, Charlie Lowe and Mike Williams, applied new tarps to the car.

RIGHT TOP: Here is a view we hope we will not see for awhile! This car may not look like much but it is one of just two extant Rochester open cars. RIGHT BOTTOM: Car 1402 all buttoned up for winter. Photos by C. Lowe

Overhead — Ongoing testing of the overhead has definitively proven that the loss of resistivity is at least partially related to moisture levels in the various wood poles and insulators in the system. On November 12, Bob Achilles, Trevor Adams and Charlie Lowe used the bucket truck to prune some offending tree branches near or resting on portions of the overhead.

Track — The track crew used the last of its 2017 budget to purchase 20 ties for installation on the lower curve on the loop track. Twelve of these were either fully installed or at least slid into position at press time. Rich Fischpera led Carter Brown, Rick Holahan, Gary Lamphron, Glenn Madison, Taylor Reed and Rand Warner in this work. Charlie Lowe and Justin Micillo marked out ties still requiring date nails on the loop track and cleared ballast stone from the outlet channel of the new culvert on the loop track.

RIGHT: One of the latest tie installations on the loop track still has spiking, ballasting and tamping work to be done before its installation is completed. Photo by C. Lowe

Board — At its November meeting, the Board authorized the use of as much as $500 in restricted model railroad funds to cover the model train layout. Details concerning development of the 2018 budget were discussed.


When the announcement was made that Santa would visit NYMT for its annual Holly Trolley event days in December, event preparation got going in a big way. Soon, lights and other decorations were popping up in and around the hay barn.

Car 161 makes its usual careful approach to the loading area at NYMT on December 3, 2017.Photo by C. Lowe

Jack Tripp directs riders for the next run of 161 on December 3 to wait until all riders from the previous run have disembarked. Bob Miner, at right, keeps watch over the proceedings as that day’s Officer of the Day. Photo by C. Lowe

On the first day of the three-day event, crowds flocked to NYMT. Car 161 was packed full for many of its runs. A sunny, warm day and television coverage may have encouraged some to visit NYMT, but the charm of the ride, Santa and the educational nature of NYMT also played a part.

Cars were being run with full loads for several hours. Sales were brisk in the gift shop, and hot chocolate awaited those who toured the many exhibits in the hay barn. So many people were moving through the museum in just five hours that the grounds truly became alive with activity.

Working hard to prepare a top-notch event for our visitors was a dedicated group of volunteers, led by Nancy Uffindell, our manager of Special Events. Preparation was an important part of having this event work well. Outdoor lighting was installed or repaired as needed by Doug Anderson and Carlos Mercado. Nancy Uffindell, in addition to making sure all the details were attended to, worked with Dale DeMaison to make ready all the indoor decorations as well.

On the day of the event, Bob Miner was Officer of the Day, and the trolley crew consisted of Bob Achilles, Rich Fischpera, Sr., and Jack Tripp. Gift shop personnel, including Doug Anderson, Dale DeMaison, Rich Fischpera, Jr., Nancy Uffindell and Jim Weisner, sold tickets and inventory at a dizzying pace while taking time to explain how best to enjoy their visit to NYMT. In the model railroad room, volunteers included Al Emens, Kevin Griffith, Bob Nesbitt, and Mike Williams. All day long, this crew ran the tiny trains that our visitors enjoy.

Two more days of the Holly Trolley event remain this year, Sunday, December 10 and Sunday, December 17.

Rich Fischpera, Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus were on hand at NYMT on December 3, 2017. Joining Rich on the trolley crew were Bob Achilles and Jack Tripp. Photo by C. Lowe

At the end of a successful day of Holly Trolley runs, the Christmas lighting on the hay barn, line car 2 and the R&E shelter house glowed as the last bit of sunlight left NYMT. This scene was captured in a four-second exposure with an f8 aperture opening. Photo by C. Lowe

ROCHESTER STREETCARS......................... No. 86 in a series

N.Y.S. Rys., Rochester & Eastern 017
NYMT Coll.

© Charles R. Lowe

Our chilling ROCHESTER STREETCARS story in this issue of HEADEND begins with the unfortunate news that we know neither the car number of the rotary snow plow nor the date of the image.

The width and grade of the street, and the church spire in the background, though, indicate that the photo- grapher was braving the elements to look northward along Main Street in Canandaigua as a Rochester and Eastern rotary plow passed him. Based on the cleared snow south of the rotary plow, it seems that the plow is running railroad-west in a northerly direction on Main Street.

The cleared pathway being used by the southbound automobile at left, where no track was located, must have been opened by a snow plow truck, dating the photograph to the 1920s. Likewise, automobiles would not have been venturing out in such weather prior to the 1920s. It may well be that this photo shows the effects of the snowstorm of late January 1925, the heaviest snowfall which hit the R&E between 1920 and the demise of the line in 1930.

Several rotary plows, all based on a design invented in the 1890s by Captain George Ruggles of Charlotte, were stationed at East Main Station to be near the perpetually snow-bound Sodus line, but 017 was kept at the R&E car house in Canandaigua. Thus, we can be fairly sure we are looking at 017 in the only known photograph of a rotary plow working on the R&E line. Plow 017, surviving until 1958 in Subway service, became the second-to-last of these plows. The last one, from Montreal, resides at Shore Line Trolley Museum near New Haven, Connecticut.


Volume 31, Number 5 September-October, 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 Manager Bob Nesbit
Membership Manager Bob Sass
New Volunteer Manager Carlos Mercado
Officer of the Day Manager Jim Dierks
Substation Manager Bob Sass
Track Maintenance Manager Rich Fischpera
Trainmaster Charlie Lowe


Holly Trolley runs have been NYMT's Christmas offering to the community for a decade. Back in 2008, just after we finished a full year- long sprint to extend the wire from Pole 26 in the S-Curves to Midway, we celebrated by running car 161 in some very wintry weather. These events were well attended, and continued to the present. By adding appearances by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus to the event, we have delighted children and parents alike. NYMT's 90-year-old car 161 and the museum grounds are a perfect backdrop for these popular events. With the museum about to go on a winter hiatus, it's also a great time for volunteers to lend a hand and enjoy the festivities.

Charles R. Lowe, Editor


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 .