DRM Train Show & Open House '96

On Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, 1996, the Danbury Railway Museum held its first annual Train Show and Open House Weekend. The event featured an opening parade, displays of equipment from the Museum and from current railroads (Metro-North, Providence & Worcester), sales booths by dozens of railroad dealers, and three excursion train rides over portions of the very infrequently used Maybrook Line.

The photos here are an attempt to capture some of the flavor of the goings-on. All of the Museum volunteers had a great time, and we hope our many visitors (more than five thousand) and passengers did also.

Some local newspaper coverage of the Train Show and Open House is recorded here.

The last page in this series contains technical information about the photographs.

The mad scramble -- last minute preparations

Restored station buildingLast minute preparations

Danbury Union Station, restored to its 1903 appearance, is decked out with festive bunting for the occasion. Inside, city workers and Danbury Railway Museum members are busy with the final touches. Don Silberbauer, Howard Peatfield, and Norman Cook deal with some of the dozens of signs needed.

Ticket booth from the old Danbury Fair

Our ticket booth, set up outside the station building, was loaned to us by the collection of Walt Dunlap. The booth was originally used years ago at the Danbury Fair. The former fairgrounds, at the intersection of US 7 and Interstate 84, are now the site of the large Danbury Fair Mall.

Booths set up for next day's sellingLarge scale hand-made train modelLarge scale hand-made train model

Inside the station, many dealers have already set up their booths. Various model railroad displays await the next day's crowds.

Last minute touch upLast minute touch upLast minute touch upNewly-painted end of NH Budd car

In the railway yard, last minute touch-up remains to be attended to. Ira Pollack finishes the caboose, and Bill Schlichtig works on a Budd car. The fresh 'NH' emblems on the end of the Budd car are a far cry from the car's appearance as the Museum received it.

Alco RS-1 No. 400RS-1 coupling to Budd carRS-1 close-up from end of Budd car

The Museum's locomotive, Alco RS-1 number 400, is pressed into service to perform a series of moves to arrange the rolling stock on specific tracks for viewing by tomorrow's guests. The right two photos are taken from the vestibule of the Budd car as the locomotive couples to it for the initial move.

Budd car approaching platformBudd car approaching platformBudd car at platform

The left two photos show the view from the other vestibule of the Budd car as it approaches the high platform in the yard. Visible at right in the left photo are the CN caboose and one of the CN coaches being restored and reworked in our yard. Eventually they will become a restaurant located not far from both the DRM and the new Metro-North station. In the right photo, Chris Blackman steps from the Budd car as the locomotive completes moving it into position.

Caboose in yardRail in yard with 1914 date

Feverish activity can be seen around the caboose late into Friday afternoon. The new appearance of everything in the newly-cleaned-up yard doesn't change the fact that most of what's there has been there for many years. Look closely at the date rolled into the web of the rail by its manufacturer. (Hint: it says 1914. At least one other rail in the yard is dated 1896.)

All this was just preparation for the main event on Saturday and Sunday.

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ROS Last modified: Mon Aug 12 22:26:10 1996