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Regular Meetings of Mass Bay RRE (IN NORMAL TIMES)

Program Meetings are held, unless otherwise noted, at 8:00 PM on the Third Thursday of the month at the Union Church in Waban, 14 Collins Road, Newton, MA. These feature programs with speakers knowledgeable about railroad operations, history and travel. Upcoming programs are listed below.

On the first Tuesday of each month we hold a more informal social gathering: FIRST TUESDAY. This is where we usually prepare a trip flyer or our monthly newsletter, the Callboy, for mailing. These sessions are also held at the Union Church in Waban, starting rather casually about 7:00 PM and are usually followed by an impromptu slide show or video program unless there is a Board meeting or the work session runs unusually late. Members and non-members alike are welcome.

For last minute updates or meeting cancellations in bad weather, please call our information line at 978-470-2066.

The future of Third Thursday Program Meetings

The Mass Bay RRE Directors are seeking your input as we determine the future of in-person Third Thursday program meetings at the Union Church in Waban. We're particularly interested in hearing from those who attended our program meetings fairly regularly before the pandemic. Please fill out and submit the survey at:
Third Thursday Program Meeting Survey
Meetings will continue to be held monthly and streamed remotely via Zoom video webinar and simultaneously live-streamed on the Mass Bay RRE Facebook page. Video of our Third Thursday programs is available for later viewing on Facebook or the Mass Bay RRE YouTube channel.
You DO NOT have to be a Facebook user to access our live stream!

PAST Third Thursday Program Meetings

Past Third Thursday program meetings may be viewed at any time on the Mass Bay RRE Facebook page
or the Mass Bay RRE YouTube channel. For details of previous Third Thursday programs that are available for viewing, go to the PAST MEETINGS PAGE.

Thursday, June 16, 8:00 PM via Zoom Webinar & Facebook live stream:

"Tracking the Restoration of Maine Central 470" with Peter Violette

MEC 470On June 15, 1954, the New England Division of The Railroad Enthusiasts (forerunner of today's Mass Bay RRE) sponsored an excursion from Portland to Waterville, Maine, powered by Maine Central 4-6-2 locomotive 470 (Schenectady, 1924). The event was notable in several respects. It was the last RRE trip with MEC steam power, and the very last run for the 30-year-old steam loco. And, riding on the rear of the train, a group of railfans made plans that led to the founding of the 470 Railroad Club, named after the venerable locomotive.

Days later, following its retirement, the 470 was placed on static display in front of the Waterville station, ending the age of American steam in Maine. It remained in Waterville, its condition deteriorating, until 2016 when, having been acquired by the newly-formed New England Steam Corp., it was moved to the Downeast Scenic Railroad's shop area in Ellsworth, Maine. NESCo then began the lengthy process of restoring the locomotive to operating condition.

The presentation will include a history of the locomotive from its purchase date in 1924 to modern times when New England Steam Corporation purchased her. Peter will be going in depth on what has already been restored on the locomotive, and what is in the pipeline to get the locomotive operating. The presentation will include high quality photos from throughout the locomotive's life and footage from the last run.

Peter Violette has been with New England Steam Corp. since 2012. He grew up in Waterville, Maine, where the locomotive was on display from its retirement in 1954 until it was acquired by NESCo. He currently lives in Boston, working as a rail engineer for an engineering consultant firm on various projects throughout New England.

To view the program LIVE, click a link below on June 16 at 8:00 PM.



Thursday, July 21, 8:00 PM via Zoom Webinar & Facebook live stream:

Carl Fowler presents: "Lessons from the Vermonter"

With the long-anticipated extension of Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express to Burlington, VT scheduled to begin service in July, what better time to look back at what passenger rail service in Vermont has been and where it's going in the future. "Lessons from the Vermonter" is a brief history of passenger rail after WWII in Vermont and an analysis of what we've hopefully learned from both the successes and shortcomings of Vermont's Amtrak services.

Ethan Allen ExpressCarl Fowler made the original written proposal for the replacement of the overnight Montrealer with a state-supported day service in 1994, when Amtrak announced that it was dropping the overnight service to Montreal. The Howard Dean administration in Vermont adopted this framework and Vermont became the smallest state to support an Amtrak regional service. Indeed, it continues to hold that distinction--but now supports two daily trains on two distinct routes, plus a new dedicated Ambus service as well. (Right: Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express at Rutland, VT)

The program will review the last years of the once extensive private passenger train network in Vermont (and adjacent states) and looks at the Vermont Amtrak experience in depth. We'll also look at other even more successful Amtrak routes like the Downeaster and see what Vermont and Amtrak could both learn from that remarkably successful service. Future expansions are reviewed as well. Finally the program looks at potential new services region wide, including the possible return of RDC cars (or new DMUs) to enhance passenger train options in Vermont and New England.

Carl Fowler worked full time selling passenger rail service for 34 years as General Manager, Vice President and finally President of Rail Travel Center/Rail Travel Adventures. He was able to travel over 350,000 miles by train during his life and can share perspectives both as a devoted train buff and as a rail travel professional. He is a 50-year member of the Rail Passengers Association (aka NARP) and served as a past Vice Chair of the RPA, as well as a long-term member of its Council and Board. This program, however, reflects Carl's own views.

To view the program LIVE, click a link below on July 21 at 8:00 PM.
(Zoom Webinar link will be available about 1 week before the program)



Thursday, August 18, 8:00 PM via Zoom Webinar & Facebook live stream:

Dan Howard tours "Southwest Rails"

Verde Canyon Railroad locoDan Howard presents photos and video from his spring 2022 trip to the southwest US. Stops along the way include the Sky Railway (the former Santa Fe Southern between Santa Fe and Lamy, NM) and New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter service in Santa Fe. Dan also visits the iconic architect Mary Colter's southwest masterpiece La Posada in Winslow AZ – Fred Harvey's last great railroad hotel – on the BNSF transcontinental route . Also featured are steam on the Grand Canyon Railway, the Verde Canyon Railroad, and Amtrak's Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle from Tucson to St. Louis MO.


To view the program LIVE, click a link below on August 18 at 8:00 PM.
(Zoom Webinar link will be available about 1 week before the program)



Thursday, September 15, 8:00 PM via Zoom Webinar & Facebook live stream:

Stationary Streamliners: Modernist Railroad Passenger Stations in North America, 1929 to 1965
Presented by Adam Alsobrook

Amidst the dark days of the Great Depression, sleek new streamlined passenger trains captured the imagination of the traveling public. Some railroads built Modernist passenger stations to accompany their new streamliners. Architect Adam Alsobrook presents a fascinating look at these depots and the streamliners and interurbans that served them.

To view the program LIVE, click a link below on Setember 15 at 8:00 PM.
(Zoom Webinar link will be available about 1 week before the program)




We are now developing our Fall & Winter 2022 programs. To offer or suggest a program, contact us at info@massbayrre.org or call us at 978-470-2066.

We are also seeking volunteers for our Program Crew, to take responsibility for all aspects of our Third Thursday meetings, including refreshments, room set-up, audio-visual setup, etc. If you are interested in being part of the team, please contact us. No long-term commitment or special skills necessary - we need people who can be relied on to show up and make sure the program is ready to go at 8:00.

First Tuesday 'Members' Night' Meetings
(Held on the first Tuesday of odd-numbered months)

First Tuesday 'Members' Night' meetings are currently being conducted as a Zoom video meeting and will be live-streamed on our Facebook page, where they are also available for viewing later. The next 'Members' Night' is scheduled for Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at 8:00 PM.
If you have photos or video that you'd like to show, please contact us!

To view the First Tuesday program LIVE, click a link below on July 5 at 8:00 PM or later.



Meeting Location

MBRRE Program Meetings are usually held at the Union Church at 14 Collins Road (corner of Beacon Street), Waban, MA, (near the Waban MBTA stop on the Green Line):

If you are arriving on the T, exit the station onto Beacon St.; the Church is adjacent to the Waban Station.

If you are driving, take Exit 21 East off Route 128 (I-95) onto Rte. 16 (Washington St.). At the first traffic light east of 128 fork right onto Beacon St. and go 0.9 mile. The Union Church is on the right just before Beacon Street jogs to the left over the Green Line. If the church lot is full you may park on the street or in the Waban Station parking lot. CLICK FOR MAP

Check the Callboy or the website to confirm date, time, and location of meetings.

Contact Us:

Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc.
P.O. Box 4245
Andover, MA 01810-0814, or

Information Line 978-470-2066

Email: info@massbayrre.org or visit our "Contact Us" page.

Site maintenance by members of Mass Bay RRE.
Page updated on June 9, 2022