Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Guest Post-First IRM Visit of the Year.

First of all, thanks to Randall Hicks for inviting me to be a “guest blogger.” I appreciate the opportunity. Unfortunately, I couldn’t rustle up a Sprint “Air Card” from my office, which would have enabled me to “live blog” the Annual meeting.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in St. Louis, and volunteer mainly at the Museum of Transportation. My typial operating environment centers on running St. Louis Water Division number 10 on MOT's trackage, which includes a loop. In addition to working on the museum’s streetcar program, I’m one of the people in charge of cataloging our supply of streetcar, and streetcar related parts. Needless to say, it’s going to take a while.

I arrived at IRM Saturday morning with Frank. We both attended the rules review. Following lunch with Randall, we attended the safety meeting. While my rules certification isn’t up until 2009, I still like to attend the entire review, in order to brush up on the rules. As fun as it can be, railroading is still a very serious business, whether at IRM, MOT, or as a “real job.” IRM Member Harold Krewer did an excellent job with the presentation, as always. Harold works for Amtrak as his full-time job, and brings his enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion for safety to the meetings every year. This was my second rules review, and I find it informative and educational as well.

Following the safety meeting, I picked up some books I had purchased from the Stranghorn Library, and went over to see the work Randall has done on the 309. The car is wonderful, and must be seen in person to be believed. The attention to detail is amazing, and the car looks very good. I’m excited to see how the finished product turns out.

After dinner, I attended the Annual meeting. While I’m only an Associate, I find it interesting to see the workings of the meeting. One thing that impresses me is the passion for railway preservation held by all at the meeting. While many may differ as to policy considerations, it is truly clear that all have the best interest of the museum at heart.

Nonetheless, I had a great time at IRM, and every time I visit, something changes and improves. A big thanks to Randall for letting me blog!

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