Monday, February 24, 2014

Sorree You Didn't go? Or About the New Season

Last Saturday marked the beginning of the new year  for the operating department. The usual kickoff was with the mid-winter Sorree at Donley"s Steak House. It is primarily an opportunity to meet with friends that you may not of seen since last fall and to enjoy some railfan entertainment. It was enough to get me out of hibernation and away from our home remodeling/addition activities

Here Ed Rosengren is checking in those that had made advance reservations, thanks go to Ed and Dennis Matl for handling the registration activities

A happy hour preceded the dinner. I won't be able to name everyone but I'm sure you will recognize many faces.

Pretty soon it was time to eat and the crowd took advantage of the buffet that was set up by the Donley staff.

I'm sure the all-you-can-eat Pot Roast, Fried Chicken, Penne Pasta, Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes were enjoyed by all.The Strawberry Cheesecake was a nice topper on the meal. 

After dinner Harold Krewer touched on a few highlight of the coming year. Here we see Harold having his (microphone's) battery recharged by one of Donnley"s staff members! One significant change to previous years is that the Thomas event will only be 4 days this year. After a brief discussion of the schedule for the rules review and test as well as the safety meeting is was on to the door prizes. Thirty lucky folks had their pick from a number of items of railroadiana that were available.

After the drawing we were treated to a slide show (what else when a group of railroad nuts get together?) by Bob Heinlein. Featured were slides by John Humiston, Gordon Lloyd and Bob Bruneau of the Illinois terminal operations primarily between Peoria  and Decatur. Most of the slides were taken in the last days of electric operation. Featured were some rare views of Class C and Class D locomotives painted in the apple green colors.

All in all it was a great start to the  2014 season.


Anonymous said...

Was the reason for eliminating Friday from the first Thomas weekend discussed? I thought it was a good way to get new volunteers acquainted with their duties before the Saturday/Sunday crowds.
Mike G.

Al Reinschmidt said...

Mike, no official reason was given. However based on my personal observations from the last two years where I worked all five days in the MC tent, I agree that Friday is a good dry run day. However, with more and more schools opening in mid August it is becoming less attractive to customers -- no longer a good final "Summer Fling" adventure. Of course the cost of operating that day remains. So I suspect the cost-benefit ratio of the Friday operation is no longer there. As I said these are my personal observations only and nothing official.