From The President’s Desk
Since the formation of the new Corporation to handle administrative tasks and decisions the Railroad faces, I am pleased with how things are working out. Deferred maintenance and track repair has been proceeding on an orderly and well-prioritized basis; the corporation is functioning well, and the hard work put in by many is paying off well. Thanks to everybody for helping to make it happen.
The Fall Meet was a great one!
In addition to our regular members, we had visits from new contacts made by Captain Boots involving both the Villages Train Club and the Florida Garden Railroad Society. The visitors were treated to Tim Szabo’s 20-ton Shay, a handsome new locomotive (to the track) of Mark Reese, Wayne Lass’s American and Dave Levy’s reliable Plymouth Switcher among others.
The new improvements and additions to the G-Gauge track continue to grow. It got a lot of attention from the guests for Florida Garden Railroad Society. In addition to the original figure eight track, there are new two yards, both of which are looped, with a good possibility of more on the way soon. Pictured are a group from the Florida Garden Railroad Society, the Captain explaining the details of the railroad to new visitors from the Villages Train Club, and Geoff Batteiger pointing out key spots on the 7.5 Gauge Track to interested guests.
There is nobody capable of introducing the railroad to newcomers like Captain Boots. He was back to prime form, welcoming a group from the Villages Train Club as you can see in that photo.
Track Repair, Maintenance and Improvement
Some heavy-duty maintenance-of-way was accomplished at the turn that heads up to the Bob Fivey Station and the tunnel. Led by Captain Boots, a crew of Geoff Batteiger, Mark Reese, Wayne Lass, Dave Levy, and Mark Riley got plenty done. Some remaining damage from Ian was cleared, ties were replaced and ballasted, and a new thirty-foot section of outer rail on that corner really made a difference. Some of the larger limbs downed by Ian were made into firewood by Mark Reese, earning him the prestigious “Golden Chain Saw Award.” As well, you will see in the photos (thanks Mark Reese for those great shots) that a lot of clearing and trimming around the track have knocked back the jungle.
New outside rail was also laid near the entrance to the Wildwood yard. About 60′ of rail was replaced after some tie replacements and ballasting.
The Winter Meet is the next upcoming big event, and that will be Monday Jan. 30 thru Monday Feb. 6, 2023. The preceding week will be the normal work week, running from Monday Jan. 23 thru Sunday Jan. 29. The G-Gauge track is available along with the 7.5 inch track 2 to 3 times a month for work and play.