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Regular Meetings of Mass Bay RRE

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.

Third Thursday Monthly Program Meetings
(Held at the Union Church in Waban unless otherwise noted.)

Be sure to join us for an informal Social Hour with light snacks and beverages,
starting at 7:00 PM before every Third Thursday program meeting!

Thursday, December 15, 2016, 8:00 PM at the Union Church in Waban:

Classic Railroad Film Series: ‘Emperor of the North'

Emperor of the NorthEmperor of the North, a vivid Depression-era drama, opens with a friendly, down-home song that doesn't prepare the audience for what follows: The brutal killing of a train-hopping bum at the hands of a cruel conductor named Shack (Ernest Borgnine). A hobo called A-No. 1 (Lee Marvin) rises to the challenge of catching a ride on Shack's train--but his heels are dogged by a tenderfoot (Keith Carradine), whose inexperience may get them both killed. Director Robert Aldrich has a sure feel for male behavior driven by pride, boredom, and desperation. The swagger gets a little overblown at times, but more often Emperor of the North has a gritty realism, peppered with flashes of sardonic humor and surprising compassion. Aldrich has a gift for a loose yet always watchable story, filled with engaging bit parts and offbeat incidents that flesh out the world and make the main storyline all the more compelling. Marvin and Borgnine--craggy-faced character actors deluxe--are in excellent form, but Carradine steals the movie with his bitter, callow arrogance. (Originally titled Emperor of the North Pole, a bit of hobo lingo.) – Bret Fetzer (on Amazon.com)

The film was shot in and around the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon along the right-of-way of the Oregon, Pacific and Eastern Railway. Willis Kyle, President of the OP&E in 1972, allowed the film company unlimited access to make the film. OP&E's rolling stock, including two steam locomotives (one being #19, a type 2-8-2 Mikado), appear in the film. This was the location used by Buster Keaton for his 1927 railroad feature The General. Also featured in the film is the Dorena Reservoir, located about 10 miles east of Cottage Grove, and OP&E's railyard in downtown Cottage Grove.

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 8:00 PM at the Union Church in Waban:

Guy Rioux presents: ‘The Franklin County Narrow Gauges'

Narrow gauge locoGuy Rioux became interested in the Maine narrow gauge railroads after he started volunteering at the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum in Portland, Maine in 1994. After reading numerous books on the subject, including Linwood Moody's epic tale The Maine Two-Footers, he began to have questions that were not answered in his reading. After a 1999 visit into Redington, Maine, the town that was the main reason the Phillips & Rangeley Railroad was built, Guy began gathering information up and down the east coast on the Franklin County narrow gauges. New and valuable sources of information that were not known or used before were opened up, including a great number of local Maine newspapers and news reports from outside of Maine. This never-ending search has culminated in a series of books, The Franklin County Narrow Gauges.

The Franklin County Narrow Gauges volumes offer an in-depth historical perspective of the Franklin County narrow gauge railroads. Volume One, The Next Stop is Rangeley, details the Phillips & Rangeley Railroad and also includes the history of the Madrid and Eustis railroads, which were built by the Phillips & Rangeley. Volume Two, The Next Stop is Phillips, covers the Sandy River railroad. Volume Three, The Next Stop Is Kingfield, is a historical perspective of the Franklin & Megantic Railroad and the Kingfield & Dead River Railroad. All the volumes provide a look into the railroad, equipment, and business, which is woven together with local history and extensive quotes to give readers a firsthand, unfiltered account of events as they happened.

Phillips bookThe Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, and Kingfield & Dead River railroads will be the main focus of author Guy Rioux’s presentation on January 19. The program will explore each railroad and the different reasons why each was built.

We will have a selection of books from The Franklin County Narrow Gauges series for sale before the meeting for $50 each ($4 off the regular cover price). All of Mass Bay RRE’s proceeds from book sales will benefit the Mass Bay RRE Railroad Preservation Fund.


Meeting speakers always wanted! Brad Harding, Mass Bay RRE's Program Coordinator, is now developing our Summer & Fall 2016 program of speakers. To offer a program, email Brad at lbharding@verizon.net

 First Tuesday Callboy Mailing Meetings
(Held at the Union Church in Waban)

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016:  7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; Board Meeting at 8:00 PM. No program.
Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017:   7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; 8:00 PM: MEMBERS NIGHT - Member slides and videos welcome.
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017:  7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; Board Meeting at 8:00 PM. No program.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017:   7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; 8:00 PM: MEMBERS NIGHT - Member slides and videos welcome.

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.


Mass Bay RRE members currently volunteer their time and skills to:
             --Serve as Officers and Directors (we have no paid employees)
             --Organize, prepare for and staff our excursion trains
             --Write for, edit and produce our Callboy newsletter
             --Arrange our program meetings and special events
             --Maintain and constantly improve our website
             --Tell the media and the public about our trips, meetings and events
             --Handle our “back office” financial, legal and corporate administration

We always welcome new volunteers. With today’s expanded e-communications, more RRE members find they can contribute from home or work locations beyond the Boston area. Join us in keeping Mass Bay RRE one of the most active railfan groups in New England!

To Volunteer, Contact Us:

Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc.
PO 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 December 1, 2016