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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, February 15, 2018, 8:00 PM at the Union Church in Waban:

Paul Shackford returns us to “Lost Boston”

Forest Hills Sation 1987Paul Shackford, Editor of the Boston Chapter NRHS’s newsletter Steel Wheels and a longtime follower of the Boston-area rail scene, reprises an expanded version of his program “Lost Boston,” originally shown at a Boston Chapter meeting last year. Paul’s program features 35mm Kodachrome slides of scenes in the Boston area that no longer exist, taken from the mid-1960s to within the last 10 years.

Among the subjects will be the Harvard Square subway station and bus portals in the mid-to-late 1970s, The elevated Orange Line railway in Charlestown and Forest Hills (photo at right), and more recently, the Lechmere Viaduct and the Central Artery.

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

Sam Berliner, III presents “Heavy Electric Motors”

NH EP-3 352For our March 2018 meeting, Sam Berliner, III will give another profusely-illustrated presentation on boxcabs and other locomotives, but this time focusing on heavy electric “motors’” with an emphasis on the New Haven’s vast fleet. (Photo at right: New Haven EP-3 electric motor No. 352.) We'll start with some of the very first attempts at electric traction, one of which was in nearby Connecticut (and survives!); among the earliest heavy New England electric locomotives were those used to tow steam-powered trains through the Hoosac Tunnel. Next, we'll touch briefly on the hows, wheres, and whys, and the Northeast Corridor electrification, and then move quickly to the main subject We will also look briefly at neighboring NY Central’s large fleet of boxcab electrics and end up with the current (pun intended) Northeast Corridor electrification between New York and Boston.

Sam Berliner IIISam, a native Manhattanite, spent half of his early summers on Long Island and was a permanent resident there from 1945 until moving to West Medford in 2010. He has been interested in heavy equipment and especially railroads since early childhood. His HO and Z-scale (1:220) layouts each feature a turntable, a roundhouse, and a transfer table. In both scales, Sam favors gigantic heavy-duty equipment, up to the two 800-ton 38-axle CEBX/WECX 800 and 801 Schnabel cars. He is a member of numerous organizations, including Mass Bay RRE. Sam’s huge web site (over 500 pages, dating back to 1996) primarily covers railroads, old autos, the 1908-38 Long Island Motor Parkway, and ultrasonics. Sam is married to the Rev. Lilia Cuervo, an about-to-retire minister, who loves big steam locomotives!


Thursday, April 19, 6:00 PM at the Pearl Street Restaurant, 53 Summer Street, Malden, MA:

‘Dinner in the Depot’ with guest speaker J.W. Swanberg
'Rails in America and Beyond'

Noted rail historian and photographer J.W. Swanberg is our featured speaker, bringing us an insider's look at American railroading over half a century, plus “world-wide coverage of almost every conceivable overseas rail operation.”

Roger Williams & GG-1Mr. Swanberg's talk is a photographic review of his career as a railroad official, photographer and historian. New England rail fans are well acquainted with his definitive book, New Haven Power, 1838-1968, published by Alvin F Staufer in 1988. Less familiar are his photographs of the end of steam on the Central Vermont, the Pennsy, and other roads. We’ll see color slides showing DL-109s, PA-1s, FA-1s, RS-3s and FL-9s in service, as well as some nice shots inside the coaches they are pulling. The show then moves on to the New York Central and other roads, foreign and domestic, and finally, on to Amtrak. Mr. Swanberg is not only a master railroad photographer, but he was also present at many unique moments in railroad history. This is truly a talk not to be missed!

J.W. SwanbergJ.W. Swanberg was born in 1939 and brought up near New Haven rails in Darien and Newtown, Conn. Aided by “incredibly supportive parents,” Jack was interested in railroads from his earliest years. He graduated from Hartford's Trinity College in 1961, and later became a New Haven locomotive fireman. In 1966 he joined the New York Central Railroad as an Operating Management trainee, later moving through supervisory positions with Penn Central, Conrail and Metro-North Commuter Railroad. He retired from the Naval Reserve in 1993 as a Captain, and retired from Metro-North in 2000 as Lead Trainmaster at New Haven, CT. He now lives in Guilford, CT, which is near the ex-New Haven Shore Line route to Boston.

Cocktails 6:00 PM ✧ Buffet Dinner 7:00 PM ✧ Program Starts at 8:00 PM
Garage parking is available just north of the restaurant on Summer Street.
Pearl Street Restaurant is just a short walk from the MBTA Orange Line & Commuter Rail Malden Center stop.

RESERVE YOUR SEATS TODAY! Dinner reservations are limited to 56 guests! Additional seating will be available at no charge for guests who wish to attend Mr. Swanberg’s program without attending the buffet dinner (reserve on order form). Mass Bay RRE members will be given preference for dinner & seating reservations through 3/16/2018.


ORDER ON LINE! DINNER in the DEPOT ON-LINE ORDER FORM Pay with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover using our secure on-line system powered by Formsite and PayPal.

MAIL ORDER: Download a printable copy of the Dinner in the Depot Order Form and mail it with your payment to: Mass Bay RRE, P.O. Box 96, Peabody, MA 01960-0896. Make checks payable to "Mass Bay RRE." Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope for return of your tickets. If paying by credit/debit card, be sure to include complete card number, card billing address, expiration date and CVC Code (3 digits on back of card, 4 digits on front of American Express cards. Please note that for mail and phone orders, cards will be charged shortly before your tickets are mailed to you in early April.

BY TELEPHONE: Telephone orders are accepted at 978-470-2066, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.

Meeting speakers always wanted! Brad Harding, Mass Bay RRE's Program Coordinator, is now developing our Summer/Fall 2018 program of speakers. To offer or suggest a program, email Brad at lbharding@verizon.net

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

Tuesday, March 6, 2018:   7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; 8:00 PM: MEMBERS NIGHT - Member slides and videos welcome.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018:  7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; Board Meeting at 8:00 PM. No program.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018:  7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; 8:00 PM: MEMBERS NIGHT - Member slides and videos welcome.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018:  7:00 PM: Callboy mailing; Board Meeting at 8:00 PM. No program.

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 on February 9, 2018