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Regular Meetings of Mass Bay RRE

Our 'Third Thursday' program meetings feature presentations by speakers knowledgeable about railroad history, operations and rail travel. Meetings are generally held at 8:00 PM on the Third Thursday of the month, as a Zoom Webinar and live-streamed on Mass Bay RRE's Facebook page. All are welcome to view our programs, Mass Bay RRE membership is appreciated but not necessary. Links to the program meetings are posted here about a week in advance, and are also sent by email to our contact list. Upcoming programs are listed below.

In-person meetings are occassionally held at the Union Church in Waban (14 Collins Road, Newton, MA), at the intersection of Beacon Street and Waban Ave., just west of the MBTA Green Line's Waban station. See below or all 978-470-2066 for directions.

On the first Tuesday of odd-numbered months we hold a more informal on-line gathering: "First Tuesday Members Night." This is a time for members to share their photos or short video program with others in an informal session. Individual presentations are usually 5 - 15 minutes in length and cover a wide variety of topics. Members and non-members alike are welcome. Links to the First Tuesday meetings are posted here about a week in advance, and are also sent by email to our contact list.

For last minute updates or meeting cancellations in bad weather, please call our information line at 978-470-2066.

Meetings will continue to be held monthly and streamed remotely via Zoom video webinar and simultaneously live-streamed on the Mass Bay RRE Facebook page. Video of our Third Thursday programs is available for later viewing on Facebook or the Mass Bay RRE YouTube channel.
You DO NOT have to be a Facebook user to access our live stream!

PAST Third Thursday Program Meetings

Past Third Thursday program meetings may be viewed at any time on the Mass Bay RRE Facebook page
or the Mass Bay RRE YouTube channel. For details of previous Third Thursday programs that are available for viewing, go to the PAST MEETINGS PAGE.

Thursday, September 15, 8:00 PM via Zoom Webinar & Facebook live stream:

Stationary Streamliners: Modernist Railroad Passenger Stations in North America, 1929 to 1965
Presented by Adam S. Alsobrook, AIA

Syracuse NYAfter the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, North American railroads struggled with declining ridership as fewer people could afford to travel. Also, the decline in freight and passenger traffic caused railroads to defer maintenance on their infrastructure, which resulted in dirty facilities, rough track, slow trains, and outmoded rolling stock. Increased governmental investment in highways during the 1920s and 1930s made travel by private automobile and motor bus more appealing to travelers, and motor trucks also began to capture larger shares of the freight market. During the 1930s, business travelers and the wealthy also began to travel more by air as aircraft became larger, faster, and safer.

Right: Lackawanna Railroad station at Syracuse, New York. This Streamline Moderne station was built circa 1940-1941 and was in railroad passenger use until 1958.  Amazingly, it is still standing, although it has been altered.

In an attempt to modernize their image and increase passenger traffic, the Union Pacific and the Burlington were pioneers in the introduction of streamlined trains during the mid-1930s. These bold, sleek streamliners captured the imagination of the traveling public and attracted crowds wherever they went. Beginning in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Union Pacific and Burlington were also some of the first railroads to build Modernist passenger stations to accompany their streamlined trains. During World War Two and throughout the late 1940s and into the 1950s, other railroad companies, such as the Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Chesapeake and Ohio, Milwaukee Road, Rio Grande, Santa Fe, and the Southern Pacific also constructed Modernist passenger stations.

The presentation on September 15th will consist of three sections: the first section will present some early examples of Modernist railroad passenger stations, the second section will provide historical context and a broad overview of Modernist railroad passenger stations built in the United States and Canada between 1929 and 1965, and the third section will include a closer look at several selected Modernist railroad passenger stations, including some built by the New York Central, the Pennsylvania RR, and the Norfolk & Western.

Adam AlsobrookAdam S. Alsobrook is a registered architect and architectural historian with twenty years of experience working in the fields of architecture, cultural resource management, and historic preservation. A native of Washington, D.C., he grew up in Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, and Texas. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Adam moved to Seattle, Washington in 2014. He currently is an architectural historian with Willamette Cultural Resources Associates, Ltd., a full-service cultural resource management firm with offices in Portland, Oregon and Seattle. In addition to his professional work, Adam also writes about topics of personal interest, such as historic railroad buildings and early 20th century electrical infrastructure. Adam's research work on the Union Pacific depot at Nyssa, Oregon inspired his current look at Modernist railroad passenger stations. His article on the Nyssa depot, entitled The Stationary Streamliner: The Union Pacific Depot at Nyssa, Oregon, can be found at his website: adamalsobrook.net.

To view the program LIVE, click a link below on September 15 at 8:00 PM.



We need meeting programs and presenters!

We are now developing our Winter 2023 programs. To offer or suggest a program, contact us at info@massbayrre.org or call us at 978-470-2066.

We are also seeking volunteers for our Program Crew, to take responsibility for all aspects of our occassional in-person Third Thursday meetings, including refreshments, room set-up, audio-visual setup, etc. If you are interested in being part of the team, please contact us. No long-term commitment or special skills necessary - we need people who can be relied on to show up and make sure the program is ready to go at 8:00.

Virtual Rail Events Calendar

CalendarOne of the surprising benefits to come out of the pandemic was the rise of Zoom virtual meetings. Several railfan groups quickly took advantage of this and made their monthly programs available to the world. George Chiasson recognized this development and began emailing a spreadsheet calendar of railfan Zoom programs in 2020. He paused that effort a few months ago due to increasing work obligations.

But railfan Zoom programs continue unabated. Even as some groups have returned to in-person meetings, they have recognized the value of continuing virtual programs on Zoom. John Williams has revived George's calendar of virtual railfan programs in a new format – it's now hosted on Google Calendar. The new format's advantages go far beyond just being easy to maintain. It makes possible a big addition to the entries with minimal effort, including meeting times in all four time zones! Clicking on a meeting entry will reveal more detail, including a link to the group's website.

It's all in one place: https://railmeet.wixsite.com/zoom.

First Tuesday 'Members' Night' Meetings
(Held on the first Tuesday of odd-numbered months)

First Tuesday 'Members' Night' meetings are currently being conducted as a Zoom video meeting and will be live-streamed on our Facebook page, where they are also available for viewing later. The next 'Members' Night' is scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 8:00 PM.
If you have photos or video that you'd like to show, please contact us!

To view the First Tuesday program LIVE, click a link below on November 1 at 8:00 PM or later.
(Zoom link will be available about 1 week before the meeting)



Meeting Location

In-person Mass Bay RRE 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.

Contact Us:

Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc.
P.O. 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 September 8, 2022