2017 Presidentís Annual Report

First, I would like to thank the members, Officers and Board Members who have helped in the transition of my assuming the Office of President back in September. I appreciate all the support.

2016 was a very good year for the DRM. The biggest news was the donation of the Mill Plain Station by Mr. Ed Batista. This is still a work in progress, but we are getting closer to actually moving it to its new home adjacent to where the RPO car is currently located. Once refurbished, this will be a destination for the Railyard Local as well as providing additional exhibit space. I have had many favorable conversations and comments from people outside of the Museum on our efforts to save this historic building.

In February, we completed the 26-month StEPs program. The idea behind the program is to teach museums, libraries, historical societies and sites best practices concerning governance, collections, audience, building and grounds, interpretation and management. What we collectively learned is that we are in decent shape in many of the areas, but there is always room for improvement. We are addressing where improvement is needed.

Work in the yard continues and this past year saw members work on a number of projects including restoration, track maintenance, operations, mechanical and maintenance issues and event set-up and takedown. This coming year, we will have to turn our attentions to the Mill Plain Station as well as the turntable for which we received the $10,000 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award to go towards the replacement of timbers.

The movement of the two New York Central Electrics in Glenmont is progressing. There have been recent developments regarding the Port of Albanyís desire to purchase the land on which they sit for expansion. This would mean the rail connection will be restored and a very real possibility of the locomotives moving on their own wheels.

This past year, we have had two students from Western Connecticut State University working with us in the Library and on exhibits. One is taking a full internship with us and will be doing an oral history on the founding of the DRM, while the other student is helping catalog and display our 3-dimensional objects as an independent study. Another project we are undertaking is working with the Archivist at WestConn to get the word out on the internet as to what we have in our Archives and Library. There have been a number of good workshops in the past year on collection management and best archival practices.

Thanks to the good work of Chuck Sager, we now have an enhanced security system installed in the yard and station. As stewards, it is our obligation to make sure our collections both inside and out are in a safe, protected environment.

In closing, I would like to thank the members for all they do to continue to make the DRM an important and enjoyable destination. Some of us are on-site on a regular basis while others support the Museum through membership and donations. It all goes towards our future growth.

Stan Madyda, DRM President