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As I look outside today at the sunshine beaming through my windows of my home here in Central Ohio I can't help but wish I was outside working on some of our projects at the railroad but then I realize how deceiving the sunshine can be as it's only 15 degrees Fahrenheit out (-8C)! This then lead me to think of all the projects that we accomplished in 2020, even with all the craziness surrounding the virus. As many of you know we had to postpone the Buckeye Limited but we were able to continue to have our meets and, thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, we were able to accomplish quite a bit. While our total number of volunteers were clearly lower last year than normal, there was a core group of volunteers that really stepped up to get so many things done, you know who you are. I can't even begin to thank everyone who came out last year, even if it was just one time. Here is a list of the things that were accomplished at the track:

  • General cleanup, lawn maintenance, tree and branch removal

  • Repaired damage from spring flood

  • Cleaned out woods near turntable at Kerr and Tower

  • Surveyed possible expansion(s) in Mountain Division

  • Apex yard construction , move dirt, build track and turnouts, ballast

  • Roof on lookout deck, lighting, power and fans added (great addition!)

  • Finished ceiling and replaced/added new lights and fans in gathering area

  • Installed steam engine façade in gathering area

  • Replaced creek culvert and repaired/expanded crossing

  • Concrete upgrade around loading area and shop in Middletown

  • Backhoe cylinder replacement

  • Dozer tilt cylinder repair

  • Received B&O GP9, engineer car

  • Sent MCC Dash 9 out for rebuild and upgrade

  • Preparation for 2020 convention and then managed cancellation

  • Northern boiler rebuild and started reassembly

  • Design and construction of new leaf blowing car

  • Work train tracks installed in Middletown

  • Held all events on schedule successfully

  • Flowers beds constructed and planted

  • Repaired couplers on 3 passenger cars

  • Good fall cleanup and leaves gone, burned

  • Finish WIF boxcar, 2 bay hopper air brakes started

  • Started major switch and powered turnout upgrade, wiring

  • Nelson documented upgrades and wiring diagrams

  • Trained Kelley to to be signal maintainer

  • Derailer installed on Sandhill - (more info on this in a future posting)

  • Began constructing right-of-way in preparation of future expansion

  • Moved coal bins to their new location

  • Continued to maintain and ballast track

  • Survived Covid 19 pandemic

Again the list is long and I'm sure we missed a couple of things. Here in the next couple of weeks I'll post a project list of items in 2021 we'd like to accomplish. Again, I can't thank enough our volunteers and those who donated their hard earned dollars to the track so that we can maintain one of the best tracks in the country. Without Dick's huge support, work and guidance, your help and continued support of others, the continued operation of this track would not be possible.

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