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  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by thebigham
I wonder how many coaches the EM:HE people are going to refurbish?

The A&A does have a 6th coach that is not in service.
Last edited by thebigham on Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by med-train
The newspapers say that they will retrofit two coaches.
They also say that it will not be televised as an episode.
  by joesbag
I also read (thought it was the Buffalo News) that the gondola will be retrofitted too. Buffalo News stated "The makeover is scheduled to air on “Good Morning America” on Sept. 26, said producer Diane Masciale"

Unimaginable publicity for the A&A.
  by n2qhvRMLI
Gentle Forum Members,

This is a great story and wonderful news for J.T. and the A&A! Please keep us posted on how things come out!

de Don n2qhvRMLI
  by Benjamin Maggi
I was thinking about how they planned to make the trains accessible, and my guess is that they are taking the two operational combine cars and building a ramp or something up to those side baggage door areas. They are wide enough to let wheelchairs in, and probably easier than widening the end platforms on the coaches. Plus, no extensive modifications would be necessary (except to get Shelby a new place to sell chips and soda!). The gondola already might be wide enough for wheelchairs at its end entry point.

What do you guys say to that? That is my guess.
  by BSOR Patarak
Actually, the current GM had purchased an electric lift last year for this purpose. It is kept at Arcade and is "wheeled" up along the train. It has a ramp that drops down to the end platform. The problem with this set up is with todays larger electric chairs, they tend not to fit in the narrower end doors. It sure beat the old method of the crew lifting chairs aboard the train!

So, with JT's efforts and the GMA/Extreme Makeover team, they did indeed use the two combines, #306 and #309. The side doors were repaired and new moveable gates were installed. The old theater seating was removed along with the old steam pipes on the walls. Two new windows were cut into the baggage area. This way, larger chairs can be loaded through the side door and the guest will still be able to have a window seat even if they can't move through to the coach area. The baggage area allows for up to 8 chairs to be loaded. There is an arrangement on the floors and walls for anchoring the chairs down. This is phase one of the upgrades. There still needs to be some work on the grounds at Arcade to move the wheeled lift from coach to coach. Perhaps a sidewalk from main street to the coaches, to facilitate pushing wheel chairs on the current driveway. Also, there are no arrangements at Curriers to remove chairs from the train. There is more work to be done on the accessibility, but thanks to JT, we are much closer.

As for the modifications to the combines, the internal walls were opened up. (this is why the old steam lines were removed) The new windows were cut in between the baggage door and the coach seating. They are of the same dimensions as the existing windows. They are in line with the original ones, and don't really change the look of the combine too much from the outside. This sure makes the A&A's Boonton cars unique. There is more work to be done on the inside, including re-insulating the walls, perhaps widening the inside door from the baggage compartment to the seating (this will allow those individuals that are somewhat mobile the ability to be lifted onto the train, and then access regular coach seating), electrical lighting, and heat in the last two cars. There has been discussion on future enhancements that could be done for accessibility. Some ideas include a lift built into the car, the sidewalks as mentioned, better access at Curriers, etc.

For the train only one combine was ready to roll. The other car is the one that has been stored at Arcade. The railroad had removed all of the seats from this to begin repairing the floor when this project started. The modifications were made to the baggage area, the steps reinstalled but the seats were not in place for the trip. Plans are underway to reinstall the seating and try to utilize the car as a type of diner with tables for some of the special runs, such as murder mysteries. It will be nice to have the 6th coach available for regular runs again!

The railroad was pleased with the support from the local community. The local Christian Youth Organization did a wonderful job painting and cleaning up at Arcade. I can't possibly mention all of the people who came out to lend a hand. The phone rang with many local companies wanting to donate time or materials. Hopefully these offers will continue into the future, and we can continue to make JT's dreams a reality.

Thank you to all of those involved, especially JT and the GMA/Extreme Makeover crews, the A&A Crews, the local volunteers and the whole community. It was wonderful to see the support. I can't tell you how it felt to have main street blocked and most of the elementary school children and so many local people waving and cheering as the special train left town! Simply amazing.
  by thebigham
^Thanks for all the good news, Pat!
  by BSOR Patarak
Here are some pictures from the event:

A view of Main Street and the people waiting for them to "MOVE THAT TRAIN!"

Side view of new window cut in Combine #306

View of CYO Volunteers with Michael and Paige from Extreme Makeovers before ride

JT with Michael and Paige
Last edited by BSOR Patarak on Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
  by thebigham
"Move that train!!" I love it.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Nice work all around. :-D
  by umtrr-author
What a great story. It's -- dare I say it?-- heartwarming to hear of someone actually making a difference and not taking no for an answer.