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Monthly Business Meeting of the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society

Meeting was called to order January 6, 2020 at 7 PM by President Durachko.  Present were members Andy Cobaugh, Dave Felice, Steve Dillon, Gene Tucker, and Tom Canich.  Guest Kyle Uhler was also present.

Kyle Uhler outlined his plans to stabilize and restore the snow plow as an Eagle Scout project.  The scope of the project is to install rubber roofing, reside the car with tongue and groove pressure-treated lumber, prime and paint the car to match the kayak museum, make any needed structural repairs, and scrape/paint the metal work.  He plans to start work in the spring.

Minutes from December were presented.  Dan Durachko moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Steve Dillon; the motion carried.

The Treasurer's report was submitted in advance and read by President Durachko.  Our current balance is approximately $87,400.  We anticipate receiving an additional $27,000 for Santa Express trips.  We owe RMS for some completed work, anticipate $10,000 in insurance premium payments, and have several other smaller expenses coming up.

The Webmaster reports 2,510 sessions in December.

A group visited RMS on December 6 to inspect RDC #9167.  This revealed a short list of defects submitted to RMS.  We plan to visit RMS again January 10 or 24 at which time issues should be addressed and operational testing can be completed.  RMS is still working on return shipping arrangements.  There is some uncertainty about the correct position of the brake valve for moving the car in a consist.  We discussed the difference between "graduated release" and "direct" brake settings.  We need to contact NSHR to arrange for an operating agreement.  We need to contact Titan for storage space.  We need to contact CRCOG to arrange a return event.

Santa Express excursions this year are considered to be the best to date.  Some complications arose but were quickly handled by volunteers, PV staff, and first responders.  We do need to improve communications of BHRS volunteers on the train, possibly by issuing handheld radios.  Andy Cobaugh is looking into this.  A survey was distributed to riders and identified some possible issues: there is no shuttle bus on Friday; the last car does not have enough time with Santa; we should contact prior year purchasers to remind them of the upcoming sale date; inconsistent interactions with Santa.  Additionally, there were many positive comments.  We discussed that the PV crew works hard on many excursions prior to Bellefonte and possible help we can provide, such as playing costumed characters or hiring actors to fill those roles.

Tom Canich will chair the 2020 Officer Nominating Committee.  A slate of candidates will be presented for consideration at our annual general meeting.

We discussed plans for 2020.  These include possible RDC events: Live nativity; Halloween themed trips; Lemont excursions; Curtin Village excursions.  Additional operational considerations include speeders at Strawberry festival, return of Jim Baird's steam car with a passenger coach, and other speeder events.  We will also need to address the drainage situation on the Lemont track this year.

Steve Dillon moved to adjourn, seconded by Andy Cobaugh; motion carried.  Meeting adjourned 8 PM.