MYSTIC VALLEY RAILWAY SOCIETY

Current Waybill: Spring 2019  Click here to download!

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*May 1, 2019*







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The Waybill is for you the members and our friends to enjoy. If there is something you would like to see in the Waybill then please contact us by email at contactus@mysticvalleyrs.org or by mail.

We are always looking for stories to include, as we have many members who are no longer able to go on any trips and they get great enjoyment out of reading about them.

So if you have ever wanted to be a Newspaper reporter now is your chance…


Group Sales Policy: 10 or more tickets purchased in ADVANCE by the SAME PERSON will be entitled to a 10% DISCOUNT subject to availability.

BLOCK SPACE may be arranged on any non-restricted event with Ticket Coordinator or Tour Director (when assigned) at least 50 days prior to departure. For further information, please contact the Mystic Valley Railway Society, 617-361-4445 or e-mail at contactus@mysticvalleyrs.org.

 


 From the President

by Theresa E. Rylko

As we once again experience the winter season it is time to remember the Annual Meeting on Saturday May 4th at the Mt Vernon Restaurant in Somerville. This will be your time to tell us of any concerns or ideas for the new year. Please share your stories of adventures with the MVRS and bring the memories alive for your fellow members. Come support your team in their effort to give you interesting trips and events. As you travel along you might see an area, which others could enjoy. If you have a favorite restaurant you frequent and think it might handle a bus-load of hungry travelers, then let us know as we are always looking for new places to dine. Feel free to send literature the Trip Team can review for future visits. If we have a trip to your area feel free to meet us and say “hi”. It is always a pleasure to see a friendly face.

 


From the Vice President

by Jeff Costello 

 

Happy New Year! Greetings from Mystic Valley Railway Society. We’ve had our first snow storm and we were fortunate it did not occur the past weekend when MVRS was at the Eastern States Exposition for the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show. Over 9 acres and 410 exhibitors keep this show going – for the fifty-second time. Mystic Valley Railway Society was represented by me, Marcia Pennington (Director) and Mary Verner (Director). Once again, the staff did an outstanding job! We provided fun and exposure for our organization with Waybills, calendars and assorted train-related articles and memorabilia. Every year we encourage members to donate items for sale at the show and we especially thank Tracy Rylko and Nancy Roney for their train collectables. It’s always enjoyable at the show to visit with MVRS members who stop by.

We’re looking forward to the New Year with new trips – Sugar Time and CT Carousels – and the old favorite of Newport Playhouse. We have seen declining passenger numbers over the past few months, perhaps due to weather issues and the aging of our passengers, but the hope is to maintain our trips in the future. If you know a place of interest or have a favorite restaurant, let Trip Team know. The committee for the Russell Rylko Memorial Grant is now accepting applications for the 2019 grant from organizations within New England working on a train-related project. Recent MVRS events include nominations for the organization and photo-judging for the 2020 calendar. Mystic Valley Railway Society is still busy and welcomes new members and new ideas. Tell your friends about us and enjoy some great adventures. On a sad note this past weekend Marcia and I learned of the passing of Sylvia B. Spinney of Kingston MA, a past treasurer and director of MVRS. Sylvia was pleasantly organized and precise, knowing “where every penny went”. She enjoyed being treasurer and was very grateful for expert advice and assistance from Al Avjian, a previous past treasurer. We will miss her.

 


From the Membership Chairman

by Nancy Jeanne Martin

 

I hope all of you are enjoying our winter. My days of skiing and ice skating have gone by as I grow older. If you are from the warm states, I am jealous as it is so cold in Massachusetts. We will be beginning a new MVRS year pretty soon so remember to mail in your membership before the end of February. Save postage and join as a life member. The Trip Team is planning a lot of new trips for the warm months so get that membership in so that you do not miss any of your Waybills.

I will be leading the trip Sugar Time and CT Carousels, so join us for a fun and different day. I hope you were at the Nominating and Photo Judging day so that you could have a say in how MVRS leads you next year.

Saturday March 2, 2019 will be the election of officers. Please come and vote and enjoy coffee and muffins with other members while supporting the club. Saturday May 4 will be the Annual Meeting, so mark your calendars.

  


From the Waybill Editor

by Roma Hertel

It is two years since I edited my first Waybill. Taking on this role launched me on an adventurous and enjoyable journey. Everybody experiences how fast the four seasons seem to fly by, but now each coincides with a new copy deadline of the Waybill. Being editor puts me at the center of a web connecting contributors, directors and trip team on one side, via the printer, to our members on the other. I am amongst the first to learn of news and upcoming events. Sometimes that news is sad, for example the loss of our former treasurer, Sylvia Spinney. I must express my appreciation to the various members and regular contributors who – every quarter –present fresh material to fill these pages. Similarly, unless our members enter photos into the New England Railroad Calendar competition this eagerly awaited publication would not be possible. This year slide judging was on Saturday February 2. Thirteen members, 30% more than last year, submitted photos for the 2020 edition. The February 2019 calendar photo shows the Wiscassett, Waterville & Farmington Railway, a recipient of money from the 2018 Russell Rylko Memorial Grant to help bridge Trout Brook. Once completed this project will extend the scenic line northwards.

The early June weekend trip “Trains in Maine” visits not only the WW&F but also the Boothbay Railway Village, the other recipient of the 2018 Rylko Grant money. Here we helped fund restoring the only surviving Railroad Post Office (RPO) car of the Maine two footers, built in 1901 as car No. 11 for the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad. As the Boothbay Railway Village wrote in their report, twentyeight clerestory windows were rebuilt, combining new millwork with the original hardware made by Jackson & Sharp in 1901. New interior siding from southern yellow pine will replace that installed in the mid-1990s at Edaville. Six doors (three on each side) are being constructed and installed. The work will be completed this winter. Join this overnight trip and see first-hand how the MVRS supports railway- themed activities in New England.

Correction: in the Member-o-Gram column of the last Waybill, Jeff Costello was wrongly listed as MVRS director when he is in fact Vice President.


From the MVRS Legal Counsel

by Brad Pinta

 The New Massachusetts Non-Compete Legislation

The Massachusetts legislature has recently passed a law restricting the blanket use of noncompete agreements in the work place. A so-called “non-compete” agreement is a contract which is used by an employer to prohibit its employees from working for a competitor after they leave their job. The general purpose of such an agreement is to enable an employer to protect its confidential information in the work place. These types of agreements are most frequently used in the financial services and technology sectors.

The over-use of these types of agreements has spawned a tremendous amount of litigation. The new law, signed by Governor Charles Baker as a part of his larger economic development bill, now places significant restrictions on how these types of agreements can be used by employers. Under the new law, a non-compete agreement must be no broader than necessary to protect a legitimate business interest, such as protecting trade secrets, confidential information or a relationship with the employer’s clients. The agreement must also be restricted to the geographic area where the employee has worked in the last two years and must be similarly restricted to the specific types of services performed by that employee in those same past two years. More importantly, the terms and conditions of the non-compete agreement can no longer have a tenure that exceeds a single year.

There are many nuances in this new law. For example, the employer can no longer provide a non-compete to a new employee as part of his or her orientation package on their first day of work. Instead, the non-compete must be given to the proposed employee either when the company makes a formal employment offer or ten days before they start working, whichever is earlier. In addition, the employee must be provided a right to consult with an attorney before he signs the agreement itself. And if a non-compete is proposed after an employee commences his job, the employee must be given ten days to consider it and that employee’s employment position cannot be contingent on the execution of that agreement.

Another interesting aspect of the new law is referred to as the “garden leave” clause. This means that the company must pay the employee fiftypercent of their base wages for the entire duration of the restricted time period. Unfortunately, however, this aspect of the law is particularly vague, and future litigation will ultimately serve to provide clarification on this issue. But the new law is clear that hourly employees, interns, students and teenagers under the age of eighteen, or anyone who has been laid-off without cause, cannot be subject to this new law. Finally, it should be noted that this new law does not apply to situations where companies require their employees to sign agreements prohibiting the solicitation of company clients or prohibiting divulging confidential information relating to that business.

Please be sure to consult with legal counsel who is familiar with issues involving employment law if you have any additional questions relating to your own particular non-compete agreement.






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The Quincy & Boston Street Railway Company

by Dirk Hertel


Recently, when staying in western Massachusetts, our B&B hosts gave us a copy of The Quincy Patriot, dated December 7, 1895. On the right column of page seven, I discovered the timetable of “The Quincy & Boston ELECTRIC STREET RAILWAY, on or after Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1895.” Electric streetcars run from Quincy CITY HALL to Braintree, Neponset (via Wollaston), East Weymouth (via Quincy Point and North Weymouth), and East Milton. The services departed from Quincy Center on a regular half-hourly schedule from 6:00 AM into the hour before midnight, promising “at Quincy Centre close connection is made with electric Cars on all the routes.” I use MBTA buses 220, 221, or 222 on my daily commute from Quincy Center subway station home to Quincy Point, so I was intrigued that once upon a time this journey could have been made on electric streetcars, on a convenient regular schedule with close connections. Trying to learn more about the Quincy & Boston Street Railway Company, I found information at the Quincy Historical Society and the Thomas Crane Public Library. The former furnished Ruth Wainwright’s article “Quincy Street Railways 1861-1945” in Quincy History No. 36, Winter 1996-7, the latter a copy of the company’s own 1896 advertising booklet “The Quincy & Boston Street Railway Illustrated.” In 1861, the Quincy Street Railway was chartered and began operating horse-drawn “hay-burners” on a route from near the Adams Birthplaces (now part of the National Park) to Fields Corner in Dorchester. Running on rails eased the workload for horses and driver, the former did not have to pull so hard, the latter did not need to steer (less important as good draft horses know the way anyhow). In 1873, the Quincy Point Railway, flush with $30,000 of start capital, connected Quincy Center along Washington Street to Quincy Point. In 1890, the Manet Street Railway connected Quincy Square to Houghs Neck peninsula, with a car barn near the Quincy Yacht Club.

The electrification of these routes arrived in 1888, made possible by Frank Julius Sprague’s inventions of the electric trolley wheel pickup, motorized trucks, and steady motor control (see page 6 of The WAYBILL, March - May 2018). Well-capitalized electric street railway companies started buying up horse railways. The Quincy & Boston Street Railway Company, incorporated in 1888, absorbed Quincy’s lines then expanded them into a network. Like the roots of a fast growing tree, electric streetcar lines sprouted through some four hundred Quincy streets then connected to the networks of the neighboring towns Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Milton. Connections to the passenger trains of the Old Colony Railroad could be made at Quincy Center and Atlantic Stations (today North Quincy). After crossing the Neponset River on the new bridge built in 1891, streetcars run on elevated tracks from Quincy to Dudley Street Terminus, a stop on the Everett-Forest Hills Elevated Railway (today’s Orange Line) through downtown Boston.

“The Quincy & Boston Street Railway Illustrated” is a rich source of information about who built the electric streetcar network. Boston firms, for example Burnham & Duggan of 70 Kilby St., Louis Pfingst of 31 State St., or The Bash Combination Headlight Co. of 54 Kilby St., advertised supplies for tracks, “trolley wires”, car building, and fare collection. The Massachusetts Car Company of Ashburnham, MA (see page 6 of The WAYBILL, June – August 2018) offered open-sided streetcars, popular with excursions to the beach. Photos show suburban dirt roads with embedded tracks, but many city streets were improved from dirt to stone pavement, using Quincy granite, when the streetcar tracks were laid. Work was contracted to firms such as H. Gore & Co. of 54 Kilby St, Boston, “Pavers and Street Railway Contractors.”

The Quincy & Boston connected workers to Quincy’s largest employer, the Fore River Shipyard. Boston-bound commuters had two choices: alighting at Atlantic Station for an Old Colony Railroad train, or continuing to Dudley Street. Quincy businesses greatly benefited from the increased number of shoppers the streetcar brought. A great source of revenue for the Quincy & Boston were weekend pleasure trips, taking city dwellers to beaches, summer camps and seaside resorts of Squantum, Wollaston Beach and Houghs Neck in Quincy, Fort Point and Crow Point in Hingham, Nantasket Beach in Hull, and Black Rock Beach in Cohasset. New connectivity in turn increased land values and stimulated new housing developments. Real estate adverts included streetcar schedules, promising extra services to meet increased demand. The Quincy Mansion School of Wollaston advertised its “nearness to Boston,” facilitated by “many trains, and the time to Boston is 15 minutes. Electric cars to and from Boston pass the school grounds, and cover the distance over a charming route in about an hour.”

In 1900, the Quincy & Boston Street Railway Company sold out to the Brockton Street Railway (later Old Colony Street Railway) which operated a network of interurban electric passenger lines with fast connections (at advertised speeds of 65mph) all the way south to New Bedford, Fall River, Providence and Newport, Rhode Island. The lines in and out of Quincy are shown as thick lines on the Old Colony Street Railway’s 1910 TRI-STATE TROLLEY MAP. In 1911, Old Colony sold out to the Boston & Northern Street Railway Company. This new entity combined the electric street railway and interurban lines of Boston’s North and South Shores, and later became the Bay State Street Railway Company. The years between 1910 and 1920 marked peak electric streetcar connectivity, offering the network’s widest reach, greatest density, with most frequent and regular service. In 1928, the streetcar ride into Boston became shorter, terminating at Fields Corner, a stop on the new Harvard-Mattapan subway (toady’s Ashmont branch of the Red Line). The first decline in patronage came in the 1920s from private automobile use, leading to the closure of the Squantum line. The depression stemmed further decline until World War II brought a rebound: gasoline was rationed, and the shipyards in Quincy and Hingham, both served by streetcars, employed more workers then ever to meet wartime demand.

The postwar boom in private automobile use, combined with the building of the interstate highway system, brought a precipitous fall in streetcar ridership. Economy dictated the responses: cutting lines and services, converting to buses. Each made public transport less convenient, less frequent, less connected, less capacious, less useful and thus only hastened its decline, leaving mainly riders who had few other options. Streetcars and their tracks were regarded as a mere obstacle to car traffic. Services to Houghs Neck ended in 1946. On May 1, 1948 streetcar service to Fields Corner was converted to buses, marking the end of Quincy’s streetcar era. The low point came in 1959 when the Old Colony Railroad abandoned passenger train service into Boston, forcing about 7,000 daily commuters to choose between driving on the new Southeast Expressway or cramming into buses to Fields Corner. In 1960, the railway trestle over the Neponset River burned. Growing traffic congestion on the Expressway soon reached crisis stage, demanding a return of rapid rail transit. It took almost another decade until the Red Line subway extension reached Quincy.

Looking back to the times when electric streetcars provided frequent and fast connections to the places of work, shopping and recreation seem nostalgic, eliciting remarks that those trolleys would be way too small, slow and inconvenient. However, where electric streetcars have endured, for example in European cities, convenient, fast, capacious, fully accessible streetcars have long since replaced the trolleys of yore.





ln Memoriam




Annual Meeting



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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

2018 – 2019


President - Theresa E. Rylko (Tracey)
Vice President - Jeffrey Costello (Jeff)
Treasurer - Judy Berson-Hoyt
Recording Secretary - Nancy Roney

Directors:
Lilllian Garvey, Eleanor Manning (Ellie), William Manning (Billy), Nancy Jeanne Martin,
Joseph McDonough (Joe), Marcia Pennington, Mary Verner

Positions They Fill:
Boutique - Marcia Pennington & Jeff Costello
Communications/Radios/Defibrillators - Jeff Costello
Mailing Chair - Billy Manning
Membership Chair - Nancy Jeanne Martin
Photography/Calendar - Dirk Hertel
Social Event Chair - Ellie Manning
Trade Show Coordinators - Joe McDonough & Jeff Costello
Treasurer, Emeritus - Albert W. Avjian
Trip Team - Judy Berson-Hoyt, Ellie Manning, Tracey Rylko
Web Master/Computer - Dan Ouellette
Waybill Mailing Coordinator - Tracey Rylko
Waybill Editor/Button Maker - Roma Hertel
 

 

You will see many of these volunteers as tour leaders on your trips.

It takes a team effort to have a successful volunteer organization. Please share your talents as a volunteer with MVRS and be

rewarded by seeing your work in action.  Call 617-361-4445 and a volunteer form will be sent to you.

 

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Previous Waybills: 

Winter 2018  Fall 2018  Summer 2018 Spring 2018

 Winter 2017  Fall 2017    Summer 2017    Spring 2017   

Fall 2016   Summer 2016   Spring 2016    

Winter 2015   Summer 2015    Spring 2015     

Winter 2014     Fall 2014

 

 

 

 

Booking Conditions

 

Handicapped Information

Copyright © 2000 - 2018 [Mystic Valley Railway Society, Inc]. All rights reserved.
Revised: Mar 2019