Parliament station of the Ottawa Confederation Line on Opening Day. Andrew Grahl photo (September 14, 2019)

Our December meeting will be presented by ERA Program Chairman Andrew Grahl. Andrew has a wonderful slideshow planned that will consist of both digital images and Kodachromes, an ERA first. Please come and join us for the final presentation of 2019. Start your holiday celebrations the right way with a fantastic ERA show!

(Note: Due to holiday conflicts, our December meeting will be taking place on the second Friday of the month, one week earlier than usual, on December 13. It was originally scheduled for the 20th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.)

Meeting Notice
It’s Super 8 movie night! Sandy Campbell photo

Gary Grahl (ERA #2823), whose Super 8 movie nights have become an annual tradition, will be the presenter of our November meeting. His presentation, “Electric Rail North of the Border,” will feature historic and current Canadian scenes from Montreal, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and, if time permits, Calgary and Edmonton. Please join us for a most interesting presentation.

Meeting Notice
Metro-North M8 awaits inspection at Croton-Harmon. Ron Yee photo (July 9, 2010)

A behind-the-scenes look at one of the newest, most state-of-the-art railroad maintenance facilities in the United States. We are limited to only 25 participants, so hurry! This trip is sold out.

Muni PCC 1040 (1952) on San Francisco’s historic F line. Sasha Ivanoff photo

Our October show will be presented by Alexander ‘Sasha’ Ivanoff (ERA #7130). Sasha’s program will cover several of the most recent ERA North American conventions, plus some special events like the “Farewell to the CLRV” fan trip held by the Toronto Transit Society in September 2019. Please join us for a fascinating evening!

Our friends at the Motor Bus Society will be touring France for their Fall 2019 Convention, and everyone from the ERA is invited. MBS will cover three major French cities in an eight-day program. The tour will include first-class travel on France’s high-speed trains, bus transfers to and from railway stations and hotels, and a short ride in a historic bus as part of a visit to the Paris-area transport museum. There will also be general sightseeing opportunities provided to introduce the group to Paris and Lyon.

Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston. Aahd Tahar photo (TMNY)

MNYBA invites you to our annual end-of-season bus enthusiasts tour, riding a comfortable Coach Tours bus, to visit locations north of New York City, to observe and photograph bus and rail in the Hudson Valley. Our Autumn excursion will take us to visit bus properties and a trolley museum north on the western side of the Hudson Valley from New Jersey to New York locations on both sides of the Hudson.

Eastbound Ottawa Confederation Line train, under test, departing Tremblay Station. Nick DiBari photo

Our September meeting will be presented by Nick DiBari. Nick’s slideshow will be a varied one, including scenes of the light rail and rapid transit systems in Boston, the light rail system in Pittsburgh, and the nearly finished Confederation light rail line in Ottawa, Ontario. There may even be some surprises. You won’t want to miss this show!

For its 2019 Annual Convention, the ERA will visit three transit hotspots of the Southwestern U.S. for the first time — Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas.

Amtrak’s Sunset Limited from Tucson to El Paso. Carl Jackson, who managed the construction and launch of the El Paso Streetcar, will be the keynote speaker at our Annual Banquet in the DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown El Paso hotel, our El Paso Headquarters.

The American Southwest is new territory for ERA annual conventions. And it is only our third convention featuring Amtrak intercity travel. You will not want to miss this special convention, so book today!

The Metropolitan New York Bus Association and the ERA welcome you aboard a comfortable Coach Tours bus for the MNYBA’s annual five-day bus and rail extravaganza. Our venue is the familiar DoubleTree Hotel at One Bigelow Square, near many PAT bus lines and the Steel Plaza subway station. Please join us for a great summer mini-vacation in western Pennsylvania and Ohio!

John Emanuel Pappas, ERA first vice president and associate editor of Headlights magazine, died on the morning of Monday, July 29, 2019 at the age of 75. He had been battling cancer for almost a year.

Thanks, members, for your overwhelming response to the ERA’s 2019 Annual Convention in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas this Labor Day weekend. We are now fully booked and registration is closed.

On another note, our sister organization, the Metropolitan New York Bus Association (MNYBA), will run its annual five-day trip August 10-14. This year’s bus trip from New York will go to Pittsburgh and features a day trip to Cleveland. There will be a visit to the acclaimed Pennsylvania Railway Museum in Strasburg and plenty of opportunity to ride the scenic Pittsburgh and Cleveland light rail systems. The brochure for the trip is not ready yet, so if you’re interested in booking, please contact Gary Grahl at [email protected] ASAP for details and pricing.

The ERA will begin using this website to publicize trips for our other sister organization, the Motor Bus Society (MBS), which also has trips of interest to rail enthusiasts. MBS is going to France October 12-19 and will visit the extensive urban rail and bus systems in Paris, Strasbourg and Lyon with travel on the world-famous TGV high-speed trains on several days. This exciting trip is already sold out!

The dates are final and the itinerary has been set: our 2020 International Tour will be to Greece and the Balkans! We will arrive in Athens on May 9 and depart from Belgrade on May 24. We will be visiting Athens, Sofia, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Osijek and Belgrade. As always, adding three nights before the arrival day and/or three nights after the departure day will be possible. Plan now to attend another exciting international tour!

ERA members Andrew Grahl, left, and his father Gary travelled from New York City to be at the launch of the ION LRT on June 21. Kate Bueckert photo (CBC)

ERA members Gary Grahl and his son, Andrew, were first in line to ride the ION LRT from the Fairway Station Friday morning. “We’re interested in new forms of transportation and this is one of them,” Gary said. “We travel all over North America to try to ride on the first day of operation. That’s today.” Overall, a complete LRT ride from Fairway Station to the Conestoga Mall station takes about 45 minutes, according to ION staff.

Expect to see more pictures from Andrew of the ION launch in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin. In the meantime, here are some links for learning more:

Our June meeting will be presented by Paul Gawkowski. Paul’s show will visit numerous transit operations spanning Europe, Southeast Asia and North America. There will be a look at light rail in Genoa, the scenic coastal railway in Italy’s Cinque Terre villages, an overnight train from Hanoi and a ride in the dome car on Amtrak’s Adirondack to Montreal in what may be the final year of the dome’s operation. Please join us for an exciting presentation!

The Metropolitan New York Bus Association and the ERA welcome you aboard a comfortable Coach Tours bus for the MNYBA’s regular late Spring visit to our Pennsylvania Dutch country friends in Hershey and Shady Maple. Join us for a great day in the Pennsylvania countryside with bus history and current operations, rail, and great food!

Our May meeting will be presented by Ron Yee. Join us for Ron’s overview of the entire 18-day ERA tour of southern Germany in May 2018. Ron’s slideshow will cover almost every tram, S-Bahn, and U-Bahn system in southern Germany. Ron will then present a quick review of the ERA’s 2018 Annual Convention in the San Francisco Bay Area, followed by visits to Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto, New York City and Miami. Please join us for a wonderful presentation!

The ERA is pleased to announce a visit to the Long Island Rail Road Hillside Support Facility — our first since 2011. The Hillside Complex consists of a maintenance facility, a support complex, and a wheel truing and car servicing facility. Built in 1991, the facility covers 30 acres and can maintain up to 60 cars at a time. This tour will sell out extremely fast, so order your tickets today!

April Meeting

Noah Caplin

Friday, Apr 12, 2019

Our April meeting will be presented by Noah Caplin. Noah’s show will feature scans of slides he took in Vienna, Prague, Pilsen, Budapest and Berlin during his first two trips to Europe in September 1971 and September 1973. The major focus will be on pre-WW2 trams that were still in regular service in these cities, along with shots of newer (at that time!) trams, subways, commuter rail and long-distance trains. Please join us for a nostalgic look at transit in Central and Eastern Europe at a time when few Americans dared venture to Eastern Bloc countries!

Jeff Erlitz

Friday, March 15, 2019

Our March show will be presented by Jeff Erlitz. Using a combination of archival sources, most notably the Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Jeff will take us on a tour from one end of Long Island to the other. We will see a variety of images from the late 1800s to the mid-1960s, all in glorious black and white. And we will get to see most, if not all, of the railroad’s branches. Please join us for a wonderful presentation!

Eric Oszustowicz

Friday, February 15, 2019

Eric Oszustowicz, author of The Elevated Railways of Manhattan, will be the presenter of our February meeting. We will begin with an extensive review of the New York Subway during the last year, followed by a special look back at scenes of our membership over the last 50 years. There will be a follow-up on eastern Ukraine and Poland, and conclude with scenes taken on side trips during the ERA’s 2018 tour of southern Germany. Please join us for a fascinating evening.

Railroad Hobby Show

Saturday, January 26, 2019

MNYBA welcomes fellow ERA members on a full-day trip to the famous Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Mass. This annual model railroading event spans four buildings of railroad and transportation vendors, displays and public information. Try not to miss this one!

Jack May

Friday, January 18, 2019

Noted rail photographer Jack May will be the presenter of our January 2019 meeting. Jack will be showing slides from two trips to Europe in 2018. His visit to Paris and certain other cities in a triangle to the north and east begins the show. He will then take us to Poland and Ukraine, where tramway operations contrast sharply with those in the west. Please join us in the new year for a wonderful presentation!

F Facebook

Created in 2011 by Philip Hom, our Facebook page is the place to go for the latest news from ERA members.

T Twitter

Our frequently updated Twitter feed is written by Alexander ‘Sasha’ Ivanoff, a contributing editor to the Bulletin.

Y YouTube

Fascinating member videos, including some of our monthly meetings, can be watched on our YouTube channel.

I Issuu

Every back issue since 2002 of the Bulletin and previews of Headlights since 1996 can be found on our Issuu page.

S Search