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The Connecticut Eastern Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, Inc. operating as the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum has as its mission the collection of railroad memoribilia, the research of the history of local Eastern Connecticut railroads, the establishment and development of a full-size railroad museum with operating train equipment, the preservation of railroad artifacts, the support of railroad modelling, and the education of the public about railroads and railroad safety.
The Connecticut Eastern Chapter operates the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum (CERM) in Willimantic, CT at the site identified as "Columbia Junction" by the New Haven Railroad (NY, NH & H RR). The CERM consists of 45 acres of land running west from Bridge Street for one mile along the Willimantic River. The development of the CERM will allow all railroad and transportation enthusiasts to see, experience, and understand New England's rich and romantic railroad history.
As of 2010, over one mile of the track removed from the site in the 1950s and 1960s has been reinstalled by the all-volunteer membership of the CERM. Also, Columbia Junction's 1892 six-stall roundhouse and its associated manual turntable have been exactly reconstructed. Several 19th Century New Haven Railroad wooden buildings from Eastern Connecticut have been moved to the CERM and restored. Train equipment includes six diesel locomotives and one steam locomotive, six pieces of passenger equipment, seven pieces of freight equipment (including three cabooses), and three pieces of maintenance-of-way track equipment. A few pieces of train equipment are operating, the rest are in various stages of restoration.
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