We are pleased to announce that Waushakum has three new officers! Please welcome Treasurer Bobbie Jo Raiano, Vice President Colt Stewart and Secretary Jimmy Connor.
Meet the new officers!
Bobbie Jo, is the owner of an Avis/Budget Car Rental location, in Marlborough MA. She became a Junior member of WLS in September of 2002, when she was 11 years old. Prior to becoming an official member she spent many hours as a child playing in coal and rolling down the tiny hill within the dog bone at the old Norfolk St track. Her father, Tony, became a member when she was just 9 months old. For a number of years as a kid, Bobbie Jo could be found handing out sodas in the cooktent – pre soda machine days and running back and forth from the Hilton to the cooktent in a search for needed supplies to keep the cook tent functioning. She also helped with the cooking for the annual ham and bean dinner for over 5 years. As she became older, she eventually was promoted to running the register during meets in the cooktent when her mother, Joan, became too ill to do it. Bobbie Jo owns a 3.5″ gauge 1″ scale Little Engines 0-4-0 that is in the process of being rehabbed for the 2022 season.
Jimmy has been a member here at Waushakum since 2005, when he and his father Dan both discovered and fell in love with the live steam hobby. Dan and Jimmy scratch-built a small wheelchair motor-powered 7.25” gauge electric locomotive with the help of friends between 2006-2008, which ran countless miles on the WLS groundline over the years. Jimmy’s first steam locomotive (and first major project) was a basket case 1” Scale 4.75” gauge LE Pacific which Jimmy acquired in 2010, now lettered “Nickel Plate Road 311”. Jimmy has now also rebuilt, overhauled, detailed, and continues to maintain a humble collection of historic equipment and rolling stock over his years in the hobby. This collection also includes a 3.5” gauge LBSC Mabel 2-4-0 “Hardwicke”, Jim Maxheimer’s 7.25” gauge LE Atlantic #835, and Billy Van Brocklin’s 3.5” gauge roller-bearing Atlantic #31. Jimmy is a songwriter and touring musician by day; since moving to his new home in Nashville, TN in 2018, he’s been in the process of completing the build of a one-of-a-kind 3/4” scale Friends Models / Little Engines mishmash Hudson. Jimmy is looking forward to protecting and serving the railroad and fellow membership, and is honored to be Waushakum’s new Club Secretary!
Colt Stewart developed an interest in trains at a young age, starting with his Lionel train set. After visiting Clark’s Trading Post in New Hampshire regularly for many years to ride the steam train there, he got to know the train crew who began to teach him about live steam. Around 2005, Russ Page, who is an engineer at Clark’s, told Colt about Waushakum, and invited him to one of the club’s public meets. Colt attended and experienced his first live steam locomotive, which was a 3.5” scale Australian 2-6-4st “Sarah,” owned by Russ. This would later be the first steam engine Colt ever ran a few years later.
Colt joined Waushakum in 2008, and has been a member ever since. He started his career as a certified tool and die maker at Starrett Tools, and having completed a four-year apprenticeship there. He also holds a Massachusetts State Boiler Operator’s license. He has spent extensive time working on full-size live steam locomotives, having worked at Clark’s Trading Post, the Valley Railroad, and has served a tenure at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad as their Operations Manager. He now works full-time as a tool maker for an injection mold company in Clinton, Massachusetts.
Colt can usually be found spending his free time at the club, running his steam locomotives, or helping out. If he isn’t there, he is either working on the full size counterparts at one of the above- mentioned railroads, or out on his steam launch that he built in 2017, the S.L. Mockingbird.
Waushakum has always been a huge part of Colt’s life, and he is honored and humbled to get to be part of its future.