1: Meeting Called to Order: Dan Love
2: Introductions: Dan Love
3: Approval of Agenda: Dan Love
4: Approval of Minutes from Oct 15 & Jan 2015: Dan Love
They were approved.
5a: Operations: John Bush
35,509 passengers 2014
33,062 regular season
2,477 no fare passengers in December, 891 out of Antonito, toys for tots
1616 two days in Chama, echo food bank
Antonito filled a 5x6x8 foot trailer of toys
Chama, donated 6,000 lbs of food items
In Feb, commercial filming in the Chama yard
Movie things coming early season
5b: Train Maintenance: John Bush
463 going back together, for the commercial
484 is 3/4th done for its annual inspection
487 torn down for its 1472, measurements taken, boiler cleaned, should be ready by opening day
All 5 locos should be ready for the 2015 season
488 will be the next loco due for the 1472, which will be nearly out of days by end of season
488 is 3/4th done with its annual, remainder pending firing it up
Some work is being done on the 489 in ant, to be ready for a March charter
Car work is progressing well in ant. 16 of 19 cars repaired & inspected, remaining 3 TBD Jan EOM
PA system repaired, Windows repaired. Beginning some work on the historic car project facility.
Then begin work on RPO 65
5c: Reservations (John Bush)
last year (1/20) 284 people booked in groups, 258 booked individually, 19 fireman/eng school
this year (1/20) 1730 booked in groups, 33 fireman/eng school, 377 booked ind
3797 group tickets last year, 3510 the year before
RR is advertising to bus operator magazines to develop more group business
Randy Randal suggested the RR call bus operators to drum up business
5d: Marketing (Lee Bates)
Lee mentioned that when he came on, he brought experience with group operators & is working
with Corrine, giving her contact info of operators. She attended the ABA (American Bus Assoc?)
conference and got face time with possible new customers. Some years ago, group travel was 50%
of ridership, back in the day of 55,000 to 60,000 riders. Currently about 10%.
Lee is working with "America By Rail". They move people via Amtrack, then bus them to other
trains like the D&S. Working on getting on their radar for that business.
2015 takes marketing in a new direction. Colorado marketing has been overlooked. Let Colorado
know they own the railroad. Many people think it is a private operation. Partnering with Colo
tourism. Produced a 30 second video that plays in some of the Colo welcome centers. In just
4 welcome centers, reaching around 500,000 visitors. There are 4 other 30 second videos that
play. Increasing reach of the brochures. Commissioner Love mentioned that 75% of the people
coming into Colo don't know where they are going. They have yet to decide where to stay & see.
Lee reports the brochure is out before the beginning of the year. John Bush said that more were
printed this year, and taking a stronger stance with the brochure distributer "Certified".
Getting a wider distribution, and getting them out earlier. John Bush mentioned that independent
living homes will be target as they are a key demographic. Commissioner Randall mentioned using
psycographic marketing might be used due to limited budget. Lee is targeting steam punk groups.
They love steam, machines & have money. To assist the merchants in Chama & Antonito, the RR has
developed a ticket jacket that will contain the rider ticket(s) and a brochure containing
advertising for Chama & Antonito merchants. Roger Hogan suggested marketing gets in touch with
camera clubs. Steven Flowers had suggestions where brochures should be available. Some of those
locations are now on the distribution list. Steven also mentioned a tri fold page that the
passengers used to get. It contained the menu, and floor plan of Osier station. He would like
that included in the ticket folder, or maybe available at the ticket window.
Commissioner Randall described "Certified", and how the cost to the RR is based on the number
of racks they fill with brochures. The C&T has around $19,000 budgeted for "Certified"'s work.
A problem with brochures last year was not enough being printed (available for racks).
Need to lean on Certified when a location is out of C&T brochures.
6a: Financial report: George Canham
The winter trains were put together in 3 weeks. 496 volunteer hours, including 123 by non
employees. 373 employee volunteer hours. George was proud of the Christmas trains. Audited
finance statements ending FY June 2014 will be released by the NM state auditors office. The
audit reached NM on time. This years audit report was much cleaner than prior years.
In the April commission meeting, a Colorado auditor will be selected for the CO report.
Commissioner Love mentioned that for the first time in 44 years, the RR made an operating
profit. John Bush congratulated George on getting good numbers in the books and how that
will really help in operating the RR.
6b: Capital Projects: John Bush & George Canham
No capital funding for current FY from NM. Funding was received from CO for this FY.
Next year, both states should be funding. A small amount of NM funding came from individual
legislators. The LFC (NM, legislative finance committee) didn't provide funds for the current
FY. The money from NM was used to purchase the land for the wye extention and the other diesel
7a: Chairman Report: Dan Love
Dan said he is the liaison with the operating company.
Would like to see commissioner Foster continue working with the capital projects.
Asked that commissioner Randall continue in finance.
Asked that commissioner Albrock continue with public relations. They all agreed.
Dan is pleased with the marketing changes.
7b: Vice Chairman Report: Randy Randall
Pleased with good numbers (finance), wants to see bigger numbers. Works with John Bush on the
CTO (Cumbres Toltec Operating company). Had a meeting with the CTO board to discuss marketing,
operations. Pointed out that no commission decisions were made in that meeting. Legislative update (NM):
C&T is in the budget this year for $126,000 to support the commission, up 5 or 6 thousand dollars
from last year. Requesting $1,700,00 in capital dollars. The LFC recommendation is at $1,000,000.
Last year it was thought they had $1,300,000 which was then pulled for the NM water projects.
Currently, it looks like the $1,000,000 will be approved. Other funding is being sought.
It was suggested that more than $1.7M be requested, due to the shortfall from the prior year.
NM revenue will be hit due to the drop in oil prices. Commissioner Love added the CO side of the
story. CO is on a 3 year cycle. CO kind of commits to funding on a 3 year basis, currently around
at $1.3M which includes commission funding. The commission has been moved from a committee to
a general fund line item. It is tougher to get funding as a committee.
7c: Secretary report: Pete Foster
Pete is pleased with the contents & quality of the capital report. Going through a lengthy process
on load rating on Cascade trestle. Some of the modeling has not done by the FRA as C&T isn't
a class 1, with steam engines. Some minor track alignment, and the RR is meeting the load rating.
Still some bridge work to be done. John Bush reports the Chama river bridge will get its centeral
pier replaced after the 2015 season. That work will be done for the Christmas 2015 trains.
7d: Treasurer Report: Billy Elbrock
On earth day, they will be working with the locals, BLM, the town of Antonito, the school to
pick up all the trash along the right of way. Will run a train out there to bring back the garbage.
8a: Friends report, General: Tim Tennant
Completion of RPO 54, other than trucks. Provided commission with project plan & schedule.
The team leader report was provided as well. It explains what was done last season. Have about
30 people already signed up for work sessions. Thanked Lee for getting brochures to the Friends.
That was helpful, as the Friends are covering several train shows. Commissioner Randall asked that
the Friends publication (the Dispatch) include some information regarding operations & commission.
Maybe work with Lee, as to what the commission are doing. Tim agrees. Tim suggested if the
commission, John, or whoever wants to do a write up for the Dispatch, please do so.
Lee commented that 9news out of Denver would like to do a story on the Friends. John Bush mentioned
that the parlor car will have copies of the Dispatch for the riders. The free membership given
to the parlor car riders has been converted to 150+ paying members.
8b: Friends funding Request: Tim Tennant
Friends presented John Bush with a couple of requests. The wall on the car barn in Antonito came
up about 3 panels short. Requesting $165.94, to complete that project. Second, Osier section house.
$2820.23 to finish the other two external wall siding. The job should then be finished this year.
Commissioner Randall moved to fund at the requested amount from the HPA (Historical Preservation
9: Public input
Lee asked for more time to discuss marketing. After conferring with Dick Cowles, the group travel was never more than 20%, so the 50% was in error. Lee would like to get the group travel to the 20% level. Tom Hendershot (spelling not sure of) from Chama (Rotary club) thanking the railroad for their support of the Chama Valley Ski Classic. Helped raise $8000 for the Chama Library. Also representing the Filmont Staff Association to thank the railroad for donating tickets for an auction. Dee Bates was next, from the Chama, chamber, to describe the ticket jacket. Currently, 39 businesses are in the brochure. She is working with the Antonito chamber. The advertising money goes to producing the brochures.
10: Unfinished Business
11: New Business
11a: RGRPC donation: Rich Casford
Last year Wade Hall grabbed Rich to point out a map in the depot. Asked if Rich could get them. RGRPC has now obtained the copyright to the map. Will be granting the commission a single source license to sell the maps in the gift shop. Will provide funding to get mounted maps up on the wall.
It is expected to sell well.
11b: Adopt Revised Policies & Procedures: Dick Cowles
About two years ago the commission adopted a Revised Policies & Procedures manual. Dick produced the one adopted 2 years ago, and has since produced an updated manual, putting thousands of hours doing so. It will be posted on the commission web site once adopted. The details will be in the video once posted. All commissioners voted yes to adopt the policies & procedures.
11d: Visitors Center Update: Dick Cowles
John Bush mentioned a grant has been reestablished for a visitor center in Chama with Dick's help. Meetings have been had with NMDOT. State and Federal review that is required takes time. Calls for a grant of $425,000, 25% to come from the commission. Timeline & details will be in the video.
11c: Approve setting up account from HPA for incidentals not covered by grants
Commissioner Randall wanted to make 2 motions regarding HPA funding. First, asking for up to $5000 for historic car work not covered by current funding. Motion passed. Second motion, during the CTO meeting, the balance sheet showed an amount due from the Friends of $3620 for wedges. Recommended the HPA cover this, so as to remove it from the balance sheet. That motion passed.
12: Executive Session (incentive pay for the President/GM of the RR)
The motion of incentive pay for John Bush was approved by the commission. No decisions were made in the executive session.