Winter 2019 President's Message

Greetings Fellow Model Railroaders!

It is mid winter and time for an update on the happenings in our Seacoast Division. Like me, I hope many of you have been using your time to work on your individual modeling efforts. With the weather being what it is, this is the perfect time of year to be working on your layout or other model railroading projects. Happily, I have made some progress on my own layout with the upper and second deck lighting completed, and now I am about to begin laying down the roadbed on the upper deck. I am very excited to be starting this because it means I am getting closer to laying track, and that is a very good thing.

Before I continue further, I want to update you on the latest information regarding Chip Falter's medical condition. Chip’s 8 courses of chemo-therapy are complete. Following that, he had a CT scan done and the results showed that his cancer has not progressed since his previous CT scan which was done after 4 courses of chemo. This is excellent news and he is scheduled for surgery on March 13 to remove the vestiges of his tumor. This is a difficult and complex operation and it is estimated that he will be hospitalized for about 1 week. Personally, and on behalf of the entire Seacoast Division, I wish Chip a very successful operation and a quick and healthy recovery.

So here is a summary of Division activity and also the pending activity since the conclusion of our Winter Event.<

Seacoast Division Winter Event

The Seacoast Division Winter Event was held on January 5, 2019 at the Westbrook Community Center in Westbrook, Maine. This was the first time the Seacoast Division held a meeting at the Westbrook Community Center. The Spruce room was the ideal size for the event and the community center staff was friendly and very responsive to our requests for additional tables, projection screen, etc. Overall, this was a great location for the Winter Event. There were 39 people that attended the Event and 37 of them were members.

Prior to the beginning of the Event, Chuck Hastings and several members of the Southern Maine Model Railroad Club set up a small modular layout in the back of the room. All attendees were able to view and operate the layout during lunch and after the meeting. Thank you SMMRC for supporting the Seacoast Division and the Winter Event.

The Annual Meeting was called to order and after I reviewed my President’s message with the group, Dave Kotsonis gave his annual Treasurer’s report and Lou Champagne gave his annual Membership report. Since a quorum of members was present, the annual election of directors was conducted. While I was reelected as a Director, two brand new Directors, Dave Kotsonis, and Mike Pedersen, were elected. Congratulations to both Dave and Mike on their unanimous election. I would like to thank Bruce Robinson and the Division Nominating Committee for presenting such great candidates to fill the two vacancies on the Board of Directors.

I would also like to take this time to send out a very hearty THANK YOU to Larry Cannon and Dave Sias who have decided to retire from the Board. The entire membership of the Seacoast Division is very appreciative of your years of hard work and dedication to the Division. You will be missed on the Board but we hope to continue to see you both at future Division Events.

Next, Larry Cannon, Maine AP Chairman, presented the Model Railroad Engineer - Civil AP Award to John McHugh (not in attendance) and Master Builder - Structures AP Award to Paul Lessard. We congratulate John and Paul for their hard work and dedication. Great Job!

There were three clinics presented at the Event. The first clinic was done by Chuck Hastings and was titled "Modeling the Paper Industry." Chuck showed us the process of making paper and several pictures of local Maine power plants. Chuck also detailed the use of railcars and how they are used to assist in the flow of making paper in a modern paper mill. The second clinic was done by Dave Delorey. Dave brought in a table top demonstration hardware which used a Smartphone to talk to a Raspberry Pi 3 computer which controlled two locomotives on the test tracks. This low cost approach to DCC control offers an easy way to expand the number of operators on a layout since almost everyone has a smart phone. The third and last presenter was Jack Lutz. Jack’s "Into the Woods" presentation was both informative and humorous. Jack taught the audience about the trees of New England and how we can correctly add tree detail to our layouts. He described which tree species grew here, how tall various species grew, and how the appearance of the trees (where the leaves or needles showed) varied with location and environment.

These were terrific presentations that were well received by all members. We also had our "Show & Tell & Ask" part of the Event which was hosted by Rick Mills. I would also like to thank Rick for the great job he did as our Division Secretary this past year!

So following the conclusion of the Event, the "new" Board of Directors met to reelect me as Division President and to elect Glen Mitchell as Division Vice President. Additionally, Rob Selberg and Lou Champagne provided layout tours of their respective layouts for the members. Thanks to Rob and Lou!

And thanks to everyone that took time to come out and attend the Seacoast Division Winter Event! I hope you can say that you learned more about our great hobby and that you took something home with you that you can use to make your layout and your modeling efforts better.

Derry Fun Night

The Seacoast Division Derry Fun Night continues to happen on the the second Friday night of each month, 7:00-9:00pm, at the Marion Garish Community Center, 39 West Broadway, Derry, NH. The January DFN occurred on Friday, January 11, 2019. Rich Breton gave a presentation on "Using Molds to Make Resin Parts" or "resin casting" that was very well enjoyed by the 17 people that attended.

The February DFN took place on Friday, February 8. 2019. The program was the first of two parts for building a laser cut wood milk shed. Attendees are asked to bring basic modeling tools to include needle nosed pliers. On this night, they worked on the base and next month they will build the shed. While the glue was drying, they went over the requirements for earning the Electrical certificate in the NMRA's Achievement Program.

Next month on March 8, 2019 they will lay rail and finish building the milk shed.

Make-and-Take- Milk Shed


At each meeting, they set up a swap table so that you can bring anything that you would want to give away, sell or swap. Remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The gathering ends with the Model Showcase where modelers bring whatever they happen to be working on and do a little "bring-and-bragg." If you are interested in model trains and would like to join other like-minded hobbyists from beginner to expert for a fun evening program, come to Derry Fun Night the second Friday of each month.

Having said that, the April DFN will happen on Friday, April 5, 2019, due to a conflict with the annual "Rail Run" event that will be happening on April 12, 2019. The topic at the April DFN will be "Building an Operating Crossing Gate." Please join the group if possible. You will be glad that you did!

All of the above information is provided by Seacoast Division Past President, Bruce Robinson. Bruce is responsible for running the DFN program and does an absolutely splendid job. Thank you, Bruce! For additional information go to the Division’s website "Calendar" menu item.

2019 Railroad Hobby Show

The 2019 Railroad Hobby Show, sponsored by the Amherst Railway Society, is an annual event which is generally considered to be the largest model train show in the world. The show takes place every year at The Eastern States Exposition site (The Big E) in West Springfield, MA, usually on the last weekend of January. This years event took place on January 26 and 27, 2019. As usual, the event was a rousing success. Lots of operating layouts, modeling vendors, clinics, and model train manufacturers, were on display for the thousands of people that attend this event each year. It is a HUGE train show!

At this show, the Northeastern Region of the NMRA (which our Division belongs to) has a few tables set up to show the many benefits of being an NMRA member and to encourage people to join our ranks. This year, because of the efforts of the NER staff at the show, they signed up 3 new members for our Division. Many thanks go out to Bob Dennis of the Garden State Division, who is also the NER Vice President, for making this happen for our Division.

If there are any of you that have not attended this annual train show, I would highly encourage you to do so. I can promise you that you will not be disappointed! It is a very enjoyable 2 day event.

Whitefield Lions Model Railroad and Dollhouse Show

The Whitefield Lions Club sponsored their annual Model Railroad and Dollhouse Show on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Augusta National Guard Armory from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Chip Faulter, Lou Champagne and myself were there to support our Division display. These shows are a great opportunity to reach out and chat with prospective members and let them know about our programs and activities that support our great hobby. We were fortunate enough to be able to sign up one new member to a "Rail Pass" and are working to recruit another interested modeler that we met at this show. We also were able to chat with some members who don’t normally attend our events due to the travel distance involved. It was very good to see all of them.

Maine 3Railers Annual Model Railroad Show

This show will take place at the Augusta Elks Club on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Augusta Elks Club is located at 397 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330. Your Seacoast Division will have our display table set up and I am planning on being there to support it. If any of you in the local Augusta area can spare a couple of hours that day, I would greatly appreciate some help. This show usually has a few operating layouts and is primarily focussed on "O" scale. I hope some of you can make it to this show. Thanks!

First Annual SMMRC Train Show

The Southern Maine Model Railroad Club will hold its first annual model train show at the Westbrook Community Center at 426 Bridge St., Westbrook, ME from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday April 6, 2019. For details please visit http://www. or send an email to . The Seacoast Division will be supporting this train show with our display table and it will be manned by our Membership Chairman, Lou Champagne. If you can make to the show, please stop by and say hi to Lou. If any of you think you can help Lou at the show, please contact me for details. Thanks.

The Great Falls Model Railroad Club Events

The GFMRC has 2 events in the month of April. The first is a Slide & Dine which will be located at their club house at 144 Mill St. Auburn, ME from 10 to 3 PM on Saturday April 13, 2019. Bring slides to show on a subject of your choice and also some food for the "pot luck" lunch. The second event is their annual Spring Model Railroad Show which will take place at the Mt. Ararat High School Gym, 73 Eagles Way, Topsham, ME 04086 on Saturday April 27, 2019 from 10 AM to 3 PM. For information on both events, please email greatfallsmodelrailroadclub@

The Hookset Lions Club 24th Annual Model Train & Modeling Show

This show takes place at the Hookset Cawley Middle School, 89 Whitehall Road, Hookset, NH 03106 from 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday, April 28, 2019. We usually support this show and will be doing so, again. We will be manning a display table at the show. Please come join us if you can. If you can help with our display, please contact Glen Mitchell.

Seacoast Division Spring Event

Our Seacoast Division Spring Event will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Newington, NH, at the Newington Old Town Hall, 336 Nimble Hill Road, Newington, NH from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. We have another great event planned and it would be great if as many of you as possible would be there. This is a change of venue that is very close to I-95 in eastern New Hampshire. Glen Mitchell will be sending out all the details in his Event announcement.

You may notice that our Spring Event is scheduled on the same day as the SMMRC First Annual Train Show. As much as we would like to support our local club member organizations, we realized that we could not find a suitable date to reschedule. For next year, we will do a better job of coordinating show dates and event dates so that this conflict does not happen again. Please accept my apologies for this.

Division Officer Vacancies

Hey everybody! We still need a new Division Secretary. We also need a new Maine Activities Coordinator. Aaaaw come on! We need some help, here. It’s not that hard! We can help you. We’re not asking for blood, just a little bit of time and some effort. If you want to get more involved in the Division, this is your chance. Volunteering for either of these positions is a great way to learn how the organization works and an even better way to meet some great people and learn a lot about model railroading. If you have any interest in either of these positions, please contact me. Thank you!

So that’s it for now. I have gone on long enough and it is time to deal with more snow. I did not mention anything about the upcoming NMRA Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in July, or the upcoming NER Convention in Syracuse, NY. in September. I’ll save that for another day. But I hope that some of you are planning to attend either or both of these great conventions. Please join us!

In closing, let me thank our new Vice President, Glen Mitchell for his selfless contributions to our Division and our hobby. Glen has worked tirelessly to support our Division activities since he joined the BOD just a few years ago. Much of the information in this note comes from Glen. Thank you!

Best regards,

Tage Erickson, President - Seacoast Division