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Summer President's Message 2022

Hello Seacoast Members.,

The summer has flown by and once again I am late getting this letter out to you. I recently thought back to last winter, when I had planned several model railroad tasks that needed to be done in the warmer weather. Most involved rolling the table saw out on the driveway and slicing up sheets of plywood or Masonite. Fortunately I bought most of my stockpile before the prices jumped due to Covid. Unfortunately, that also tells you how far behind I am with construction. Regardless, I have not had the saw out yet. Before I begin I need to create my master “cut list.” Once I know what I need, I can usually roll through it – the key is to not over think it. I’m guilty of doing that a lot. So the message here regarding building your railroad is – don’t over think it – just do it!

As my layout progresses, I find that mixing up the tasks is helpful. After a lot of layout structure work, track-work, and wiring, I needed a change. Time for some scenery. I really admire the scenery created by Pelle SØeborg and Lance Mindheim. I think one of the reasons I like their styles is that they both model “modern” eras. I think most of their scenery style would fit in my 1975 era layout with the correct vintage of motive power, rolling stock, and vehicles. I chose a section of the layout to begin scenicing that is 16 ft. long and one foot in depth with a backdrop. Just a double track mainline with a slight grade going through Illinois corn fields. I started the “landscaping” with Styrofoam insulation. I purchased a Woodland Scenics hot wire foam cutter which makes shaping foam so much easier and neater that using a knife and a rasp. Just make sure you have proper ventilation. I’ll post some pictures as things progress.

Summer is not usually the time for train shows, however, the Concord Model Railroad Club puts on their show every year on the second Sunday of August (Aug. 14) at the Everett Arena in Concord, NH. This show is the best show in New Hampshire and the Seacoast Division will be represented. Stop by at our table and say hello. I look forward to seeing you there.

Eleven years ago, in 2011, I went to my first North East Region Convention – the Roger Williams Express – in Warwick Rhode Island. I was able to sign up for multiple operating sessions. Model railroad operations is one of my favorite aspects of the hobby. First, I was able to operate on a club layout (I don’t remember the name.) on the way to the convention. I got to experience the dynamics of a club layout, which has to meet the needs of the many members. The second layout I toured was Don Irace’s Providence & Worcester Railroad. Every aspect of the layout – multi-level benchwork, track, scenery, and prototype modeling- was very well executed. It was also the first layout that I have encountered to use JMRI Panelpro signaling and dispatching. Don’s layout provided a lot of inspiration for my own layout design. I was lucky enough to operate on it again at the 2017 NER convention. Unfortunately, this layout was dismantled a few years ago when Don moved. Ever since that first convention, I have been signing up for as many operation sessions as possible at successive NER conventions. Seeing how other modelers have constructed and operate their layouts always provides me with new ideas.

This year I signed up for two layout tours at the Connecticut Yankee NER Convention in Windsor, Connecticut. I expect additional operating positions to become available prior to the start of the convention. Clinics are another big part of any convention. The Connecticut Yankee has 51 clinics available from Thursday thru Saturday. There are a lot more activities than I want to mention here. More information is available at ner-conventions.org/connecticut-yankee. I encourage every Seacoast member to attend the Connecticut Yankee Convention which runs from Sept. 15 thru Sept. 18. Enrollment is open!

Lastly, the Seacoast Division Fall Event is scheduled for October 8, 2022 at the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department. I want to thank Mike Grahame for providing the venue. Vice President Jay Ehlen will be organizing and running this even. Watch for the event notice.

That’s all I have for now. Enjoy the rest of the summer and I hope to see you at the CMRRC Show or the Connecticut Yankee NER Convention.

Take care,

Glenn Mitchell, Seacoast Division NMRA President and Director

Published:02 August 2022