Seacoast Division Spring Event Report                                           

April 9, 2018

 

The Seacoast Division Spring Event was held on April 7, at the Governor’s Inn in Rochester, 78 Wakefield St., Rochester, NH. Seacoast Division would like to thank Chris Oliver one more time for providing the venue. 

The attendance was much better than expected, especially since several regular attendees were participating in RailRun.  47 people (Chip please confirm the number) attended and 7 were new attendees to the Seacoast Events with a few of those being new NMRA members as well. 

The Event kicked off at 10:00 AM.  After welcoming everyone, new attendees were recognized and each introduced himself and stated interests and accomplishments.  President Chip Faulter followed and introduced the BOD and officers. 

Chris Oliver was up first and he presented “An Introduction to Model RR Automation Using a PC, DCC, & Sensors.”  Chris started with a high level view of what automation can do, why a modeler would want to do it, and then dispelled the myths that it is too hard, too involved, “won’t work on my layout “, etc.  Chris discussed software options and reasons for choosing “Train Control” by RR & Co. of Germany and pointed out the value of “simulation first.”  The software is supported by on-line tutorials and can be use on a free trial basis.  Next Chris discussed the fundamental rules, concepts, and building blocks needed and the hardware he chose to use.  Chris wrapped up with “Tips for Success” – based on the lessons learned by experience. 

Rich Breton was next with his presentation “Improving Rolling Stock – Making Old Like New.”  Rich gave detailed examples of improving the operation of several brands of rolling stock by upgrading or replacing trucks and wheel sets, replacing couplers, including upgrading the coupler pockets, and insuring the weight was correct for the car size.  He also discussed general purpose and specialized tools needed to make the modifications.  Finally Rich instructed the audience on how to add electrical resistance to wheel sets for block detection.  His techniques for mounting the resistors and his choices for materials used gave the audience valuable information for enabling block detection.

Dave Sias gave us his views, choices and techniques on track cleaning.  His four choices for track cleaning solvents will help the members of the audience be able to instantly narrow down the hundreds of choices in the literature.  His positive results with “No-ox” were discussed.  His experiences with new, used, and abrasively cleaned track work implied his dis-favor of abrasive track cleaners.   

After a 30 minute lunch break, Dwight Smith, MMR, gave his “How to Replicate a 1950’s Full Size Railroad in HO Scale” presentation.  Dwight gave us detailed walk-thru of many “scenes of the 1950’s” that he created on his layout.  He described the origins of each scene and his life events that inspired him to include each model that he created.  Many of the models are contest winning structures.  He described how all of his family members’ names are included in his models.  His well-deserved pride in his creation came through in the presentation.   Dwight and his accomplishments are an inspiration to all of us. 

We all thank Chris, Rich, Dave, and Dwight for taking the time to prepare and give their outstanding presentations.  Each of the presenters received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Seacoast Division. 

Unfortunately, the “Show, Tell, & Ask” had to be cancelled due to time considerations.  This is the second event where this happened and we will work to avoid this the future.

Tom Oxnard, MMR announced the NER “inter-division” contest for the most Golden Spike Awards earned by a division in 2018.   The requirement for the Golden Spike Award can be found on the nmra.org website.  If you have built a layout or a module with working track, some structures, and some rolling stock, you may have met the requirements already.  Check out the requirements and join me in earning The Golden Spike Award.  An undisclosed prize awaits the winning division

Tom Oxnard, MMR and Larry Cannon, MMR presented the Chief Dispatcher AP Award to Glenn Mitchell. 

Finally, closing remarks included thanks to the presenters and attendees.  Upcoming events that were mentioned were:

HUB Division Spring training on April 14.

Tage Erickson discussed the Seacoast Summer Event at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club in Auburn, ME on July 14, 2018.

Seacoast Fall Event in Stratham, NH. On October 13, 2018.  Tentatively, Ken May will be bringing 24 ft. of modules for hands on operation by attendees.

Mike Peterson, the coordinator for the Maine Model Railroad Tour, discussed the upcoming tour, Saturday September 8, 2018, and thanked the Seacoast Division for its support.

During the event several tables of model railroad items were available for sale by members.  Mike Peterson had a table of t-shirts for sale as a fund raiser for the Maine Model Railroad Tour.  Larry Cannon held a raffle of 5 blocks of items.

The Spring Event was adjourned around 2:30.

Following the conclusion of the Spring Event, Chris Oliver’s Southern Pacific thru Donner Pass layout and the Heritage Park Railroad Museum’s Boston and Maine – 1909 layout were open for attendees to tour.

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Glenn Mitchell

Director and NH Activities Coordinator