Spring 2019 President's Message

 

Hello Model Railroaders,

 
Spring is definitely here, although it is June, and we have not had very many warm days here in Central Maine, yet.  It has been some time since I sent out a message. So on this rainy and dreary Sunday, I thought it would be good to do just that.  On a personal note, I have been working hard on my own layout and I am pleased to report that the first trains are running on the Sand Pond & Northern Railroad.  There will be a presentation about this at a Division Event in the future.
 

As most of you know, our 2018 President, Chip Faulter, had to resign his position this year due to medical issues.  Chip went through an extensive chemo-therapy program for treatment of his pancreatic cancer condition, and then that was followed by a successful operation to remove the vestiges of the tumor.  I am happy to report that the treatments and the operation were successful and he is now cancer free.  Chip is now going through a “final” program of chemo-therapy to close out his program of treatment.  Our best wishes go out to Chip as he goes through this last stretch towards finishing these treatments.

Here is a summary of some of the issues and events that have been happening in our area, this Spring:
 
Seacoast Division 2019 Summer Event
 
With less than 7 weeks to go, we still need presenters for our upcoming 2019 Summer Event. Our Seacoast Division 2019 Summer Event will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club, 144 Mill Street in Auburn, Maine.  If you have a presentation that relates to modeling, that you feel would be of benefit to our members, please get in touch with me or Glenn Mitchell, as soon as possible.  At this time, we have unfortunately had a few cancellations and we only have one confirmed presenter.  We need your help!  We would be interested in topics that relate to track work, painting/weathering, electrical work, layout design, structures, rolling stock, layout infrastructure(roads, signals, scenery).  Those of you that are contemplating a short presentation during the Show & Tell & Ask, please let us know about that, as well.  Thank you!
 
Seacoast Division 2019 Spring Event (summary courtesy of Glenn Mitchell)
 

The Seacoast Division Spring Event was held on April 6, 2019 at the Newington Old Town Hall, 334 Nimble Hill Rd., Newington New Hampshire.  Thirty-seven(37) members and two(2) guests attended the Event.  The Seacoast Division would like to thank John Newick for providing the venue.  This was the first time the Seacoast Division held a meeting at the Newington Old Town Hall.  The second floor meeting room was the ideal size for the event and was well equipped for our needs.  Overall, a great location for the Spring Event.

Tom Oxnard MMR, Tom Nelson, and Mike Pedersen gave terrific presentations at the Event.  Tom Oxnard’s presentation about “How to Scratch Build a Locomotive” was very special.  Tom went through all the details on how he scratch built a very rare Boston & Maine GE-IR 1100 Center Cab switcher.  Tom was able to show us the final product that he ran on the test track.  This was a superb effort by Tom as he is seeking to complete the requirements for the “Master Builder - Motive Power” AP award.
 
Tom Nelson was the second presenter and his topic was “An Introduction to LCC”.   Tom is on the committee that has developed the NMRA standards for LCC.  He talked about what LCC is, and what it isn’t and compared and contrasted LCC to DCC.  The presentation was very informative on a very current topic.  At the end of his presentation, Tom demonstrated a typical LCC function on his portable layout.  This was a really excellent presentation by Tom.
 
The third and last presenter was Mike Pedersen.  Mike presented “Uncle Bob’s Trains”.  The presentation was a sample of the great collection of photos taken by his uncle Robert L. Wilkerson.  Mike’s Uncle Bob, who lived in the Chicago area, traveled extensively to capture photo’s, primarily of steam locomotives, in the mid-west and eastern states.   Most of the steam locomotives were shot in their final days of service.   Most of the locomotives are now gone, as well as most of the railroads that operated them.  We thank Mike for giving us this great look back at the glory days of railroading.
 
The “Show, Tell and Ask” session had the largest number of participants in recent history.  Rich Breton led off with his explanation of how he created stained glass windows in model railroad structures.  First time attendee and guest, 10 year old Namo Lomax, presented three HO scale freight cars that he built. Namo did a great job modeling and presenting and we hope to see him at future events.  Paul Lessard presented two boxcars and a covered hopper and described the many weathering techniques that he used.  Tom Oxnard showed his York Industries and Olympia Tool and Die buildings made from ITLA brand modular building kits that are fabricated from laser cut MDF (medium density fiberboard).  Dave Emery presented his 3D-printed automobile and several City Classics company houses.  Lastly, Jim Wiggins showed the audience his N-scale super detailed locomotives.  Also, earlier in the program, Chris Oliver presented several of his structures.  We would like to thank all of the presenters for taking the time to show their work to all the members.
 
Following the Event, John Newick’s Central Maine & Aroostook Railroad and Dick Fralick’s New Haven & Central Railroad were open for layout tours for our members.  We really appreciate the efforts of all the presenters and layout owners that made this Event such a tremendous success.  The next event will be our Division Summer Event, to be held on July 20, 2019 at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club, 144 Mill St., Auburn, Maine.  We hope to see you there!
 
Southern Maine Model Railroad Club Train Show
 
The first annual Southern Maine Model Railroad Club Train Show was held on April 6, 2019 at the Westbrook Community Center, in Westbrook, Maine.  Our Membership Chairman, Lou Champagne and our Treasurer, Dave Kotsonis attended the show.  The show was successful and they had a pretty steady flow of people at our Seacoast Division display for most of the day. They seemed very happy with the turnout.  Lou Champagne reports:

"We had a very successful day with 2 new Rail Pass members & one new full regular member. Dave was a natural at working the table and did a great job !! Two of our new members were folks I've been staying in touch with for 1-2 years ... so, following up with people who show an interest initially does pay off. The additional good news is that seven folks gave us their contact info so that we could remind them of upcoming meetings, etc (Dave was especially good at getting folks to register). I'll be sending all these folks an email within the next couple of days.”
 
You may have noticed that the SMMRC Train Show was held on the same day as our Division Spring Event.  Unfortunately, this conflict could not be avoided.  We will work with the leadership of the SMMRC to insure that this does not happen again, in future years.
 
CNY Division Ops ’til You Drop 2019
 
On the weekend of April 27-28, 2019, I attended 3 Op Sessions in the Syracuse, NY area during the CNY Division Ops ’til you drop annual weekend.  There were 8 layouts that were available for the 3 Op session periods.  This is the second year that I have done this.  The 3 layouts that I operated on, were all wonderful experiences that I won’t soon forget.  These sessions are open to all in the Northeast Region and I decided to take advantage of it. You can sign up for this, also.  There are many opportunities in our NER to attend sessions like this.  There is the Railrun Ops weekend in late March or April in the New Hampshire/Massachusetts area, and also the Hudson-Berkshire Division has something like this in the Albany, NY area.  Please contact me at any time and I can get you more information.
 
Train Shows in the New England Area
 
Your Seacoast Division Directors are working to put together a list of local area train shows that we will support with our Division Displays.  We currently support several train shows in our area each year.  We could use your help with manning these displays at those shows.  We use these shows as a place to show prospective members all the advantages of being and NMRA member.  Once we publish the list of shows for the year, please consider giving an hour or two of your time to help us do some recruiting at these shows.
 
 
So that’s about it for now.  The NMRA and NER 2019 Conventions are still coming up and I hope as many of you as possible are considering attending one or both of these conventions.  There is so much you can learn about our hobby at these events.  
 
Please consider my request for clinicians/presenters for our upcoming Summer Event.  We need your help with this.  Thank you!
 
Best regards,
 
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President