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

Early Fall 2019 President's Message




Greetings Model Railroaders,

The summer has passed and I hope you all found some time to work on your layout or your favorite modeling project, in between all of your other warm weather activities.  Unfortunately, I did not get as much done on my layout as I had planned, but there was ample model railroading activities nonetheless. As I mentioned at the Summer Event, the NMRA 2019 Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah was a tremendously enjoyable experience that I will not ever forget.  The annual NMRA Convention is an event that is very much worth the time and expense to attend.  In the future, I hope that those of you that have never attended one of these conventions, will be able to do so.  You will certainly enjoy it!  So I want to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on Division activities and to remind you of some of the near-time upcoming events that will soon be upon us.
The Concord Model Railroad Club Train Show
On Sunday, August 18, 2019, the Division supported the Concord Model Railroad Club train show, which took place at the Everett Arena in Concord, New Hampshire.  I was pleased to see many of you from the local area come out and support the show.  There were lots of layouts on display and of course, the usual gathering of vendors.  I thought the show was well attended.  Dave Kotsonis and I had the opportunity to speak with many people regarding the benefits of becoming NMRA members.  This train show is one of the largest in our area and is well worth supporting each year.
2019 Northeastern Region Convention
This year, the 2019 Northeastern Region Convention, “Empire Junction 2019”, will be held in Liverpool, New York (Syracuse) at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool from September 19-22, 2019.  The show is almost upon us and if you plan to attend, you should have already signed up on line at www.empirejunction.org.  However, you can still register at the convention itself in Syracuse.  At last count, we had 15 Seacoast Division members signed up to attend the convention.  There are a lot of great activities planned and also some terrific clinic presentations.  Please take some time to examine all the information provided on the web site.  If you think that you may want to attend, then by all means, please do so!
Maine Model Railroad Tour 2019
The fifth annual Maine Model Railroad Tour begins in less than 2 weeks!  This year, the tour will be held on 2 separate days, September 28 & 29, 2019.  The list of this year’s hosts is attached (Sorry, I can only do a pdf file). This is a great, no charge, opportunity to see layouts in several scales and gauges, socialize with fellow model railroaders and get new modelling ideas and tips.  Visit the tour website www.mainemodelrrtour.com for descriptions and photos of the layouts.  Please take some time and browse through the great layouts that are available to us this year.  I hope that many of you will take advantage of this great opportunity, to see these really fine layouts.
I hope to see you on the tour!
Seacoast Division 2019 Fall Event
The quarterly Seacoast Division Fall Event will take place on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at the Stratham Firehouse, 2 Winnicutt Road, in Stratham, New Hampshire.  The Event will begin at 10:00 AM and adjourn by 2:30 PM.  We will have a great group of clinics which are listed below.  Additionally, we will  have our “For Sale” table, and our “Show, Tell, and Ask” table.  Bruce Robinson will present the entrants and winner of this years one square foot "module" contest.  There will be plenty of time for socializing and fellowship.  This is a good opportunity to touch base with all your friends in the Division.
James VanBokkelen will present his signaling system on his layout that he designed himself.
Rich Breton will present and demonstrate how to make castings.
Scott Lindquist will present how he makes coal, gravel etc. loads for open topped cars.
Mike Grahame will describe how he uses water based urethane for gluing track and ballast.
Given the subject of the clinics, there will be lots of great modeling information that you can take home and use to help construct your layout or improve your modeling.  We are also planning to have layout tours after the Event, but as of this writing, the layout tours have not been finalized.  So we have a great Event planned for you and I hope that many of you will decide to attend.
Great Falls Model Railroad Club Fall Train Show
The 2019 GFMRC Fall Train Show will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the Mt. Ararat High School Gym, 73 Eagles Way, Topsham, Maine 04086, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  The Seacoast Division will be manning a table at this show.  If you would like to help support this effort, please contact our membership chairman, Lou Champagne at lucien.champagne@roadrunner.com.  If you can help us man the table for an hour or so during the show, that would be greatly appreciated.
Eastern Maine Model Railroad Club Train Show
The Eastern Maine Model Railroad Club will hold its annual train show at Jeff’s Catering, 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer, Maine 04412 on Saturday, November 23, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Once again, the Seacoast Division will be manning a table and we could use some help from our members.  If you will be in the area and would like to donate an hour or two of your time, please contact me at .
As you can see, there are a lot of activities this Fall, in our area.  I strongly encourage all of you to take advantage of the opportunities presented and be a part of them.  There is a lot to see and the possibilities to learn more about our great hobby are abundant.  So good luck with your modeling efforts this Fall and I hope to see many of you at one of these events.
Best regards,
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President

Hello Fellow Model Railroaders,

As I take on the duties and responsibilities of being your President, I think it would be good if I could try to keep everyone updated on the latest things that are happening in our Seacoast Division.  So this is my first attempt at this type of a message.  I will try to put one of these out each month, if possible.  So here we go!
NMRA National Convention
The NMRA National Convention was held in Kansas City this year.  It ran from August 5 to August 12, 2018.  Our Seacoast Division was ably represented by eight members; Tom Oxnard MMR, Tom Hastings, Tom Nelson, Bruce Robinson, Erich Whitney, Paul Lessard, Peter McKenney, and myself.  We were treated to a spectacular week of good food, clinics, layout tours, prototype tours, model contests, a silent auction, the national Train Show, and more good food!  There were lots of activities and things to do.  I particularly enjoyed my tours of the Union Pacific Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, NE, the BNSF Argentine Yard in Kansas City, and the Logistics Park Intermodal Facility.  The Kansas City area is a railroading paradise!
The Westin Hotel was the home for this convention and it was conveniently located across the street from the Kansas City Union Station.  This is a great place to get a bite to eat and watch some real trains.  The Union Pacific and the BNSF, plus AMTRAK all pass through the station.  The National Train Show was a great success, with lots of vendors and model railroad manufacturers in attendance. There were also many local and regional modular layouts on display.  This was a terrific convention and I hope that many of you will take advantage of the opportunity to attend one of these in the future.  
The 2019 NMRA Convention will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from July 7 through July 14, 2019.  It is sponsored by the Northern Utah Division.  Please give consideration to joining us at this convention.  You can read all about it in the November 2018 issue of the NMRA Magazine or go to the convention web site at nmra2019slc.org.
Northeast Region Convention
This year’s NER Convention, “The Erie Limited,” was held in Mahwah, New Jersey at the Doubletree Hotel, from September 13-16, 2018.  There were many outstanding clinics, layout tours and operating sessions.  The model contest was well attended, and one of our Seacoast members, Bruce Robinson, took home several awards for his modeling efforts.  It was a terrific job by Bruce!  The NER Convention is an opportunity for NMRA members to join other local fellow members from the other NER divisions, and get to know them while experiencing operating sessions on new (unfamiliar) layouts or during layout tours.  As I continue to work on the construction of my own layout, I have found that by attending these conventions, I am able to see things and learn things that I otherwise would not have been able to learn easily.
Some of the events at this convention were the “Sterling Hill Zinc Mine Tour,” the “Bergen Light Rail Tour,” the Funero & Camerlingo” make and take clinic, the Philipsburg Wine Train trip, and the Modeling with the Masters clinic.  These were all great events.  My wife and I attended the Zinc Mine Tour and had a terrific day.  It was extremely educational.  We also managed to take some time to tour the USGA Golf Museum which was within close driving distance from the convention.
I was also able to participate in a fantastic operating session on Dave Abeles’ “ONONDAGA CUTOFF” Conrail based layout.  The Onandaga Cutoff is a freelanced former New York Central bypass, around the city of Syracuse, NY.  This Conrail operation is fully signaled, CTC controlled, high density - heavy duty mainline railroading as it appeared in the mid-1990’s.  Most of the trains are 3 unit lash-ups with 30 or more cars in tow.  Dave uses a 3:1 fast clock to simulate a 12 scale hour operating session.  This included a simulated sunset into night operations.  Operating in the dark is always interesting when you are operating a layout that you are unfamiliar with, along with a dozen other guys that you don’t know, who are also unfamiliar with the layout.  But we had a great time and I learned a lot, and I met some really great modelers.
The 2019 NER Convention, “Empire Junction" will be held near Syracuse, NY from September 19 - 22, 2019.  It is sponsored by the Central New York Division.  There are many fine layouts in this region that will be available for operating sessions and layout tours, in addition to excellent clinics and other activities.  You can get more information about this convention by going to www.empirejunction.org.  I am planning to attend this convention and I hope that many of you will be able to join me there!
Seacoast Division Fall Event
Our Seacoast Division Fall Event took place on October 13, 2018, at the Town Fire House in Stratham, NH.  The event was well attended with 35 members showing up to experience operations on Ken May’s Switching Layout.  Ken and his crew came up from the Nutmeg Division and set up his switching layout in the meeting hall and operated throughout the day.  Everyone enjoyed the switching operations!  There were several members who had not operated before and this was an excellent opportunity for them to learn and "enjoy the fun of model railroading.”
While the layout operating session was in progress, four of our Division’s most experienced modelers, Larry Cannon, Tom Oxnard, Rich Breton, and Paul Lessard, conducted a clinic on the NMRA Achievement Program.  This was a very enlightening clinic.  We all learned how the NMRA conducts evaluations of members modeling efforts, and some of the nuances of the requirements to earn the different certificates as a member progresses on the journey towards becoming a Master Model Railroader (MMR).  Thanks to these four members for a great clinic!
Derry Fun Night
Our Seacoast Division "Derry Fun Night," continues to be a very successful monthly model railroading event in the Southern New Hampshire area.  This is event is coordinated by long time Division member and former Division President, Bruce Robinson.  Bruce is a very experienced longtime modeler, as evidenced by his own fantastic layout, the “Valley Junction” Railroad.  The following information regarding the Derry Fun Night, is courtesy of Bruce:
The Seacoast Division of the National Model Railroad Association is running their Derry Fun Night program again in 2018/2019. The program is held the second Friday night of each month, 7:00-9:00pm, at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 West Broadway, Derry, NH.  The next program will be held on Friday, November 9, 2018, at 7:00 PM.
It will be Pot Luck Night! Bring something to share with the group. It could be a model in Model Showcase, a photo presentation, an experience in the hobby or even a problem you faced and found a way to solve it.
For the first time we will set up a swap table. Bring anything that you would want to give away, sell or swap. Remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
Always a part of the program is Model Showcase where modelers bring in the latest project they are working on to show and discuss.
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.  The December Derry Fun Night will be on December 14, 2018, program - TBD.
For additional information go to the Division’s website at seacoastnmra.org/calendar.
Seacoast Division Business
Our next Event will be our Winter Event, which will take place on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  We have a new venue for this Event, the Westbrook Community Center in Westbrook, Maine.  In case of inclement weather on the 5th, we have a back-up date of January 12, 2019 at the same location.  It is very close to I-95 and should be easy to navigate to.  The Westbrook Community Center is a former middle school, with plenty of parking and lots of space for events such as ours.  As in the past, there will be a separate email message sent out to each member with all the details of the Event.  The Winter Event is also when we have our annual Division Meeting where we elect 3 new members of the Board of Directors for a 3 year term.
Additionally, the Board of Directors will be electing/re-electing the Division President and Vice President for a 1 year term.  The Division President will then present his slate of candidates for Division Officer positions, for approval by the Board of Directors.  If any member has a desire to step up and get more involved with the Division, we have need of a new Division Secretary and a Maine Activities Coordinator.
I would like to personally thank Rick Mills for doing a splendid job as our Division Secretary for this past year.  Thank you Rick!  If any of you feel you have the skills and the time to become our Division Secretary, please contact me.  Thank you!  Also, since I have assumed the office of President, I will need someone to replace me as Maine Activities Coordinator.  Being the Activities Coordinator is a really good way to learn how the Division functions and an absolutely great way to meet some wonderful people.  If you are interested, we have a lot of people who can help get you started with this.
So please contact me if you can help with either of these positions.  A great organization has great people.  I know there are some of you that can do this and we can help you get started.  We have a lot of talented members in our Division and our Division needs your help.  Thank you!
Lastly, our Division Spring Event will held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the Newington Town Hall in Newington, NH.  Also, we are planning our Division Summer Event for Saturday, July 20, 2019.  The location is TBD at this time.
So I think this email has gone on for long enough.  Thanks for taking the time to read it.  I hope my future messages are shorter.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch with me via email.  I hope to see as many of you as possible, attend our upcoming Winter Event.  Please have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Best regards,
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President

Seacoast Division President's Message

Year Ending 2018



2018 President’s Message                                                                                          

December 30, 2018                                                                                                                         

To all our Seacoast Division Members:

I have been a model railroader since my parents gave me my first train set for Christmas, when I was very young.  I can still remember the Athearn hustler locomotive with the rubber band drive.  I’ll bet I went through at least 100 rubber bands during the time I had that locomotive.  It was so easy to make it go flying off the track and roll on the floor beneath the Christmas tree.  My cat had a lot to do with that locomotive coming off the track, also.  It was just something else that she could take a swipe at with one of her paws.

So here I am about 60 years later, trying to build my own model railroad empire and embarking on a hopefully successful tour as your Division President.  Just being able to be a part of this Division has been a great help to me.  Meeting as many of you as I can since I first walked through the door, has been absolutely wonderful.  I am extremely grateful for your friendship and mentorship over the past few years.

As most of you know, our 2018 President, Chip Faulter, had to resign his position this year due to medical issues.  Chip has been undergoing chemo-therapy for treatment of his cancer condition.  I am happy to report that the treatments have had some success and the tumor on his pancreas has been significantly reduced.  The final outcome of all this is still to come, once the treatments are complete.

While Chip has been undergoing his chemo-therapy, he has still participated in as many events as possible and has been an inspiration to me as I embark on my “earlier than planned” tour of duty as your Division President.  My sincere thanks go out to Chip for all his hard work and devotion to our hobby and this Division, as he continues his battle with cancer.

I have taken some time to speak directly about the issues and areas below.  It is meant to be a summary of what we have accomplished as a Division during 2018.

Division Leadership:

As of this writing, I am the only candidate for President for the coming year.  Glenn Mitchell has agreed to run for Vice President.  Unless there are some last minute candidates, the Board of Directors will be electing us to these positions.  At the Annual Meeting, 3 positions on the Board of Directors will be up for election.  As of this writing, the 3 candidates are Mike Pedersen, Dave Kotsonis, and myself, Tage Erickson.

Over the years, the Seacoast Division has been blessed with excellent directors.  Two of our best directors will be stepping down from the Board, effective January 5, 2019.  Those directors would be Dave Sias and Larry Cannon.  These two gentlemen have been solid supporters of the Division for many years and we will certainly miss their presence.  Larry has been on the Seacoast Division Board for about 20 years.  He is moving on to become the Northern Area At-Large Director for the Northeastern Region of the NMRA.  So we will still likely be seeing both Larry and Dave at future Events.

I am still soliciting to fill vacancies with some of our Division committees and positions.  I will send out and email to all the members once I have responses from all of the particular individuals concerned.  I will specifically need a new Division Secretary for the coming year.  If there is someone who feels they are interested in doing this, please read the position description in the Division By-Laws and then contact me as soon as possible.

Quarterly Events:

Our Quarterly Events continue to be very well run and reasonably well attended.  They are the most important events that this Division runs.  Glenn Mitchell has done a brilliant job this year.  In 2018, we continued to have great clinics and terrific presentations.  The reason for this is due to your participation at these Events.  Most of our presenters come from our Division members.  For 2018, we owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck Hastings of the Southern Maine Model Railroad Club, Tom Oxnard, Bob Bennett, Dave Sias, Chris Oliver, Rich Breton, Dwight Smith, Victor Hand, George Carhart, Jerry Clark, Bruce Robinson, Larry Cannon, and Paul Lessard, for their willingness to present clinics to us.

Also, we are indebted to those members who graciously agreed to open their homes for layout  tours following each event.  Those individuals are Rob Selberg, Lou Champagne, Chris Oliver, The Heritage Park Railroad Museum, Larry Cannon, The Great Falls Model Railroad Club, Tom Oxnard, Mike Grahame, and Gregg McFarland.  Additionally, Bruce Robinson opened his layout for an operating session after the Fall Event.  Thank you Bruce, and thanks to all the layout owners for allowing us into your homes to admire your modeling.

As you can see, it is our members who make each event very special.  I would like to challenge each of you to considered giving a clinic or a short presentation at one of our upcoming events.  We need your help to succeed and grow our Division.

Derry Fun Night (DFN):

As in previous years, the Derry Fun Night continued to be a success in 2018.  The success of this event is due to the efforts of Bruce Robinson.  Thank you Bruce, for devoting the time and effort to put together all the clinics and presentations that make this event a success.  Bruce’s modeling skills and organizational abilities are second to none.  There are many of us out there that are very grateful for your ability to teach and pass on your those skills.  I also want to mention that many of our Seacoast Division members support Bruce with knowledge and clinic expertise.  Thanks to all of you who willingly give your time to this program.

Maine Layout Tour Program:

The fourth annual Maine Model Rail Road Tour was held on Saturday, September 8, 2018.  Mike Pedersen is the coordinator and Stan Moody is the webmaster.  The initial request for hosts was made by email in January 2018.  Mike was surprised to receive over a dozen positive replies.  The list of hosts eventually grew to 26, spread over southern, interior and mid-coastal Maine.  The layouts included N, HO, S, On30, O, O 3-rail and G scales.  The eras represented were from steam to modern diesel and included freight and passenger operations as well as DC and DCC control systems.

Stan and Mike updated the website by uploading layout descriptions and photos as they were received.  As in the past, links were created that took you to Google Maps® when you clicked on a layout and gave directions to the layout from where you accessed the site.  Publicity was again by flyers distributed at area model railroad meets, model railroad clubs and hobby shops.  The flyers were also emailed to Sea Coast Division members and to the NMRA national, regional and division newsletters.  Paul Lodge also put out an additional notice to members of the Great Falls club.

The weather September 8 was good.  Of the 26 layouts on the tour, eight were first-time hosts.  Since they had made no restrictions as to location, considerable driving was involved and it was not possible to visit all the layouts in one day.  This was mentioned by several people after the tour.  Also, several hosts felt attendance could have been better and some of the repeat hosts felt it was down from previous years.  Overall, the majority of the hosts and visitors were pleased with the event and look forward to next year’s tour.

So, planning is underway for a 2019 Maine Layout Tour.  The tentative dates for the tour is the weekend of September 29-30, 2019.  Mike Pedersen has agreed to continue the coordinator role supported by webmaster Stan Moody and a coordinating committee.  The Seacoast Division NMRA has been the primary sponsor of the tour and I will be asking the BOD to continue this support, to include some modest financial support.

The Switch Tower:

Our Switch Tower Editor, Geoff Anthony, continues to do a superb job with our Division Publication.  It is read by most members of our Division and by many in the NMRA outside our Division to include our current NMRA President, Pete Magoun.  I want to thank Geoff for his outstanding efforts and I would like to encourage all members to send Geoff any articles you may write or anything of note that you think our members would be interested in.  Rail fanning, layout tours and operating sessions all make for good photos and articles that Geoff can include in the Switch Tower.


Steve Russo, our Division Webmaster, does a terrific job maintaining our Division website.  At this time, I am not aware of any issues that need to be looked into.  Keep up the good work, Steve!


Our membership chairman, Lou Champagne, will be giving a separate full report to the members at our Winter Event on January 5, 2019.  I encourage each of you to attend the event and listen to Lou’s report.  He is doing an excellent job as the Membership Chairman and we are fortunate to have him back for 2019.  Thanks, Lou!


We are fortunate to have Dave Kotsonis as our Division Treasurer.  Dave will be back next year and will be giving a separate Treasurers report at the Winter Event.  Thanks, Dave!

NER Convention Planning:

As Chip mentioned in last year’s report, sooner or later, it will be our turn to host a NER convention.  At this time, our Division Convention committee which was formed last year, has nothing to report for this past year.  I am disappointed with the lack of progress on this issue, so I will be spending more time focussed on it in 2019.  Currently, the NER is scheduled to have future conventions sponsored by the Central New York Division in 2019, and the Hub Division for 2020.  The Nutmeg and Metro North Divisions are in discussion for potentially supporting a convention in 2021.  Beyond that, there is nothing.

I will not commit our Division to anything until I can get a good sense of support from the Board of Directors and our members.  These NER conventions are a great place to learn more about this hobby and interface with the best modelers in our region.  Every year, those that attend have wonderful time.  It does not cost that much to attend one of these conventions, and it is a lot of fun to be there.  All of you will be hearing more from me this coming year, regarding our sponsoring a future convention.

NER News

As the Seacoast Division President, I am now considered a Director for the Northeastern Region.  I sit in on the NER BOD teleconference calls.  Currently, there are several proposals on the table to change the way the NER treasury uses its money and conduct its business.  An NER Finance committee has been established to study these recommendations, and will report its findings during this year.  I will have more details at a future date and time.  The NER is also considering changing its logo.  More to follow on that.

Closing Statement:

Please consider volunteering a bit more of your time, in order to help the Division grow stronger.  We have so many talented members out there.  Your knowledge could be invaluable to other members who share the passion of this hobby.  We need clinicians for our Events and help for the various committees that we have.

We have a very strong and vibrant Division.  Within the NER, we are the 3rd largest division with membership, and the 2nd largest in physical area.  You should all be very proud of the talent and accomplishments of our members.  My focus has always been to have each member take away from each event, additional knowledge that can be used to help further your enjoyment of our great hobby.  Your time is valuable.  I respect that.  We had a great year in 2018, so let’s have a productive and enjoyable 2019 as we move on.

Please have a very Happy New Year!  I hope to see as many of you as possible at our Winter Event on January 5,2019 in Westbrook, Maine.

Respectfully submitted,

Tage Erickson