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