January Business Meeting

I’m writing to let you all know that we’re going ahead with our February meeting at Pete & Jane Clarke’s home this afternoon. That said, I certainly understand the weather situation, and I want to caution safety first, just like on the real railroad! If you don’t feel comfortable traveling, please, stay home and don’t risk it.
Currently, it appears that all the major thoroughfares in and out of Damascus are clear but wet. The same can not be said of side roads and residential areas, however. Pete cautions that his own street has not been plowed, and there is a chance but no guarantee it will be plowed by 2PM. He advises the snow is roughly 3 inches at his home, and vehicles have been up and down his street. With caution, it should be okay, but again, please defer to your better judgement. Stay safe, and I hope to see a few of you soon!

Alex Polimeni, superintendent, NMRA South Mountain Division. (Tom Fedor)

Hey there,

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season. I want to invite you all to our January meeting at Pete & Jane Clarke’s this coming Sunday, January 13th. Doors open at 2PM, with the business meeting to follow no later than 2:30PM, per the format we’ve discussed at the last couple of meetings to let folks to get home earlier. If you’d like to catch up on all that, you can find last month’s minutes here: http://smdnmra.org/blog/2019/01/03/draft-meeting-minutes-december-8-2018/.

PLEASE BE AWARE, we are under a winter weather advisory through Sunday! We’ll be keeping an eye on the conditions and, if the roads get too bad, I’ll notify everyone again should we need to cancel the meeting. If you have any questions, please call or text me at (540) 532-6244.

The door to the basement is in through the kitchen. For anybody who attended our December meeting, Pete and Jane live only a few streets away, so, watch those speed cameras. Please call or email me at southmountaindiv@gmail.com for their street address.

Pete and Jane model the East Broad Top in HO Scale. With scenery all but entirely complete, the layout features many vignettes and examples of fine detailing evocative of the prototype. Even having visited the EBT only once, I found Orbisonia’s landmarks instantly recognizable. Their rendition of the EBT is an operating layout, using waybills, a fast clock, and Time Table & Train Order, and a testament to just how much railroad you can fit in a small space! 

In lieu of a clinic, I’d like to have a round table discussion about… our membership meetings! Not only do we want to encourage and facilitate the open houses which double as our meeting spaces, I want to hear what you have to say regarding what we could do differently or perhaps, even better.

Stay safe this weekend, and I hope to see you all soon!

Alex Polimeni


BSME closing, To relocate…

We are cancelling all our open house shows. We have lost our lease and have been given our ninety day notice to vacate. We will be relocating and are currently looking at locations around the greater Baltimore area. Stay with us here for updates and/or follow us on facebook.
– Thank-you for your support.

For those who have not heard the news, the BSME has been given their 90 day notice to vacate the location at 225 W. Saratoga street after 66 years!

Due to this and the power issues we experienced in November we will not be holding any more open houses and will be concentrating on relocation.

We have three locations we are already looking into as a possible new home.

For question feel free to respond here, and visit our website (www.modelengineers.com) or follow us on facebook (@BaltoTrains) for updates on relocation efforts.

Thank-you for your support over the past years.


Jim, BSME President

Baltimore Society of Model Engineers, Estd. 1932

[Notice shared from PD_NMRA@yahoogroups.com. -Ed.]

Draft Meeting Minutes – December 8, 2018

Division members met at Frank Benenati’s home.  15 or so were present.  After viewing the layout and socializing, Superintendent Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order.

South Mountain Division

Mid-East Region – National Model Railroad Association

Draft Meeting Minutes – December 8, 2018

Division members met at Frank Benenati’s home.  15 or so were present.  After viewing the layout and socializing, Superintendent Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order.

Reports:  Note that the order of the reports has been adjusted to conform to their order during recent meetings.

18.12-1 Paymaster’s Report:  As the Paymaster was not present, there was no report.

18.12-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  Clerk Harvey Heyser summarized the draft minutes.  There was general agreement that item #18.10-7 Change of date and/or time of SMD meetings should be corrected as follows:  “There was discussion but no agreement to change the meeting start time.  The social portion of the meetings will continue to start at 2 p.m.  The Superintendent will call the business portion of the meeting to order shortly after that (by 2:30 p.m.) to facilitate finishing business and clinics early enough for those traveling a long way to leave before sundown.”

Jane Clarke made the following motion (seconded by Pete Clarke):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the May 2018 meeting be approved as corrected.  The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

18.10-4 2019 Mini-Con:  Date:  Saturday, April 13, 2019.  Location: Blue Ridge Fire Company, Blue Ridge, PA.  Chair Pete Clarke (ebtmx5@aol.com) summarized arrangements to date:

a. Registration:  Volunteers lined up.  It was suggested to make the sign-in sheet digital to obtain more usable information about attendees.

b. Informal clinics:  Some spaces are still available.  (One suggestion:  working on a model has gotten very positive response in the past.)

c. Hands-on clinics:  Mainline Hobbies has donated DPM kits, and Jeff Grove has donated Carolina Craftsman laser kits.

d. Formal clinics (afternoon):  1) Jeff Grove – laser technology, 2) Ira Silverman – Canadian railroading, and 3) Alex Pollimeni – model railroad operations as game design.  The Chair reported having been contacted by a visitor from England offering to compare and contrast modeling in England and the U. S.  Members expressed concern that the afternoon sessions will stretch too long limiting attendance for the formal clinics and cutting take-down time for modular layouts.  It was suggested that the visitor be invited to give his clinic at a regular meeting.

e. Dealer tables:  1) Larry Nyce – railroadiana, 2) Grant Berry, and 3) Jeff Grove – Carolina Craftsman.

f. Modular layouts:  Looking for an additional new group.  Contact Chair Clarke.

g. Raffle – $150 gift certificate to Mainline Hobbies.

h. Door prize – $50 gift certificate to HobbyTown, Frederick.

i. SMD brochure to hand out – suggested.  (The 4 County group has had success with theirs.)

j. Participation by other clubs and groups welcome.

18.10-5 Web Site:  A blog feature has been added to the SMD web site.  If members forget the address, a link has been added from the NMRA site.  NMRA National has been encouraging divisions to have a greater web presence.

18.11-6 Future notices and updates from the officers will originate from an SMD e-mail address rather than a personal account.  With this change, Superintendent Pollimeni expressed concern some members may not receive his e-mail blasts.  He requested any member not getting notices to contact him at southmountaindiv@gmail.com

18.11-7 Operating Session at Mat Thompson’s Oregon Coast Railroad (Gainesville VA):  Don Florwick reported there were a few crew spots still open for this TT/TO session (scheduled for Thursday 1-17-19 – snow date Tuesday 1-22-19).  SMD members interested in participating should contact Don Florwick by e-mail:   donflorwick@gmail.com

(As of 12-27-18, Don reported the crew list full.  Contact him to get on the extra board in case of cancellations.)

New Business:

18.12-3 Host Frank Benenati welcomed everyone to his HO scale Western Maryland themed railroad.

18.12-4 MER Convention Registrar:  A volunteer is needed immediately.

18.12-5 Holiday train displays:  – Winchester Model Railroad Club (B&O freight house, Winchester, VA)

– 4 County Model Railroad Club modular display (Westminster MD Mall)

18.12-6 Contacting Mini-Con attendees:  Several people pointed out this is one of the primary purposes of the Mini-Con.  Further discussion will be scheduled for the January regular meeting. 

Adjournment:  The Chair accepted a motion to adjourn.  Notice of the next SMD meeting will be communicated to the members.

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Following the meeting, host Frank Benenati was not able to demonstrate using Decoder-Pro and a Sprogg to re-program DCC engines because of a technical glitch (Murphy again), but he held a lively discussion with those present.