Mount Clare Junction Update

THE 2021 NMRA MID-EASTERN REGION MODEL RAILROAD CONVENTION

The first monthly Mount Clare Junction newsletter has been released. Visit mtclarejct.com for more details and to sign up for future announcements.

The Mount Clare Junction team is interested in hearing from you. Click here to send us a message and let us know what you want to see and learn during the event.

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Socially distance.

Together we can be together in 2021.

[Post adapted from the MtClareJct.com newsletter. -ed]

CANCELED – MER “Look South in 2020” Convention

Mid-Eastern Region

By Kurt Thompson, MMR

President, Mid-Eastern Region

There’s no way to sugarcoat the truth. Due to the continuing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, I have decided, with the consent of the Board of Directors and in concert with the Carolina Southern Division Local Convention Committee (LCC) to postpone the convention. Yes, I used the word “postpone.”
After consultation with the Carolina Southern and James River Divisions, the respective LCCs have agreed for James River to relinquish the 2022 convention and the Carolina Southern team will push back their convention until 2022.
It’s with a heavy heart that this decision was made. With our membership falling mostly in the age range above 60 years of age, a significant number of us would be ill-served by having a convention. Also at this time, there is no assurance that the North Carolina Governor will have removed the various pandemic associated directives on social distancing and sheltering at home.
Now for the “positive spin”: for the 2021 Convention in Hunt Valley, MD. I hope that you each will work on one or two models to place in the model contest or in the Model Showcase for the Mt. Clare Junction Convention. As I mentioned in my email to the Region a couple of weeks ago, the stay at home order allows us to spend some dedicated time on our hobby.
As for myself, I’m working on my layout so that it will be operational for the convention, actually sooner. The structures may be mainly mock ups but the switching can still be done.
Chins up, folks. We’ll get through this and have some fun with our hobby while we do.

<https://mailchi.mp/9e8d2310d590/cancellation-of-the-look-south-in-2020-convention?e=8d5e4e9309>

Next NMRA-X: Saturday, May 30th

Don’t forget to catch the next addition of NMRA-X this Saturday, May 30th for 12 hours of live content! Below is the schedule in EDT. Please adjust the times according to your own time zone.

Tune in to either the NMRA Facebook page or the NMRA Facebook group to view the convention. Please note that you DO NOT need a Facebook account in order to view the event! Simply click on the below link to the Facebook page and you’re all set! While you cannot comment, you can still watch and learn. (Ignore all prompts to create an account or sign in.)

Schedule: https://www.facebook.com/events/654740391925573/?active_tab=discussion

Page: https://www.facebook.com/NMRA.org/

Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nmragroup/

If you missed out on any of our previous events, all of the videos are saved on the NMRA YouTube channel: 

http://www.youtube.com/c/NMRAORGModelRailroading

Saturday’s presentations will also be available on our YouTube channel during the week following the event.

Keep an eye out for information on the next conventions, scheduled for June 13th and 27th.

Christina Zambri, NMRA Marketing Consultant

CANCELED – NMRA St. Louis 2020 National Convention & National Train Show

As everyone is aware, the coronavirus has had a devastating impact around the world. It has caused the death of tens of thousands of people and that is not something to be trivialized.

The NMRA National convention, Gateway 2020, is scheduled to start on July 12, 2020, in St. Louis, Missouri. That being said, the local host group has determined that they can no longer continue with the preparations and operation of the convention. Among the reasons for this decision is the fact that one key member is ill with COVID-19. The host group requests your prayers for him.

Additionally, some members of the local model railroad community have withdrawn their model railroads from the tours, based on their understandable and valid concerns about allowing persons in their homes who may have the COVID-19 virus. Even if the virus is well under control, that does not mean that everyone who attends the convention would be virus-free.

Robert Amsler, Manager of the Meetings and Trade Show Department has advised the Officers and the Board of Directors of this decision and the Officers and Directors fully support cancelling the convention. Neither the Gateway 2020 crew nor the NMRA made this decision in haste or without careful consideration of all involved. The cancellation is in the best interest of the NMRA members, their family members, and the NMRA. It is noteworthy that the NMRA has never cancelled a convention before Gateway 2020 and that includes during World War II.

For those who have registered for the convention, the refund policy will be published as soon as possible at Gateway2020.org. We, the Gateway 2020 Committee, will need some time to make the necessary changes to the website to process the refunds.

Again, all involved regret this decision but we trust that you will understand the necessity and reasoning behind the decision.

Source: https://www.nmra.org/news

CANCELED – Mini Convention 2020

The SMD has CANCELED the 2020 Mini Con because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The 18 April event will not be rescheduled this calendar year. Subscribe to this blog for future details on the 2021 Mini Con. [-Ed.]

by Pete Clark

What:  Mainline Hobby Supply presents: The SMD Spring Mini Convention.

When:  Saturday, April 18, 2020. Doors open to the public from 9:00 am. to 4:00 pm.  Doors open for set up at 7:00 AM (vendors, modular layouts, clinicians ONLY).

Where:  Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co., located at 13063 Monterey Lane, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214. This venue is directly across the road from Mainline Hobby. Attendees can park, free, to the north side of the fire hall nearest the convention entrance.

For a good time, be part of the Mini-Con!

Join your fellow SMD members in a day of great fun and fellowship. And, oh by the way, spread the joy of model railroading. Saturday April 18 2020, with the support of Mainline Hobby Supply, we will again host the very popular Mini-convention. New members might not know and old members might have forgotten, our format for the event, so allow me a quick review.

Informal clinics; morning: Hopefully 10 folks (You!) will volunteer to give one from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and repeat it again from 11:00 AM to 12:00 noon. Not a formal presentation, just talk about a model railroading topic that’s of interest to you. Bring what you need to have as examples or visual aids. But remember, no projectors, no loudspeakers. It’s just you, talking to the attendees as they walk past your table. The guests are free to stay and talk with you for as long as they like, or move on when they choose. So, don’t think of it as a speech, don’t think of it as public speaking. It’s just you, talking to another interested model railroader, and maybe another will join in.

Note that officially you have an hour break from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. That’s to allow you to get a snack, visit the restroom, look around to see what other clinics are happening.

Then, hopefully, we get 10 other members to give 10 other clinics from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and again from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM.

We want 20 informal clinics (two groups of 10), so there’s plenty of room for you.

Join in with SMD members and friends like:

  • Dennis Blank, Jr. (Lighting SD40-2’s with LED’s)
  • Bob Johnson (Rolling stock tune up for reliable operations)
  • Jerry Skeim (Structures & modeling water)
  • Andrew Dodge (Building a retirement model railroad)
  • Ken Kime (How to make molds and castings for making hopper cars.)
  • Don Florwick (TBD)
  • Bill  Reynolds (TBD)
  • Gary Nastase (Roadbed and ballasting)
  • Bob Geldmacher (Making pine trees)
  • Bob Morningstar (Make your own current keeper)
  • John Madden (DCC++)
  • Dave Thalman (Weathering & loading coal hoppers)
  • Ron Polimeni (Budget model railroading)
  • Harvey Heyser (Layout design)
  • Lee Rainey (TBD)
  • Jane Clarke (TBD)
  • John Glaab (Working on brass locomotives)
  • John King (Modify Kadee couplers to be more user friendly)
  • Dotti Polimeni (Painting Downtown Deco hydrocal kits)
  • Frank Benenati, Dave Sweeney and Tom Fedor (MARRS modules).

I can hear you saying, “Come on Pete. Look at that list. You must not need me.”  Wrong. We have space for you. More important, Like Uncle Sam says, “I want you!” And the members and guests who will come to the Mini want to see you and learn about the topic that interests you. Many on my list would be happy to give their spot to you, the new guy or gal. We have room for you. Can I make that any clearer?

I can hear you saying, “But I don’t know what to do.”  You may recall me writing this in the past, or saying it at a monthly meeting. “Just bring a model and work on it.”  I really mean it. No-one seems to believe it, but it’s been done and it’s very popular.

Make and take clinics: At 10:00 AM we will also have two “Make and take” clinics. Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits will again donate a group of (small, easy) craftsman kits and Mainline will again donate (small, easy) styrene (plastic) DPM – 36000 – modular learning kit. Just like last year we’ll encourage young people by giving them priority on the make & take sign up lists. Also, another way you can help is by bringing tools to loan for these clinics. X-Acto knives, glue, and, well, look for a list of items once our build leaders (Brian Greenawalt, David Sweeney, and Tom Fedor) have had time to think about it.

Modular layouts: We hope to have a modular layout or two set up and running during the morning as well. I’m having better luck this year, and have gotten “probably” from two (Steve Sherrill and Wayne Betty). But we still can use more. So please contact me (Pete Clarke) if you are aware of a modular group and have contact information for that group. Email me at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913.

Speaking of layouts, Brian Wolfe of Mainline Hobby Supply will have his layout open to tour during the Mini-Con.

Clubs and Societies: This would be a great opportunity to promote your club or historical society! So far, none have signed up. Please contact me to reserve your table at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913.

For sale: There will be some vendors there with model railroad stuff for sale. Carolina Craftsman Kits, Dwarvin Enterprises (Fiber optic system of lights) and Bob Van Zant (HO locomotives and misc. stuff) have all signed up and we are waiting to hear back from more. And of course, you can, and should, carefully walk across the street to Mainline Hobby Supply. Tell them thanks for supporting this event by making a purchase, and while you are talking to them, say “Thanks for sponsoring the Mini” out loud.

Raffle: Again this year we will purchase a $150 gift certificate from Mainline and sell raffle tickets ($10 each) through the morning. Also, HobbyTown USA – Frederick (Richard Benjamin) has donated a $50 gift certificate that we will give as a door prize. Both of these will happen at 1:00 PM.

Formal clinics: Also, at 1:00 PM we convert from informal to formal clinics. We hope to have a speaker from the Mid-Eastern Region (MER) tell us of the plans for the MER’s annual fall convention. Alex Polimeni will speak on Model railroading as game design, and noted historian and author Lee Rainey will speak on “Shortline Operating Patterns: What to Consider in Designing a Schedule.”

Food: We will have food and beverages on site. This will also be handled by SMD members.

The Mini-Con is almost here. We still need you to make it happen. Please contact me and offer to help. Mostly we need folks to give informal clinics. Everyone who’s done one of these clinics has had a great time. If you have questions, I’d be happy to talk with you about it. There are other things you can do, we’ll need extension cords, tools for the make & take clinics, help at the registration desk, morning set up and afternoon clean up. Just can’t do any of those? Attend, and then tell others about it.

Follow the SMD blog for Mini-Con updates at smdnmra.org.