I am happy to report to you that the 2023/2024 SMD program year is off to a good start. Attendance at the September meeting is historically small, but 17 members attended this year’s meeting which is very close to average for a regular meeting. This number included at least three “new” members. We welcome them and hope they will continue to participate.
My thanks to our gracious host, Don Florwick (well at least Betty was gracious). The one shortcoming was that we did not have a clinic of any type presented. Don filled in by giving us an excellent overview of the “back story” for his Pittsburgh and South Pennsylvania Railroad.
In addition to our regular September meeting, the SMD co-sponsored the layout tours program associated with Mainline Hobby Supply’s annual open house on September 16th and 17th. A large number of SMD member layouts were included on the tour and we thank all of you who opened your doors for helping.
Our host for the October will be Larry Daily. Larry has been a member of the NMRA for several years but says that until now he has always been a “lone wolf” modeler. In a burst of enlightenment, he decided to get more out of the hobby by becoming active with the NMRA. He has taken the big step of hosting us at only the second meeting he will have attended so I encourage all of you to come to the October meeting and show him a big SMD welcome.
Larry’s layout is based on the C&O’s Piedmont Subdivision in late spring/early summer of 1970. It occupies a good bit of his basement. The track plan is basically a big oval bent into an L-shape, about 25.50 feet on the long leg and 17.67 feet on the short side. About two-thirds of the scenery is completed and many of the structures represent actual buildings found on the prototype (this is always a modeling challenge). He says that if you really want to know whether it’s worth the trip, you can check it out on his web site http://www.piedmontsub.com/Layout.shtml.
As of this writing we have filled five of the eight meeting slots for the coming year. We still need meeting hosts for November, December, and January. Remember that without hosts we cannot hold our meetings so I encourage any of you who can to throw your hat in the ring (it is painless). We are also always looking for clinic presenters so keep that in mind also. If you would like to host, or even have a questionabout hosting, contact the division Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest opportunity.
From Jerry Stanley, NMRA Potomac Division Board of Directors
The James River and Potomac Division would like to invite the SMD to our annual Minicon joint meet on 4 November 2023. This year there will be seven clinics and four open house layout tours, plus model judging and white elephant tables. Registration starts at 9 AM. Clinics begin at 9:30 and run until 12 PM. Layouts will be open from 1 to 4 PM.
The event is free. We will take a free will offering for the Battlefield Baptist Church (meet location) The church will be sending all funds raised to a hospital that is being constructed in Haiti.
Welcome to the start of the 2023 / 2024 SMD program year. Per our long standing “normal” schedule we will be meeting once a month throughout the coming division year. The September through March meetings will be held on the second Sunday of each month from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The April meeting will be our annual Mini-Con and will be held on the second Saturday (tentative) of April at the Blue Ridge Summit fire hall (across from Main Line Hobby Supply) and the May meeting will be held on eh third Sunday of the month to avoid a conflict with Mother’s Day. I am looking forward to another successful year of model railroading activities and hope that all of you will join in sharing your knowledge and talents with the rest of the division. -Bob Johnson
Our host for the first meeting of the year (September 10, 2023) will be Don Florwick. His Pittsburg and South Pennsylvania Railroad depicts a portion of the South Pennsylvania Railroad (prototype) as if it had been finished and was operating as an independent line. The layout occupies 1100 sq. ft. of space and is operated by a NCE DCC system. The layout features a number of major industries and a significant amount of thru traffic is also present during operating sessions.
Clinic – TBD
Email the Division email@example.com for Don’s address.
Meeting Hosts Needed:
We are still in desperate need of hosts for the October through January meetings for this year. We have a couple of offers but they are individuals who hosted last year and in general we try to avoid repeating hosts back to back. We thought we had a host for October but last minute conflicts raided their nasty head so we are back to looking for an October host. If you would like to host, or even have a question about hosting, contact the division Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest opportunity. As list of scheduled meeting hosts will be included ion the next issue of the Wheel Report.
Renew On Line:
You can renew your NMRA membership on line at the following link; https://www.nmra.org/store/membership
Remember that your national membership automatically includes membership in both the Mid-East Region and the South Mountain Division and you will receive the NMRA Bulletin electronically on a regular basis.
Membership is a requirement for insurance purposes but guests can attend one or two meetings without joining. There is also a trial membership category available at a reduced cost.
SMD Officers and Officials:
Superintendent: Bob Johnson
Clerk: Harvey Heyser
Webmaster/Digital Assets Manager: Tom Fedor
Wheel Report Editor: Alex Polimeni
Division Achievement Program Coordinator: Jane Clarke
I have been informed by Jane Clarke that the trains on 16-28 July will be pulled by the diesel instead of #16. Since one of the objectives for this excursion is going to see the, recently returned to service, steam locomotive it will be necessary for us to reschedule the SMD event.
Per Jane, the advance ticket sales for the 4 August are already almost sold out, so I have moved the SMD event to Friday, 11 August. In order to ensure that you can get a ticket to ride I am asking everyone to purchase their tickets online as soon as possible. When ordering get combo tickets for the 1 PM shop tour and 3 PM train. Use the link below.
In addition to the Robertsdale visit and pizza lunch, the SMD group will be doing all three Rockhill Furnace activities (EBT ride, EBT shop tour, & Rockhill trolley ride). Please purchase an “All Aboard” combo ticket package to stick with our group. Reminder, when ordering get combo tickets for the 1 PM shop tour and 3 PM train.
This package includes tickets aboard our one-hour, steam powered train excursion, our one-hour guided tour of the EBT’s remarkably intact belt-driven machine shop complex, and general admission tickets to the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
All other arrangements, schedules, etc. remain as originally announced so we will see you at Robertsdale on the morning of 11 August. The tickets for the Robertsdale museum area tour can be purchased on the day of the event.
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, but I am certain that at least 99% of us want to see #16 in action.
As before we ask that you notify me as to why and how many (including guests) are planning on attending so that we can make the lunch arrangement (which are still on the Division’s dime).