Draft Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2019

South Mountain Division

Mid-East Region – National Model Railroad Association

Draft Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2019

There was no SMD business meeting in April because the Division hosted its annual Mini-Con.

Division members met at Bill Wilson’s home in Mt. Airy, MD.  17 or so were present.  After viewing the host’s layout and socializing, Superintendant Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order.

19.5-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported that the Division has $4357.47 in its bank account including the proceeds from the 2019 Mini-Con and the white elephant sale held at that event.  The Paymaster reported that expenses for the Mini-Con have been reimbursed.

19.5-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  Clerk Harvey Heyser summarized the draft minutes (previously distributed by e-mail).  Bob Johnson made the following motion (seconded by Brian Greenawalt):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the March 2019 meeting be approved as submitted.  The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

18.10-4 2019 Mini-Con Recap:  In the absence of Chair Pete Clarke, the Superintendant thanked all who participated and reported the following.  232 attended – the most ever.  The raffle produced $220 in proceeds; the white elephant table produced $133 in proceeds.  Expenses for the SMD of $28 resulted in the Division bank account balance increasing by approximately $325.  Brian Wolfe and Pete Clarke have expressed their interest in doing another Mini-Con in 2020.

Reimbursing Mainline Hobbies for their expenses in renting the Fire Hall and publicizing the event:  There was a discussion of what to do with the proceeds.  Last year, the SMD bought a page in Mainline’s fall layout tour book.  Since the white elephant table was more successful than anticipated, concern was expressed that sales at the Mini-Con might detract from Mainline’s business.  It was suggested that the SMD take a table at a local train show instead of having the white elephant table at the Mini-Con.  It was noted that some people who placed items on the table intended some or all of the proceeds to be donated to the Division.  The discussion concluded with a consensus to get Mainline involved in the decision of what to do with the proceeds and whether to continue to have the white elephant table.

Harvey Heyser made the following motion (seconded by Tom Fedor):

Motion:  That the SMD take out a page in the Mainline fall layout tour book.

Bob Johnson proposed the following amendment:  That the discussion of profits be tabled until a future meeting.

As the amendment was acceptable to those proposing the motion, the following amended motion was discussed and voted on:

Amended Motion:  That the SMD take out a page in the Mainline fall layout tour book and that the discussion of profits be tabled until a future meeting.  The motion passed unanimously.

Before the vote, the Superintendant clarified that neither the amount nor the source of the funds (raffle or white elephant proceeds) was specified by the motion.  The Superintendant will coordinate with Pete Clarke.

19.3-4 E-mails to Members:  Superintendant Polimeni reported continuing difficulties reaching addresses from the Division’s G-mail accounts.  People can communicate with the Division, but we cannot send out e-mails to multiple addresses.  (The SMD is considered “junk mail.”)  There may be a way to fix the situation.  The Superintendant will continue trying. 

New Business:

19.5-3 Host Bill Wilson welcomed everyone to his freelanced HO 1950’s B & O layout.

19.5-4 Election of Officers:  The Superintendant distributed a statement regarding the election of officers (prepared with reference to the by-laws and with input from Tom Fedor).  Those present reviewed and discussed the statement.  It was noted that Nominations Chair Scott Schill was no longer an NMRA member, but he had indicated to the Superintendant that he had received no nominations other than for the current officers.  The current officers took responsibility for not more closely following the by-law provisions.  Postponing the election until a special meeting in June was discussed

Bob Johnson made the following motion (seconded by Jeff Adams):

Motion:  That the SMD temporarily suspend pertinent sections of the by-laws and proceed with the election.  The motion was passed unanimously with 2 abstentions (Paymaster and Clerk – conflict of interest) and with the Superintendant not voting (per Robert’s Rules of Order).

The Superintendant called for nominations from the floor.  There were none.  Dave Thalman made the following motion (seconded by Don Florwick):

Motion:  That the nominations for election of officers for the 2019-2020 year be closed.  The motion was passed unanimously with 2 abstentions (Paymaster and Clerk – conflict of interest) and with the Superintendant not voting (per Robert’s Rules of Order).

Don Florwick made the following motion (seconded by Brian Greenawalt):

Motion to cast a unanimous ballot for re-election of the current officers.  The motion was passed unanimously with 2 abstentions (Paymaster and Clerk) and with the Superintendant not voting (per Robert’s Rules of Order).

There was discussion of the need for Division members to share the load and to be willing to take elected positions.  It was also noted that the Superintendant relies on his (appointed) Advisory Committee – all members with experience as elected officers.

19.5-5 Reading Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet, September 13-15, 2019:  Flyers provided to the Division were passed out.  Information is available at www.ReadingRRMM.com.

19.5-6 SMD Yahoo group:  Since current moderator Andy Dodge has left the Division, Tom Fedor will take over that position.

19.5-7 Year end review and future plans:  The Superintendant reported the Division is active and the Mini-Con is very much appreciated not only by area modelers but also by the MER.  He still has things he has not accomplished especially related to digital exposure for the Division and to the achievement program.

19.5-8 Recruiting new NMRA and SMD members:  The need to reach out to Mini-Con attendees was brought up.  Also brought up was the desire to reach out to local clubs and museums.  Problems with the G-mail account (item #19.3-4 above) have hampered efforts to reach out by e-mail.

19.5-9 Frederick Model Railroad Club:  Tom Fedor reported the Club may have to move their 80 ft baggage car.  The land owner is contemplating sale of the property in the next couple of years.  Any ideas or leads will be appreciated.

19.5-10 Future meeting site:  Jeff Adams indicated the Western Maryland Ry. Historical society would be interested in hosting an SMD meeting.

Adjournment:  The Chair accepted a motion to adjourn.  Notice of the fall meetings will be communicated to the members.

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Following the meeting, member Bob Geldmacher, who works in association with Scenic Express, gave an extensive and detailed review and demonstration of scenery products currently available.  Not only did he have numerous samples for viewing, but he also demonstrated how those samples are applied.

NJ Free-Mo at Liberty Bell Convention

By Mike Prokop

The Liberty Bell Convention will offer operations on the New Jersey Free-Mo HO scale modules throughout most of the convention weekend. While participating in operations or just viewing the modules, you’ll be able to admire the fine craftsmanship and modeling of the two module sets presented by the New Jersey Free-Mo group. Also, you’ll learn of the historic and prototypical significance of each module set.

Bill Grosse’s “Yardville” module features a look at the Pennsylvania Railroad’s presence in this small New Jersey town circa 1955. Part of the original Camden & Amboy line that successfully ran one of the first steam engines in the country in the 1830’s, Bill has represented the area very well with his modeling of local industries and customers along the line with superb details and interesting features of Yardville. If you like switching and spotting cars, Bill’s module offers plenty of operational opportunities that will challenge your skills and provide lots of fun and excitement.

Mike Prokop’s “Linden Street Freight Station” module is a late 1950’s replica of  the Reading Railroad’s facility on the Camden, NJ waterfront. Built to almost the exact prototype of the Reading property, this module operates just like the real thing. It features car float operations loading and unloading coal and freight cars. Coal is switched onto two raised trestles for truck transfer with freight spotted at the station and public delivery siding for processing. Transfer runs in and out of the facility offer additional challenges to operations. Mike’s Free-Mo module set was featured in the 2019 issue of Model Railroad Planning. If you have a copy, check it out and come operate on it in person.

One last note…when Mike and Bill connect up their modules, they generate plenty of traffic and car loadings between Camden and Yardville that keeps operations moving at a brisk pace. So, whether you’re an experienced operator or a beginner interested in learning and jumping into this fascinating part of the hobby, come operate on the New Jersey Free-Mo module setup. More details and information about operating times and format will be available in future newsletters and at the Liberty Bell Convention.

Liberty Bell Special Convention Update

By Charles Stevens, Philly Division NMRA

Just a friendly reminder to those of you who procrastinate like I do, the “Early Bird” registration date for Liberty Bell Special 2019, Mid-Eastern Region 2019 convention is August 31, 2019. You can register for an exciting weekend of clinics, displays and vendor visits at www.libertybellspecial2019.org

Most of us probably don’t need a back to school calendar or reminder anymore. And for those who do need a nudge, the merchants on TV do an excellent job of reminding us that summer is almost over. But while you’re thinking of hanging up those white shorts and trousers you shouldn’t wear after Labor Day, give some serious thought to joining your fellow Region members at the Mid-Eastern Region convention at King-of-Prussia, PA, October 10th through October 13th.

The clinic schedule is full up starting Thursday night running through Sunday morning. In addition to the usual fare of presentations, there are several hands on or make and take sessions available for participants. Whether you want to learn T Trak modular, the finer points of resin car assembly, work on your AP Electrical award or build a Hunterline structure, we have something available for you. Many of the hands on sessions require prior sign up available on the convention registration form at www.libertybellspecial2019.org. You will also find a tentative clinic schedule on the site. As we approach the convention, please remember to check the convention website frequently for updates, additions and changes. There is even a place on the home page to sign up for emails whenever changes or additions are made to the site.

One thing not listed on the convention website is our vendor roster. Artist Peter Lero will be joined by such familiar names as, in no particular order, Micro Mark, Funaro & Camerlengo, CMR, Downtown Deco, Hunterline, and Nick and Nora Designs

And speaking of Nick and Nora Designs, our Saturday night railroad menu themed banquet will feature a presentation by Mike Baker of Nick & Nora Designs. Mike is been a professional artist and designer and founded TMB Custom Models in 1992. In addition to creating craftsman kits, Mike builds models and details rolling stock for clients. He will regale us with stories of his achievements and frustrations pursuing this career most of us only dream about.

In one of our previous articles we discussed the modular display from the Reading Modular Society that will be on display at Liberty Bell Special 2019. Your author would be remiss if he did not give equal time to the New Jersey Free-Mo display that will share the Reading Modular room. NJ Free-Mo will offer operating time or spectating time on their two modules. Bill Grosse’s Yardville module displays the Pennsylvania Railroad in the name sake town circa 1955. Mike Prokop’s Linden Street Freight Station recreates the Reading Railroad’s facilities on the Camden waterfront also packs a lot of operating opportunities in a small space. Mike’s module was featured in the 2019 issue of Model Railroad Planning.

As you can see, the Liberty Bell Special committee has strived (striven?) to fill all your Region convention expectations over Columbus Day weekend. Register on the convention website, pack the car and family and plan to be on one of the many roads that lead to King of Prussia, PA.

See you all there!

MER Director Candidates, 2019

Nominees for NMRA MER Director were announced in The Local newsletter for July and August. You should receive paper ballots or electronic voting instructions in August. The deadline to vote is 3 September. The three candidates are Randy Foulke, Jerry Lauchle, and SMD’s Robert Morningstar, from Greencastle, PA. Check out the latest Local for all the candidate profiles.

Here is Bob’s bio…

Bob Morningstar

I have been an HO scale modeler since 1978 and member of the NMRA since 2006. I have served as past treasurer and president of the Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum.

My desire to serve as a director is driven by my desire to give back to the hobby and the organizations that promote it. My peers consider me a consensus builder and problem solver. I have attended the past two MER conventions and open my layout annually during the local Mainline Hobby Supply hobby shop open house layout tours. My health is excellent and I am willing to travel for conventions and meetings. Evidence of my passion for the hobby includes publishing to the Model Railroad Hobbyist (MRH) website blog (search “bobmorning”), and at my website, wmrwy.com. I have presented clinics at the South Mountain Division (SMD) Mini Conventions. In 2018 I demonstrated scratch building 3-aspect signals, and this year I did a soldering clinic.

The process of obtaining my MMR has begun. The documentation gathering phase is currently underway. I did obtain my Golden Spike award in 2018. I entered a structure for the first time into the MER’s model contest at the convention in Rockville, MD, and was awarded 3rd place.

This is a fascinating hobby which has provided me with 40 years of relaxation, friendship, and personal satisfaction. Contrary to popular thinking I believe the hobby is not headed for a massive decline. We do need to engage those who express an interest, raise our awareness amongst the general public, and avoid the exclusivity mindset that I have seen from time to time. Leveraging social media, promoting the hobby outside of normal channels, and not being afraid to try new methods will be critical to the continued success of the hobby.

Mainline Hobby Supply Seeks Layouts for September Open House/Tours

Good day fellow model railroaders.

We would like to know if you are willing to patriciate in this year’s open house layout tours on September 21 & 22, 2019?

Please let us know as, soon as possible, what days and hours your layout will be open. A brief description will be needed or an update if you have any changes in your layout.

Sharing your hobby and interests with others is one way to bring more people into the hobby.

And in advance, Bonnie and I would like to thank each and everyone of you who have helped us out over all these years by opening your homes and clubs.

Thank you,

Brian Wolfe


Mainline Hobby Supply