SMD Draft Meeting Minutes 13 March

Revised Draft Meeting MinutesMarch 13, 2022revisions highlighted

Division members met remotely on the internet using the Zoom platform.  18 or so were present. Superintendent Alex Polimeni opened the zoom session prior to the published start time for logging in and sharing.  

During the lead-up to the meeting, the following was shared:

Because it was snowing, several members joked about finally having an excuse for missing ameeting.  Frank Benenati quipped that he took a nap and awakened to find his driveway shoveled.
Bob Morningstar asked that anyone trying to reach him use his Proton e-mail account.
A variety of interesting (screen) backgrounds were observed behind those attending includingJay Beckham’s CTC panel and two photos of the EBT.
There was discussion of tourist railroads in WV including Cass (possible overnights at Cass or Snowshoe) and the Durbin Rocket out of Elkins.  Members recalled the Division visiting Cass 15 or so years ago.

The Superintendent called the business meeting to order at about 2:30 pm.  

22.31Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported the SMD bank balance was $3,468.81.  The Paymaster has not yet received invoices for the zoom renewal ($157.40).   The Superintendent will re-forward them.

22.3-2Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  

As discussion of the Clerk’s Report commenced, the Clerk’s phone connection to Zoom failed and could not be re-established for a significant portion of the rest of the meeting.  Therefore, he could not hear what was discussed nor record any motions made/accepted.

[At the September 2022 meeting, members present for the March 2022 recalled the following:  During the Clerk’s Zoom disconnection, members approved the February 2022 draft minutes as submitted and focused on the Mini-Con during the following discussion.]

The following are minutes from the remainder of the meeting after the Clerk finally rejoined Zoom.

Old Business:  

22-1.72022 Mini-Con Saturday, April 23, 2022 (confirmed):  The Mini-Con is open to the public not just NMRA members.  Mini-Con Chair Grant Berry was not present to make a report.  Members in attendance suggested a brief written report be shared electronically.

j. Publicity:  Don Florwick has notified other Divisions, the Region, National, and RMC.  He also has a flyer if anyone can hand it out.  Mainline has mailed postcards to their mailing list.
k. Insurance:  The SMD has not taken out insurance for previous Mini-Cons.

New Business:  

22.33Meeting Reminders:  Don Florwick has accepted the responsibility to send these in the future.

22.3-4Request for Assistance:  Frank Benenati requested help with a display case he is building

Adjournment:  The Superintendant accepted a motion to adjourn.  There will be no regular meeting in April because of the Mini-Con scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022.  The next regular meeting will be held remotely by Zoom on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.  Members will be reminded by e-mail.

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Following the meeting, Matt Thompson MMR attempted to give his clinic on the achievement certificate requirements for cars and structures.  Unfortunately he could not enable the screen share function on his computer. He then offered to give the clinic at a later date inperson if possible (at the May meeting perhaps).

Pete and Jane Clarke stepped in to give an extensive up-date on all the things happening with the East Broad Top RR Foundation and with the Friends of the EBT.  Quite a few changes are happeningin Orbisonia and at the FEBT museum in Robertsdale.  A visit to see what is going on was strongly recommended.

After the up-date, there was more sharing:

Members with operating layouts discussed the challenges involved in getting their layouts back in operating shape after the pandemic shutdown especially cleaning track (no abrasives), finding dead rail sections, and fixing loose points.
Jay Beckham reported troubles with old 2-rail Atlas O gauge switches from the nickel plating wearing off.

The SMD welcomed Martin Breckbeil of the Potomac Division to the meeting.

From the Desk of the Superintendent

In keeping with the way our world has been for the past couple of years, the 2022-2023 SMD meeting year is getting off to a bad start but hopefully that will change going forward.

First I want to thank Alex for his work as Superintendent over the past several years, including a no notice return to the position last year.

My hope was to have all of the initial planning for the year completed and a Wheel Report out to you by the 22nd of August. Considering today’s date that obviously is not going to happen so interim arrangements are being made. The delay is totally my fault and unfortunately was driven by a medical issue on my part. Hopefully that is resolved and the current goal is to have a Wheel Report out to you sometime in late September. Remember, our new Wheel Report editor (Alex Polimeni) is always interested in any content you can provide.

2022-2023 Plans

The September meeting will be conducted via ZOOM on September 11th and will be hosted by Alex (I will be in Arizona at that time). Details and log-on information will be provided at a later date.

Starting with the October meeting I want to return to face to face meetings held at member’s homes and / or other appropriate venues.  The October meeting will be held at my house (October 9th) where you will have to opportunity to see the West Virginia Midland Railroad.  Not much has been accomplished on the railroad over the past several years but the entire basement has been re-modeled (around the layout).  

I would also like to see more live clinics given by members and / or guests at the meetings.  At this time I am asking for volunteers to host meetings in November through March and in May.  Though not confirmed at this point, we hope to be producing the Mini-Con in April of 2023 at Blue Ridge Summit.  In addition I am looking for volunteers to give the clinics at both the meetings and the Mini-Con.  If you want to host and do a clinic at the same time go for it!!

If you would like to host a meeting or present a clinic please let me know as soon as possible <>. FYI – we could use a clinic in October. Also, if you know any people who are railroad enthusiasts, but not members of the SMD, feel free to invite them to a meeting.

Bob Johnson, SMD Superintendent

PS: Don’t forget that Main Line Hobby Supply will be holding their annual open house on September 17th and 18th. Stop by, drop a few dollars, and pick up the guide book for the annual layout open house tour. Brian and Bonnie have promised a banner year for the tours in term of the number of layouts open including some that have never been on the tour before.

SMD Business Meeting – Sunday, 15 May, 1-5 PM, Greencastle, PA

Alex Polimeni, superintendent

Hey, folks!

I’m writing to invite you all to our May business meeting tomorrow, May 15th, at the historic High Line Train Station depot in Greencastle, PA. You read that right: for the first time since March 2020, we’re back in person! The address is

1-75 S Jefferson St, Greencastle, PA 17225

Literal, physical, actual doors open at 2pm, with the business meeting to follow by 2:30pm. Refreshments will be provided and, in lieu of a clinic, in-person socializing at the station is welcome until 5pm. I want to take a moment to give a big shout-out to Bob Morningstar for securing this opportunity for us!
In other news, big changes are coming to the South Mountain Division in the ’22-’23 season. Taking things from the top…
… I am stepping down from the Superintendent’s desk once more. I never intended to return to it this quickly, and it’s simply not a good fit for me right now. Fortunately, Bob Johnson has accepted a membership nomination to become our next Superintendent; please join me (hopefully, literally!) in giving Bob a big hand as he takes the Super’s chair.
Harvey Heyser and Ray Price have both graciously agreed to serve another year as our Clerk and Paymaster, respectively. With assistant Super Mike Shockey acting as our Nomination Chair and only one candidate per position, I expect to elect the current slate by a motion of acclamation in lieu of a voting election.
Furthermore, with Wheel Report editor Tom Fedor retiring from more than half a decade with the Division, I’ve volunteered to fill his shoes through our ’22-’23 issues and- as you likely already know- Grant Berry has replaced Pete Clarke as our MinI-Con Coordinator, with one successful Mini already under his belt.
Looking down the line, I’m excited to see a post-pandemic SMD begin to get under steam. Judging by conversations I’ve had with folks over the last 6-12 months, I believe there’s a real appetite for what our Division can bring to the table!
If you have any questions/concerns re: the meeting, email me at
See you all soon,
Alex Polimeni
*SMD has the station from 1-5, so I plan to arrive early with bottled water, soda, coffee, donuts, snacks, etc. as our “host” for concession boxcar purposes.
** Due to technical problems, the draft March meeting minutes will not be prepared for approval until our September meeting.

SMD Business Meeting 13 March, via Zoom

The Division 10 business meeting is Sunday, March 13th via Zoom. “Doors” open at 2 pm, with the business part of the meeting to begin no later than 2:30 pm. As always, last month’s minutes can be found here HERE. Email the Superintendent at for the Zoom invite codes.

AP coordinator, Jane Clarke, emailed a reminder that Mat Thompson will be giving a follow-up presentation about AP cars and structures following the business portion.

Also, note that the Wheel Report contains a date error, on page 2, for the next meeting. The correct date, Sunday, 13 March, and information is printed at the top of this post.

Remember that Sunday, 13 March is the beginning of daylight saving time. The meeting will open at the regular start time of 2 pm. Rember to set clocks an hour ahead at bedtime on Saturday night to Zoom-in on time.