Layout Tours 17 & 18 September

As part of the Mainline Hobby Supply 32nd annual Open House and Layout Tours, the following South Mountain Division  (SMD) members will open their layouts. Registration and layout tour guides must be obtained from Mainline Hobby Supply inc Blue Ridge Summit, PA on the weekend of the tours.

Dave Moltrup’s Beaver Falls & Shenango Railroad

This HO-scale Railroad is a freelanced steel mill set in the late 1960’s. Size is 19′ x 24′. Operation is by NCE, DCC system.

Jay Beckham’s Pennsylvania Railroad O-Scale Layout

Jay Beckham’s Model Railroad Layout. O Scale model of the Pennsylvania Railroad Northern Central branch from Penn Station Baltimore, MD to Harrisburg, PA. Trains will be running. Light refreshments will be served. This model railroad occupies our 1800 sq. ft. basement. Scenery is about 70% complete. Other photos at https://jaysoscalelayout.blogspot.com/ and on Jaysoscalelayout group on Facebook.

Don Florwick’s Pittsburgh & South Pennsylvania Railroad

This is a proto-freelanced HO layout based on the never finished route of the South Pennsylvania RR envisioned by the New York Central in the late 1800s. On Don’s 1955 version the NYC competes with the PRR across southern Pennsylvania connecting at Harrisburg PA with the Reading and at Pittsburgh with the NYC subsidiary P&LE. First generation lightning-stripe painted NYC diesels have just replaced steam to power passenger and freight traffic on this busy single-track TT&TO operated mainline.

Steve King’s Virginia Midland

The Virginia Midland is a fully operational N-scale railroad located in the Virginia and West Virginia area and set during the 1969 period.  The layout is about 10 scale miles long and operates between two staging areas representing Marion, Virginia and Welch, West Virginia.  One passenger train, four freight trains, plenty of coal trains, and several daily mine runs keep the layout busy.

Bob Johnson’s West Virginia Midland

The West Virginia Midland is a HO scale freelance short line (based on a combination of several prototypes) which runs between the B&O at Holly Junction, WV and the Western Maryland at Laurel Bank, WV. Both the B&O and the WM have industry specific haulage rights on the Midland. The time period is summer 1954.

Major traffic producers on the Midland include a limestone quarry, coal mine (with a second simulated in staging) coke ovens, lumber mill (pending construction) with associated logging traffic and an industrial area around the Webster Springs / Cherry Falls area.

Scenery is approximately 90% completed

With the exception of two gas mechanical industrial switchers the WVM is 100% steam with a large number of geared locomotives (B&O and WM interchange power is diesel)

Operation is by TT&TO

The layout has an E-shaped 12 ft. by 16 ft. main area with a 50 ft. “around the wall” shelf extension.

The layout is designed so that each major industry is a “stand alone” scene that is large enough to be a viable source of revenue for the railroad. The intervening areas are modeled as open country to preserve the feeling of a rural short line railroad.The design of the railroad puts a heavy emphasis on local trains with extensive switching requirements.

Bob Morningstar’s Western Maryland Railway – Hagerstown Subdivision

This is my recreation of my childhood and teenage years of railfanning in and around the Hagerstown area. The layout represent the Western Maryland Railway, circa 1978-1983, more or less. It covers the Hagerstown terminal area, NC tower, and points west to Hancock.The layout encompasses a dedicated layout room of 14’ x 16’.   Cement operations in and around Hagerstown play a large role in the operations. There is a large cement plant in Pinesburg, MD that requires daily servicing. In addition, there is a cement hopper clean out facility in Hagerstown that supports cement operations.  Numerous industries are serviced by locals that originate out of Hagerstown. The B&O Weverton branch (severed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972) is now serviced out of Hagerstown. There are numerous industries to be serviced east of Hagerstown via the Security Branch of the B&O.

Transfer runs to and from the Conrail and N&W connection at Vardo Yard are important sources of interchange traffic.

The Mini-Con is Back!

From Grant Berry

On Saturday, 23 April, 2022, South Mountain Division (SMD) will present a Mini Convention in Blue Ridge Summit, PA, sponsored by Mainline Hobby Supply. Beginning at 9:00 AM, this free annual outreach programming consists of a morning loaded with informal clinics, including a couple of make-and-take opportunities, and then concludes in the early afternoon with a couple of formal presentations. Both NMRA members and the general public are invited to this no-cost gathering.

This Mini-Con activity is a great opportunity for the Division. It offers an occasion to reconnect with one another, encouraging active participation as a way to give back, and a path to promote the hobby to the public. It takes a large staff of volunteers to host this event. Most are Division members. Attendance in past years averaged over 200 persons.

To encourage casual interaction and an exchange of ideas, approximately twenty informal clinics take place during the first four hours. Clinic topics this spring will cover structure building and painting, rolling stock maintenance, upgrades, and weathering, locomotive tuning, DCC topics, a fiber optic presentation, Tortoise machine operations, and more. Clinicians will be seated at tables welcoming attendees to observe their projects. Conversation and questions are entertained as the clinicians work.

In some instances, guests may be invited to try their hand at the work.

Being sensitive to physical distancing protocols, no modular layouts will be present this spring to facilitate enough space between and around clinicians.

As in the past, the SMD will have two make-and-take clinics that focus on the beginner, giving preference to the youth in our hobby. Both culminate with a small structure to take home. An entry-level craftsman kit and a basic plastic kit are the foundation for this activity which is billed as a wonderful parent and child activity.

Two formal presentations are slated for the afternoon hours. Division member John Pursell will offer a program on frugal methods to model railroad, and lastly, member Pete Clarke of the Friends of the EBT has arranged for a talk on the happenings and progress at the East Broad Top Railroad.

The sponsor for this event, Mainline Hobby Supply, is within walking distance from the Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co location. The Division encourages all to thank owners Bonnie and Brian Wolfe and to support their business. Mainline is offering a 10% discount to every Mini-Con attendee on the day of the event. Additionally, a $150 gift certificate for Mainline Hobby will be raffled off during the day.

The raffle ticket holder must be present at the time of the drawing on Saturday to win.

Watch this site to get all updates regarding this event.

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.

Annual SMD Spring Mini-Convention

by Pete Clarke

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 here’s a quick review.

Informal clinics

We need 10 volunteers 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 want to have as examples or visual aids (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 or public speaking. It’s just you, talking to another interested model railroader. 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 rest room, and look around to see other clinicians.

More informal clinics

Then we need 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 (TBD), Jerry Skeim (Structures/Modeling water), Andrew Dodge (TBD), Bob Law (Using dry transfers), 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 (How to make your own Current Keeper), John Madden (DCC++), Dave Thalman (Weathering and Loading Coal Hoppers), Ron Polimeni (Budget model railroading), Harvey Heyser (Layout design), Lee Rainey (TBD), and Jane Clarke (TBD).

I can hear you saying, “Come on Pete.  Look at that list. You must not need me.” Wrong. We have space for you. I’m like Uncle Sam. “I want you.” And the members and guests who will come to the Mini Con want to see you and learn about the topic that interests you.

Although many on the list would be happy to give their spot to you, the new guy, we do have room for you. Can I make that any more clear? I want you!

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 want to believe it, but it’s been done and it’s very popular.

Make And Takes

At 10:00 AM we will also have two “Make and take” clinics. Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits (CCK) will again donate a group of (small, easy) craftsman kits and Mainline will again donate (small, easy) styrene (plastic) kits. 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 have had time to think about it.

Modulars

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. 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.

Vendors

There will be some vendors there with model railroad stuff for sale. Carolina Craftsman Kits, Dwarvin (Fiber optic system of lights) and Bob Van Zant (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 road to Mainline. Show them your gratitude for supporting this event by making a purchase, and while you are talking to them, say, “Thanks for sponsoring the Mini.” Out loud!

Raffles

Again this year we will purchase a $150 gift certificate from Mainline Hobby Supply and sell raffle tickets ($10 each) through the morning. Also HobbyTown Frederick (SMD member 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 East 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 on site handled by the SMD.

And that’s just what I know about already.  There’s more in the pipeline, so watch for updates in the spring newsletter.

But we 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. Know of a modular group? I’d love to hear from you.  Just can’t do any of those? Attend, tell others about it.

Who:
Mainline Hobby Supply Presents
What:
Eighth Annual SMD Spring Mini-Convention
Where:
Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co.
13063 Monterey Lane, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214
When:
Saturday, April 18, 2020
9:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Why:
For a good time, be part of the Mini-Con!

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

mainlinehobby@comcast.net

Mainline Hobby Supply