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.

SMD Business Meeting 13 February, via Zoom

Alex Polimeni, superintendent, NMRA South Mountain Division.

You’re all invited to our Division business meeting this Sunday, February 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, you can find last month’s minutes HERE. Email me at for the Zoom invite codes.

Currently, we do not have a clinic arranged for this weekend, but YOU can change that! Email me at before the meeting begins and the floor will be yours.

In other news, the 2022 Mini-Con IS HAPPENING THIS APRIL! Pete Clarke has passed the torch to Grant Barry, who is looking for clinicians and volunteers. We’re proud to continue our partnership with Mainline Hobby Supply and return to our fire hall across from the store.  The final date and details pending, but I believe I speak for us all when I say, it will be good to be back.

If you missed it, Tom Fedor will be stepping down as our newsletter editor after this summer and we’re looking for a new editor. Think you can bring new ideas to the table for the 2022-2023 Wheel Reports? Then this job’s for you.

Furthermore, SMD is also looking for a Nominations Committee chair to solicit nominees for this May’s officer elections and aid in the election process. It’s not especially difficult or stressful at all, we just need someone to fill the role.

Thanks, and I’ll talk to you all soon,

Alex Polimeni, Superintendent

SMD Draft Meeting Minutes 16 January

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Draft Meeting Minutes – January 16, 2022

Division members met remotely on the internet using the Zoom platform.  15 or so were present.  Superintendent Alex Polimeni opened the zoom session prior to the published start time for logging in and sharing.  The SMD welcomed Gordy Robinson, MMR, NMRA President, who joined the meeting from Scapa Flow in the United Kingdom.  

The Superintendent called the business meeting to order at about 2:30 pm.  He thanked attendees for “braving the snow” and “coming out.”

22.1-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported the SMD bank balance was $3,508.43.   The Superintendent has the invoice of $157.40 for the Zoom renewal and will forward it to the Paymaster.

22.1-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  The attendees dispensed with the reading/summary of the minutes (previously distributed by email).  Don Florwick made the following motion (second by Ron Polimeni):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the December 2021 meeting be approved as submitted.  The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business: 

(No items of old business were discussed.)

New Business:

22-1.3 Nominations Chair:  Superintendent Polimeni requested a volunteer for this position in preparation for the May elections.

22-1.4 Newsletter Editor:  Because of other responsibilities, Tom Fedor, current Editor, will retire after the 2022 Spring Wheel Report.  A replacement is needed.

22-1.5 In-Person Meetings:  The superintendent repeated his cautious attitude about holding in-person meetings at this time because of uncertainty about covid and the difficulty of getting hosts to volunteer (lots of people in crowded basement layout rooms). However, he did express interest in Bob Morningstar’s suggestion to hold the May meeting (on the 3rd Sunday) in a larger public venue such as the Greencastle PRR train station or the adjacent outside pavilions.  The Superintendent will contact Bob.

22-1.6 Meeting Reminders:  After discussion, the consensus of the members present was that an initial reminder 1 week before and a second 48 hours before are preferred.

22-1.7 2022 Mini-Con (discussed previously as item 21.9-6 – Future Mini-Con):  Former Chair Pete Clarke has turned over all written and digital preparation materials to new Chair Grant Berry.  He indicated his plan to proceed as in past years and to follow public health recommendations.  It was noted that both the upcoming Antietam and Ranson shows have been canceled.  Chair Berry resolved to proceed cautiously.  The following matters were discussed:

  • Chair Berry has established direct communication with Mainline Hobbies.  Their support will continue as will their reaching out to contacts and through advertising.  Photos and other SMD promotional material will be helpful.
  • Tentative Date:  Saturday, April 23, 2022 – Brian Wolfe has reserved the Fire Hall
  • Masks:  Being considered, although the Township does not appear to have any requirements.
  • Distancing and Table Spacing:  Given the importance of personal interaction during the informal clinics, the SMD may have to reduce the number of those clinics.  (2 rows of informal clinic tables and 1 row of make-and-take tables are being considered.)  It was suggested to find out how the Fire Company holds their events.  Chair Berry will prepare a rough sketch of a possible table layout.
  • Number of Attendees:  Attendance is likely to be self-limiting, but a 50% attrition can be expected.
  •    Food Vendor:  Finding a new vendor will be challenging given the fact that the SMD does not have a clear idea of how many will attend.  A food truck was suggested as was encouraging people to eat outside.  (Masking and eating do not mix.)  A map of nearby eating establishments was also suggested.
  • Clinics:  Chair Berry will contact past informal clinicians.  More tables may be required if the number of volunteers is great.  Alternating the clinic time slots as in the past may be a way to allow for extra clinics at a reduced number of tables.  The make-and-take clinics are in process.
  • SMD Feedback:  Chair Berry wants to hear members’ thoughts at the February meeting.

22-1.8 The East Broad Top will run every weekend starting in May with some weekday trips this summer.  The Friends of the EBT needs volunteers to staff their museum and gift shop when the railroad is operating. 

22-1.9 Hobby Hangout:  The next one [was] held on January 28.


The Superintendent accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting will be held remotely by zoom on Sunday, February 13, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.  Members will be reminded by email.

Following the meeting: 

Gordy Robinson, MMR, NMRA President, as part of his attempt to visit multiple divisions at this time, spoke briefly.  He volunteered to give a remote clinic for the SMD.  He also reviewed some of the changes coming to the NMRA this spring: <>

  • The magazine will come in both print and digital formats.  This change will help to keep membership costs down, especially for foreign members.  (U.S. dues may be reduced from $82 to $68 for receiving the digital format only.)
  • The NMRA app will allow non-members to access some NMRA content in order to open lines of communication with the rest of the hobby.
  • The 2022 National Convention in St. Louis is proceeding.  President Robinson encouraged people to register now in order to get timely announcements.