Our mission is to promote education and fellowship through the sharing of information and the promotion of the world's greatest hobby. - Model Railroading.
Apart from rewiring my layout, which are boring pictures, here is another project I finally feel like I am getting somewhere with. I still have a lot of work to do, and it has already changed since since the pictures where taken.
I'm looking out my window and the grass is green, the sun is shining, and it still looks and feels like Summer. It's hard to believe that Fall is coming quickly and that means the Black Swamp Division is ready for action again! Due to some scheduling issues, we are going to meet earlier than usual for the first meeting in September: Friday the 13th. (Yeah, our lucky day...) Your officers and directors have been planning some new wrinkles for our meetings and we hope you like what's coming. Assistant Superintendent Marshall Stull has a great roster of programs lined up and he will tell you about those in his Train Order column each month.
An overarching priority in our planning is to encourage you, our members, to play an increasing role as contributors to our activities. We all learn from the modeling efforts of others, and to that end, the more you "show-and-tell" at our meetings, the more we all take away from the event. So we have a new incentive for you: at each meeting, one door prize drawing will be designated for members who brought a show-and-tell contribution. Remember that it can be a model, a tool, a technique/idea, or on-screen pics and videos. By participating, you have an opportunity to join a smaller "pool" in the drawing and be a winner! Of course, we will continue to have another door prize drawing for everyone in attendance, but that also means the show-and-tell participants get two shots at a prize. This year, door prizes will continue to be gift certificates but there will be more variety.
A second incentive is being offered for contributors to our monthly digital newsletter, the Train Order. Every contribution to the TO will also earn a ticket to the show-and-tell door prize pool. You can submit an article, photo, modeling tip, or just about anything informative and helpful to the members. Of course, editor Paul Marsden will have final say on content, but Paul's a gracious guy and wants to work with you! The Train Order has untapped potential for being a modeling resource to help us all, so let's work on building it up with useful and informative content.
At the September meeting, we will not have Show-and-Tell as usual because the meeting is built around "What I did this Summer", which is the Mother of All Show-and-Tells if we do it right. YOU are the September meeting. We should run out of time before we get done sharing, but that's entirely up to you. Please do not underestimate the interest or importance of what you built, saw, or did relating to railroading this past Summer. Bring it, tell it, and share it! BTW, at this meeting only, we will have four door prizes drawn for all in attendance: two under the old format and two to make up for the missed drawing in April.
So mark you calendars, start preparing what you will bring to share, and grab your lucky charm. It's gonna be a fun night and I'm looking forward to seeing you again!
See ya on down the line,
Here I am starting my 2nd year as the editor of the train order, and as I warned you in the April Train Order if I did not get any articles you would have the fun of hearing all about my vacation. You will find my first article later in the train order. Interesting note, Marshall talks about his new camera, and I have a sad story that I have lost over 600 photos taken on our main camera, the memory stick corrupted!!! Always make sure you make plenty of backups. I am lucky for the pictures taken on our phones.
Welcome back, and I hope your summer was full of fun and sun (although for some maybe not too much sun)!
The subject for our first meeting of the season (September 13th) is our traditional "What I Did This Summer". We would like as many people as possible to come prepared to show and tell us what your summer activity related to Model Railroading was. We will not have any other clinics or subjects; this first meeting subject is all about you.
Feel free to bring any subject, IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A MODEL!!! We welcome anything you may have built but perhaps like me, you did not "build" anything. I for example did not build anything this summer and instead concentrated on re-learning my photography skills as they relate to the hobby.
When I was very young, I did industrial photography for a living. I also dabbled in normal photography as a hobby. As digital cameras came into vogue and my career changed, I stopped buying equipment and did not do much photography at all. Recently the price of good quality digital equipment is at an all-time low. A professional level camera is about the same price as a high-quality locomotive, so I took the plunge with a new Nikon Digital SLR.
I knew all the basics of good photography but the added abilities of digital surprised me and that new camera had more buttons than my feeble mind could remember. I had more learning to do than I expected. So, for What I Did This Summer, is a photo taken using some of the new techniques that I have learned. Enjoy!
Rick Leki's Union Pacific Railroad, Photo by Marshall Stull
This Train Order marks my first time writing a column as Assistant Superintendent of the Black Swamp Division, so I think it is fitting that I introduce myself, my interests and my view of the great hobby of Model Railroading.
I started as most do with toy trains when I was very young. I always seemed to lean to the modeling side of the hobby. I have always liked to build kits including planes, ships and cars. Like most young adults I have had to put that aside while family and work had to be a priority. When I did find time for the hobby, I was one of those lone wolf modelers. I had a plywood central that was of a very poor design, stuffed in a small space. I got most of my information from Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman Magazines which promoted large layouts. I had no idea what I was missing until one day I discovered Carl Arendt's website www.carendt.com. Carl's website was all about small and micro layouts, both the design and operation of them. The designs and quality of the layouts were captivating to me. Sadly, Carl passed away in 2011 and many in the model railroad hobby world felt the pain of losing a true pioneer in the hobby.
Virtual Mockup of my Mound City Civil War Layout
I had not realized until discovering Carl's website that there was anything but large layouts. Small layouts allowed me to model many subjects and not get stuck in the plywood central of the large layout. Carl's website led me to the Yahoo Groups, Small Layout Design Group. I began interacting with the group and others who had similar thoughts on keeping it small. About this time, I attended the National Train Show in Milwaukee WI where I was introduced to the Free-mo Modular Layout. Here was the perfect fit of small layout meets the large running possibilities. I was sold! It did not take long for me to construct my own modules and join the fun. At any given time, I have at least three small layouts in progress. Currently these include a HO Civil War Layout (24" x 96"), O9 Brewery Layout (18" x 60") and a On30 Mining Layout (24" x 48").
Marshall Stull's module set "The Boat Yard" at a Free-mo setup in 2018
Other aspects of the hobby I enjoy include photography, electronics, operations and layout design. With the small layout group and Free-mo I became much more involved with people in the hobby. It did not take long to realize one of the best parts of the hobby was interacting with the people in the hobby. There are all types of people and all types of skill levels. So much to learn from each other and the fun of sharing the hobby. I enjoyed sharing the hobby enough to join the NMRA.
City scene on Boat Yard Free-mo module set
I have encountered people who love the NMRA and those who do not. It did not take me long to see the NMRA has its issues but what organization doesn't have some issues. I think the NMRA is what you make of it. I choose to get involved rather than just complain about it.
My motto for model railroading is "if you are having fun, you are doing it right". I am hopeful we can all have fun at every meeting and event we attend. I am looking forward to serving and hope I am up to the challenge.
Can you remember what happened in April?
Class C-2 freighter
John Roth & Mike Gilley.
shells of their SW-7s and a GP-9 that are being custom decorated in the D&TSL.
freight cars added patch out paints and new markings to
Blair Line truck dump kit assembled as part of a small diorama
On3 Whiskey Rock Mining Co.
Division 1 Summer Outing June 29, 2019
38 members and guests attended.
1) The weather could not have been better for our annual Summer outing. 38 members and guests showed up to visit the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio. Once inside everyone was awestruck at what a truly hidden gem this museum really is. The museum is housed in a brick building along with a Great Lakes freighter and a tug boat. All were open to visit, and explore. The building houses a variety of displays for both adults and children such as: life saving devices, Great Lakes ship wrecks, shipping and ship building during WW II. The outside exhibits (freighter and tug) are actual vessels that sailed the Great Lakes and have since been retired to the museum. A lot of members were amazed at the quality of the staterooms on the freighter with leaded windows and wood paneling in many of the rooms. Most areas of the vessel were open to the public on a self-guided tour by following yellow arrows on the deck. Many members commented on how they never thought about the size of the hull of the ship until you are actually inside a portion of it and get a feel for its vastness. A former crew member of the tug boat gave a history of the tug and how important tugs are to the shipping industry. Standing at the stern of the tug and seeing the freighter directly behind it gave a whole new perspective as to how large those freighter really are.
2) After our visit to the museum, members met for lunch at the original Tony Packo' s on Front Street where our museum visit and naturally trains were discussed.
My biggest influence was my granddad. He had a layout in the attic of his house. While we ran trains around, he sat at his work bench building brass locos. My grandparents garden is narrow, but for an English garden, it is extremely long, and one summer, in my youth we spent helping him get track laid for his live steam trains, he had 2 engines, one 5 inch gauge, and a 3 1/2 gauge. I never got to see the 3 1/2 inch gauge engine in steam, but many times I got to see/drive his 0-6-0 tank engine.
My uncle at the controls on the openning weekend
As well as his models, he was always on the lookout for live steam, it seemed we always manage to see the last train pull out, or arrive at one of the stations at a local preserved railway, and he seemed to know when a steam train would be running on the national railways, and I spent lots of time sitting on walls waiting for a train to pass.
So, what does this have to do with my vacation this year, you may ask?
On our 2nd day in England, we were heading to a bird of prey sanctuary, but on the way, I had seen their was a small model railway show we could stop at, more about that in another train order. After the show, as we was driving to see the birds, my mum said she had heard someone say a special steam train was in the area. I nearly turned the car around, but I was good and we stuck to the original plans, and we had an enjoyable time at the bird sanctuary. Once we had finished I got permission to go to the closest station because it was not out of the way and see if we could see this steam train.
What is special about this train?
In 1990 a group of people came together to share an extraordinary ambition, to construct a brand new Peppercorn A1 Pacific (A class of loco of which none survived the scrapyards in the 60's). This is the first main line steam engine to be built in the UK since 1960. After nineteen years the locomotive, No. 60163 Tornado, ran for the first time.
When we got to the station, it was deserted, were we misinformed?? I never thought I would see this loco, so to think I could have been that close it was heart breaking. We finally found someone who informed us, yes the loco was at the railway, and running, but was not going to be back were we where for 90 minutes. Quick discussion with the family, a change of dinner plans, and we are off, dashing now to the other end of the line hoping to get there before it was scheduled to leave. At this point it was not just the thought of seeing the loco, but the chase, bringing back so many fond memories of my granddad, and doing things like this with him. As you can see, we made it.
Extra Information:- I wanted to make sure I got the Tornado details correct, and when I was on the groups website I saw that the group had decided to build another engine of a different class, and they are on schedule to have it ready by 2021. They have already decided what the 3rd engine is going to be, and if I read right, are busy researching the design plans for it.
Remember we are hosting the regional convention in 2020. We can never have too many volunteers. Let Dave McMullian know if you would like to help