April Meet Recap

Saturday April 6, 2019 saw Philadelphia Division gather at the Philadelphia First Church of the Brethren located on West Cheltenham Ave, in Wyndmoor, PA. Our timetabled “meet for the day,” was subtitled, “Wyndmoor Trains.” There were approximately fifty present including some new faces and many guests both from neighboring NMRA Divisions as well as model railroaders interested in finding out more about our association and fellowship. In addition to the refreshments, coffee and donuts, there were tables with items for sale as well as models to view or examine for personal enjoyment.

After a few announcements from Superintendent Charles Butsch, Alden Smith continued as our first presenter with his “Building Thurmont.” His clinic featured an update on his two- room, HO-scale, 1950s-era Western Maryland-themed layout. He has completed a 15-month building effort and is now operating the layout. Specifically he built a new peninsula in his one room that contains four additional industries. Titled “The Cumberland Division” the whole layout features two yards, two roundhouses complete with turntables, an engine house, three coal mines, a truck tipple and about two dozen industries. The layout operates as a point-to-point network that features a reversing loop, staging, and an interchange with the B&O. Alden reports the layout is “100% complete,” and shared the methods used in building most all of the structures in Thurmont. Alden and members of his crew showed us the steps in their scratch-built technique of printing images of materials and textures onto paper and adhering the modeled pieces of paper onto cardstock for walls and roofs. Tichy windows were used to detail the openings. Some very realistic models of buildings can be produced quickly and enjoyably as Alden explained.

Alden has been a long-time member of the Philadelphia Division as well as belonging to the Glenolden Area Model Railroaders Club. He has presented several clinics and writ-ten many articles over the years, with his interest in con-structing scratch-built structures. There were some lively questions, and answers were shared among the group present.

After a short break, our Achievement Program Com-mittee Chair Earl Paine presented certificates to Al Zollers for “Master Builder – Scenery,” and “Master Builder – Structures.” Earl also presented Glyn Thomas certificates for “Master Builder – Cars,” and “Master Builder – Motive Power.” Earl then led us all in a hearty round of applause for our newest MMR #632 – Glyn Thomas!

And speaking of MMRs, Glyn presented our second clinic, on “Modeling the Minnesota Commercial,” his lay-out. While traveling in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota on business, he discovered this short-line switch-ing railroad and realized its modeling potential for a small layout to fit in his model railroading space back home in Philadelphia.

I can tell you from having visited Glyn’s marvelous “4 x 8-with-extra-staging” layout after the January meet, along with a workbench and displays of his previous work, his clinic was only a tip-of-the-iceberg presentation of some superb modeling he has accomplished! Glyn has been constructing his layout for some time at his house in Philadelphia. He shared with us the always interesting process of how he researched and translated into model form what he was seeing and experiencing on the Minnesota Commercial. His presentation was thoroughly illustrated with photos of his current layout along with his methods of constructing scenery and modeling the locomotives in obtaining the look and feel of the locale.

We continued with our door prize drawings and the 50/50 raffle, closing with a short “Show and Tell.”
The meeting wrapped up about 11:45am followed by a meeting of the MER 2019 Convention, “Liberty Bell Spe-cial.” The committee members present continued to work through the coming program and events. With the convention less than six months away, you will be hearing more about opportunities to volunteer and to get involved.

Four nearby layouts were featured for afternoon visiting: Charlie Long’s HO-scale Philadelphia Transportation Com-pany (PTC) in the 1950s, Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club with their detailed and scenicked HO railroad, Steve Smith’s HO-scale Northeast Corridor Railroad featuring SEPTA trolleys and subways as well as AMTRAK passenger trains and finally GATSME/Rockledge Model Railroad Museum featuring their layout-construction in process!

A gracious thanks to member Ron Albert along with the Philadelphia First Church of the Brethren in once again providing the Division a wonderful meeting location. Thanks also to the clinicians, Alden and Glyn, as well as to all who volunteer to make these meets happen. Thanks to the layout owners Charlie, Steve, Chelten Hills and GATSME/Rockledge Model Railroad Museum, for allowing us to visit and enjoy your model railroading efforts. We hope this was an enjoyable time for everyone. Our next meet will be at the Newtown Township Building in Newtown Square, PA on June 8, 2019 for our next meet where we’ll hold our Annual Business Meeting. This important meeting includes the election of Directors and an update on Division happenings in this, our 50th year. Hope to see you there!

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