Philadelphia & New Jersey Division Joint Meet

Date(s) - Saturday, January 13, 2018
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Grace Episcopal Church
7 East Maple Ave.
Merchantville, NJ 08109



As has become customary, the Philadelphia and New Jersey Divisions will join forces in January. This year we meet at a new venue, the Grace Episcopal Church in Merchantville, New Jersey. The date is January 13, 2018 and the time is 9:00am with doors opening at 8:30am.

To start out, Jersey member Pete Suhmann will offer a clinic titled, “Off Layout Car Float Staging.” Pete, ever creative, developed an idea for a flexible staging of rolling stock that you may find useable on your model railroad. Most modelers understand the use of staging tracks to simulate those distant destinations where our trains go to or come from, i.e. off layout or hidden. Where do you put those staging tracks? Does your layout room allow you the space for a multi-track yard to hold entire trains? Won’t that take away valuable space you would rather use to model another town or industry for switching? Come and see what Pete offers as a possible solution.

This is not about any particular prototype as each railroad designed their floats and bridges to meet their particular environment. Pete will explain how and why a small layout can benefit from the carfloat staging added to a yard. He will show examples of prototype operations and his way of building carfloats, from construction lumber, and float bridge and apron, and then move on to describe a method for storing the car floats and transporting them without accident-tally dropping the cars and damaging them. The floats actually are drawers used to store his rolling stock.

The second clinic titled, “Creating Focal Point Trees,” addresses the ever challenging modeling problem of tree production. Former Jersey and now Philly member Bob Koury will present his approaches to modeling trees with special emphasis on those found in the western United States.

Bob describes his presentation as follows: Trees can make a scene on your model layout pop and help add realism to your pike. I separate trees and other scenic vegetation into two categories: mass vegetation covering large areas of your layout and focal point vegetation. This clinic is about how to think about and create focal point trees. There have been countless articles on making trees so I doubt this clinic will add much that is new. However, what might be new is the thought process I use in determining when and how to use focal point trees.

I model the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe in California, so the trees and brush that I create are from the west. Even though the examples provided are from a western railroad, the techniques, supplies, and ideas can be applied to any geographical area. This clinic will discuss the techniques, procedures, and supplies I use in creating focal point trees for my layout. I will use four types of trees to demonstrate my technique. Although this is a well dis-cussed topic, I think it is still useful to see how others have created scenery (trees, brush, etc.) and that it may inspire new thoughts on how you can create the right scene for your layout.

As usual, our gracious hosts will provide coffee and donuts, swap tables, a model contest, and more. The af-ternoon fare will consist of open house tours of some of the excellent layouts the Jersey Division is known for. Check out their website at for more info and the link to their current issue of Train Orders. Contact Superintendent Bill Grosse for swap table info at

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