Philadelphia/New Jersey Division Joint Meet

Date(s) - Saturday, November 11, 2023
9:00 AM

Brandywine Town Center
4050 Brandywine Parkway
Wilmington, DE 19803

Located near the intersection of US-202 (Concord Pk.) and DE-92 (Naaman’s Rd.)
Held at the Community Center in front of the shopping center near the fountain and pool.



On Saturday, November 11, 2023, the Philadelphia Division will host the New Jersey Division in a joint meet back at the Brandywine Town Center Community Center at 4050 Brandywine Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware 19803. This will be the last time we meet at this venue as it will be demolished next year. The doors open at 8:30am with the program set to begin at 9. Incidentally, if anyone knows of another meeting place in the Wilmington area, we would appreciate it if you could contact a board member.

Our first clinic will be presented by Jersey member Dave Albertson titled, “Outdoor Railroads; Rolling Stock and Live Steam—Lessons Learned.” In addition to his very fine indoor HO layout depicting the New York & Long Branch, Dave has an interesting outdoor layout in his backyard. He will discuss his experiences with this live steam large scale railroad and the lessons learned should you want to explore this aspect of model railroading.

Our second clinic will be presented by Philly Superintendent Joe Walters, MMR titled, “Scratch Building a Sand Tower.” A locomotive’s  movement depends on the friction between its wheels and the steel rail. When rails are wet or slick, friction can decrease to the point where the wheels slip or spin like an automobile on an icy road. To increase friction, each locomotive carries a quantity of sand.

On steam locomotives, sand is carried in a dome on top of the boiler. The heat of the boiler keeps the sand dry. Diesels have one or more sandboxes located inside the body of the locomotive. Engineers deploy an air pressure valve to drop sand onto the rail ahead of the wheels.

Most railroads employ a sand tower to provide dry sand for their locomotives. There are many different types and configurations. Most towers have a drying house since the sand can only serve its purpose when it is dry.

Joe will discuss how he scratch built the sand tower. The prototype is located on the Canadian National Railroad at the North Fond-du-Lac Yard in Wisconsin. The uniqueness of this tower is that the railroad repurposed a fifty-ton, two-bay hopper car to construct it. Joe used styrene and polystyrene to fabricate the model. The model also uses a center-cab locomotive which receives sand from the tower. The scene also includes a mechanical  department block truck. This truck services diesel locomotives.

Joe has built many models—often earning awards in contests—and has presented many clinics at both regional and division meets.

All attendees are encouraged to bring a model to the meet to display and discuss, if you like, during our Show and Tell session.

In addition, the Achievement Program Committee is now evaluating models at the meets.  If you wish to have a model evaluated, please inform either Earl Paine or Joe Walters in advance of the meet.

As usual we’ll hold our 50/50 raffle, draw for door prizes, and have coffee, donuts, and Philly soft pretzels.

The afternoon features some excellent model railroads for visitation. Hope you can make it!

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