September Meet Recap


On Saturday morning, September 13, 2014, the Philadelphia Division held its first fall meet at the recently restored Quakertown Train Station, in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

     Author and historian Ben Bernhart, who spoke last year on the Reading Company’s Port Richmond, returned with

a new clinic on the topic of the Schuylkill Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. This is the line that paralleled the Reading’s main line along the Schuylkill River from Philadelphia out to Berks County and the coal regions. The clinic covered the line from 52nd Street in Philadelphia to West Reading. Much of this line now exists as rail-trail and hikers and cyclists can enjoy following this route and even crossing some of the original bridges with spectacular views.

     John Forsythe and Dave Strouse from Train Control Systems gave a review of the latest developments on their WOW sound locomotive decoders, specifically a preview demo of the long-anticipated diesel sound, including prime mover, horns, and bells. The sound quality was truly first class. Production expected to be coming soon.

     Coopersburg (CASME) Club member David Long will provided an overview of his club and its layout. This was followed by an intro to the Logan Club by member John Wertan.

     And then last, but not least, our steel aficionado, Mike Rabbitt, presented a clinic on the history and operations of Alan Wood Steel, which was located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, with all new, never-before-seen photos. As with all of Mike’s programs, this turned out to be enlightening and enjoyable.

     For the afternoon session, two clubs were open for tours: Coopersburg Area Society of Model Engineers (CASME) in the basement of the borough building in Coopersburg, and Logan Model Engineers on the second floor of the Souderton train station. The CASME layout is relatively new, but substantial progress has been made with scenery and the results are simply beautiful. The Logan Club has been around for decades, and while they continue to tweak the scenes, their dramatic scenery packed into the station has always been impressive. We thank them both very much for being open to the division members. Both of these clubs will be open to the public during the holiday season.

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