March Meet Recap

Elkins Station_Scanned_Card_2

Our March 14, 2015 division meet took us to a new venue, the Elkins Park train station, where we gathered in the recently restored waiting room. The exterior station platform is still used as a station stop along SEPTA’s former Reading Line just below Jenkintown. It is still served by the Warminster and West Trenton Lines although the Lansdale/Doylestown trains pass by as well. There was a periodic variety of commuter passenger trains every few minutes either stopping or running by.

The station was constructed in 1898

for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and was also known for a time as the Ashbourne station. The Richardsonian massing of the tower and the use of stone masonry with the Queen Anne style of architectural detailing earned the station a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. With cooperation and encouragement from SEPTA, Cheltenham Township, and the Cheltenham Township Community Development Corporation (CTCDC), the Elkins Central organization has been given temporary possession of the station’s interior, with their goal of refurbishing and restoring the various rooms for use as a community center.

The meet opened with Superintendent Joe Bergmaier welcoming everyone and introducing our guests. The morning’s format included four clinics. First, member Earl T. Hackett, Jr. presented an informative presentation on 3D or “rapid prototyping” printing. He showed a variety of model objects including tanks, end caps, and architectural details that he designed and produced using a 3D printer.

Our next clinician, member Bob Gross could not attend, but member Bill Fagan stepped in to present the videos he took of Bob’s beautifully detailed N-scale layout from a cab view as well as a flyover.

Member Alden Smith then presented his project on scratch-building the Jenkins-Jones mine. The mine occupies a prominent place on Alden’s Western Maryland-themed HO layout. He described in detail his techniques and the materials used in constructing the mine facilities.

In between the clinics, folks could circulate, get some refreshments, browse or shop at the white elephant table and catch up with old friends. Although not on the agenda, Mike Rabbitt shared news of planning for a possible restoration of the King of Prussia branch with a possible extension to the Shopping Mall.

Finally, Assistant Super Charles Butsch expanded on his popular clinic from the Jersey meet in January and demonstrated for the group his various methods for weathering freight cars.

The featured afternoon layout was at the nearby Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club on Old York Road. ( The club has been going strong since their inception in 1946 as the Germantown HO Engineers. With subsequent moves to Chestnut Hill and then to Elkins Park, they eventually changed their name. They occupy a 22’ x 55’ space with an HO layout featuring a variety of beautifully finished scenes.

A gracious thanks to our hosts, Elkins Central organization, and in particular, Cynthia Blackwood, for allowing us the opportunity to hold our meet in an historic, railroad-themed venue. We wish them the best in their efforts.

Our next division meet is on May 30th, where will be in the Fireplace Room at the Fairview Village Church in Eagleville, PA. We will conduct our annual business meeting complete with election of directors to the board, reports, and a vote on changes to the division’s bylaws. Of course, there will also be the usual interesting clinics, vendors, and a white elephant table. We will also be holding a 50/50 raffle and drawings for door prizes. If you have a model in any stage of construction that you want to display or share, please bring it with you! There will be more about this event elsewhere in The Dispatcher, and on our website. It’s all fun and we’ll see you then!

– Mark Wallace, Clerk

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