September Meet Recap


This past Sept 19, 2015, the Philadelphia Division returned to the beautifully restored Quakertown Train Station in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was a warm, hazy, end-of-summer day.

Superintendent Joe Bergmaier welcomed the attendees and introduced the first of three clinicians, Jody Gontero, whose topic was airbrushing. First he discussed the different types of

airbrushes, and then described his techniques, showing examples of models he either has painted or weathered. Jody hails from Emmaus and is a member of the Susquehanna Division.

Following Jody, Earl Paine, editor of the division’s newsletter, The Dispatcher, was recognized for his years of service to the division with three framed photos of Reading Railroad scenes, followed by a hearty round of applause.

Next, member Sam Parker narrated tours of his beautifully detailed HOn30 and On30 home layouts. The video “rides” were produced by division member Bill Fagan who has been capturing many of our layouts on video with his method of placing a camera on a car at the front of a train. The resulting “view from the cab” provides a unique perspective for the viewer as the train travels through the layout. And Sam’s modeling mastery was clearly evident from these videos. This was yet another fine example of members sharing with members.

Finally we were treated to another of Ramon Rhodes’s interesting and entertaining clinics: “Railroading Down South: The BNSF Birmingham Subdivision.” Ramon likes to model based on present-day railroading, and the BNSF, short for “Burlington Northern & Santa Fe,” is his favorite railroad. In addition to showing prototype trains currently in operation, he presented several large, coal distribution facilities for power production found in the Deep South that consume essentially all that coal mined in Wyoming. When modeled to scale, any of these facilities could rival a steel plant or similar manufacturing industry in size and complexity.

The meeting closed with the award of the 50/50 raffle as well as door prizes to various members in attendance.

Saturday afternoon featured two fine layouts that were located a short driving distance from our meet location: The Coopersburg Area Society of Model Engineers (CASME) and John Wertan’s layout in Perkasie.

A gracious thank you to the Quakertown Train Station Historical Society for allowing once again to meet at their comfortable and friendly station. Thanks also to our speakers Jody, Sam, and Ramon, to the layout hosts, and of course, to all of our attendees. We hope you had fun.

Our next get-together will be at the Brandywine Town Center in Wilmington, Delaware on November 21st. Further details can be found elsewhere in the November issue of THE DISPATCHER and at the event listing on our division’s website at See you then!

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