New Jersey/Philadelphia Division Joint Meet

Date(s) - Saturday, January 14, 2023
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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



On January 14, 2023 the  New Jersey Division will be our host for a joint meet at the Grace Episcopal Church in Merchantville, New Jersey. The  time is 9:00am with doors opening at 8:30am.


Clinic #1: Jeff Witt – “John Allen: A Survey of His Publications”

Clinic #2: Mike Prokip – “Easy Coal Loads”

Coffee and refreshments

Contest:  Mini-diorama

Layouts in the afternoon

Swap tables (to reserve contact Superintendent John Gallagher at  Check out NJ Division’s newsletter Train Orders for more details and the upcoming issue of The Dispatcher.


On Saturday January 14th, 2023 we return to the Grace Episcopal Church, 7 East Maple Street, Merchantville, NJ 08109, where the New Jersey Division will host our next meet. The time is 9:00am with doors opening at 8:30. Directions and maps on page 3 of The Dispatcher
For those interested, the original Merchantville train station—now a restaurant—is located a block away on the corner of North Center and Chestnut Streets. It was built in 1881 on a line from Pemberton to Camden, later becoming part of the PRR and PC railroads with passen-ger service continuing into the late 1960s.

Our morning program will begin with our own division director, Jeff Witt, with his presentation of “John Allen in Print: A survey of His Publications.” Jeff discusses the published works of the late, great John Allen from December of 1945 through his death in 1973. John Allen was a major contributor to the model railroad hobby through numerous magazine articles and photographs, with over 50 cover photos, 70 articles, and dozens of photos and featurettes, as well as many posthumous articles. This presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of John’s contributions to the hobby print media and provide an introduction to Jeff’s tribute organization and website, the Gorre & Daphetid Reminiscence Project, for those who wish to dive deeper.

The New Jersey Division’s assistant superintendent, Mike Prokop, will present the second clinic on “Easy Coal Loads.” Having realistic coal loads in your hopper cars is essential to the visual realism as your coal drag or mixed-freight rumbles down the main line of your model railroad. Additionally, these same coal loads that look great in hopper cars while seen in trains on the road, in yards, and industries, are also easy and convenient to quickly add or remove while re-staging your railroad operations.

In this clinic, Mike will demonstrate the simple and economical techniques he uses to make realistic coal loads, such that they can be readily produce in large numbers, if necessary. His construction methods work well in any scale, (demonstrated in HO during this clinic with some On30 mixed in), and with not only coal hopper cars, but also gondola cars of any length, and for any time period spanning from the old days to modern times.

You’ll also see how the same techniques can be used to model coal loads for various other applications, such as steam engine tender loads, coal piles stored on the ground at power plants or factories, etc. This can also work with other aggregate materials like stone or ballast in various configurations

Our Jersey hosts are always accommodating in supplying plenty of coffee and donuts. In addition, there will be door prizes, a raffle, and swap tables (to reserve contact John Gallagher at New Jersey always holds a contest at their meets, and the subject matter this time is “mini-diorama,” for anyone wishing to enter.

The afternoon fare consists of an open house hosted by the Cherry Valley Model Railroad Club located in the basement of the church. Their O-scale layout is truly top notch, and features beautifully detailed catenary for those electric enthusiasts. In addition, count on several impressive New Jersey layouts to be open to visitation. Hope you all can make it!


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