Elkhart Model Railroad Club Announcements 

The Elkhart Model Railroad Club meets Friday Evenings at 2703 Hawthorne Street in Elkhart, Indiana.

Visitors are welcome 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. On the third Friday of every month, we are closed to the public until 8:00 pm for our monthly business meeting.
 
NEWS for September 2019
News for September 13, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16

Friday the 13th was open running for EMRRC. Several members including Charlie Yoakam, Matt Glassman, Will Babcoke. Jeff Roberts, Gary Pressnell, Jerry Piatt, Randy Robbins, Nathan Overmyer, Gary Babcoke, David Menges, Steve Storey, and Ron Breneiser all enjoyed open running at the club.     Several long trains were running with lot's of heavy diesel power and one lonely steamer at the end of our Friday Night Running at the Club video. To see all of the trains running at the club  Click Here. for Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Have some fun with model railroading.

 
 

 

News for September 6, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16

We're well on our way to Fall at EMRRC and several members took time out from summer activities and watching football to come out to the club and run some trains.  

 

 

 

 

8302019 Meeting BNSF9

962019 Meeting Maintenance Facia21The evening started with cleanup and maintenance. One of the major jobs being tackled is the integration of turnout controls in the fascia.  As we have added turnouts the controls have been hooked up electrically but the switches that control the turnouts have just been hung at the bottom of the fascia on a piece of masonite.
Member Paul Ewing has tackled this job and made good progress on Friday evening.
 
 962019 Meeting Circus Wagon8 Also a couple of minor additions to the website. On our Tech Files page, David Menges' interesting journey continues as he builds a huge circus train. Also added is an interesting article on using flex track for bridges. CLICK HERE or go to the menu at the top of the page to find these articles. A Purdue club car was sitting on a siding at EMRRC. The car celebrates the club's 85th anniversary. 
962019 Meeting Purdue11 Our club is a few years behind but our 70th-anniversary is next year so be sure to look for information coming up. To see all of the trains running at the club  Click Here. for Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Have some fun with model railroading.
 
  
NEWS for August 2019
News for August 30, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16

 

For the last Friday of August 2019, at the start of the Labor Day weekend holiday, several members showed up for running at EMRRC. 

 

 8302019 Meeting BNSF9A couple of BNSF units pulling a long train had a near miss on a pass-by with an NYC freight drag.  The NYC F units barely fit into Schult Yard so a BNSF priority train could slide by. 

8302019 Meeting NYC25

We also had an On30 small steamer run by the NYC train a little later. The 0-4-2’s larger fuel bunker and trailing truck allowed it to travel longer distances than its “little brother,” the Porter 0-4-0. They were put to work on plantation, logging, and construction roads. The tank cars were rebuilt from AC Gilbert S-guage tank cars by member Paul Ewing.  

A Virginian USRA 2-8-8-2 made the run down to the EMRRC yards to drop off several cars. 8302019 Meeting Virginian4The track in this area is lightweight and the 2-8-8-2 had all it could handle with tight clearances but the engine is a great runner and made all the way down and back with no problems. Everyone had a good start to their holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the comradery.To see all of the trains running at the club  Click Here. for Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Have some fun with model railroading.

News for August 23, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16

 

Operations took center stage at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club on Friday the 23rd. We had several members show up and had a great session with very few problems.

  

8232019 Meeting 17763It was 1976 on the layout and member Charlie Yoakam brought in his Athearn 1776 he actually bought in 1976 for about $20. He also had a 1776 Tyco caboose to bring up the backend.

 

We had 8232019 Meeting Wood Creek312several other units operating including Wood Creek Paper, some through freights and passenger trains, along with an NYC switcher working the Elkhart industrial yard. If you are an experienced operator or a novice come by EMRRC, we run operations every 4th Friday of the month. 8232019 Meeting Coal Mine1It's a great time and you will enjoy yourself. To see all of the trains running at the club  Click Here. for Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.  We will be open Labor Day Weekend on Friday, August 30, 2019, from 7:00 pm till ???  Have some fun with model railroading.

 

 

News for August 16, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16August 16. 2019 was our monthly meeting. Several items were taken care of including the welcoming of  2 new probationary members and a new student member. Congratulations to all the new members.  8162019 Meeting Running11On the layout a new backdrop will be installed on the west wall while Gary Presnell helped out with Matt Glassman's switch panel installs fixing one of the Tortise machines near Flushing.

 

 

8162019 Meeting Sign13

 

Thanks, to Paul Ewing and Jerry Piatt for cleaning the landscaped area near the front entrance and also kudos to Paul for refurbing our entrance sign. After the meeting, we welcomed a couple of guests from Kalamazoo, MI and started running trains and setting up for our operations session which is next Friday, August 23, 2019. 

8162019 Meeting Ops8Here's Matt Setting cars for next Friday. If you enjoy puzzles we run the biggest electronically interfaced 3D puzzle in the area when we run operations every 4th Friday of the month. If you have never run operations we will pair you up with an experienced operator until you understand the basics of operations at EMRRC.

 

 

 

 8162019 Meeting Bulkhead37Matt Glassman brought in a couple of BSC F68AH Bulkhead Flatcars he has been working on. Introduced in 1969, the Bethlehem Steel Co. (BSC) F68-series of 100-ton, 68’ foot long (over end sills) flats represented a new generation of high-capacity flat cars.  Extremely versatile, the basic design could be equipped from the factory with a variety of appliances to handle different loadings. These units are Rivet Counters from Scale Trains and have a lot of features including a laser-cut deck to be applied by the modeler. 

To see all of the trains running at the club  Click Here. for Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page. Have some fun with model railroading.

News for August 9, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16A lot of Southern locomotives showing up in Northern Indiana. We had several engines show up from the Southern Railway on Friday, August 9, 2019 all of them running long hood forward. Did you ever wonder why some railroads ran their units long hood forward? Here's the answer from TRAINS Magazine. It’s a common misconception that both Norfolk & Western and Southern Railway (and for a while, successor Norfolk Southern) operated many of their hood units long hood forward for better crew safety in the event of a collision.

 892019 Meeting Southern210While that might have been a secondary benefit, the real reason was bidirectional operation capability. The Southern’s approach to bidirectional operation was simpler: Make the short end of the unit the rear, delete the optional low nose, and have the engineer on the right-hand side with the long hood leading. In the event the unit was running in “reverse,” the engineer would be on the left side, but with a short hood, so his forward vision to the right side of the track wasn’t impaired all that much.

892019 Meeting NS2While new power in this configuration didn’t arrive until the SD45s of 1967, earlier units (SD24s, GP30s, and GP35s) all came with high short hoods, but set up as the short hood end as the “front.”  In both cases, the carriers hoped to eliminate terminal expense and delay from turning units on turntables or wyes. In truth, crews on both roads never received the practice warmly. The last road units N&W purchased came with conventional low-nose short hoods set up as the “front,” and without dual controls. For a time after the NS merger, new units were purchased under the Southern philosophy of long hood forward, but with low-nose short hoods. The advent of “comfort cab” units made such operating practices impractical, so it’s now rare to find a vintage N&W or Southern unit running long hood forward.  

892019 Meeting FM24

 

 

 

We had a trio of Fairbanks-Morse H10-44s on the layout. Two of these were Proto 2000 (Walthers). These engines are great little switchers and can be had as low as $65 with DCC and sound.

 

   892019 Meeting FM31As the end of World War II approached, Fairbanks-Morse debuted a new 1,000-hp switcher for the Milwaukee Road in 1944: the H-10-44. (H stood for hood unit, 10 for 1,000-hp, and 44 for its B-B wheel arrangement.)  Click Here to see our latest  Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page. Have some fun with model railroading.

 

 

News for August 2, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16Where the heck did summer go? As we move through August we lose about an hour of sunlight by the end of the month.  But, at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club, it is always sunny unless we forget to pay the electric bill or we decide to run a night session. Come by and think about joining and help us pay the electric bill.

 822019 Meeting EMRRC213We are always looking for new members who have an interest in computers, apps, artwork, construction, electrical, model buildering, or just want to see and work on a piece of history in the Elkhart area. Do you like Arduino? We would love to talk to you about various projects upcoming.  If you enjoy puzzles we run the biggest electronically interfaced 3D puzzle in the area when we run operations every 4th Friday of the month.  822019 Meeting Ron5Every Friday we are meeting at the club and have a great time socially and running trains. Speaking of running trains we had several trains running Friday the 2nd at the club. Some trains of note running were the Alaska Railroad, the Virginian, CSX, SOO Line, and NS. Be sure to check out the caboose on the end of the SOO Line train a Milwaukee caboose weathered by David Menges with Pan Pastel weathering powders. Click Here to see our latest  Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the members and their trains  Click Here.  7192019 Meeting UP Monon3For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.Have some fun with model railroading. For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.Have some fun with model railroading.  

 

 

NEWS for July 2019
News for July 26, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16A lot of members were in the Chicago area for the arrival of Union Pacific's 4014 Big Boy. Everyone had a great time and got lots of pictures to share.  At the club we had a couple of new members apply for membership. Welcome, Jeff and Bill. Member Charlie Yoakam ordered a new backdrop for the west wall near Oceola. It is 14x72 and depicts an industrial area.  The new computer and Digitrax PR4 interface keep humming along with no problems during programming. If you would like to see member David Menges' Facebook posts on his continuing project building a circus train check out our Tech Files menu item for a compilation of the series. Click Here to see more our  Friday Night Running at the Club video. If you want to see more pictures of the 4014 and more from Friday  Click Here.  7192019 Meeting UP Monon3For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Also, 2020 is the Elkhart Model Railroad Club's 70th anniversary. An open house and other events are being planned to celebrate this occasion.  Watch for future news on this.  Have some fun with model railroading.    

 
News for July 19, 2019

7192019 Meeting Stan16Friday evening at the club started with a dinner and a celebration for the life of Stan Shatto.  Stan joined the club in 1972. He was instrumental in designing and constructing the scenery in several areas of the layout.  Stan Chateau Paper Sign3Stan's pride and joy was the Chateau Paper's Wood Creek Kraft and Pulp Mill at 7512 Needmore Road.  The area includes everything from raw material storage to a number of buildings to finish the process.  Stan Water Tanks4This part of the layout was about 85% finished when Stan passed.  Stan spent several years on this section and the club looks forward to finishing the small areas left that will make this into a lasting legacy for Stan for many years to come. 

    7192019 Meeting Stan215Several family members and friends of Stan's came in from as far away as California to pay tribute and celebrate Stan's life.  Rest in Peace Stan.   7192019 Meeting UP Road Construc177192019 Meeting UP Lily Pad18

Other areas on the layout are having scenery updated or changed.  Near the new dam area, lily pads are showing up in the Elkhart River. The road crew has been working on road improvements near Liberty on a crossing that has always been rough.


7192019 Meeting UP Circus10During the evening a large circus train came through with elephant and animal cars along with several flat cars for equipment and wagons. Bringing up the rear were several cars for crew and performers.  A lot of steam was on the layout tonight including a triple-header Monon train, the freedom train, A Virginian Y-3 2-8-8-2, and several other steam engines. 

Click Here to see more circus train and steamers at Friday Night Running at the Club. If you want to see more pictures of circus trains, Monon triple-headers and more from Friday  Click Here.  7192019 Meeting UP Monon3For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Also, 2020 is the Elkhart Model Railroad Club's 70th anniversary. An open house and other events are being planned to celebrate this occasion.  Watch for future news on this.  Have some fun with model railroading.   

 

 
 
Union Pacific Big Boy Schedule for the end of July 2019. 

Big Boy 4014The UP Big Boy 4014 will be in Chicago at the end of July 2019. Here is some information.

Friday, July 26
Depart 8:00 a.m. CT Butler, Wis.
No Public Access
Arrival 2:30 p.m. CT West Chicago, Ill.
Union Pacific Larry S. Provo Training Center
335 Spencer St.
Saturday, July 27
On Display: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CT West Chicago, Ill.
Union Pacific Larry S. Provo Training Center
335 Spencer St.
Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car
Sunday, July 28 – Monday, July 29
On Display: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT West Chicago, Ill.
Union Pacific Larry S. Provo Training Center
335 Spencer St.
Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car
Tuesday, July 30
Depart 8:00 a.m. CT West Chicago, Ill.
Union Pacific Larry S. Provo Training Center
335 Spencer St.
Arrival
Depart
9:45 a.m. CT
10:30 a.m. CT
Rochelle, Ill.
Rochelle Railroad Park
124 N. 9th St.

If we want to go over the guys at The Ridge Model Railroad Club said the Rochelle Railroad Park is a good spot if we don't want to fight Chicago traffic.

News for July 12, 2019

7122019 Meeting Glowing Computer4A lot of happenings at EMRRC as we coast through the middle of July.   Installation of the new computer is completed. We have some small items to clean up but JMRI is residing happily atop a blistering fast computer running phone throttles and programming with no problems.  We coupled it with a Digitrax PR4 to handle the programming track and the first new roster member is Jeff Cain with his BLI switcher. Just to forewarn everyone you will have to enter your engine back into the roster if you want to program on our system  We still have a copy of the old roster but after 5 years it was disorganized and we decided to go with a clean start. 

 

7122019 Meeting Dam3

A  new dam is taking shape on the Elkhart River thanks to Ron, Jerry, and Charlie. It's a small area but with a lot of detail. Still to come, a walkway, fishermen, and more detail items. 

 

 

 

 7122019 Meeting CircusMember David Menges got his hands on a set of Walther's Great Circus Train releases a rare HO Scale 1:87 kit series offered in twelve very limited individual monthly releases beginning in 1989. David has been kind enough to let members of EMRRC follow along on FaceBook as he puts together this set.  I am planning on showing all of his work in our Tech Files area but here is a sampling from David.

"John E. Strates immigrated to the United States in 1909 from Greece. He had many odd jobs until he joined a carnival in 1919 as a wrestler taking on any challenger. He acquired the Southern tier shows in 1923 and changed the name to John E. Strates Shows in 1932. He built and managed the carnival up until his death in 1959. His son E. James Strates assumed responsibility of the carnival that still operates today. 

 

7122019 Meeting Circus2This car was the 6th release in The Great Circus train made by Walters. Stock and elephant cars were 72' in length and unloading ramps were carried on the underside of the car. Stock and elephant cars were coupled directly behind the locomotive to minimize jolting and possibly injuring the animals. Elephant cars are very similar to stock cars but were built to accommodate the weight of the elephants. Also, a larger door, solid walls, and smaller windows or ventilators because elephants are susceptible to pneumonia and must be protected from the cold and drafts. One elephant car could carry up to 13 adult elephants or "bulls" in circus slang regardless of gender. A show with a smaller herd would outfit the extra space with bunks for the handlers. 1/4 of early circus trains would be stock cars. As technology advanced tractors became available and elephant and stock cars became surplus and converted to flat cars".

Of course, after all of this, we had to run some trains I mean we have this huge layout just made for running multiple trains with lots of cars so why not?  7122019 Meeting Navajo2One engine that showed up was a Scale Trains GE TIER 4 GEVO, ET44C4. Originally a GE demonstrator it was modified and repainted in Erie, PA.  Here's a shot of the engine on our layout and the real thing passing through Goshen, Indiana.7122019 Meeting Navajo11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One interesting note the Navajo Mine is a private railroad and ordered 2 of the engines.  The mine has no connection to the national rail network so the engines had to be trucked the last few miles to the mine's tracks. Click Here for all the action for Friday Night Running at the Club. If you want to see more pictures of trains and members from Friday  Click Here.  7122019 Meeting Ground1For a schedule of train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Also, 2020 is the Elkhart Model Railroad Club's 70th anniversary. An open house and other events are being planned to celebrate this occasion.  Watch for future news on this.  Have some fun with model railroading.   

 

News for July 05, 2019

7052019 Meeting Computer21

 

 

 

 The day after Independence Day 2019 and it was a maintenance night at EMRRC. The main job was to install our new computer.  Matt Glassman spent a couple of hours removing our old computer and installing our new, fast computer. With 8 gigs of ram, a 250gb solid state hard drive along with a one terabyte drive and we're up and running from startup to  JMRI in 30 seconds. We also are installing a new monitor, Digitrax PR4 and a Raspberry.  7052019 Meeting UP37052019 Meeting AFT26Afterward, the trains were running at EMRRC. We put together some footage of patriotic trains which have run at the club in the last few months. Click Here for all the action for Friday Night Running at the Club. If you want to see more pictures of trains and members from Friday  Click Here

 

 7052019 Meeting Courthouse9For a schedule on train shows and swap meets in the area Click Here  (this is the latest list) courtesy of the Grand River Valley Railroad  Club in Wyoming, MI.  For 2018 Past Announcements at EMRRC  Click Here. The 2020 Train Show information has been added to the site   Vendors make sure you check as there are applications and information for vendors on the page.   Also, 2020 is the Elkhart Model Railroad Club's 70th anniversary. An open house and other events are being planned to celebrate this occasion.  Watch for future news on this.  Have some fun with model railroading.