Elkhart Model Railroad Club Announcements 

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The Elkhart Model Railroad Club meets Friday Evenings at 57529 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 February 2018

February 16, 2018 Meeting

2 16 2018 Meeting Car

February 16th was a business meeting night.  Several members were in attendance and heard updates on several projects including; all of the trackwork is finished for the new N scale layout. The tunnel guards to prevent derailments and valuable equipment falling to the floor in the tunnels are 75 % finished.  Also after over a foot of snow the club lot was plowed 

2 16 2018 Snow Removalthanks to Matt Glassman and his contacts at  Bradford‘s lawn care











Model Railroader 1




One of the assets of the club is a large library going back several decades. With over a 100 railroad related items in the library we have created a database that covers  the entire library for easier access for the members.  Some of the more valuable items in the library include bound volumes of Model Railroad from the 1st issue in 1934 to 1967.  I thought you would like to see the 1st issue.  As far as I can tell this is the cover of the very first issue of Model Railroader. 

Model Railroader 1 Interior














Here's an interior page with an ad and a letter from Linn Westcott. 


















Model Railroader 13














































This next is from issue 5 and is the first with a color on the front page.


After the meeting of course it was time to run some trains and get set up for an operations session at next meeting February 23, 2018. 


2 16 2018 Meeting GG1

2 16 2018 Meeting NYC

2 16 2018 Meeting Wood Creek

Be sure to check our Friday Night Running at the Club page for all the action and look for the car running across the trestle near the end of the video.



February 9, 2018 Meeting

2 9 2018 Meeting PRR

The February 9th meeting had to be cancelled due to the weather. Several inches of snow fell on Friday.  A couple of hardy souls went by the club to make sure everything was ok but the streets and roadways were too dangerous to travel on and several of our members have several miles to travel to make it to a meeting. 

2 9 2018 Meeting GuardsI thought we would take a look at maintenance since there was no running at the club.Nathan Overmyer has been the fellow crawling the tunnels at EMRRC to install guards in the tunnels to prevent equipment falling to the floor in case of a derailment. We have few derailments in the tunnels as Paul Ewing went in several years ago and upgraded and replaced the entire track in the tunnels.

 Here's a quick video to show running through the tunnels and a look at the track work. 








Some other maintenance taking place includes freshening up the mountain areas.  How do you freshen up a mountain?  Well you add new foliage, trees. rocks and ground cover.  

2 9 2018 Meeting Paul Bike2Also Paul who is an avid bicyclist and hiker is adding walking and bike trails to our largest mountain Mt. Hammes.  Mt. Hammes has an extremely long tunnel running through it along with a shorter tunnel.  This trackage is the main access to the Budweiser Brewery and of course if the Bud isn’t getting delivered the citizens of Elkhart and several other small towns and cities, get out of sorts. 

Speaking of Elkhart David Menges has been going through the entire layout adding people, automobiles and updating scenes in general. One of the small but necessary items in Elkhart is dumpsters. David has added several in the city.

There is always a Friday Night Running at the Club video even if we didn't run on a particular Friday.  We went back in the archives and pulled some of our favorite  old footage from years ago so be sure to check out our Friday Night Running at the Club page for a Blast From the Past.

 2 9 2018 Meeting Dumpster


February 2, 2018 Meeting


January 2018 has passed and in Northern Indiana that means snowy and cold days.  But at the Elkhart Model Railroad club the heat was on and the camaraderie and friendships (plus a lot of hot air) added to an enjoyable night.  The first meeting of a new month is taken up by maintenance and cleaning.  It's amazing how much background work needs to happen in order to keep a large club layout up and running. 



Tunnel GuardsTunnel guards are being installed along the roadbed inside of the tunnels.  We don't have a lot of derailments but if there ever is one in the tunnels it can be a long way to the bottom with an expensive engine or car. We bought some inexpensive clear plastic sheets at a craft store.  It's thin but durable and only needs to be scored to get a clean cut.  We are screwing the 2 1/2 inch high by 36 inch long sheets into the side of the roadbed after pre-drilling holes in the sheets.  We are allowing enough room to reach over the guard to access derailments. Gabe Smith, Nathan Overmyer, Steve Storey and Jim Ford are contributing to this project.  ElectricalAlso while we're under the layout Randy Robbins joined us working on electrical wiring for signals. Meanwhile up top work continues by the bridge and trestle crew on finishing Berkey Trestle upgrades and the new project shoring up the trestle for the bypass to Flushing/Toledo and Chicago. The layout has dozens of bridges and trestles many of which are labor intensive.  The bridge and trestle crew has a year round job trying to keep up with the maintenance on all of these structures.

Bridge Trestle crewBridge Trestle crew1


  Track CrewThe track crew was out working on the mainline taking out weather related bumps and dips in the high speed mainline area. 


Ballast Crew1




Ballast Crew

 Also the ballast crews were out finishing out the mainline and putting new ballast in the new industrial area still under construction.


On any railroad there are always bad order cars and engines.Bad Order Crew  John Banicki and Joseph Cipalla were busy the entire night working on cars and engines so they would perform flawlessly on the layout when needed.






After cleaning and maintenance there was still plenty of time to run some trains and there were lots of airplanes moving across the layout tonight,  be sure to check out all the action on our Friday Night Running at the Club page.

NEWS for January 2018

January 26, 2018 Meeting

12618MononThis Friday meet was an operations night and we had a several folks show up including one visitor to try their hand at operating on the EMRRC layout.  The large layout makes operating a challenge for both the experienced and novice operator as there are plenty of trains to move across the line.  Our Dispatcher Ron Breniser, Yard Masters David Menges and Charlie Yoakam kept things moving along smoothly and a lot fun. 1262018 Dispatcher

We also got a look at the rebuilt Berkey trestle that runs across Berkey Pond and the upgrades to our main 390 foot wood trestle. Charlie Yoakam and Jerry Piatt have been working diligently on this project and it's near completion. Charlie & Jerry used Woodland Scenics water to complete the scene.

1272018Berkey Pond


EMRRC has installed the latest update to JMRI 4.10. For some reason we had problems communicating with smart phones and tablets, especially when running consists.  After a quick reinstall the system worked perfectly. Smart phones, tablets and Digitrax throttles all got along without another hiccup.  Must have been operator error on the install..Lots of trains, not too many mishaps and the blue smoke was kept to a minimum coming out of dispatch. Be sure to check out our Friday Night Running at the Club page for all the action. 
















January 19, 2018 Meeting

A good showing of members for the Friday night meeting turned out.  The third Friday of every month is our business meeting. Here's a synopsis of our latest business meeting.  I had neglected to put on the EMRRC website that we have visitors come in an hour later the third Friday of every month due to the business meeting.  That has been corrected on the site. Sorry if anyone was inconvinced by this.  A new board took over for the 2018 season.  The officers are: President: Chuck Hart, Vice President: Jerry Piatt, Treasurer: Steve Storey and Secretary: John Banicki
EMRRC Board 2018

I thought it would be cool to take a look at the board from over 40 years ago.
1974 Club Officers Cropped








 Gary Pressnell after a stint with the Coast Guard     and over 30 years as a toolmaker is still with the club.  In other business  Nathan Overmyer was welcomed to the club as a probationary member. Announcements included the NMRA Michiana Division Meeting in New Carlisle, Indiana and the latest posting of train shows and swap meets in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.  Here's a link. 



After the meeting the setup was accomplished  for next weeks operation session.  The guy in the hat is our dispatcher.  He looks happy does't he?





1 19 2018 NYC Meet web

Of course trains were running on the main line. 













Percy actually came to visit Thomas. Be sure to visit our Friday Night running at the Club page for all the action.1 19 2018 Percy web

1 19 2018 NYC Bus web





January 12, 2018 Meeting

Lots of members here for running HO and working on the new N scale layout.  N1More trackwork, including many right and left hand switches being put down for N scale. 


EMRRC is always looking for new members.  There are  many advantages to belonging to  EMRRC. Come by and visit us any Friday night for more information and run some trains with us. 

Meeting 1122018 members


Here are some of the benefits available to members;

EMRRC has been here since 1950. 

Over 300 years of accumulated experience with the members.

24/7 access to clubhouse for members.  

The Club owns the land and the clubhouse.Meeting 1122018

Large HO scale layout with over 1000' of mainline.

New N scale layout.

Digitrax DCC control and JMRI programming for both HO scale and N scale.

Monthly clinics on everything from DCC to scenery making. 


Meeting 1122018 CW










Meeting 1122018 Liberty











Be sure to check out this week's action at our Friday Night Running at the Club page.













January 5, 2018 Meeting

Winter 2018A very cold and snowy Friday Meeting at EMRRC.  The temperature was hovering around 9 degrees and there was anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of snow on the ground depending on where you were coming from. Lots of brave members using 4 wheel drives, front wheel drive and just regular transportation came from Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan to run trains.  It was supposed to be a cleaning night but Gary Pressnell got stuck in the parking lot and everyone was worn out from watching him shovel out so we decided to run trains in order to thaw Gary out. Plenty of action as always, be sure to check out our Friday Night Running at the Club video.



EMRRC152018 AnnArbor

 EMRRC1052015 Monon


                                                            NEWS for December 2017

December 22, 2017 Meeting

Several folks showed up for our pre-Christmas run session including one new potential member who looked us up on the internet and found we are open on Friday nights. Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas with some pictures from the evening.  Unfortunately, the Gators and the Sharks don't care if it's close to Christmas and are still going head to head.  Be sure to check out all the action our Friday Night Running at the Club page. Christmas Club Loco




 122117Christmas Elk






























December 15, 2017 Meeting

ChristmasThe holidays are off to a good start at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club.  Tonight, we held our annual Christmas party.  What could be better than good fellowship, lots of tasty food and running trains afterwards.  Thanks to Gabe Smith for supplying the decorations and extra tables.  Also Thanks to Jerry Piatt and his wife for the setup and a desert.  3 twenty-five inch pizzas supplied by the clubChristmas2 started off the feast. Christmas1Followed by several deserts.  The main course of gator and shark followed.  Be sure to check out our Friday Night Running at the Club page for the main menu. 






One of our members, Gabe Smith shot footage of the CP Holiday Train as it rolled through Elkhart and some closups as they changed crews. Click on the picture below and it will take you to FaceBook for the video.

  CP Holiday Train


December 8, 2017 Meeting

At the Club 12 08 2017Tonight's meeting was busy as everyone gets prepared for the holidays looking forward to their favorite locomotive under the tree.   We are sorting through years’ worth of documents and photos stored at the club, some valuable to the club and its history, some left by their owner’s years ago and no one has any idea where they came from or if they are photos, where they were taken. Preparations are being made for our annual Christmas party next Friday December 15th and don't forget the club will be closed that night. Around 8pm we got down to some serious train running and everything from an SFalligator to Thomas took a run around the layout.  Matt managed to stuff a decoder in Thomas, so he could run with the big boys.  As always be sure to check out the action on our any Friday Night Running at the Club pages here, on our YouTube channel or on our Facebook page. have a good week and we'll see you back here next weekend with an update on EMRRC.






 December 1, 2017 Meeting

Too much to doBack to cleaning, maintenance and train running for the first meeting of December 2017 it's hard to believe Christmas is almost here and 2017 is almost over.

Charlie and Jerry have Trestle Bridge1been working hard on rebuilding the high trestle bridge.  New braces were added and broken braces were replaced on the trestles that hold the bridges up over Berkey Creek and Pond. 

Trestle Bridge2

The guys poured Woodland Scenics Realistic Water from John Hall's True Value in Goshen Indiana.  Hall's carries a broad selection of model railroad supplies. 

Trestle Bridge3

 After cleaning and maintenance of course, it was time to run trains.  Be sure to check out all the action on our Friday Night Running at the Club page. We had a special visitor, Arie Voskvill.  Arie was a member in the 60s and 70s and shared many memories from back in the day. 

Also, Gabe Smith shot some great up-close footage of the 

CP Holiday TrainCP Christmas Train when it passed through the Elkhart area.  Footage to come as we get closer to Christmas. The club will be closed on December 15, 2017 for our annual Christmas party.




  NEWS for November 2017

November 24, 2017 Meeting

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. The last meeting of November 2017 was relaxed as this was in the middle of the Thanksgiving weekend. Visitors 112417A lot of guys and one lady ducked shopping and came out to the club. So, in honor of Black Friday, a Black Friday Running was held in remembrance of the members who were out braving the tide of humanity squirreling away model railroad deals.  Most of the house lights were turned out and night running began.  It's a good thing cell phones have lights because if you were in Schultz Yard hooking up was tough in the dark It was discussed this was one of the areas to add layout lighting to.  Speaking of Schultz Yard look for upcoming article  on Carl Schults, one of the founding members whom the yard is named after. Be sure to check out our Friday Night Running at the Club page for all the lastest action on video.

 Black Friday Run