May 25, 2018
Wishing everyone a great Memorial Day weekend, a time to spend with friends and family, and a time to remember those who've given their lives for our country. Another month is in the books at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club and to start the summer several members showed up for operations at the club Friday night. Along with the yard switching, shuttles and over the road locomotives running, there were a couple of passenger trains running, one with an interesting story. Member Jeff Cain owns a beautiful Rocky Mountain Rocket. The Rocket was a streamlined passenger train of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Rock Island's train number 7 ran from Chcago's LaSalle Street Station to Denver's Union Station. Jeff Took the Rocky Island Rocky Mountain Rocket in 1957 from Chicago to Denver. The Rocky Mountain Rocket ran from 1939 to 1966. Members had a great time operating, the dispatcher didn't pull too much of his hair out and the yard masters moved everything along smoothly. Several maintenance items were also carried out during the week. More work on the new N-Scale as we get closer to full time operations in N-Scale. Changes were made to the the outside sign. Thanks to Paul, Jerry and Charlie. We have lots of footage to show you so Click here to check out all the action from this week. As always click here for the latest weekly report on train shows and swap meets in the area (this is the latest list) courtesy of Grand River Valley Railroad Club - Wyoming, MI. Also here's an announcement on a great NMRA conference coming up on September 21st and 22nd in South Bend, IN. The presenters are well known in railroad modeling and include Jim Six who is modeling Sturgis Michigan and has an extensive blog at Railroad Model Hobbiest and Tom Johnson the creator of the Logansport and Indiana Northern Railroad. Registration information is at www.michiana-nmra.org. Here's a link to the flyer.
May 18, 2018
Every 3rd Friday of the month we have our monthly business meeting. After the Secretary's and Treasurer's reports several items of interest were discussed. The street that the club is on was annexed into the city of Elkhart recently, (Yay more taxes) and since we had a county address it has changed to a city address. Our new address is The Elkhart Model Railroad Club, 2703 Hawthorne Street Elkhart, In. 46517. We're in the same location we've been in since 1952 and the club owns the property so The Elkhart Model Railroad Club is here to stay. Another important item that came up is the planning for the 2019 Nappanee Train Show presented by the Elkhart Model
Railroad Club. A template and timeline for the upcoming show was put together by Chuck Hart. Jerry Piatt will be the Chairman for 2019 show. Be sure to look here or on Facebook as more information becomes available. The N-Scale layout is up and running trains. We still have several items to build and install on the layout so if you have an interest in N-Scale come on by. After the business meeting the real business of the Elkhart Model Railroad Club began...running trains. Click here to check out all the action from this week. As always click here for the latest weekly report on train shows and swap meets in the area (this is the latest list) courtesy of Grand River Valley Railroad Club - Wyoming, MI. Also here's an advance announcement on a great NMRA conference coming up on September 21st and 22nd in South Bend, IN. The presenters are well known in railroad modeling and include Jim Six who is modeling Sturgis Michigan and has an extensive blog at Railroad Model Hobbiest and Tom Johnson the creator of the Logansport and Indiana Northern Railroad. Registration information is at www.michiana-nmra.org. Here's a link to the flyer.
May 11, 2018
A clinic started off the night for Friday the 11th followed by open running for all the members and guests. Jim Ford presented a clinic on the EMRRC library. The library has over 150 volumes of magazines, books and pamphlets. We have every Model Railroader from the 1st year of publication 1934 to 1981 plus a ton of reference books.
We established a database for the library using Easy Model Train Inventory's library module. The library will give members the ability to search for information easily and give us an inventory and lending system for our library assets. Easy Model Train has several inventory modules to it including; Rolling Stock, Locomotives, Library, Tools/Misc. and Electronics. The program is available for free from http://pdc.ca/rr/freebies/ . As always be careful downloading any items from the internet. I've used the program on several computers and have had no problems.
Last week while some members were at Duneland Model Railroad Club there were several members at the club. An anonymous donor came by and gave the club several items. Among them were a narrow gauge brass loco, caboose and passenger cars. We appreciate the donation and will make good use of it. After the clinic members got down to the main business of running trains. So many trains were running some of the video footage will have to be shown next week. We shot some car level footage of The North Wall area which includes the Elkhart and Western Railroad.
May 4, 2018
Several members of the Elkhart Model Railroad Club visited Duneland Model Railroad Club in Michigan City, Indiana for their annual Hobo Dinner. The Club meets every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 10:00 PM but had this special event on the first Friday in May.
The club had a good turnout for their dinner and several folks young and old were running trains on their large HO-Scale layout. The layout runs through several rooms in the club and a new large staging area is under construction. Duneland is a fictional railroad running from near Cincinnati to St. Louis with over 500' of track. The layout is all Digitrax DCC with Tortoise switch machines connected to the signal system. The club has been around since 1986 and been in its present location since 1996.
Michigan City is a great railroad town with Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad passenger and SouthShore freight running down the center of many streets. Members John Banicki, Paul Ewing, Jim Ford and Chuck Hart checked out the Michigan City Yard on Carroll Avenue. The Michigan City Yard is used for overnight storage and maintenance of all electric trains, as well as the diesel locomotive shops and the operations center for the SouthShore freight operation. Carroll Avenue also is a railway station serving the South Shore. There are two South Shore stations in Michigan City but the Carroll Avenue station is considered the primary station. The other station on 11th Street has limited parking and is in the middle of a public street. NICD (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District) the owners of the South Shore Line have announced they will close the Carroll Avenue Station in the future and upgrade the 11th Street Station but as of 2018 the Carroll Avenue station is going strong. The South Shore is going to be undergoing several major construction projects. In South Bend relocation of the station at the airport, the West Lake Corridor consisting of nine miles of new tracks, plus four stations, between Hammond and the Dyer-Munster border and a double track project adding a new set of rails between Gary and Michigan City, along with new stations in Gary's Miller area.
Click here to check out all the action from Duneland Model Railroad Club. As always click here for the weekly report on train shows and swap meets in the area courtesy of Grand River Valley Railroad Club - Wyoming, MI.NEWS for April 2018
April 27, 2018
The last Friday of the month is operations night at EMRRC. This night was operations training for club members. The training consisted of running a train from Chicago to Elkhart and back to Chicago and running a train from Toledo to Elkhart and back to Toledo. Several questions came up during the session and everyone involved learned several new things about operating at EMRRC. After training the club was opened for open running and several trains were running on the layout. Among them was Heritage Unit C&O 4834. This unit is SD70ACe that was originally with CSX. CSX sold the engine to Progress Rail who than leased the unit to Norfolk Southern. 4834 was relettered for PRLX before showing up on the NS lines. While in Buffalo, NY for a few days earlier this year someone used a lot of rattle cans to change the logos on 4834 to C&O 4834 and no one knows how. So be sure to go to our Friday Night Running at the Club page and check out 4834. As always click here for the weekly report on train shows and swap meets in the area courtesy of Grand River Valley Railroad Club - Wyoming, MI.
April 20, 2018
Finally some nice Spring weather for our area and after the beautiful day several members were at EMRRC for our business meeting for April 2018. Several items of business were attended to including; the start of planning for the 2019 Elkhart Model Railroad Show and Swap Meet. We also welcomed Lee Hagedorn as a probationary member. The new N-Scale layout is wired and testing is progressing to the point we will be running and operating on the N-Scale layout soon. After the business meeting it was time for our main business at EMRRC running trains. EMRRC has had an ongoing problem with JMRI connecting to phones or tablets and recognizing them as throttles. If we have several phones and tablets online as throttles we lose connections and control of the trains. After going back to version 3.10 of JMRI we are in our second week of being problem free. We are still researching and testing this problem and will keep everyone updated here. At this point we are awaiting version 4.11.5 to reach it's production stage so we can try it. CLICK HERE to check our Friday Night Running at the Club page for all the action. Also CLICK HERE for the weekly link to shows and swap meets in the area courtesy of Grand River Valley Railroad Club - Wyoming, MI. One last announcement;
NMRA MICHIANA DIVISION EVENT
May 19, 2018 - Francis Branch of St. Joe County Public Library - 52655 N Ironwood Rd, South Bend, IN 46635
4 hour Weathering Day from 10:30AM to 2:30 PM!
Attend all or some of the time allotted!
Well known weathering expert Dave Schroedle will be leading this event! On Friday April 27th starting at 7:00 pm we will have a training session for operating on the HO layout. If you are interested in operations come by and learn how to operate at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club. We run an operations session the 3rd Friday of every month.
April 13, 2018 Meeting
Open running Friday night at EMRRC and of course Friday the 13th gremlins showed up and tried to spoil the fun. As mentioned last week EMRRC has had an ongoing problem with JMRI connecting to phones or tablets and recognizing them as throttles. If we have several phones and tablets online as throttles we lose connections and control of the trains. We tried a different computer and a different router and the same problems showed up. EMRRC has been using the latest version of JMRI 4.10. We decided to go back to version 3.10.1 and the problem was solved. We'll keep everyone updated as we investigated this further. An interesting item that showed up concerning the Nautilus aquarium car owned by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. The Nautilus was a custom built car built in 1929 by the Pullman Car Works in Chicago for about $30,000, the Nautilus was custom fitted with cypress and metal containers for animals and a life-support system of pumps, air compressors, electric refrigeration coils and steam heat for another $10,000 to transport freshwater and marine fishes and invertebrates from cold, temperate and tropical waters. Fully loaded, the car carried 4,500 gallons. It also had modest living quarters for the six-person collecting crew. The Nautilus was so specialized that the manufacturer stated that it was doubtful anything like it had ever been built before. It was retired in 1957. Here is the story of one of it's adventures between the Keys and Chicago. Click here for a link to the Story.
Marooned! The Labor Day Hurricane and Shedd’s “Lost Car Crew” | Shedd Aquarium
This hurricane season marks the 75th anniversary of the Labor Day Hurricane, a category 5 storm that is still the most intense ever to strike the United States. It certainly made some memories for the Shedd collecting crew that weathered it in the Florida Keys.
April 6, 2018 Meeting
March 30, 2018 Meeting
March 23, 2018 Meeting
March 16, 2018 Meeting
Several new locos and cars made a showing at the Friday meeting but the first order of the day was our monthly business meeting.
A new member, Steve Randolph was welcomed and several probationary members were voted in as full members. Congrats to all. With their new membership members gain several new benefits including; 24/7 access to the club, use of our private area in Yahoo Groups, a private locker and use of the inside restroom (just kidding on the restroom). Reports on projects show that most are moving along at a good pace and VP Jerry Piatt emphasized the need to keep projects moving and not let projects lay dormant for months.
Some of the projects underway include; the bridge at the river wye, (sounds like a movie title), backdrop buildings in
Schult Yard and general update of the roundhouse area, New industrial area and Twin Branch area maintenance. The clubs library has been databased and will be open for business by next month’s business meeting.
One new item of interest, EMRRC finally has our listing verified on Google Maps and we have a label and listing on Maps now. After the business meeting of course it was time to run trains. Nathan Overmyer had a beautiful Proto 2000 Heritage Virginian 2-8-8-2 follow him home so of course he had to keep it. Check out all the action on our Friday Night at Club page. Also here’s a link to upcoming train shows and swap meets.
March 9, 2018 Meeting
Friday night was running trains night. You could run the club's trains or bring your own and run them.
A number of trains both diesel and steam were running tonight operated by both male and female engineers. One special freight load moved through the system and got a lot of comments; take a look at our Friday Night Running at the Club page for all the action.
Some other announcements includes
the NMRA looking forward to seeing all NMRA members and visitors at our March 17, 2018 noon-2pm meeting at the Western Branch of the St. Joe County Public Library, 611 S Lombardy Dr, South Bend, IN 46619. Don Cope will get everyone involved in creating roof details and signs on buildings. At our February 17 meeting Don brought 3 detailed items that he had built for show-and-tell. Please bring something that you are working on to our next meeting. We're looking forward to seeing you there.
Also a reminder that the Elkhart Model RR Club will not be hosting our annual train show in Nappanee, Indiana on March 17th, 2018. The building was sold and will not be hosting events such as our train show. We looked for an alternate site to have the show and were unable to locate one for the March 17th 2018 date. We are very optimistic that we will have another site for the 3rd Saturday in March of 2019.
On Tuesday nights we had a good turnout for our weekly maintenance session. Work is progressing on the new N-Scale layout as wiring the feeders to the track continues. It looks like we will be running N-Scale again by the end of the month. So if you're into HO or N-Scale come on by on a Friday night. Trestle and bridge work continues as Charlie and Jerry our bridge maintenance crew continues to upgrade trestle and bridges around the layout. The track and ballast crew was hard at work ballasting in the industrial areas and relaying track on the north wall area.
The track and ballast crew was hard at work ballasting in the industrial areas and relaying track on the north wall area.
March 2, 2018 Meeting
One of the benefits of being a member of EMRRC is a private Yahoo channel. We use the channel for private messages, passing club files to members, and as a general repository for any information for the club. Some of our members weren't sure how to use this tool so our clinic for the March 2nd meeting was on how to use the EMRRC Yahoo account. Chuck Hart, President did a presentation on the use and benefits of our private Yahoo account.
The track guards in the tunnels are close to being done. Here's Nathan the guy working hard and crawling around under the layout to install these. Also here's a shot of the guards. To finish up the meeting it was train running time. Lots of big steam and some unusual diesels all made an appearance on the mainlines, be sure to check out all the action on our Friday Night Running at the Club page.
NEWS for February 2018
February 23, 2018 Meeting
Operations was the name of the game at our February 23rd meeting. Only 1980s and early 1990s motive power was allowed so make sure you make it by our Friday Night Running at the Club page and check out some oldies but goldies.
One of the more unusual units to show up Friday night was this Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Electroliner. The Electroliners were a pair of streamlined four-coach electric multiple unit interurban passenger train sets operated between Chicago and Milwaukee. They were built by St. Louis Car Company in 1941.
Each set carried two numbers, 801-802 and 803-804. There were only 2 of these prototype units built and both are still in exsistance.
801-802 is currently being restored to its early 1960s operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) in Union, Illinois. Updates on the restoration can be found on the liners Facebook page "Campaign For The Electroliner". 803-804 is preserved at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Orbisonia, Pennsylvania. It is a running liner though it has not been restored.
This week we need to inform everyone about The Nappanee Train Show for 2018. We are sorry to inform you that the Elkhart Model RR Club will not be hosting our annual train show in Nappanee,Indiana at the Dutch Village Market on March 17th, 2018. The building was sold in May of 2017 and will not be hosting events such as our train show.
We looked for a alternate site to have the show and were unable to locate one for the March 17th 2018 date.We are very optimistic that we will have another site for the 3rd Saturday in March of 2019. We are sorry for any inconvenience that may cause you.
And now as always on to running trains. Again make sure to check out our Friday Night Running at the Club Page for all the action.
February 16, 2018 Meeting
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
thanks to Matt Glassman and his contacts at Bradford‘s lawn care.
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.
Here's an interior page with an ad and a letter from Linn Westcott.
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.
February 9, 2018 Meeting
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.
I 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.
Also 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.
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 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. Also 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.
The track crew was out working on the mainline taking out weather related bumps and dips in the high speed mainline area.
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. 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
This 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.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.
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
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?
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.
January 12, 2018 Meeting
Lots of members here for running HO and working on the new N scale layout. More 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.
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.
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.
January 5, 2018 Meeting
A 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.