Wednesday, December 30, 2009

January newsletter

Delmarva Timetable
News of the Delmarva Model Railroad Club
January 2010
Matt Schramm, Editor

Next MeetingThe next meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 6, 2009 in the Club meeting room.

Presidents Message

Well, the first two weekends of Open House are behind us and a huge THANK YOU goes out to all those who helped make it a success. John Steplowski called today to tell me that the grand total received was $ 2871.95. That will be a real help towards our mounting expenses to keep the Club functional.. It would be difficult to thank everyone personally who helped make this program go over so well but I do think an extra thanks should go to Matt Schramm and Tim Burlingame for all their work around the building. Also to Greg Coughlin and family, Ed ( the Conductor ) Stogran, Pete Genero for the white elephant table and Mary Deeter for her help at the door.

Thanks also to all of our Engineers, while it starts out being a lot of fun, it can also wear you down after 3000 trips around the layout. I know I was running my train Westbound all day Saturday and Jeff told me I would have to go Eastbound on Sunday just to unwind. We have two more weekends to go and if anyone has any suggestions for changes or improvements, don’t hesitate to bring them up. Again, thanks for everyone’s help and I think I’m looking forward to the next two events.
Patrick Malronny

Mail vs E-mailWith the cost of postage going up 2 cents on the 11th of May, I would like to make a plea to all the snail-mailers that if you can get an e-mail account, it would definitely help the club. Right now it costs roughly $250.00 per year for postage, ink, and paper to get the snail mail editions out. If any of you can get the newsletter emailed to you, it would cut down on these costs.Jeff

Timetable Special EditionMatt Schramm, EditorWith 2009 being the 25th anniversary of the club, we are planning on a special edition of the newsletter for March. It will contain ONLY club history items. If anyone has any pictures or stories of the last 25 years, please send them to me at NewsAll groups report things are progressing smoothly on all the layouts.

License Plate FramesThese fit over an automobile license plate. Available in Black or Chrome. The top has “Delmar,Delaware” engraved on it, the bottom has“Delmarva Model Railroad Club”. Price for members $15.00, non-members $20.00. Custom orders are accepted.Club ShirtsBill Shehan is accepting orders for club shirts. Two styles are available and come in sizes Small to 4XL.Styles, Sizes and Prices are:Golf Shirts (Short Sleeve Only)S, M, L, XL $22.752XL $26.253XL $28.754XL $31.25Broad Cloth (Long and Short Sleeve)S, M, L, XL $25.002XL $27.503XL $30.004XL $32.50

News From the Rails

Ethanol Terminal Opens on Union Pacific Line

Facility to meet demand as California hikes fuel blend to 10 percent
Ethanol terminal operator U.S. Development Group said its West Colton Rail Terminal at Rialto, Calif., has started handling ethanol railcars from Union Pacific Railroad.
The facility is near gasoline blending terminals that supply California’s San Bernardino and Riverside County-Inland Empire region, plus San Diego and Bakersfield.
USDG Vice President Larry Padfield said the terminal “represents a key addition to the nationwide network of logistics terminals” the company has developed, which include major ethanol hub facilities in Linden, N.J., Baltimore, Dallas and Houston.
West Colton can receive volumes from single railcars to full unit trains, and can offload 15,000 barrels of ethanol a day. USDG said it completed the facility “in time to meet the increase in ethanol demand in California resulting from the January 2010 increase to a 10 percent ethanol blend across the state.”
Future development plans there include putting in a 100-railcar unit train receiving and offloading terminal to be completed by this time next year. The company also said it will eliminate much of its current need for secondary, onsite trucking operations by building a pipeline to a nearby dedicated ethanol storage and gasoline operation.

Fast Trains Lead Amtrak List of Needs

Amtrak has been working hard to lure more business travelers to its trains, with advertisements highlighting its advantages over air travel — roomier seats, power outlets on its Acela trains and fewer annoyances.
And its efforts have borne some fruit: the number of riders on its Northeast corridor trains has been rising.
But faster trains are critical to its future. So while Amtrak got some desperately needed financing from the federal government this year, its forecasts suggest that speedier rail travel in the United States remains a daunting challenge.
For the Northeast corridor alone, Amtrak estimates that it will need almost $700 million annually for the next 15 years to maintain the system and to tackle a backlog of maintenance projects and upgrades. Reducing travel times between New York and Washington to two-and-a-half hours and times between New York and Boston to three hours — goals that were established in the 1970s — will require straighter track, improvements to bridges and tunnels, increased capacity through Manhattan and newer trains, among other investments.
Almost all of Amtrak’s lines fail to make money, with a total loss of $1.1 billion in 2008. Even technology enhancements seem to move at a slow pace: developing a new electronic reservation system is expected to take until 2015.
Still, Amtrak officials are more optimistic now than they have been in a long time. “We’re probably in the best position to move forward to get the things done we want to get done and that the government wants us to get done,” said David Lim, Amtrak’s chief marketing officer. “We have an administration that is supportive of rail.”
One of the biggest changes for Amtrak is that after years of bare-bones annual financing that limited the railroad’s ability to make significant upgrades, Congress approved a five-year authorization in 2008 that allocates the system nearly $2 billion a year.
Although the money still needs to be appropriated every year, Mr. Lim said, “the fact that there’s a five-year plan makes a tremendous difference. Asking the government for your annual subsidy obviously makes it difficult to plan and execute capital projects.”
In addition, the economic stimulus package approved by Congress early this year provided $1.3 billion to supplement Amtrak’s capital budget and $8 billion in grants for intercity service and high-speed passenger rail. While those amounts will not go far in developing the bullet trains that operate in Europe and Asia and will probably be distributed among projects throughout the country, Amtrak officials say they view the investment as an important policy shift.
There are also signs that passengers are increasingly embracing trains. The number of Amtrak riders has increased steadily since 2001, surpassing 28 million in 2008, though a dip is expected this year because of the recession.
Amtrak estimates it carried 63 percent of travelers flying or taking the train between New York and Washington in 2008 — an increase from 37 percent before the Acela service began in 2000. Amtrak’s market share between New York and Boston was 49 percent last year, compared with 20 percent before Acela.
Amtrak hopes to push those numbers even higher, Mr. Lim said. The railroad plans to introduce free Wi-Fi service on all Acela trains in the second quarter of 2010, then add Northeast regional trains later in the year.
The ability to work on the train is one of the reasons Brian Silengo says he rides Amtrak for his weekly trips to New York from Washington. He uses a cellular wireless card to get Internet access, but as a sales executive for an interactive marketing agency, he mostly values the Acela trains’ reliability.
“They’re very good at getting you where you need to be on time,” he said.
Although he said he would like to see the trains travel at faster speeds, a more important item on his Amtrak wish list is making the process for ticket changes and refunds easier.
With future improvements to the reservation system, Amtrak plans to allow customers to make ticket changes online, and possibly allow passengers to print boarding passes at home. Mr. Lim said the latter option is more challenging because conductors would have to carry ticket scanners.
Another challenge for Amtrak is to price its fares competitively, yet find a way to improve its financial performance. An analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ project Subsidyscope calculated that 41 of Amtrak’s 44 routes lost money last year. The average loss was $32 a passenger, though the Acela Express line earned $41 a passenger, suggesting that faster trains are crucial to profitability, according to the data.
“The Acela, of course, is the moneymaker,” said Marcus Peacock, project director for Subsidyscope. “And that’s the closest thing we have to high-speed rail right now.”
Amtrak’s Acela fares between New York and Washington range from $133 to $221 one-way, compared with $49 to $139 for the slower Northeast regional train. Advance-purchase airfares for the same route can be $150 roundtrip, an important consideration for travelers.
“Our clients look at the price,” said Dave Kilduff, senior director of ground transportation for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a travel management company, though he added that service and travel time are important, too, and that many travelers are surprised by their experience with the train.
“Once they try it, they see it’s much more pleasant than they expected,” he said. “The faster they go, the more people will get on them.”
But to achieve those speeds, and turn Amtrak’s blueprints into reality, some industry experts say what is needed is a broader transportation strategy rather than separate approaches to air, highway and rail travel.
“The United States doesn’t really have an integrated transportation plan,” said Robert L. Crandall, the former chairman of the AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines. He recently participated in a Transportation Department forum on the aviation industry.
“What is needed is some kind of overall plan, and it has to be done by the government,” he said

BNSF wants monopoly suit heard in federal court

BNSF Railway and state officials are engaged in a legal skirmish over whether a shipping monopoly lawsuit should be heard in federal or state court — a disagreement that could have far-reaching consequences for grain farmers in central Montana's Golden Triangle.
The dispute centers on the 87-mile Geraldine Line near Lewistown. For years, Central Montana Railroad has battled in federal court to force Texas-based BNSF to make payments for the line under a 1984 agreement.
After Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock last month stepped in and tried to move the matter to state District Court in Fergus County, BNSF balked.
BNSF — the country's second-largest railroad — accuses the state of "shopping" for a favorable venue.
A decision over which court has jurisdiction is pending before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong in Great Falls.
State attorneys say that if BNSF wins, Central Montana could go out of business and farmers in Cascade, Chouteau, Fergus and Judith Basin counties would have to drive long distances to unload their grain.
That would put new pressures on Montana's agriculture industry at a time when high fuel costs and widely fluctuating grain prices already are causing a strain.
In court documents filed Dec. 21, attorneys for the state asked Strong to remand the case to the state court.
But after consistently getting its way in federal court, BNSF is eager to block the move.
BNSF says the state is engaged in a transparent ploy to subvert federal authority. They point out that the grievances filed by the state are largely the same as complaints Central Montana Railroad unsuccessfully pursued in federal court.
"The new lawsuit is merely a tactic by (Central Montana) and the state to elude the federal forum and undermine rulings by this (federal) court," BNSF attorney Matthew Hayhurst wrote.
BNSF's payments to Central Montana under the 1984 agreement at one point were worth about $1 million annually. After an arbitration panel ruled that BNSF could back out of the agreement, the payments ceased this fall.
The state also claims BNSF has unfairly subsidized construction of a rail loop in Moccasin to give preference to a private unloading facility that competed with Central Montana.
In recent months, traffic along the Geraldine Line has dropped sharply — from about 1,150 carloads a year on average to just over 500 in 2009.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December news letter

Delmarva Timetable
News of the Delmarva Model Railroad Club
December 2009
Matt Schramm, Editor
Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday,December 2, 2009 in the Club meeting room.

Mail vs E-mail
With the cost of postage going up 2 cents on the 11th of May, I would like to make a plea to all the
snail-mailers that if you can get an e-mail account, it would definitely help the club. Right now it costs
roughly $250.00 per year for postage, ink, and paper to get the snail mail editions out. If any of you can
get the newsletter emailed to you, it would cut down on these costs.

Timetable Special Edition
Jeff Shockley, Editor
With 2009 being the 25th anniversary of the club, we are planning on a special edition of the newsletter
for November. It will contain ONLY club history items. If anyone has any pictures or stories of the last
25 years, please send them to me at

Layout News
All groups report things are progressing smoothly on all the layouts.

License Plate Frames
These fit over an automobile license plate. Available in Black or Chrome. The top has “Delmar,
Delaware” engraved on it, the bottom has
“Delmarva Model Railroad Club”. Price for members $15.00, non-members $20.00. Custom orders are

Club Shirts
Bill Shehan is accepting orders for club shirts. Two styles are available and come in sizes Small to
Styles, Sizes and Prices are:
Golf Shirts (Short Sleeve Only)
S, M, L, XL $22.75
2XL $26.25
3XL $28.75
4XL $31.25
Broad Cloth (Long and Short Sleeve)
S, M, L, XL $25.00
2XL $27.50
3XL $30.00
4XL $32.50

Is Buffett's BNSF takeover a good move at a good price?

Early in November, the world's second-richest man made a deal to buy America's largest railway,
swallow it whole and take it off the market.
At a total value of $34-billion (U.S.) it is Warren Buffett's biggest deal ever. If shareholders finalize the
deal as expected early in 2010, it can be argued that his purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe
(BNI-N98.530.070.07%) (BNSF), based in Fort Worth, Texas, will do good things for the U.S.
economy and cement Mr. Buffett's legacy as the Sage of Omaha. When you're pushing 80, that's a good
But what does it mean to ordinary investors? There are those who are argue that the deal isn't very good
for shareholders of Mr. Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B-N3,336.78-15.52-0.46%) , or
those of BNSF, even though Mr. Buffett has offered the equivalent of $100 a share in cash and stock.
Hard on the heels of the deal's Nov. 3 announcement, three lawsuits were filed alleging that BNSF
management shortchanged shareholders, rushing into a deal for their own benefit and failing to get the
highest price for the railroad's shares.
You could argue that the litigants are all wet, as the deal for the 77 per cent of the stock Berkshire
Hathaway does not already own represents a 32-per-cent premium over BNSF's closing price on Nov.
2, the day before the deal was announced. At one point last March, the stock had dipped to $51.20. Too
bad for his own shareholders, Mr. Buffett wasn't able to make the deal then. Still BNSF stock had
climbed to $113 on its own in May, 2008, before the recession took the steam out of its locomotives, so
maybe Mr. Buffett hasn't lost all is marbles.
Even Mr. Buffett concedes that BNSF doesn't come cheap, unlike some of his other legendary deals.
And he's doing some things in this deal that he doesn't normally do – like issuing stock. He's offering a
50-to-one split on Berkshire Hathaway's B shares, which means that Berkshire's B shares, which are
currently trading at about $3,354 will trade around $67 after the deal is approved.
At least you won't have to mortgage your house to buy one, which will still be the case with Berkshire's
A shares, currently trading at about $100,600 – the most expensive stock on the market.
You could dismiss the litigants as greedy, as did BNSF spokesman John Ambler, who told the Fort
Worth Star-Telegram, “Unfortunately, it has become almost a universal occurrence for certain law firms
to file lawsuits of this type around any corporate M&A activity.”
Yet a Scotia Capital Markets report indicates that Mr. Buffett paid too much for his railroad. A report
issued at the end of November indicates that profit estimates for the Big Six North American railroads
are inflated and may have to be adjusted downward. Since the deal was announced shares of the other
five railways are up 12 per cent on average, and that includes Canadian National Railway Co. (CNRT56.15-
0.15-0.27%) , up five per cent, and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP-T52.300.400.77%) , up
more than eight per cent.
“In the short term, we would not be surprised to see the group retrace the gains made post the
announcement of the bid,” writes Scotia analyst Cherilyn Radbourne.
Not a ringing endorsement of railroads.
Even Alice Schroeder, former Wall Street analyst, Bloomberg columnist and Buffett biographer, thinks
Mr. Buffett paid too much for BNSF. “I'm not surprised he bought it,” she told Bloomberg on the
Economy. “I was certainly surprised at the price … he's getting a five-per-cent return on his initial
investment which is considerably less than half of what he likes, and he's issuing stock.”
So when that stock becomes available to trade, will it indeed be overpriced at one-fiftieth of its current
Despite what Ms. Schroeder thinks, UBS analysts point out that while Mr. Buffett paid within the
acceptable range of earnings multiples of 8 to 9, the multiple was based on recession-depressed
earnings. If his offer was based on that May, 2008, price of $113, for example, it would fall below 8
times earnings, which is why some shareholders are going to court.
Still, when your railroad is coming out a deep hole, $100 a share sounds pretty good, and it's likely the
deal will go through as scheduled early in the new year.
Which leaves a lot of people still asking the fundamental question: A railroad? There was, a time, not
so long ago, when Buffett and Co. were leery of investing in railroads because they were capitalintensive,
mired in union strife and make-work rules, but the Sage has changed his tune in recent years.
Rail is more environmentally sound than trucking. One freight train can move a ton of cargo 436 miles
on a single gallon of diesel and can carry the load of 280 trucks.
According to Sharon Dunn, the executive director of the Georgia Railroad Association, if one per cent
of freight currently moved by trucks went on rail instead, the reduction in greenhouse gases would be
1.2 million tons and the fuel savings would be 110 million gallons.
As the price of fuel increases, rail becomes an increasingly attractive alternative – and that capital
intensive disadvantage becomes an advantage: no one is going to start a railroad. In defending the deal,
Mr. Buffett told CNBC: “I basically believe this country will prosper and you'll have more people
moving more goods 10 and 20 and 30 years from now and the rails should benefit.”
Mr. Buffett has famously called the deal “an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States.”
And, he added: “I love those bets.”
Ok, it's not high-tech or bio-tech or Google. But it's certainly one of the most intriguing deals of the
21st century, and it puts the spotlight on railroads. Many analysts believe that Canadian Pacific, which
has none of the foreign ownership restrictions of the larger Canadian National, could be the next
railroad on the block. So you may not have to buy into BNSF at a premium – CP is up in the wake of
the BNSF deal, but nowhere near the 30-per-cent range – to get in on the next big thing. All aboard!

Santa Is At Railroad Museum Saturdays In December

posted November 30, 2009
Santa will be at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Grand Junction Station on Dec. 5, 12
and 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
While at the station ride the Missionary Ridge Local for a 55 minute adventure that includes
riding the train, pulled by steam engine #610, over bridges, through the historic Missionary
Ridge Tunnel, and watching the engine turn on an operating turn table. Adult tickets are $14
and child tickets (age 3-12) are $8.A few tickets are still available for the North Pole Limited
- the nighttime train ride to the North Pole. Call 894-8028 or check for
available dates and reservations. Departure times are 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22
(ages one and up).

GE Transportation pressing for Amtrak deal

Team lobbies for new locomotives
Amtrak hopes to replace 54 of its oldest passenger locomotives, and Lawrence Park-based GE
Transportation wants to bid for the contract.
But at least for now, there's no money in the government's 2010 budget to pay for them.
In what might have once seemed like an unusual collaboration, company officials and its main union
are making a joint plea for Congress to include an appropriation for new locomotives.
"We have the best technology and we know the customer requirements and believe we are best
positioned," Lorenzo Simonelli, the company's chief executive, said in an interview Monday.
"This comes down to funding. Funding for Amtrak for the purchase of diesel electric locomotives isn't
currently planned for in the 2010 appropriation."
Jim Pifer, president of Local 506 of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America, who
joined Simonelli in the interview, said union and management share the same goal.
"We have been trying to work together," Pifer said. "This is important for the community. As GE goes,
the community goes. We are all together on this."
The federal government's $787 billion stimulus bill did include billions of dollars for rail infrastructure
and high-speed rail.
What it didn't include is money to buy higher-speed locomotives that could bridge the gap between
existing passenger service and the arrival of true high-speed rail.
GE Transportation recently signed an agreement with the Chinese Rail Ministry to jointly pursue
opportunities in true high-speed rail, in which locomotives are capable of topping 200 mph.
But the company is ready today to build machines that will run at 124 mph, and both Simonelli and
Pifer are asking employees and members of the community to press lawmakers for Amtrak funding.
His plea comes just days after GE Transportation collected company IDs from the last of about 1,480
employees who lost their jobs as part of a massive reduction at the local plant. The number includes
about 550 who agreed to retire early.
Winning a contract to build 50 or so Amtrak locomotives wouldn't bring workers back, but it would
help keep employees on the job, Simonelli said.
Pifer said he's hoping ultimately that more sales will mean more employees.
"Hopefully, this is just the first of orders to come," he said. "I have a personal commitment to people
who got laid off. My job is to get as many people back as quickly as we can."
Both Simonelli and Pifer said members of Congress have been supportive.
In a statement from her press secretary, U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, of Erie, D-3rd Dist., said she's
committed to securing funding that could produce local jobs and is advocating for passenger-rail
Along with Dahlkemper, Pennsylvania's U.S. senators, Democrats Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, sent a
letter in September to Amtrak's chairman, calling for the replacement of outdated locomotives.
In an Oct. 1 letter to the Senate subcommittee on transportation, Specter and Casey offered their
support to provide the funding.
What would be an order for 54 passenger locomotives mean to Erie County's largest employer?
Simonelli didn't offer a monetary estimate, but he did say the contract would be worth more than a
recent agreement to sell 300 locomotive kits to the Chinese.
Funding for Amtrak doesn't automatically mean a contract for GE Transportation, but it would give the
company a chance.
"It's a competitive bidding process, but I think we are the best-equipped," Simonelli said

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This weekend's open house

We had a very good weakend. We had over 700 people come through the door. Thanks to every one who made this a very sussesful weekend. See you at the next one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Delmarva Model Railroad Club 24th Annual Open House

Del MarVa Model Railroad Club 24th Annual Open House
103 E. State St., Camelot Hall, 2nd floor
Delmar, DE 19940-1155

Sat. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. noon to 5 p.m.

This is one of the largest permanent model railroad displays on the Delmarva Peninsula with over 6,000 square feet of operating model railroads in N, HO, O scale, O tinplate, G, and standard gauges, plus an N-track modular layout. Also train videos, refreshments and "White Elephant" table. Free Admission

Located in downtown Delmar, at 103 State Street on the second floor of Camelot hall. State Street (54) is the main East/West route through Delmar. The building is just one block East of the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks. Coming from the railroad tracks it is on the left. Parking behind St. Stevens Church.

302-856-9250 / 410-742-9325

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 DE, MD, PA, NJ Open House Schedule

For those that would like to have a copy of the 2009 November Open House Schedule, go to:


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

op session

our monthly op session will be on the 25 at 1230

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New YouTube and Facebook pages

By the acceptance votes of the club members, I have created a new YouTube channel and Facebook fan page. I haven't been able to upload any videos on youtube yet, or do much with the facebook page, because I've been busy the past few days. Here's the YouTube channel link:
And here's the facebook fan page:


Monday, October 5, 2009

HO Scale Happenings

- The LocoNet problems on the HO layout that were discovered and reported in this Blog on August 18th have been corrected. The LocoNet in the suspect area was rewired and separated. This basically included all of the new section. There is now one Net for throttles and another Net for the detection, signals, and turnout control. This was done so if we have problems again, troubleshooting will be easier.
- Scenery work is moving forward in major and minor areas and ways. There will be several areas of new scenery for our Open House visitors to see this year, some completed and some still in work. Some detail work is also taking place on various parts of the HO layout.
- Track work, both design and installing in the Parkersburg Yard is also continuing. The town of Athens should be seeing some new developments soon. Rowland and friends have submitted a plan for that area, and it has been approved by the HO members.

- Don't forget, this Wednesday October 7th is the October Business meeting.


Monday, September 28, 2009

the september open house

I would like to thank everyone who made it out to our open house on september 22 2009. We only had 40 people come though the doors, but I think every one hade a good time anyway.

Don't forget apple scrapple on Oct. 10 we will have 2 layouts running in the school cafitera. So come out and see us. We will also have raffle tickets for sale for train sets

Open house dates for this year is

Nov. 28&29
Dec. 5&6
Jan. 9&10
Jan. 16&17

hope to see you there

Friday, September 4, 2009

september open house

For any one interested we are having a open house. September 22, 2009 at 6:00pm tll 8:00pm this is in conjuction with the towns walking tours that night. We are also invited to the rededacation for the high ball and the caboose. Which will be earller in the day. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

9/3/2009: N Scale Layout Report

This past month has been progressing well. However, due to the lack of scenery, and other people from different scales are using the same scenery N scale is, the work is being very conservative. I am only laying grass, dirt, and bushes down with what I think is fair for everyone else who's using them. Until we order more scenery stuff, the work on the N scale layout will be slow. But we are continuing as much as possible. Trees, bushes, and more turf has been placed since the last report. We hope to have rocks and T41 turf soon so the river will be finish by open house.

To make up for our lack of scenery, I'm going to attach a picture of our newest engine, a Kato GG1.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The HO scale operating session that we had Sunday, August 16th, didn't go quite as planned. We encountered some LocoNet problems, and they are still not corrected yet. The focus on the work at Wednesday's meeting will be to try and correct those problems, at least temporarily until a plan can be devised to reconfigure the LocoNet into a more reliable bus system.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

don't forget we have opsession sunday at 1230
Work continues at the club on Wednesdays, rain or shine. Membership turnout was low this past Wednesday the 12th, possibly due to the fact that it was raining cats and dogs in the late afternoon and on into the evening. Pat and John S. dismantled the HO portable layout sections that were donated to the club as we could not use them. Parts were salvaged as appropriate. Work at Parkersburg, Hamden, Mount Lime, Renick Jct. and Mead Paper also continued. Several new visitors were present as well.

Friday, August 7, 2009

At the August business meeting, we celebrated our 25th anniversary with cake and ice cream that was provided by Pat Mulrooney, Matt Schramm, and John Steplowski
Of the members that arrive early in the day, there were fewer folks working on the HO layout this week. Meade Paper is still progressing under the work of Charlie Scott. Elmer continues to work on the scenery in the Mount Lime area as well as teaching Pike some basic layout track bus wiring. (Pike is wiring in the block detection board (BDL-168) to the main line from Chillicothe to West.) Bob is proceeding with getting ready to switch over some turnouts in the Parkersburg wye area from remote switch control to computer control. Pat has started work on Kaiser Aluminum on the Ohio River Sub. He has the track plan laid out and is moving some mainline track, and has started installing track for the facility. Others continue to work on their respective areas as well. Some of the new members have started to get more involved in the club by asking about areas that they could work on, and with HO CEO Bill's approval, will be assigned areas that could use work.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

N Scale Layout report

The valley on the N scale layout started construction over 2 years ago. Today, it is the main project the N scalers are working on. High hopes are what the N'ers have for it to be completed by this season's first open house. For those who don't know what is being done to the valley, I will tell you know what we have accomplished so far, then I will keep updating this until it is finished.

The bottom of the valley includes a winding river with the railroad crossing it trice, 6 if you count the high-girder bridge, and two other bridges; beautiful scenery; and a gravel mill. The outside top of the valley has a grainery; stockyard; a kitbashed high-girder bridge, and more beautiful scenery.

I will try to keep this posted as I much as I can.

Thanks, Toby.

August 2009 Newsletter

Delmarva Timetable
News of the Delmarva Model Railroad Club
August 2009
Jeff Shockley, Editor
Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 in the Club meeting room.

Mail vs E-mail
With the cost of postage going up 2 cents on the 11th of May, I would like to make a plea to all the snail-mailers that if you can get an e-mail account, it would definitely help the club. Right now it costs roughly $250.00 per year for postage, ink, and paper to get the snail mail editions out. If any of you can get the newsletter emailed to you, it would cut down on these costs.


Timetable Special Edition
Jeff Shockley, Editor
With 2009 being the 25th anniversary of the club, we are planning on a special edition of the newsletter for November. It will contain ONLY club history items. If anyone has any pictures or stories of the last 25 years, please send them to me at

Layout News
All groups report things are progressing smoothly on all the layouts.

HO Layout Report
By Bill Deeter

Well, another month has passed and I need to try and write something new and witty for this month’s newsletter. Hmmmm…… that probably won’t happen but Jeff does need some club news to put in the news letter so I’ll ramble on a bit. It would really be great if some of you could contribute to the newsletter as well. We see a lot happen in other scales but really don’t here anything about it. Also maybe a how to do something would be of interest. As you build something take a picture or two as you progress and if you don’t want to write an article at least write a caption for the picture and send it to Jeff.

Ok now lets talk a bit about the HO layout. The progress is pretty much unbelievable as I continue to say. However I’m starting to wonder if we may need to slow up just a bit and make sure the track work is bullet proof. It doesn’t mater how great the layout looks if there are mechanical problems because then the layout is pretty much junk. Ken Kidd and I along with others spent a lot of time re-working the old section of the layout to make the track work as good as we could. Some areas already had scenery in place but we did manage to get it reliable. Dave, with some help from a few of us meticulously laid most all the track on the new section.

What I’ve been noticing is a lot of derailments during ops sessions. Last month I mentioned the 0-5-0 switcher let me also mention that hitting the train hard with an engine can get it very out of sorts also. Then there are jerky starts or running through a switch as this can also cause problems on down the line. Yes you can run a turn out and make it through but again it gets the train out of sorts shall we say. Ok so it may be time to do some serious checking of the track work again. There have been many changes to the track work in the last couple of years and my deal is it has to be smooth I can’t say smooth enough on this. That means smooth transitions in curves smooth as in level no sudden anything.

Roland (trained by Dave) is our track Forman but unfortunately his work has been keeping him away this summer. And I know as much as Dave would like to be involved he just can’t right now. So how smooth is smooth well you should be able to push a train anywhere on the layout. So I will try and be more involved in the track work till fall when Roland will have more time. Please don’t take offence if I ask you to work on something you may think is just fine. We are all in this to learn more and build a great layout that performs flawlessly. I don’t want to discourage anyone who wants to lay track from trying just don’t be offended if I or someone else may make a few suggestions on how to improve. Many years ago we had to stop the sessions and spend something like 2 years tarring up and realigning a lot of track. Then even when we got it much better there were areas that still needed rebuilt.

While we are on this subject we also need to come up with a plan for maintenance on the rolling stock and locomotives. Pat has volunteered to be Car Forman and Steve has volunteered to be Locomotive Forman but they need all our help coming up with the plans and the help to make them work.
Derailments are going to happen but they should be rare. Let’s put our heads together and see if we can make them a rarity.

We had 17 people at the July session but it seemed like only about 14 participated and that was barely enough for a complete session. I’m not sure why but this is not meant to be a spectator sport so just jump in and give it a try. It is amazing that not all that long ago 5 people was a huge turn out.
We try and make sure it is fun for all but sometimes some folks want to play the game a bit more seriously than some others so there can be some tension. I hope no one takes this personally. I would really like to hear from everybody with your thoughts on what you enjoy and what you don’t during the sessions.

The August session will be the 16th @ 12:45. The staging crew is getting larger and larger and the layout is already mostly staged.

Well, that’s enough rambling for now.

Notes about the new Club Web Site
by Elmer Mc Kay
If you go to the new web site and into the LAYOUTS section, you will notice that the HO layouts section is more complete that the sections for the other layouts. This is because I have had input and suggestions from the HO group.

To present our best work on the Internet, I need some input from the other Scales. Look through the HO section and see what is there. I am perfectly willing to make the other scales and layouts sections look the same way. For me to do this, I need you to send me the information. If you want the HISTORY of your layout explained on the page, write one and send it to me. If you want to talk about how you OPERATE your layout, write something up and send it to me.

You O Scale guys are going through a building and construction phase right now. Are you taking photos so they can be put on the web site? If not, why not?

I would love to tell the story of your layouts, but I can't make it up, after all, I am a relatively new member and was not here for what has happened and how your layouts have grown and changed

Our web site will be what YOU make it!!!

License Plate Frames
These fit over an automobile license plate. Available in Black or Chrome. The top has “Delmar,
Delaware” engraved on it, the bottom has
“Delmarva Model Railroad Club”. Price for members $15.00, non-members $20.00. Custom orders are accepted.

Member News
Lee Weldon reports that “I’ve submitted an article about my home layout that will be published in the September/October edition of N Scale Magazine. The article covers how my freelance Laurel Valley Railway interchanges with my proto-based Western Maryland layout. It should be on news stands and in hobby stores by mid August.

Club Shirts
Bill Shehan is accepting orders for club shirts. Two styles are available and come in sizes Small to 4XL.
Styles, Sizes and Prices are:

Golf Shirts (Short Sleeve Only)
S, M, L, XL $22.75
2XL $26.25
3XL $28.75
4XL $31.25

Broad Cloth (Long and Short Sleeve)
S, M, L, XL $25.00
2XL $27.50
3XL $30.00
4XL $32.50

Railroading News

Revolutionary Hudson Locomotive Arrives At Chatham Depot
by Alan Pollock
July 2, 2009 The Cape Cod Chronicle Chatham, Massachusetts

CHATHAM - In 1927, the New York Central Railroad ushered in a new era of power, style and elegance with a brand new type of locomotive: the 4-6-4 Hudson. Far too large, and let’s face it, too cosmopolitan to make the trip to Cape Cod, it was operated between new York and Chicago as part of the ultra-luxurious 20th Century Limited service. The Hudson was a revolutionary locomotive.

That’s probably what prompted Jacob Almon Keeth, an engineer from Leawood, Kan., to build a scale model of the train in his home workshop. Built entirely from scratch using parts he machined himself, the model Hudson consumed the majority of Mr. Keeth’s spare time over the course of about 20 years, concluding it in the mid ‘50s. The model, which has done about as much traveling as a real Hudson, is now on loan to the Chatham Railroad Museum.

Mr. Keeth had the model on display in a built-in bookshelf of his home for several years, but when he moved into a retirement community, he began to search around for a museum that might preserve the model and put it on display.

“I’ve wanted that model since I was a kid, and I was heartbroken when my grandfather didn’t give it to me,” grandson Don Keeth said with a chuckle.

In 1975, his grandfather decided to place the model in the care of the Newcomen Museum in Exton, Penn., where it was put on display for some time. In 2000, Don Keeth was traveling in Pennsylvania when he decided to visit the museum to see his grandfather’s handiwork. He called to check the museum’s hours of operation, and learned that the museum had permanently closed, and that all exhibits had been consigned to the international auction house Christies.

Don Keeth and his father, Allan, resolved to try and get the model back. It was to be an expensive proposition: the two had to fly to London to attend the auction, carefully researching the other items on the auction block and the other bidders likely to attend. When the auction began, there was a brief bidding war with another buyer, but the Keeths prevailed and bought back the Hudson. They were taken aback to learn how much it would cost to ship the model back to the U.S., and even considered having the locomotive crated up and brought home as “carry on” baggage, but ended up hiring a firm to crate, insure, handle, ship and deliver the precious package.

Though they were glad to have the model back in the states, the Keeths wanted to honor their grandfather’s desire to have his model placed on display for the public. Don Keeth lives in Belmont, and began researching suitable museums nearby. From trips to the Cape, he remembered the small railroad museum in Chatham, and called museum director Larry Larned, who was very excited.

“It just seemed like a nice place,” Don said. Probably because museum founder Frank Love and William Main, the second museum director, had careers in the New York Central, the museum has many artifacts from that railroad. So the Hudson fits in nicely, even though the real locomotive never would’ve visited here.

The model is on loan to the Chatham Railroad Museum and will remain on display at least through the summer. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

West Virginia Railroad Museum Gets Turntable
Story by Dani Brake
July 3, 2009 WBOY-12 TV Clarksburg, West Virginia

ELKINS -- The West Virginia Railroad Museum has received a new addition.

Workers unloaded a railroad turntable from Chicago, Thursday night. The original turntable at the Elkins Depot was sold in the 1980s. The new turntable is 90 feet long, and weighs more than 82 tons. The museum says it will be the centerpiece of its plans for the future.

Workers will move the turntable off the tracks early next week.

Glenwood's Railroad Museum takes visitors on a trip back in time
Depot houses track tools, model train, photo essays
July 7, 2009 Post Independent Intern Glenwood Springs, CO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Men smoked their cigars in one waiting room, while the women waited in another for a train to pull into the Glenwood Springs Depot in the late 1800s. Today, there is just one waiting area for everybody with the former room for the ladies transformed into something else. The Western Colorado Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society has changed that room into a railroad museum.The popular museum welcomes more than 8,000 visitors annually.In 2003, the members of the society decided that a dedicated railroad museum commemorating the colorful history right here in Glenwood Springs would be a great attraction. Two connecting rooms now make up the Glenwood Railroad Museum. Viewers gain a rich experience with an operating model railroad, photo essays following routes of the trains, and a room that holds a track maintenance car and 80-year-old signal lights. Tour Guide Dick Helmke takes viewers on a high energy walk through the museum. He points out the model and explains some of the photos, he takes visitors back in time, what used to be the Railway Express Agency, which is the equivalent to today's UPS service. The trip ends with an informational show-and-tell about the track car and the tools used to fix and work on tracks. Helmke loves showing kids how heavy the tools are and how much effort is needed to use the hand tools for removing spikes and drilling holes into the track. Each piece of equipment is solid iron and extremely heavy. The museum is located in the train depot, which was in built in 1904. The town's first depot was at Seventh Street and Pitkin Avenue, but it was destroyed after the new one was built. “It wasn't as nice as people wanted it to be,” Frontier Museum Director Cindy Hines said. The townspeople felt that since Glenwood was named a tourist destination, visitors needed to be welcomed by a good-looking building. Along with the separated waiting rooms, the depot had baggage handlers and a telegraph messenger. Messages could be sent by passengers to outside people along with the communication to the train operators. Today passengers handle their own luggage, wait in the same area, and send mail via cell phones, computers or other technology. The trains have switched to diesel and are no longer run by steam. Helmke explained that steam engines could blow up easily because of the constant fire under the holding tank full of boiling water. Another aspect of train life in the late 1800s and early 1900s was “The Hoop.” It's essentially exactly how it sounds. Train orders were clipped to it and a worker would hand it over to the operator as the train came by. The operator would drop the hoop down the tracks and the worker would run to get the hoop and use it again later. Preserving the history of Glenwood's trains and railroads is a why visitors to the museum appreciate the value of old towns and today's way of life.

Railroad from New York City To Poconos
July 7, 2009 Examiner Allentown, Pennsylvania
If you're one of the thousands of people waiting for New York City passenger rail service to come to the Poconos, you've heard all about the projected completion dates.

Many of them already have passed.

This one, however, seems a little more optimistic after Monday's announcement that the Scranton-to-Hoboken, N.J., rail project in the works for more then a decade has received special federal designation allowing it to move forward.

The Environmental Protection Agency has declared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the entire project, meaning the rail line — after a 30-day public comment period — can move to secure funding for the engineering and construction phases.
Pennsylvania's two Democratic senators, Arlen Specter and Bob Casey Jr., made the announcement Monday in Pittston Township.

"This railroad is really about the future," but this is going to bring jobs and commerce and the future to northeast Pennsylvania."

The $550 million project, “I.E Wow I wonder where the $550 million project will come from….will the tax payer’s cover this cost?

The Rail will include stops in the Poconos; the estimated time of completion is four to five years, according to Larry Malski, chief operating officer of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority.

The Scranton-Hoboken line has five proposed Monroe County stops in Delaware Water Gap, East Stroudsburg, Analomink, Mount Pocono and Tobyhanna.

Officials from Monroe and Lackawanna counties, as well as New Jersey, have been trying for more than two years to secure the EPA's designation.
Now that the project has the EPA's approval, it must find funding. Malski said the entire $550 million isn't needed immediately, that the project still will be completed in phases. In 2013 or 2014 it can be finished.

Vermont Amtrak Disaster of 1984
Marselis Parsons
July 7, 2009 WCAX News Williston, Vermont

This is the 25th anniversary of one of the worst transportation disasters in Vermont.

A heavy downpour overwhelmed a beaver dam in Williston and a torrent of water washed away a section of roadbed on the Central Vermont rail line.

The engineer of the Amtrak Montrealer-- speeding north with 278 people on board-- had no warning.

As the train passed over the culvert it gave way and the back of the train tumbled down the embankment.

Reporter Michael Gilhooly and photographer Paul Gittelsohn were among the first on the scene. We talked to Gittelsohn at his company Videosyncracies.

Gittelsohn: Well it was the most carnage I'd ever seen in my life. I didn't see any dead bodies but there were trains piled up on top of each other... people covered with blood... it was a very dramatic scene.

Marselis Parsons: Confusion?

Gittelsohn: Yes, we didn't know if things might shift. It had rained heavily the night before it washed out the culvert and, you know, there are cars on top of each other, and there's people up on the hill with blood and there's ambulances... It was quite a scene.

We were there pretty early... I dunno... maybe 7:30, something like that and I remember staying until probably near noon getting all the original footage including the aerial footage from the National Guard helicopter which took me up for ten or fifteen minutes and circled around a couple of times.

Parsons: Michael is doing a report there but you both put the gear down and helped in the rescue effort.

Gittelsohn: A little bit, it wasn't quite as grandiose as it sounds. There was somebody on a stretcher and it looked like they were struggling over boulders and tracks and stuff like that so I put it down and helped them for 20-30 feet, but then grabbed my camera getting different angles.

Parsons: What were you thinking about in something like that? Were you thinking my God, there are a lot of dead people here? Or are you thinking I've got to get good pictures?

Gittelsohn: Good pictures, a variety of shots. I wanted every angle. I was glad to get up in the helicopter... I just wanted a variety.

Parsons: (pointing at video) Some of these people look like they were pretty badly hurt.
Gittelsohn: They were the lucky ones."

Five people were not so lucky. They were killed in the crash. More than 150 were injured.

Washington Train Crash Prompts Safety Warning
by Matthew l. Wald
July 13, 2009 New York Times New York, New York

WASHINGTON — A single broken part probably caused last month’s deadly train crash here, the National Transportation Safety Board hinted Monday, as it issued an urgent recommendation to local and federal authorities to evaluate similar systems around the country for “adequate safety redundancy.”

The board is months away from completing its investigation, but it has said that a circuit failure in the spot where a subway train smashed into a stopped train ahead of it on June 22, killing nine people, had caused trains to intermittently become invisible to the control system.

The train that was struck had stopped near the above-ground Fort Totten station in Northeast Washington, on the Metro Red Line, and had apparently disappeared from that control system.

The Washington Metro, which opened in 1976, is largely automatic, with a central computer telling trains when to start and stop. The June 22rd accident occurred after the control system directed a train to accelerate into the rear of the stopped train.

The impact was compounded by the cars that made up the moving train, which were an older model that the federal safety board determined after an earlier accident was not crash-worthy. In addition to the nine people who died in last month’s crash, including the train operator, about 52 people were taken to hospitals.

“The accident has shown that the train control system is susceptible to a single point failure,” the board said in a letter on Monday to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The board sent a similar letter to the Federal Transit Administration, urging that the agency tell rail transit operators around the country to evaluate their systems.

This was in marked contrast to statements by Metro experts shortly after the collision, when they said they did not understand how such an accident could have occurred because it would have required multiple system failures.

The equipment that failed had been replaced five days before the crash. After the crash, investigators said they had found data that showed “errors in train detection for several days before the accident.”

After the crash, system managers said they would check daily for anomalies in which trains seemed to disappear, but the board’s letter said that software or new circuitry should be developed “to continuously evaluate the validity of real-time track occupancy data.”

While Metro seemed ignorant of the detection problem before the crash, The Washington Post reported on July 7 that Bay Area Rapid Transit system officials in San Francisco had recognized such a malfunction, and had installed a backup system. Bart and Metro were developed about the same time and use similar technology.

North Shore train enthusiasts have model club in Wakefield

Wakefield - Hidden in the expansive basement of Brothers Restaurant on Main Street is a treasure that has had perhaps more visitors from around the country than from around Wakefield — The North Shore Model Railroad Club, featuring a magnificent display of meticulously built models of the 1950s Chesapeake Railroad System.

Containing about 1,500 to-scale model freight cars, more than 100 passengers cars, hundreds of ’50s automobiles and trucks, buildings and scenery, this is definitely not child’s play.

In the 45- by 90-foot basement there are nearly nine miles of intricate, hand-painted buildings and scenery that appears so real when photographed it looks like the outdoors. Yet, with all the miles of wiring, 134 siding switches, hand-place ties, tracks and lighting, it has taken club volunteers nearly 30 years to build, and it is still a work-in-progress. One of the most impressive buildings is a large white hotel, a replica of the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, formerly owned by the Chesapeake railroad, which ran between Virginia and West Virginia.

All of the trains on the line are functional, and it takes about 20 minutes for any train to complete the run. Of the nine clubs in Massachusetts, Wakefield’s North Shore Club is the largest and one of the largest in New England.

Featured on the June 2009 cover of Scale Rails, the official publication of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), club member Malcolm Laughlin of Belmont wrote an eight-page feature on the club that reads like an article for an engineering journal. From the National Convention of the NMRA held in Hartford, Conn. this past week, three busloads of members came to visit the impressive layout designed by the North Shore Model Railroad Club and some were thrilled to have the opportunity to operate the system. They ran seven trains with about 15 to 20 cars per train for their guests. The North Shore Club served as the National Convention’s Layout Tour Host. They’ve also had tour groups from England, Scotland and Australia.

“Our club features mostly freight trains, and clubs from Europe, Canada and Australia and around the world are fascinated with the U.S. railroad system and model their clubs after our systems,” said Wayne Slayton of Woburn, who grew up in Wakefield and serves as one of the club’s tour guides. Slayton now has a section of the model named for him as one of the original members. He served as an equipment operator and brakeman for a number of railroads, including Boston & Maine, Amtrak, MBTA and others, following in his father’s footsteps.
Many of the club’s 64 members are former railroad workers and managers and train lovers from childhood. They live in various towns throughout the state. But, they all have three things in common: they have a passion for trains; they show great attention to detail; and they are all men, ranging in age from 23 to nearly 80.

The club began in 1977 with eight members meeting in homes and starting with a train layout donated by someone who was moving across the country. They moved to the Brothers Restaurant basement in 1979 and began designing the layout, with actual construction beginning in 1980. Some of the towns in the model are named after actual towns on the railroad line and some are named after longtime members.

Each member goes through a probationary period of about three months and then is given a key to the building. Everyone must sign up for a committee and perform tasks. Committees are representative of a real railroad company: operations, scheduling, and maintenance; and there are committees for construction and painting. Five of the members work on sophisticated electrical wiring. A chief dispatcher controls the operations and assigns crews to trains. It takes a minimum of four men to operate the system for demonstrations and many more for the complete operation.

John Burroughs of Waltham, past president and club official, said members pay only $20 per month in dues. The only other money raised is through donations and their large annual Open House and Dealer Train Show, to be held on Oct. 17 at the American Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $3 per person, including entrance to the club’s model railroad.

The club also buys and sells models and hosts a “white elephant” table. The club offers monthly tours for the public and special tours for scouts and schools at no charge.

Burroughs, who owns a company that manufactures train car boxes, explains that Malcolm Laughlin’s job as the club’s operations manager is to make up a “waybill,” or identifier ticket, for each freight car and assign schedules. Each car is assigned a unique number. (Laughlin is the former manager of car distribution systems for the New York Central Railroad, now known as SCX.) There are also schedule cards showing the sequence of events for each train.

The men meet on Thursday evenings as a group to work on operations and layouts and monthly they hold a business meeting, which includes committee reports.

“We are a casual club and we’ve become good friends. Some of us even travel together around the country on trains,” said Burroughs. “We have the responsibility of re-enacting railroad operations as they were 50 years ago. We are loosely based on the Chesapeake system, with steel mills and coals trains.”

Jeff Brown of Ashland has been in the club for 16 years and he said, “there is always something new here. It takes a lot of time and patience, but we all have a passion for trains.”

The members never cease to admire the work that has already been accomplished, and they are excited to be working on additions and modifications to the layout.

The detail in the village scenes are extraordinary and exact in replicating the 50s with authentic billboards, a cat in the rubbish, a woman watering plants in a top-floor window box, a wedding at the church, women at a gift shop, parking meters and drunks on the street. Three hours in this room is not enough time to view every detail. For instance, some of the trucks dump coal into the trains, and one train stops and drops express mail into another train.

With about 1.5 million trains in the 1950s in the U.S., club officials estimate the North Shore Railroad Club has about one-tenth of one percent of all the trains in the U.S. at the time.

The club has free parking in the lot off of Princess Street. It is open to visitors the first Saturday of each month (or the second Saturday when the month starts on a Friday or Saturday) from 1-5 p.m., at no charge. Clubs and groups may schedule special tours by calling 781-245-4742. There is no charge for group tours and a fare box is available by the door for donations. Visit their web site at

Friday, July 24, 2009

Attention all

To all members you will want to be at this next business meeting it will be one to never forget

Thursday, July 16, 2009

op session

This Sunday is the month op session 1230 to 1700


Friday, May 29, 2009

Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in the Club meeting room.

Note from The President
Well another month has gone by again. Means we're getting closer to open house.

I would like to thank everyone that is trying to find out more ways to raise funds for the club. More ideas to get the funds up and word of the club out is great thing. Keep up the good work.

Everything seems to be running great and progressing in great speed. Great work to all of

That's all I have to say for this month.

Happy modeling and railroading to all

Mail vs E-mail
With the cost of postage going up 2 cents on the 11th of May, I would like to make a plea to all the snail-mailers that if you can get an e-mail account, it would definitely help the club. Right now it costs roughly $250.00 per year for postage, ink, and paper to get the snail mail editions out. If any of you can get the newsletter emailed to you, it would cut down on these costs.


Library News
Jeff Shockley, Librarian
The cataloging and arranging of the books and magazines continues.

If anyone has any news that they would like to share with the other members, whether it is club news, or news on your home layout, please send it on to me, pictures are welcome too. I will make sure it gets included.

Layout News
All groups report things are progressing smoothly on all the layouts.

O gauge Hi-Rail Division
Gary Burlingame
Well work is almost done in the workroom. Paint booth done and in use. Shelves done (and about full) Track about 50% laid.

Comment was made about some pictures. We have only one member with a digital camera and he’s been out with health problems . Last week (21st) an HO member came up and we talked about this, and he said he had his camera so he took some. So Elmer we got pictures. Please give him credit for them.

Bill Deeter

The other night some of us were talking, and something I said about how to operate a train brought a “Hmmm I didn’t know that” from a couple people. So somehow I will try to put to paper, some of the stuff that I assume everybody knows. I’m not exactly sure where to start but we will give it a try.

I assumed everyone knew that when you pick up your train in staging that you take a minute to check all of your cards match the cars in the train and the caboose as well. What would happen in the real world is the conductor would walk the train and check he has the right paperwork and then on his way back he would check the brakes have released. It also takes a bit of time for the train to get the air pumped up. So what this means for our layout. When you start a train anywhere check that the cards are right and that you have a caboose card. If you’re in a yard and things are not correct call the Yardmaster. If you are in a yard without a Yardmaster call the Dispatcher for instructions and help figuring out why the cards do not match.

I assumed everybody could look at a siding and see how many cars can be loaded or unloaded but maybe not. Pennsboro Power has two unloading tracks; each can only handle 5 cars. They will each hold 6 or 7 but they can’t all be unloaded. Continuing the 5 car theme most of the coal on the layout operates in 5 car blocks because Smith Mining only can load 5 cars per track.

There are many other things like this. So the real point of this is, sometimes I forget to explain certain things. So never be afraid to ask if you want to understand something.

Please join the clubs yahoo group.

It will make a great way to share info and have conversation through out the week and allow everybody to be a part of it. Who knows it may even help with those assumptions!

HO Layout Report
Bill Deeter

Progress is continuing to happen all around the layout. Elmer is expanding the signal and switch crew. Bob and Pike have been hard at work learning the ropes. They are working on both ends of the signaled territory, on the east Parkersburg throat and on the west end West Junction. I can see the main line completely signaled soon. Pretty cool!

Pat has a track plan for Kaiser Aluminum and he has also been working in the shop area with some help from John S. It is really looking good. It will have an extended test track as well as a programming track.

Work on the Wieland valley, Mead Paper, Ray and Moonville continues and much more. Mary has been making some trees so if you need some for where you are working help yourself.

The operating sessions continue. We ran a full session on May 17th with about 17 people present. I think all went well. I was in Parkersburg Yard and really concentrating on it so I didn’t notice much else. Matt did the dispatching chores. Ed had some electrical difficulties in Wieland but hopefully we can get that sorted out by next session.

We could not have been ready for this session if it weren’t for the hard work of Jeff and Pete. They are learning how to stage and did a great job. Jeff is working on the main line staging for Grafton and Cincinnati while Pete set up the Ohio River Sub at Wheeling and Huntington.

The next OPS Session will be Sunday June 21st., hope you can make it. If you would like to help with the staging it would be greatly appreciated. See Jeff, Pete or me. The more people helping the faster it goes.

Important message from the Assistant Treasurer
May 7, 2009

As most of you know, I am the new Assistant Treasurer for the train Club. Bill Shehan recently decided he needed help with the job and I volunteered. Bill will remain as the Treasurer ‘of record’ but I will be doing the day to day grunt work of handling all the receipts, writing all the checks, picking up the mail at the post office and some of the other duties that Bill performed. Bill will continue to handle membership, sit at the head table at the Club meeting with the ‘big wigs’, and give the Treasurer’s Report which I will prepare.

First of all, I believe Bill has done a great job of handling the financial records of the Club. We all should appreciate the work he has been doing for the past couple of years. I do not plan to make any significant changes, but, I thought I would take this opportunity to go over some of the Club procedures, especially in the area of disbursements and also provide insight into other areas. Since the Club has several new members, this message would also serve them well.

Each scale (HO, O, N, and Tinplate) has ‘allocated funds’ which were approved at the January 2009 Club meeting. Funds were also approved for ‘Scenery’ purchases. Each scale has an ‘Approver’ or ‘Lead person’ or ‘Go to person’ or whatever you want to call them, that speaks for or represents that scale. They are:
HO – Bill Deeter
O – Tim Burlingame
N – Louis O’Day
Tinplate – Bill Shehan and/or John Realini.

These people are aware of their scales’ allocated funds. The following steps should be taken for Club purchases and subsequent reimbursement:
Clearance must be obtained from your ‘Approver’ before the purchase is made.
After the purchase is made, a reimbursement request must be completed and given to the ‘Approver’ with receipts attached.
The ‘Approver’ will approve the reimbursement, deduct the amount from that scales’ allotted funds and give to me for reimbursement.
I will write a reimbursement check for the approved amount.

NOTE: Items should not be purchased by a Club member until appropriate permission is obtained

The ‘Approver’ is responsible for ensuring they do not exceed their allocated amount. Reimbursement requests that exceed the allocated amount will not be made.

The Officers and I have had several meetings to discuss an area that has been and continues to be of concern. It involves timely payment of dues. Currently, the Club has about 45 dues paying members. At the current time, 8 of these members are delinquent from one month to 8 months. The Club’s By-Laws require that the Treasurer report to the Board of Directors the names of members who are over 90 days late in payment of their dues. The Board may take such action as deemed appropriate, such as suspension, expulsion, or withdrawal of Club privileges and use of Club property. Payment of Club dues should be a high priority of Club members. Although the Club is not a ‘business’ per se, we do attempt to operate like a business in that plans are made based on anticipated receipt of income. When the dues are not paid on time, plans have to be revised. Most of you pay your dues on time and I applaud you for this. I know times are rough, but if you can not pay your dues in a timely manner, please contact us and we can make some sort of arrangements. The bulletin board always has the latest print-out of members’ dues.

Expenses of the Club continue to grow. In the ‘Old Days’ the Club used kerosene heaters to warm the place and the Club did not have air conditioning. Many Wednesday evenings in July and August members would show up to work on the layouts only to be sent home because it was simply too hot or too humid. Also, in the ‘Old Days’, kerosene used in the heaters during the winter was very reasonable. Just light a couple heaters and the members would be kept from freezing. Now, we have two large propane heaters and several air conditioners and this adds a significant amount of overhead to the Club. During the period January – April we have spent almost $1,600 for propane and electricity. Purchases for the propane heaters will naturally let up until fall, but the electricity usage will increase significantly for the summer. A couple of years ago, we increased dues to $80 per year to help cover this and operating costs in general, but we need to do more to control costs. If you are the last to leave the Club, be sure the heaters/air conditioners are turned off. We don’t want to cool/heat the Club with no one present. We have had incidences of the heating/air conditioning being left on which means we are wasting money to heat/cool when no one is at the Club. It is up to all of us to watch our costs and economize where we can. The very last thing we want to do is have another dues increase.

I also will be taking over the purchasing of the sodas/water and stocking of the refrigerator. The Club can make a few dollars each month on the sale of sodas/water if all members pay for the items they drink. Recently, I purchased four 12-packs of sodas for $10 from Giant. These drinks could bring in $24, for a profit of $14.00 each time we drink 48 sodas. This won’t exactly make us millionaires, but it all adds up. The Club charges only 50 cents for each drink. If you take a drink, please deposit funds in the container located inside the refrigerator.

In an attempt to bring in cash the Club recently sold aluminum cans and made $6.40. Again, this isn’t much but if we keep it up, it will add up over time. This was suggested by a Club member and it has begun to pay off. At the present time the price for aluminum is probably quite low, but continue to place empty cans in the re-cycle container located at the front entrance and hopefully the price will go back up.

I am trying to think of a way to get on the band wagon and get bail out funds from the Obama administration, but until I can come up with a way we need to watch our costs and be creative about new ways to bring in cash. We are currently exploring several ways of bringing in additional funds. As the ideas come together, we will be asking for everyone’s help in these endeavors. If anyone has any ideas, please let us know.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks for taking time to read this and I am looking forward to handling the financial transactions for the Club.
John Steplowski

Notes about the new Club Web Site
Elmer Mc Kay
If you go to the new web site and into the LAYOUTS section, you will notice that the HO layouts section is more complete that the sections for the other layouts. This is because I have had input and suggestions from the HO group.

To present our best work on the Internet, I need some input from the other Scales. Look through the HO section and see what is there. I am perfectly willing to make the other scales and layouts sections look the same way. For me to do this, I need you to send me the information. If you want the HISTORY of your layout explained on the page, write one and send it to me. If you want to talk about how you OPERATE your layout, write something up and send it to me.

You O Scale guys are going through a building and construction phase right now. Are you taking photos so they can be put on the web site? If not, why not?

I would love to tell the story of your layouts, but I can't make it up, after all, I am a relatively new member and was not here for what has happened and how your layouts have grown and changed

Our web site will be what YOU make it!!!

License Plate Frames
These fit over an automobile license plate. Available in Black or Chrome. The top has “Delmar,
Delaware” engraved on it, the bottom has
“Delmarva Model Railroad Club”. Price for members $15.00, non-members $20.00. Custom orders are accepted.

Club Shirts
Bill Shehan is accepting orders for club shirts. Two styles are available and come in sizes Small to 4XL.
Styles, Sizes and Prices are:

Golf Shirts (Short Sleeve Only)
S, M, L, XL $22.75
2XL $26.25
3XL $28.75
4XL $31.25

Broad Cloth (Long and Short Sleeve)
S, M, L, XL $25.00
2XL $27.50
3XL $30.00
4XL $32.50

Railroading News

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum plays host to Steam Days

Railroad Museum marks golden age
by Scottie Vickery, News staff writer
May 01, 2009 The Birmingham News Birmingham, Alabama

Those who miss the golden age of steam locomotives will get a chance to relive the glory days this weekend and next.

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera will hold Steam Days on Saturday and Sunday and May 9-10.

The highlight will be six-mile train trips on passenger cars pulled by Flagg Coal No. 75, an operating, coal-fired steam engine on loan to the museum. The rides will be offered six times on each of the four days. Tickets range from $15 to $50.

"This will be the first time since probably the late'40s that a passenger train has been pulled by a steam engine on these tracks," said Barbara Morrow, the corporate secretary for the museum. "This engine has a lot of history."

The 40-ton saddle tank steam locomotive was built in 1930 by Vulcan Iron Works of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In 1935, it was sold to the Solvay Process Quarry in Jamesville, N.Y., and was used to push carts of rock from the steam shovel to the crusher.

In 1954, it was sold to Stanley Groman of Syracuse, N.Y., who built the Rail City Museum. The engine, along with others, was unloaded on a storage track and remained there untouched for decades.

John and Byron Gramling bought the steam engine in 1991, and the father-son team moved it to their farm shop near Ansley, Ind., and spent 10 years restoring it.

Visitors to the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum may also take a ride on the museum's Shelby and Southern narrow-gauge steam engine, which formerly was at The Birmingham Zoo. The train runs about every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets for the Shelby and Southern are $4.

"People will have a chance to ride two steam engines in one day," Morrow said. "There are a lot of railroad buffs who love steam engines."


Unattended CSX locomotive derails
May 2, 2009 The Northern Virginia Daily Strasburg, Virginia

WINCHESTER -- An unattended locomotive derailed from its track Friday afternoon and cleanup efforts were expected to last well into the evening, according to a press release from city officials.
The derailment occurred around 3:39 p.m. between the buildings at 126 N. Kent St. and 231 E. Piccadilly St., the release says. The CSX locomotive "suffered a tear, causing a leak in diesel fuel," it says.

Winchester fire and rescue personnel arrived on the scene shortly after the incident occurred, and secured the locomotive and began channeling the fuel. City public works personnel arrived on the scene at about 4:50 p.m. to help dig a reservoir for the fuel, so it could then be pumped off of the ground, the release says.

Officials from CSX were at the scene, the release says, and the reason for the locomotive's movement and derailment was still unknown.

As of 6:30 p.m., Winchester police were diverting traffic from North Kent Street to East Lane, it says, though North Kent Street was expected to be open to traffic "in the coming hours."

Railroad Museum donates Soo locomotive to city
by Amie Jo Schaenzer
May 8, 2009 The Oshkosh Northwestern Oshkosk, Wisconsin

A locomotive that once ran through Oshkosh could be on track to return — this time for good. The National Railroad Museum in Green Bay has offered to donate a 1963 GP-30 Diesel Locomotive to the city for the purpose of displaying in Oshkosh.

The locomotive once ran on the Soo Line Railroad, which passed through the city up until the 1960s.“It’s in good shape and really doesn’t require a lot of work to make it shiny and new-looking, again,” said Mike Tellzrow, executive director of the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. “We put it up for public sale but were not able to sell it. The ultimate option would have been destruction of the locomotive so we are very happy that the city has an interest in it.”The railroad museum was asking $20,000 for the locomotive, which is basically a “shell” without an engine. Tellzrow said he offered to donate the locomotive to the city when Mayor Paul Esslinger called to show interest in it. Esslinger has placed a resolution on the Oshkosh Common Council’s agenda for Tuesday, asking the city to accept the donation.
“It used to come though Oshkosh and I thought it would be neat to have some of that history back here,” Esslinger said.

Woman sentenced to probation in railroad theft
Associated Press
May 8, 2009 The Chicago Tribune Chicago, Illinois

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - A woman caught trying to sell a ton of stolen railroad parts to a salvage yard in the Mississippi River city of Alton has been sentenced to two years of probation. Thirty-seven-year-old Pamela Wright of Alton pleaded guilty last month in Madison County to a felony theft count. Prosecutors charged her last August after investigators say she pilfered 2,000 pounds of railroad parts from along a set of tracks in Granite City. When she tried to sell the Norfolk Southern Corp. parts to a salvage yard, that business told police and Wright was arrested. Investigators say the parts included bags containing hundreds of rail anchors, tie plates and spikes.

Model Railroad Club A Big Hit
by Jane Aldrich
May 8, 2009 Lansing, Michigan

There was a time when almost every little boy had a model train set. The hobby of model railroading may not be as popular to young people now, but for those still riding the rails in miniature, it's big fun. It's a permanent, large scale model railroad track that is complete with cityscapes, outdoor scenes and even remote controls.

Ron St. Laurent, Lansing Model Railroad Club Treasurer: "A model in the '50s wouldn't even compare to what we're running here."

Yes, things have changed a lot through the years for model railroaders as they're called.

Terry Friar, Lansing Model Railroad Club Secretary: "A lot of the small electronics you see in an iPod have really accelerated the whole hobby." It's called a hobby, but members of the Lansing Model Railroad Club take this fun very seriously.

Michael Frezell, Lansing Model Railroad Club President: "It's a very in-depth hobby, people learn about electronics, construction work and very fine detail work."

Terry Friar: "To make it more lifelike, that's what everyone's trying to do."

The Lansing Model Railroad Club has been around since 1963. They have about 800 square feet they work on. 35 members gather once a week to run their trains, enjoy each other and get away from the real world.

Michael Frezell: "t's a great stress relief too. Come in here after a long day or work and then come in here and leave the whole world behind you."

Sounds like a simple way to get back on track when life gets too complicated. If you'd like to learn more about the model railroad club, call 517-347-1831.

Ignoring Railroad Safety Could Cost You
by Israel Balderas
May 12, 2009 KFOX Morning News

A police officer on his motorcycle sits on his idling bike, waiting at a stop light intersection. He waits for the red flashing lights to go off, ready to catch a would-be law breaker. But the lights he focuses on are not those of the closest traffic signal, but rather the red lights that indicate a train approaches. His job is to pull over any hurried drivers who don't wait for the train to pass.

Most drivers see a railroad crossing sign as just another standing post. But those safety signs are there to warn drivers that vehicles can move along only when the tracks are clear. The problem is that rushed drivers often ignore them without much thought. But doing so around town may result in getting pulled over and seeing another kind of flashing lights -- those of police officers.

The El Paso Police Department and public safety officers with Union Pacific work together to remind drivers of the need to obey railroad safety signals. If their own bodily integrity doesn't persuade them to wait, police officers believe traffic tickets and a hefty fine may do the trick. "Unfortunately, all to frequent, one of the reasons why we are out here today is try to promote public safety and good motorist behavior at crossings," said Jay Holman, senior special agent for Union Pacific.

Motorists are urged to obey the law and obey the signs and signals that warn of approaching trains. Just remember -- look, listen and live. These are three simple words that can go a long way to keeping drivers safe and going. "A lot of times, there's always somebody that has the intent to beat the train," said Holman. A lot of times it’s mostly inattention. According to the public officials with Union Pacific, people get focused on day to day errands and then they put themselves in harms way for that quarter second or half second to get across the train tracks.

"We just want drives to take an extra second to think about their safety," said Holman.

Steam locomotives celebrated at new Museum of the Shenandoah Valley exhibit
May 16, 2009

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester has announced a new exhibit, set to open on May 29 in its Changing Exhibition Gallery. "Life Along the Line: Railroad Photography by O. Winston Link," is a collection of historic photographs that recall a time when the sight and sounds of the steam locomotive ruled the land and touched the lives of countless people in many different ways.

“The Norfolk & Western Railroad was the last Class One railroad in America to operate exclusively with steam power,” says Julie Armel, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. “So when you think of the steam locomotive, that's truly what it is. The big locomotive with the billows of steam coming out of it.”

Between 1955 and 1960, photographer O. Winston Link created images that documented how people lived along and interacted with the Norfolk & Western Railway, the last Class 1 railroad in America to operate exclusively with steam power. This exhibit includes more than 30 photos that capture life along the Norfolk & Western Railroad from 1955-1960, at the tail-end of the heyday of the steam locomotive.

“They are just amazing pictures. Link was very well known for the photographs that he took at night. There are some fantastic shots -- some in the Valley, some in other parts of Virginia. Anyone who is interested in photography, trains, or that time period in America might be very happy to see this exhibit,” Armel says. Many of the photos are on display to the public for the first time.

Today Link’s work is hailed as one of the best records of this long-vanished way of life, and the haunting images he took at night have become especially acclaimed.

Armel says there are some wonderful pictures of Americana and amazing technical work. She describes one photograph of Link and an assistant that shows all of the flash bulbs that they had to use to take the nighttime photographs.“You see a train at night in the background, and in the foreground there's a classic 1950s-era car and a couple at a drive-in movie theater. Or there's a wonderful picture of a family playing in the water at Hawksbill Creek in Luray with a Norfolk & Western on a bridge going over the creek.”Life Along the Line will remain on view in the Changing Exhibition Gallery through August 2, 2009.
Admission to the museum is free to MSV members, otherwise regular gallery admission rates apply. Armel noted that the museum staff will assist people who may have limited time schedules and may not be able to see all that the museum has to offer. For example, the museum staff may suggest a tour itinerary that only includes the museum galleries or the gardens, or just a house tour and the gardens. The museum is open year-round, and the house and gardens are open March through November. All are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; closed Mondays and major holidays.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers slogan, the museum is offering a special until the end of 2009: For every three tickets the visitor purchases, the fourth is free. Admission is always free to the museum galleries Wednesday mornings from 10 a.m. until noon. For more information, visit the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley online, at

For A Laugh (emails from internet friends)

Cancel your credit card before you die

Now some people are really stupid!!!! Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die. This is so priceless, and so, so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today.

A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank.

Here is the exchange :

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

Citibank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

Citibank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Citibank: 'Excuse me?'

Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?'

Citibank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0 balance.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Citibank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)

Citibank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given )

After they get the fax :

Citibank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help..'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.' (What is wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Citibank: 'That might help...'Family Member: ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'

Citibank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'

(Priceless!!) You wondered why Citi is going broke and need the feds to bail them out!!

Texas Ingenuity
I have a friend who is president of his homeowners association in the Dallas, Texas suburbs. They were having a terrible problem with litter near some of his association’s homes. The reason according to Wallace (my friend) is that six very large, luxurious new houses are being built right next to their community.

The trash was coming from the Mexican laborers working at the construction sites and included bags from McDonald’s, Burger King and 7-11, plus coffee cups, napkins, cigarette butts, coke cans, empty bottles, etc. He went to see the site supervisor and even the general contractor, politely urging them to get their workers not to litter the neighborhood, to no avail. He called the city, county, and police and got no help there either.So here’s what his community did. They organized about twenty folks, named themselves the "Inner Neighborhood Services” group, and arranged to go out at lunch time and “police" the trash themselves. It is what they did while picking up the trash that is so hilarious. They bought navy blue baseball caps and had the initials "INS" embroidered in gold on the caps. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand what they hoped people might mistakenly think the letters really stand for.After the Inner Neighborhood Services group's first lunch time pickup detail, with all of them wearing their caps and some carrying cameras, 46 out of the total of 68 construction workers did not show up for work the next morning -- and haven't come back yet. It has been ten days now.

The General Contractor, I'm told, is madder than hell, but can’t say anything publicly because he could be busted for hiring illegal aliens. Wallace and his bunch can't be accused of impersonating federal personnel, because they have the official name of the group recorded in their homeowner association minutes along with a notation about the vote to approve formation of the new subcommittee -- and besides, they informed the INS in advance of their plans and according to Wallace, the INS said basically, "Have at it!"

40 Things You Will Never Hear A Redneck Say

40. Oh I just couldn't. Heck, she's only sixteen.

39. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

38. Duct tape won't fix that.

37. Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael.

36. Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.

35. We don't keep firearms in this house.

34. Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?

33. You can't feed that to the dog.

32. I thought Graceland was tacky.

31. No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.

30. Wrasslin's fake.

29. Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?

28. We're vegetarians.

27. Do you think my gut is too big?

26. I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.

25. Honey, we don't need another dog.

24. Who's Richard Petty?

23. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.

22. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.

21. Spittin is such a nasty habit.

20. I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.

19. Trim the fat off that steak.

18. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.

17. The tires on that truck are too big.

16. I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.

15. I've got it all on the C drive.

14. Unsweetened tea tastes better.

13. Would you like your salmon poached or broiled?

12. My fiance, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.

11. I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.

10. Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.

9. Checkmate.

8. She's too young to be wearing a bikini.

7. Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?

6. Hey, here's an episode of "Hee Haw" that we haven't seen.

5. I don't have a favorite college team.

4. Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.

3. I believe you cooked those green beans too long.

2. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.

1. Nope, no more for me. I'm drivin’ tonight.

You think you were having a bad day?????

A short guy is sitting at a bar just staring at his drink for half an hour when this big trouble-making biker steps next to him, grabs his drink, gulps it down in one swig and then turns to the guy with a menacing stare as if to say, 'What'cha gonna do about it?"

The poor little guy starts crying.

"Come on man, I was just giving you a hard time," the biker says. "I didn't think you'd CRY. I can't stand to see a man crying."

"This is the worst day of my life," says the little guy between sobs. "I can't do anything right. I overslept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car was stolen and I don't have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home." He continues crying even harder.

"Then I found my wife in bed with the gardener and my dog bit me. So, I came to this bar trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life, and then you show up and drink the damn poison."

Up-Coming Shows in the Area

National Collectors Club Train Show – July 12, 2009, Wayne P.A.L. Hall, Wayne NJ. All Gauges from Z to O, Hess Trucks, Die Cast, Test Track, Train Doctor, FREE parking. 9am-2pm. $5.00, Children under 10 Free with parent. For info: John @ 732-845-5966. Future show dates for 2009, Nov 8, Dec 27.

National Collectors Club Train Show – July 19, 2009, Brick Elks Lodge, Brick NJ. All Gauges from Z to O, Hess Trucks, Die Cast, Test Track, Train Doctor, FREE parking. 9am-2pm. $5.00, Children under 10 Free with parent. For info: John @ 732-845-5966. Future show dates for 2009, Nov 1, and Jan 3, 2010.

Great Scale Model Train Show – June 27-28, 2009, Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD. All scales Z to G, Large White Elephant sales area, FREE train movies, Free parking. Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. Adults $9.00, Children under 15, free. For info: Howard @ 410-730-1036 or email at:

Tidewater Division Model Railroaders 2009 Model Train Show & Sale - September 19-20, 2009, Virginia Beach Convention Center. 1000 19th Street, Virginia Beach VA. Operation layouts, Train Doctor, Test Track, Train Sets, Scenery Supplies, BSA Merit Badge for Railroading, Memorabilia, White Elephant tables. $7.00, children under 12 free with parent, Scouts in uniform with Scout Leaders in uniform admitted FREE. For info: 757-426-2811 or email