Division One Web Site Railroad Item of the Month View from the Cab From the Editor's Desk Clinic Corner Images from Jerry Macri Layout A Light Bulb Issue of the Month Classifieds
Vol #47
September 2018

LogoTrain Order

Train Order

Division One of the North Central Region of the National Model Railroad Assoc.
Our mission is to promote education and fellowship through the sharing of information and the promotion of the world's greatest hobby. - Model Railroading.

Railroad Item of the Month

If you have not been to the Smithsonian American History Museum, in Washington DC, as well as having the USA flag from Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Lincoln's top hat, and a uniform from George Washinton, it also has a wing talking about transportation accross the USA. Here are a couple of pictures from the exhibit.

Paul Marsden

View from the Cab

cab Back to school = back to football = back to Fall colors = back to the Black Swamp Division! You betcha, it's that time again, and Division One is ready to crank up the 2018-2019 meeting season on Friday, September 28, at the Proclaim FM activity center on Angola Road. We'll start at 7 PM sharp as usual, but please come anytime after 6 to help set up and spend some time reconnecting with friends. I am excited about the programming plans for this year. Asst. Supt. Norm Cattell has put together a terrific lineup of presentations that promises to explore new ground for all of us. We are going to see prototype operations and practices as well as techniques to improve our modeling skills. We will also continue to talk about adding realistic operations to our layouts. Whether you model Z scale, lawn railroads, or anything in between, you are going to profit by the time you spend at Black Swamp Division meetings this year.

I want to take a moment to discuss something about our meetings. We all know that our membership constitutes an "aging demographic". Along with that fact comes the reality that many of us are experiencing various levels of hearing loss. Count me among that number, and over the last few months, several of you have mentioned having some difficulty hearing during meetings. I have also received a number of comments, both from active members as well as prospective members who have visited in the past and a guest presenter, that side conversations during the meeting have become a hindrance. I know this is not intentional but sometimes we are unaware how our talking affects those around us, particularly when there may already be a hearing "challenge". From a leadership perspective, we will experiment with Bluetooth speakers for some of our programs and may revert to using our portable audio system and mikes. For your part, please be extra careful about talking during meetings and presentations, and feel free to step out anytime you have something to discuss with friends.

Catching up on what's been going on since our last meeting in April, 27 members and guests enjoyed our annual field trip when we visited the Elkhart, IN area in July. We carpooled to the NYC Museum in downtown Elkhart and also visited the active depot across the tracks. The museum was really interesting with a nice collection of locomotives and rolling stock, including a 4-8-2 Mohawk, E8 diesel, and Pennsy electric GG1. We then headed for Jerry Macri's hobby shop and left a sizable contribution to the local economy. Following lunch at Jerry's Italian restaurant, we then went to his home and discovered one of the largest and most complete layouts most of us have ever seen! Jerry models the Pennsy and of course has a Horseshoe Curve. The steel mill scene itself is larger than many layouts. There is a thunderstorm backdrop complete with lightning and thunder, and structures are fully lighted for nightime ops. Suffice to say, you had to be there to believe it, and if you ever get the opportunity, do visit! I came away with a whole bunch of photos and inspirations.

I can't wait to see all of you again on September 28, and I expect some new faces too. Mark your calendars, prepare things to share, and be there!

See ya on down the line,

Dave McMullian,

From the Editors Desk

cabWell, here goes, my first train order as editor, and I know I have some big shoes to fill, taking over this position from Ray.

We hope that you enjoy this new approach for the Train Order. We have tried to come up with a new format that can be easily opened without having to have a pdf reader, and scales for all electronic devices from a desktop computer to a phone. You can use the menu on the left to easily change the focus of the page to the selected article.

What did I do this summer?? I did manage my first Amtrak ride. Considering how many train journeys I have made in the UK, and Europe it was an interesting experience noticing the some of the differences:-

  • I am used to working out the track from the boards, and awaiting for my train there. Not sitting in the station awaiting for the train to be called and looking for the right door.
  • My perspective of Amtrak is nobody uses it, so I was expecting the train to be rather empty - we caught Northeast Regional Train 82, on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, departing 10:10 from Washington DC. Every seat was taken! We were back in Penn Station in Baltimore at 6:30pm that same day. I was again surprised how full the station was, and I was getting concerned, getting ready for the rush for the train like in the morning, but the station emptied for a MARC train. I think we were the only ones who boarded the Amtrak train 30 minutes later, this train had a lot less people on it.
  • Every seat on the carriage was facing forward in both directions, this might sound weird, but I am used to trains that have half the seats facing backwards. I assume they must turn whole train around at the end of the line. I cannot imagine having to have a Y on my layout so I can turn a passenger train around.

Paul Marsden,

Penn Station, Baltimore

Clinic Corner

I can't believe 5 months have passed since our April meeting! I for one am looking forward to Fall. We will have a lot going on at the September meeting. Our show and tell for September will be what you did over the summer that involves prototype or model railroading, including any trips, conventions, tours, progress on your layout, kits you worked on or scratch built, or any really neat purchases. And since a picture is worth a thousand words please try and bring either some photos on a flash drive or purchases/kit boxes so we can see what you did. My part will be the "6 Million Dollar Layout" and hopefully Steve Austin will even make an appearance!

Our September clinic will be "Baby, it's cold in there!". We had a nice clinic last year on moving perishable freight and this will be a follow up looking more at reefers and insulated cars, different icing processes, how we can model those process, and how it can add to more fun to an op session. Did you know that there are over 30 types of naturally occurring ice? So bring your thermal gloves and parkas and I hope to see you in September!

Norm Cattell,
Assistant Superintendent

Images from Jerry Macri's Layout

How is a Light Bulb Linked to Railroading?

The photos of the light bulb are not obviously of railroad interest but note that the bulb says "headlight" on it. My father at age 14 picked this light bulb off of the ground at the scene of the worst railroad accident in my hometown of St. Marys Ohio.

On March 6, 1937 the Nickel Plate Road local (called the dinky in local parlance) was switching the Weston Paper mill in St. Marys when the conductor and a brakeman both heard the whistle of a fast moving train at a distant, but not too distant road crossing. Each realized they had left the paper mill switch open and sprinted for it approximately 150 yards away. They didn’t make it. Three-year-old Alco built Berkshire number 701 split the switch at speed digging a 200 yard furrow, that cut a city water main, coming to a stop on her right side. Freight cars piled up behind. Witnesses stated that some of the cars jumped 15 feet into the air in the crash. A photo of the accident is on page 237 of the Nickel Plate Story by John Rehor. The automobile in the photo with the rail speared through it is a new '36 Ford coupe owned by a Louis Smeal, employee at the paper mill and who was in the doorway of the mill leaving after his shift when the accident occurred. A number of freight cars carried empty beer barrels that were strewn about the right of way. The local folks examined many to make sure they were in fact empty. Things became serious when a derailed car was found to be carrying dynamite, which had to be carefully unloaded by hand. The engineer and fireman both died in the crash, the engineer was found buried in the cab, the fireman crushed under the second derailed car. The head end brakeman survived by jumping off to the left side of the train.

Train Wreck

My father and some friends were exploring the wreck site a few days later and they noticed "a lot" of light bulbs lying loose on the ground. My dad took one home, as 14 year olds are apt to do.

When it became clear to my Dad that this train thing with me was serious he showed me his souvenir. I later made a padded box for it and keep it as an odd but interesting heirloom.

Steve Glass

Issue of the Month

I saw this switch, and I thought it would fill a need that I had. I did not realize I would need a degree in Electronics to wire it, and then another degree in graphic design to produce a way to make it obvious what switches need to be flipped to make the power go to the right rails, with the right polarity. Anyone got experience/advice on a 3 way turnout?
Email with your feedback.

Paul Marsden


2018-2019 Schedule

28th September, 2018
26th October, 2018
30th November, 2018
14th December, 2018
25th January, 2019
22nd February, 2019
22nd March, 2019
26th April, 2019
All Meetings start at 7pm

Save the Date

On Saturday, October 20, the Black Swamp Division will host another layout tour. Three layouts in the southern part of the area will be open to members and guests from 11 AM until 3 PM.
Norm Cattell4264 Miramar Dr,
Toledo, OH 43614
please use the door on the left side of the garage
John Roth314 E. Broadway,
Maumee, OH 43537
Dave McMullian279 S. River Rd.,
Waterville, OH 43566
More info and photos about these layouts will be included in the October Train Order. For now, mark your calendar and plan to visit all three!

South East Michigan Free-mo

Will have a layout setup at the NMRA Michiana Division "Modeling like a PROtotype" Conference, Sept 21 and 22 at the Aloft Hotel, South Bend, IN. More information is available at
October 11-14 2018. Click here for details
Need to know where we meet? Click here for the address and a map
Division One is a 100% NMRA membership organization. For insurance purposes, you are required to be a member of NMRA. Membership in NMRA grants you membership in both the North Central Region and Division One.