Hartford Convention 2009

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Last Updated July 3, 2009

The 2009 NMRA and LDSIG Conventions will be held in Hartford on July 5-11, 2009.

Information on the NMRA Convention is available at the official site http://hn2009.org/home.html

If you have questions or would like to get involved, please contact the LDSIG local convention coordinator, Jeff Zeleny.

 

 

 



NJ Layout Open Houses En Route to the Convention, Sunday, July 5th

Three clinicians will have their New Jersey layouts open on Sunday, July 5 for SIG members enroute to the Hartford Convention. The open house times have been staggered to allow approximately one hour at each owners home, and allow for travel time between Central New Jersey and Northern New Jersey
 

 

Ralph Heiss’ Lehigh Valley Harbor Terminal Ry.


Scale – HO

Layout Size – 11x30

Railroads Modeled/Era – Lehigh Valley Railroad and Central Railroad of New Jersey, circa 1951, focusing on the waterfront and industrial swtiching area of Jersey City New Jersey. Carfloats and large industry is the focus of the layout. Fiddle yard/open staging

Handicap Accessable? No

 

Dave Ramos' New York Harbor RR (www.nyhrr.com)

Scale – HO

Layout Size – 23 X 22

Railroads Modeled/Era – Erie, NYC & LVRR on the West Side of Manhattan in 1947

Handicap Accessable? No

 

Andy Rubbo’s PRR New York Division

Scale – HO

Layout Size – 26 x 37 (L-shaped)

Railroads Modeled/Era – PRR/1967 with emphasis on multi-track main line and catenary

Handicap Accessable? No

 

 

Craig Bisgeier’s Housatonic Railroad (www.housatonicrr.com)

Scale – HO Standard Gauge

Layout Size – Approx. 40' x 25', double-decked

Railroads Modeled/Era – Housatonic Railroad, 1892, with some New York & New England thrown in (After 1892 the Housatonic became the Berkshire Division of the New Haven Railroad)

 

Handicap Accessable? No

LDSIG Exhibit Room, Sunday, July 5 through Saturday, July 11

All week long you can make the SIG room the place to be. We are sharing the room with the Operations Special Interest Group which is planning a full round of operations during the convention.  Make the SIG Room your convention headquarters networking opportunities, meeting others for planning, designing, building, and operating considerations intended for your dream layout.

SIG Room Hours Open Close
Sunday 7 PM 10:30 PM
Monday - Tuesday 7:30 AM 10:30 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM 12:00 Noon
Thursday 7:30 AM 10:30 PM
Friday 7:30 AM 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM 12:00 Noon

 

Displays & LDSIG Desk – in the SIG Room. Check here in coming months for guidance on ways to improve your displays and instructions for shipping them to Hartford if you can't travel with them.  Members’ informative displays include track plan diagrams, layout photographs and 3-D mock-ups, and priority lists of design features to help others learn how others have solved layout design problems. Frequently, the layout designer is available for discussion. Design-related clinic schedules, descriptions of open-house layouts for the Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday tours, carpool signup lists, a local restaurant list, and a roommate-wanted list will be available. A bulletin board will have important updates about LDSIG events -- be sure and check daily for activities and schedules. You may catch great discussions from time to time, especially in-between clinics.

Layout Design "Help Desk" –  LDSIG volunteers will be available at several times during the week to provide free sit-down guidance if you are in the process of designing your layout.  To get the most value from these opportunities, do some homework before asking for help: prepare a dimensioned drawing of your layout space, identify your "Givens", "Druthers", and constraints, and bring a map or route schematic of your proposed territory.  Also bring forecasts of the traffic mix and jobs you'd like to feature during your eventual operating sessions

Operations SIG Presence - The Operations SIG is bringing the Rails on Wheels (ROW) group http://railsonwheels.com/ from Michigan. Their fantastic modular Operations Road Show Timetable and Train Order (TT&TO) training layout will be available in the SIG room.  

Meet 'n Greet, Sunday

Begin your convention by meeting other attendees who are especially interested in layout design. Hear informal LDSIG-member introductions about their layout design and construction status, plus timely event announcements and networking opportunities. Meet published authors and respected contributors to various email lists. Sunday, 7:00p, in the SIG room.

Special Albany Area Layout Tours, Monday

Albany Area Layout Tours – The LDSIG is sponsoring its first daylong tour of layouts to Albany New York, 2+ hours from Hartford. Hosts include Dick Elwell's HoosacValley, Henry Probst's NYCentral between Albany and Utica, Tony and Diane Steele's D&H, and several others. This tour's price will be $18, and does not include a meal.  Participation is limited to LDSIG and OPSIG members and their families/significant others.  Some of the tour layouts will also be hosting operating sessions in the evening, so carpools must be closely coordinated.  We will be making arrangements to form carpools before the Convention, on Sunday July 5 and early Monday, July 6, so check this website for updates.  Also check the OPSIG website for information about its conflicting, non-Albany Monday operating sessions.

Owner

Scale

Railroad Name

size

Scenery

Control

Era

Area Modeled

Henry Probst

“HO”

New York Central Mohawk Div

55x30

90%

Dynatrol

1950’s

New York State

Mike Ledley

“G”

A&LM Railroad

80x80

100%

Aristo

1950-60’s

Ohio/New York

Andy Clemont

“HO”

Rutlands Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain

23x39

50%

Digitrax

1940-50’s

Ohio/New York

 

Vic Roman

“HO”

NYC Hudson Division

25x25

50%

DCC

1948

New York State

Bill McChesney

“HO”

Lehigh Valley

13x30

75%

DC

1966-67

Pennsylvania

Dick Elwell

"HO"

Hoosac Valley Railroad

 

 

 

1950’s 

New England 

 

Tony & Diane Steele

"HO"

Rutland & Albany Railroad

25x35

50%

DCC

1980's

New York State

Ken Nelson

"HO"

Poco Valley Railroad

 15x25

100%

NCE 

50's - 60's

NY, PA, & Mass

 

 Here are descriptions of the layouts on the Monday tour:

  Henry Probst with Paul Allard Selkirk on upper left and Fonda on the right.

 Henry Probst's layout centers on the New York Central mainline operations in the early 1950's from New York City to Albany/Selkirk area in the east through the Mohawk River Valley to Utica in the west.  It is a multi-decked layout with Rail-marine terminals New York City) and dense passenger and freight operations. Layout Design features include: track plans (yards, industries, mains) that follow the prototype, left hand running from Hoffman's to Selkirk (per the prototype), Schedule Symbols and car routing that follow NYC practice.  

Mike Ledly's A&LM Railroad is a a large outdoor layout featuring 100's of miniature plants and bushes to complement a large and winding layout.  There are two yards, two reverse loops, and great views of operating trains.  The layout features a roundhouse and turntable, two towns, and several bridges.  The layout was featured in Model Railroader in August 2006. 

 

Name: Rutland Railroad’s Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Subdivision

Size: 23' x 39'

Prototype: Rutland Railroad

Era: Fall -late 40's early 50's

Style: Linear walk around

Mainline Run: Completed 130' Additional Planned 120'

Minimum radius: 30"

Minimum turnout: #6

Height: 53" to 64"

Track: Code 70-flex track

Control: Digitrax Empire Builder radio/infrared

Scenery: 70% of finished layout

 

 

 

 

                                                                   

 Andy Clemont's Rutland Railroad's Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Subdivision is modeled in the period from 1948 to 1953 in the fall around October 15th.  This section of railroad parallels the Canadian border from Albught, VT to Ogdensburg, NY.  There is interchange with the D&H, CN, Central Vermont, and NYC.  Terrain along the right of way is fairly flat with low hills and ravines with rivers and bridges.  It is a rural setting with villages.   Engines have sound.  About 70% of the scenery is complete on the completed portions of layout.  A second pennisula and second deck are planned. Vic Roman's New York Central Hudson Division models the area from Albany, sout to Tivoli, NY, with an expansion in the works to Poughkeepsie and Croton Harmon.  Densely populated cityscape, unique weathering and distressing on structures.  A masterpiece in progress.  See videos of the railroad in action at http://www.youtube.com/user/aclermont59

 

Bill McChesney's Lehigh Valley Railroad features the mainline symbol freights of the Lehigh Valley, The Jersey Central, Reading, Lehigh and Hudson and the Delaware and Hudson connection from Binghamton to Sayre. There are four yards, two industrial areas, a brewery and a float operation. A total of 26 trains are run between two separate, 3 hour operating sessions. The layout was featured in the March 1998 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. There have been a number of photos of the layout in the Walthers' catalogs. 

Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley Railroad is has been rebuilt in 2005 in it's new home.  The HO scale railroad captures the essence and feel of railroading in New England.  Perhaps one of the finest layouts in the country and featured in numerous articles over the years.  Several books and DVD's have been made both about the construction and content of this layout.

Tony & Diane Steele's Rutland & Albany Railroad is currently under construction from a previous layout this large project will contain 7 levels, 3 helix's plus a train elevator(RoRo).  The 25' X 35' HO scale layout is about 50% sceniced.

     Ken Nelson's Poco Valley Railroad is the home of a freelanced Northeastern RR, hauling freight and passengers in the 1950's and 60's. It serves Mass, PA, and NY.  It runs from Boston, MA (staging) westbound through New York and Pennsylvania, serving Nelson City (main terminal), Mt Crumroy, Klingertown, Scottsdale, Hillside Jct., and Jefferson Jct. (staging).  At Jefferson Jct., the railroad interchanges with the New York Central.  In Klingertown, the PV crosses and interchages with the Delaware and Hudson, which is represented by staging tracks.  At Hillside Jct., a branch line leaves the main and runs through Rockville and Hillside.  In Hillside, the railroad interchanges with the Hillside Street Railway, which serves the Hillside Industrial Park and the town of Coopersburg.  The Hillside Street Railway used to be a trolley line many years ago.  After going out of business, the tracks were bought by the PV, and now runs with a diesel.  

The town of Scottsdale features a cement plant which was published in the July 1994 Model Railroader magazine.  The town of Rockvill on the Hillside branch is didicated to a large coal mine.  The town of Hillside is designed after the track plan of New Hope, PA where I worked on the New Hope and Ivyland RR.   The railroad, minus the Hillside Street Railway segment, was published in the January 1991 issue of Model Railroader, and the Hillside Street Railway was published in the February 2000 issue of the NMRA Bulletin.   There are numerous kit built and scratch built structures and the layout features both a mainline and branch line with working signal systems. 

In addition the RR switches industries with the Hillside Street Railway in a different room on the other side of the basement.

Layout Design Clinic Track, Tuesday

Layout Design Clinic Track – On Tuesday, July 6, HN2009 and the LDSIG will be presenting an all day series of clinics focusing on layout design. The clinics will provide real examples of design challenges and solutions to assist you in designing your dream layout. All these clinics are open to all convention attendees.

 

Of special note is the 7PM New England Forest Modeling clinic by John O'Keefe, Museum Coordinator of the Fisher Museum Harvard Forest.  The Museums dioramas [
http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/museum/dioramas.html ] are exquisite scale scenes depicting the land-use history, ecology, and conservation of New England forests.  This
clinic is not to be missed.

 

  Track One Track Two
Time Presenter Title Presenter Title
8:00 AM Tony Koester Introduction to Layout Design Elements  
9:30AM Gerry Albers Designing the Deepwater District with CAD John Pryke Modeling the Urban Setting
11:00 AM Chris Bond Ergonomic Considerations for Sit-down Operators Bill Schaumburg Commuting on the (model) Railroad
Lunch
1:00 PM Dick Foley Modeling the Reading in Philadelphia: Industrial Waterfront circa 1953 Gerry Fitzgerald   

Extra South, War Time Ops on the C&O Olby Branch, 1944

NOTE: This clinic will not be available Tuesday but will be given Saturday morning.  Please check the schedule in the SIG room.

2:30 PM Phil Monat Design, Construction and Modification of the Delaware & Susquehanna Jim Schweitzer Hands on TT&TO 101
4:00 PM   Ted Culotta  Designing my New Haven Railroad to Highlight Rolling Stock Mike Tylick Layout Design ideas from the Boston and Albany
Dinner
7:00 PM Jonathan Jones Principles of Urban Design John O’Keefe New England Forest Modeling
8:30 PM Andy Rubbo Modeling PRR’s NJ Main Line under Catenary Marty McGuirk Interloper from the North: Modeling the Central Vermont in Southern New England
10:00 PM Greg Johnson Designing Industrial Strength RR Allegheny Teminal: Serving Pittsburgh's Heavy Industries Doug Gurin

Layout Design Lessons from Paul Dolkos' B&M New Hampshire Division Layout

[See a photo of Paul's layout immediately below.]

 

LDSIG Annual Business Meeting, Wednesday, July 8, 8:30AM

LDSIG Annual Meeting – Our annual membership meeting agenda includes officer and volunteer reports. All LDSIG members at the convention are encouraged to participate.

Hartford Region Layout Tour, Wednesday

The LDSIG business meeting will be followed by the traditional Wednesday LD SIG self-guided tour. This event will be extra fare and limited to LDSIG/OpSIG members and families/significant others. There will be no picnic this year. You should plan to eat when and where your carpool feels the need. The price of the tour is $24,  so you should have plenty of spare change to get whatever food you like.

 

 

Owner

Scale

Railroad Name

size

Scenery

Control

Era

Area Modeled

Bob Davis

“HO”

Mashamou Valley & Western

15 x 40

95%

DCC

!950-70’s

Freelance

Bill Duffe

“HO”

LKJ&W Boston & Maine Div

18 x 42

85%

NCE

1950’s

New England

John Ellwood

"HO" 

Olympic and Puget Sound Ry

 

 

 

 

Washington State

Bert Sacco

"HO"&"O"

Allegheny Union Railroad

15 x 21

100%

DC

1950's

Allegheny Mtn's

 

John Grosner

“HO

NHRR - Naugatuck Div.

20 x 16

100%

DCC

1950

Connecticut

Bob Collett

"HO"

HuntingtonHartford  &

20 x 30

100%

DCC

1950's

Connecticut

  

John Sacerdote

"HO"

The Berlin, Bangor & Maine RR

30 x 25

85%

DCC

1950's

MaineNew Hampshire /

  

Bill Schneider

"HO"

New YorkOntario, & Western

10 x 15

 

DCC

1950's

Eastern US

  

Earl Smallshaw

"HO"  &

"HOn3"

Middletown & Mystic Mines Railroad

13 x 20

95%

 

1925

Connecticut

  

Paul Mangini

"HO" & "HOn3"

Clintonville & ForestCity Railroad

 

 

DC

Early 1900

Connecticut

  

Brian Whiton

"HO"

AddisonRutland Railroad Branch

20 x 30

95%

DCC

 

Vermont

Bob Van Cleef

"HO"

North River Railway

12x30

95%

DC-DCC

1920's

New England

  

Donald Irace

"HO"

ProvidenceWorcester Railroad &

42 x 25

  80%

DCC

Modern

New England

 

Here are some descriptions of the layouts that will be featured on the Wednesday Tour:

Bob Davis'Mashamou Valley & Western is a two level layout with a helix.  Aproximately 2500 feet of track with over 140 turnouts and a double track main.  58 industrial sidings make this layout a switchman's dream. The layout consists of three railroads - The MV&W, the Providence and Worcester and the New Haven.  Each railroad picks up and sets out in specific locations.  The main yard is in Applegate where all trains are assembled and taken down.  There are two yardmen assigned to Applegate.  The west end yard man assembles trains and sets them out on the outbound tracks.  He then hands the switch list over to the east end yard man who places power and cabooses on these trains.  The west end yard man also is responsible for taking classifying inbound trains and putting motive power and cabooses away.  The MV&W is in charge of all interchange trains between yards and the ferry operation at Alexander Bay.  The car ferry at Alexander Bay brings cars to and from P.E. Island.  The island is famous for its potato crop, thus all the empty reefers going to the island.  Its power plant is coal fired requiring a large amount of coal.  There is also a milk train pulled by a Budd car that picks up 40 quart milk cans and passengers.

 Bill Duffe's Boston and Main Division follows the Fichburg Division from East Deerfield to Mechanicsville with the branch to Troy (and to New York City staging).  The Rutland Division (newly added) represents North Bennington northward to Rutland (staging).  Using model railroader's "license" there is a Great Lakes style carferry operation at Mechanicville.  A dispatcher's board for the B&M Division and in-house telephone system facilitate operations.    

                                                                               

                 

John Elwood's Olympic and Puget Sound Railway is set in the Pacific Northwest.  His highly detailed layout was featured in the March 2007 Model Railroader. Since the article the Puyalup River waterfront and Tacoma are complete along with the addition of about 30 structures. Most are scratchbuilt with a few craftsman kits thrown in.  The layout is operationally simple, using switchlists developed before each session.  Due to the small size of the layout, we use two crews with two in each crew.  DC control is still used. Visitors, however, will get an eyeful. There are currently over 100 structures in place and sceniced. Many of them are scratchbuilt from photos. The photo was taken by Phil Monat and appears as the opening shot on the convention Promo Video www.hn2009.org/promo_video.html. There is another shot around my sawmill in the same video.

  

 

 Bert Sacco's Allegheny Union Railroad is a Class I pike with long mainline running in rugged mountain country. A long 2% grade extending through two sets of reverse curves makes operations interesting as the main line rises from 42" to 66" above the floor. The 1950's era allows running of both heavy steam and early diesel locomotives. Most of the structures are commercial kits that have been kit bashed to fit specific area's. Two thirds of the bridges are scratch built. This layout has been featured in 1994 MR. Other features of Bert's layout include:

  • Scenery using hard shell and wet cast rock molds
  • Stock turnouts curved to fit layout conditions
  • DC and DCC optional power
  • "O" scale traction coffee table layout

 

 

Layout map published with permision of Model Railroader magazine.

John Grosner's New Haven RR - Naugatuck Division is an amazingly detailed replication of Derby, CT and the NHRR is not to be missed. Numerous scratch built structures to match the prototype, attention to detail, working signaling system and hand-laid track make this layout very impressive. Unique design of the layout room and creation of back drops round out this layout. John's layout was featured in the April 2009 Model Railroader.

 

Bob Collett's Huntington & Hartford is a freelanced CT shortline that parallels the Naugatuck and Higland lines of the New Haven RR.  Numerous scratch built and craftsman structures.  Fine attention to detail. The existing logging line was extended from 15 to 45 feet and up steep grades to a height of about 80 inches.  The layout was featured in the December 1996 MR.

 

 

John Sacerdote's Berlin, Bangor & Maine Railroad is a view the Maine and New Hampshire area as seen by the Bangor and Aroostock and Maine Central RR's. All track on this layout is hand aid code 83 and code 70 rail with over 100 turnouts.

Bill Schneider's New York, Ontario & Western is a 10' X 15' HO layout built as an exercise in fitting as much layout as possible into a minimal area.  It features double deck construction with third deck for staging, prototype based track plan, and hand laid Code 70 & 55 rail on all visible track.  Layout is fully scenicked with many scratch built structures.  The layout is fully operational with DCC control.  The roster includes mostly sound equipped locomotives and detailed rolling stock.  The layout has been featured in a few magazines over the years, either in whole or as part of cooperative photo articles with my friend and fellow O&W nut, Mal Houck.  These include Railroad Model Craftsman March 2004 and May 2005, Great Model Railroads 2006, Prototype Railroad Modeling Vol 1(Speedwitch Media), and most recently Tony Koester's Multi-deck layout book from Kalmbach and in parts on Railroad Model Craftsman's current on-line Boomer Trail http://www.rrmodelcraftsman.com/boomer_trail.html . Visit the New York, Ontario & Western web site at www.comcast.net/~oandw/ 
 
Earl Smallshaw's Middletown & Mystic Mines Railroad is very well known to both modelers in CT and around the world. The layout features floor to ceiling scenery, and urban scenes, most notably Middletown.
Layout map published with permision of Model Railroader magazine.
It is primarily a coal hauling line. There is much attention to detail on this layout, including the ability to  go from daylight to night time with illuminated structures. Over 40 articles have been written about this layout and it has been featured in numerous model RR publications over the years. A layout not to be missed while here in CT.

Paul Mangini's Clintonville & Forest City Railroad is based on a New England small city with trolley line, a saw mill, full round house and a narrow guage sub that serves  the small village of Gildersleeve. Layout features a large number of scratch built structures with fine attention to details. Also fetured is a brown stone quarry aand numerous bridges and trestles. For some photos of Paul's layout go to http://smallshawrailroad.com/htfdworkshop-2.htm and then scroll down to Paul's section.

Brian Whiton's Addison Branch of the Rutland Railroad is an operations styled layout featuring a staging yard with 47 tracks. 

It conveys a New England feel with over 100  industries and a varied operational design.

 

 

Bob Van Cleef's North River Railway is a 12' X 31' 1920's HO scale layout.  If you're excited about computer control and electronics this will be the layout to see. Besides the handlaid track,7 main switching area's and over 50 industries, Bob has develop his own computer controlled form of DCC. The layout is controlled via the computer using software developed by Bob.  Kitbashed and scratch built structures round out the layout. You can see more photos on line at http://www.northriverrailway.net

 

 

Donald Irace's Providence & Worcester Railroad is a double deck layout that covers the modern operations of the P&W in NY, CT and RI. Interchange with current NE providers. Numerous industries and interchanges. Unique CTC and dispatching setup. Layout is dispatched from RINGGOLD, GA !  There is web site at www.trainweb.org/pwmrr that includes a track plan and more photos.  Don's Layout was featured in the May 2009 Railroad Model Craftsman.

 

Layout Design Forums, Thursday

Layout Design Forums –  On Thursday HN2009 and the LDSIG will be presenting an all day series of forums focusing on layout design.  If you might like to participate as a panelist or have discussion topics to propose, please contact Doug Gurin, dgurin@comcast.net or call 703-549-0925.  Also consider bringing layout photos or other materials relating to the panel discussion topics to exhibit in the LDSIG room. 

Time Title
8:00 AM Active Staging with Fiddlers and Moles
9:30AM Designing for Passenger Operations and Jobs
11:00 PM Mechanics of Modeling Rail Marine Operations - joint with the Rail Marinie SIG
Lunch
1:00 PM Layout Design to Facilitate Signaling
2:30 PM Modeling High Density and Electrified Railroads in the North East
4:00 PM Turnout Considerations for Layout Design and Ops
Dinner
7:00PM Modeling New England Settings in 5 Seasons
8:30 PM Modeling Big City Settings
10:00 PM Modeling Right-of-Way and Track Alignment

.

LDSIG Banquet, Friday

LDSIG Banquet – The LDSIG will once again host its traditional reception and high-quality banquet for LDSIG members and their families/significant others. Come join your friends for an evening of food, friendship and fun.  This years LDSIG banquet will be held at Carbones Restaurant in Hartford, CT on Friday.   

The featured speaker will be Richard Abramson, long time professional railroad engineer and talented modeler.  Richard's talk on "Modeling a Prototype through Selective Compression promises to be both informative and entertaining. Among Richard's credentials are:

Model Railroader for over 50 years
Former employee - New Haven / Penn Central / Amtrak / NY Cross Harbor
Currently - Engineer - Housatonic RR
Member of the Board - New Haven Historical Society
Chair - New Haven Technical committee
Featured in MR in August 2004
 
LDSIG and OpSIG members and their families are invited.  Seating is limited. Carpooling will be facilitated, since the restaurant will be near the Convention.  The price for this event will be $80 per person.  Tickets may be purchased through the convention office through Tuesday evening only.

Layout Design Clinic Track, Saturday

Over the years, many LDSIG members seem to finish their participation in the NMRA Train Show on Friday.  To add more value to the Convention Week, the LDSIG has arranged for several additional clinics on Saturday, including a session for audience feedback about a limited-circulation professional video documenting lessons from one of the hobby's most popular layouts, which was sold and moved in 2008.

Time Title
9:30AM Gerry Fitzgerald: Extra South, War Time Ops on the C&O Olby Branch, 1944
11:00 PM  
Lunch
1:00 PM  
2:30 PM