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From: paultup AT comcast DOT net
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 04:32:46 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ELHS Marion annual meeting - final report
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Hi folks,

Another busy day today! Let's review....

This morning started with a presentation by Pete White on the history of Marion Union Station and AC Tower that provided a perfect history for the venue that we were using this weekend. Pete White seems to be a veritable encyclopedia of Marion and its railroads, and the presentation highlighted this very well.

After a lunch break, the Marion Model RR Club opened up its layout on one side of the station. The nicely-scenicked HO scale layout is freelanced, but VERY heavily EL-themed (check out the roundhouse in the attached photos!)

The afternoon sessions were held in the station's meeting room (the morning session was in the large waiting room). Sadly, I was too busy yapping with people outside and I missed Preston Cook's black & white presentation of the Marion Shops in the 1970s (though I did notice it was standing-room-only, which I would expect for one of Preston's typically-excellent presentations).

Dave Oroszi followed up yesterday's presentation with a wonderful presentation on EL's storied Dayton Branch. A wonderful look at this neat line, with Dave's typically excellent photography.

Next, a member of the Marion County Historical Society (I forgot her name!) did a short history of Marion and the railroads' impact upon the city.

After the presentations (and plenty of freight trains rolling past the station), we all walked the three blocks over to the Harding Hotel (now the Harding House), a wonderful hotel smack in the middle of downtown Marion, with a beautifully restored lobby where the banquet was held. The buffet dinner was great, Paul Cappeloni gave a quick update on the ELHS, and then it was announced that we were moving the after-dinner presentation back to the station, due to lack of space to set up a large enough screen image in the hotel lobby. So back we hiked (seeing a CSX freight on the way).

Resetting back to the waiting room, Preston Cook did a superb presentation on the Marion Diesel Shops, replete with many humorous and interesting stories about the people who worked there. I learned quite a few factoids about the Marion shops and EL diesels in general (did you know that the EL had a third-party diagnostic tool installed on its SD45s, similar to the computer plug-in on most new cars?). His exceptional night photography was the highlight of this presentation to me.

After Preston was complete, Pete Scheckermann injected a bit of the "East End" into the presentation with some of his EL images from the northern NJ area, with many interesting locations I hadn't seen before. Dick Jacobs was back after Pete with an overview of his trip from Cleveland to northern NJ, shooting EL all along the way. Wow, that looked like a great trip! Too bad we can't recreate that anymore :(

By the way, one of the shots in "Jake's" slide show had an EL GP9 after the start of Conrail with large white roadnumbers stencilled on the cab. But what baffled me was the number: "1205". Now, all the Conrail roster I can find shows that the EL GP9s were renumbered 7478-7483. So... what's the "1205" for?

I was tired and I left after that presentation. It was a wonderful way to complete this great meeting!

I'd be remiss to not mention how nice it was to see many list members again (Tony Horn, Ben Bartlett, Joe Lofland, Paul Cappelloni, Schuyler Larrabee, Pete Scheckermann) and to meet many of our "west end" members for the first time (hi, Mike Spinelli and Rick Fleischer! [I'll forgive your New Haven cap ;) ]) I even had a "lurker" introduce himself to me (don't worry, your identity is safe with me! :) To all I saw - it was great to see you! Until we meet again....

Time to head home tomorrow!

- Paul


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