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From: "Paul R DOT Tupaczewski" paultup AT comcast DOT net
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2010 21:35:56 -0400
Subject: NEFF RPM meeting report (with questions!)
"ERIE_78960_JM_Johnson.jpg" - image/jpeg, 1277x958 (24bit)

Hi folks,

The NEFF RPM meeting took place today, and it was a great event!

The meeting was held this year at the 4-H building in Bridgewater, NJ,
easily accessed by major highways and much larger than the previous
location. A very large room was set up for the model displays and the lunch
buffet, while the presentations were given in separate "breakout" conference
rooms. Here was my only big gripe of the day, if you can call it that: There
were so many presentations that many had to be run concurrently, and none of
the presentations were repeated. So you had to select the ones you wanted to
see most and go to those.

Oh well, I think I made some good choices for the presentations regardless:

For the first presentation, I saw lister Jim Dalberg's presentation on
"Anthracite" - a brief overview of the industry and the railroads, and then
a nice overview on modeling different roads' hoppers (DL&W included). If
anyone's seen one of Jim's presentations, you know they're always filled
with laughs, and this one was no exception (hey Jim, how about posting your
Phlogiston car photo? :)

The next presentation I went to was Jay Held's "Erie and EL around Croxton
Yard," which was a slide show between Croxton and eastern points - Jersey
City and Weehawken. Jay's informative presentation was made even better with
the additional commentary of Perry Billington, a former DL&W/EL employee and
a veritable walking encyclopedia of DL&W and EL operations. Terrific!

After the excellent lunch buffet, a "Chinese auction" was held, and then we
went on to the next presentation. This time, I saw Michael Mang give a
presentation on "DL&W Operations in Buffalo - the Post-War Era." He started
with a thank you to listers Ron Dukarm and Henry Priebe for giving him a lot
of his Buffalo information, and the presentation turned out to be more than
just Buffalo (though it was the primary focus). Mike covered DL&W trains in
detail, as well as blocking for the various trains, and interchanging with
other Buffalo area roads. He also covered the passenger operations in and
out of the Buffalo DL&W terminal, a nice touch. Mike is modeling the DL&W
Buffalo Terminal, which should keep several operators easily occupied for
hours. One interesting thing in his blocking details: One train (I think it
was HB-1) had for its blocking rules a note that "D&H ore cars must be
placed after at least 15 empties or light loads." This baffled everyone -
why would you want loaded ore cars BEHIND lighter, empty cars? Anyone care
to come up with a theory on this one? No one in the room could think of a

The last presentation I went to was about Dave Messer's "prototype ops for
the PRR Northeast Division," a ficticious PRR line that runs what we know as
the L&HR. That ended early, so I went over to see the end of Larry De
Young's "What Modelers Can Learn from Running a Short Line RR." It was a
nice overview of the details of the WNY&P's restoration and operation over
the Erie. I never knew that the wrought iron towers that support the
Letchworth Trestle were build in the time of Jay Gould's presidency of the
Erie! Reportedly, because it's a state park, the plan is to ultimately build
a giant arch span in place of the current trestle (since it's on state park
land, they can't build in the park). Cost is estimated to be upwards of
$50M, so don't expect this to happen anytime soon!

I've attached a selection of the EL/Erie/DL&W-specific models here... enjoy!
There were a lot of super models by a lot of great modelers there. All
models are HO scale with the exception of the two Dunmore cabooses, which
were brass kits that I believe Jim Harr built for Larry De Young.

Thanks to Jim Harr, Ralph Heiss, and the rest of the NEFF RPM committee for
setting up a great event at this nice, larger location!

- Paul


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