Some of the clinics to be presented at MARPM21. More to come... subject to change!
Andrew Dodge, MMR
Freight Cars and Waycars
Certain types of fright cars on specific railroads have an interesting history, and by looking at some examples, Andrew will explore why the prototype modeler should do some research into their own modeling activates. The clinic will examine some types of freight cars used on two different Colorado railroads, and will explore their design and service life. Waycars, otherwise known as cabooses, also have a long and varied history on every railroad. Design and function of these interesting cars will be another part of this clinic. Examining the South Park’s and the Colorado Midland’s waycars should provide an interesting look at the past and how they evolved during their service life.
Bernie Kempinski, MMR
Manifest Destiny—Expanding the USMRR Aquia Line
It is a well-known axiom that model railroads expand to fill all available space. Bernie will describe how he used system analysis tools to design the optimal plan for his expanding O Scale USMRR Aquia Line railroad. If you’re not interested in the techy stuff, there will be plenty of pretty pictures, bad jokes, and dancing girls. There will even be a movie. Just kidding about the dancing girls, but come anyway.
The Old Woman in the New Basement
Bill Schneider discusses his new multi-deck HO layout based on the New York, Ontario & Western.
Bill’s previous layout, which had been featured in several articles and books, was nicknamed “The Old Woman in the Back Bedroom’ due to its rather… confined… location in a spare room. Recently, Bill and his wife have added a large extension onto the house, described by their architect as a “basement with a very thick roof.” Bill now has an eighteen by thirty foot space to fill! The layout is prototype based, double deck and DCC controlled. Bill will discuss researching and planning the new layout as well as challenges and solutions in benchwork, lighting and other areas. He will also give updates on construction, which is proceeding very rapidly!
From the Ground Up
Bob is the primary clinician and product demonstrator for Scenic Express. In this clinic he will focus on three or four primary scenic elements and cover topics such as rock casting and coloring, static grass applications, and using commercially available scenic elements to create color and texture variations are several that I have found to be popular. His "Anatomy of a Module" demo module and several other smaller dioramas will be used demonstrate the process end-to end.
The Center of Chessie’s Passenger World
Indeed, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway’s Greenbrier Hotel at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia and the C&O-served Homestead Resort at Hot Springs, Virginia were powerful magnets for the railroad’s passenger business. At White Sulphur Springs, regular and special passenger trains gathered with Pullman service from all points around the country. And on the C&O’s Hot Springs Branch, its famed mixed train of hoppers, Pullmans and a caboose ran right up to the end of passenger service in 1971. Using the archival resources of the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society, Bryan will describe how this fascinating operation is incorporated on his C&O Alleghany Subdivision layout.
Modeling the Valley Local
This presentation covers choosing a prototype to model and Chris' approach to recreating the New Haven Railroad's Connecticut Valley Line, including prototype inspiration, choosing an era, research resources, and available models. The second half of the presentation will show how Chris has put all this information together on his layout.
BNSF Lakeside Subdivision in HO Scale
The Lakeside Sub is a modern proto based layout housed in a 1200 square foot basement. The presentation will discuss design, construction methods, and construction lessons learned. Construction methods discussed are TGI beams for benchwork, and material for curved backdrop construction. Also discussed are the different types of sub roadbed including Masonite spline. The prototype extends from Pasco, WA to Spokane, WA on a single deck. The layout will be fully signaled using Bruce Chubb’s CMRI system.
The New York Harbor: Lessons Learned and the Operations to Come!
The New York Harbor is a collection of four independent layouts working as one railroad. From waybills to switch list and variable crew sizes to take advantage of availability crews, Dave will cover why he made the decisions that led to the current layout; creating the look and feel of operation in a major metropolitan location; modeling challenges and victories; as well as employing technology to expand the operating potential.
The New York Central's 30th Street Branch - Rise of the Lightning Stripes!
Dave will cover modeling the New York Central's 30th Street Branch from 72nd Street (staging) to 30th Street Yard and the elevated section to St. John's Freight Terminal, including two major projects: refitting the RS-1 fleet to the iconic New York Central's Lightning Stripes and the construction of major structures.
Freight Fleet Triangulation: Using Multiple Data Sources to Construct a Depression-era Freight Car Fleet
As an RPM modeler of a railroad in 1934, David prefers to let history guide his kit purchasing and building projects. Unfortunately, era-specific photos of his railroad are few and far between and most photos feature the classic 3/4 side view of the locomotive and maybe the first freight car. Triangulation in research or in photography allows you to figure out an unknown value indirectly by combining other known data. David combines multiple types of historic data sources, including connecting railroad wheel reports, industrial shipping guides, Sanborn Insurance maps, and ICC annual report statistics, to develop a profile of a freight car fleet that is reasonable to put in the trains behind the much better-documented locomotive roster on his planned layout.
Ralston Steel Company Cars on Mid-Atlantic Railroads
Between 1905 and 1953, the Ralston Steel Car Company of Columbus, Ohio manufactured nearly 100,000 freight cars for more than 50 American railroads and 40 private and foreign entities. This presentation will provide a brief history of the Ralston Company and identify the freight cars it constructed for several mid-Atlantic railroads – B&O, C&O, N&W, and PRR, plus several private operators. Anyone modeling US railroads between 1905 and 1975 should have some Ralston-built cars operating on their layout.
Ventilated Boxcars: 1897-1962
A summary of the rise and fall of the ventilated boxcar fleet on US railroads. These were important vehicles for the fruit industry and could perform double-duty as a regular service boxcar. This is a prototype to consider adding to any pre-1960 model freight car fleet.
Fast Freight Lines
Fast freight lines helped reshape freight shipping in the United States in the latter third of the 19th century. They laid groundwork for the regular interchange of freight cars and the creation of the Master Car-Builders’ Association. Fast freight lines rose to such prominence that they moved almost all of the through freight leaving New York in 1875, but they were also derided as “parasites,” “barnacles,” and “injurious to the public.” James will discuss the antebellum appearance of fast freight lines, their rise to dominance in the 1870s, and their eventual decline into marketing arms of railroad companies. This clinic will include background history as well as information on fast freight operations useful to modelers.
Chessie’s Car Ferries – Their History, Modeling, and Today
In 1978, Jesse sailed aboard C&O’s railroad car ferries across Lake Michigan – all three ships on all three routes. They were coal-fired, steam-powered, included dining, lounge and staterooms, and at that time, still operated by Chessie System. By 1982 he had decided to try and scratch-build one of those ships in HO scale, and by the next year finished its hull and superstructure. He built a box for its storage, and for the next 35 years his SS Spartan resided in the garage. Grounded by the pandemic last year, Jesse got it out and resumed work… 37 years after its building. Improved modeling tools, new materials and 3-D printing all helped finish the model, which was finally sailed on a lake in Ohio in 2021. This is the story of the real ships, and the model.
Building HO Scale Passenger Cars
The Bethlehem Car Works has modified Branchline Pullman and coach bodies so that we can manufacture kits using 3D printed car sides for railroad specific diners, coaches, combines, 70 foot baggage cars and horse cars. We, also do kits for 60 foot cars using 3D roofs, ends, sides and floors. If a particular part is not available to enhance the prototypical look of a car we 3D print it.
To do complete kits we use our stock of Branchline parts as well as The Bethlehem Car Works parts and for diners we use Tom Madden wide clerestory roofs and ends.
Using DecoderPro to Program, Speed Match, and Troubleshoot Sound Decoders for Operations
This clinic covers programming, consisting, speed matching, and troubleshooting most sound and non-sound decoders, including how to make a consist at home and take it to any layout running DecoderPro. A comprehensive handout sheet will reduce frustrations with the many sound decoders available today.
Composing scenes requires an entirely different set of skills than building individual models. In some ways it’s more challenging in that it doesn’t lend itself to the step 1, step 2, step 3 directions we’re used to with kits. This clinic will address topics such as how many scenes to include on a layout, the spacing between them, the elements to include, their arrangement, and the size and shape of the elements within a scene.
Martin Brechbiel, MMR
Scratchbuilding in Wood – MoW cars and Other “Stuff”
This clinic will be all about scratchbuilding using wood to build what is actually a very wide array of possible cars that originate upwards from a basic flat car platform. Martin will present construction techniques and “tricks” that he has developed over many years of building his favorite types of cars, Maintenance of Way, which provide an outlet for creativity balanced against building what’s needed to accomplish a task on the railroad. Martin will spend the time building car(s) demonstrating methods that include use of various favorite tools, preferred work surfaces, choice of adhesives, and addition of all those fiddly detail bits that make a model come to together.
Modeling the October Scene
Autumn can be one the most fascinating seasons to model. This clinic obviously emphasizes eastern fall colors, but many of the tips and techniques apply equally to all seasons. Marty will share what he’s learned over several decades of trying to get fall “just right.” Clinic will cover the importance of a believable overall color tone, using scenic elements to compose scenes on your layout, and modeling fields and pastureland by effectively blending static grass and other scenery materials. And no clinic on fall scenery would be complete without discussing trees and how to model them.
Staging Can Be More Than a Dark Space Under the Layout
There’s a model railroad saying, “you can’t have too much staging!” The guy who often repeated that phrase as he built the layout is now operating. And he will be the first to tell you now that’s he’s got way too much staging. Paul looks at staging concepts that minimize the impact on your layout space. He will also present a number of alternative approaches.
Update on the Lehigh Valley Harbor Terminal Ry, or "Where Are We Now?"
Ralph will bring us up to speed with what's been up with his HO scale representation of the Lehigh Valley's Jersey City, NJ terminal (both the good AND the bad) since his last update at MARPM 2019, and why the heck it’s taken so long to get this far! Along the way he'll share thoughts on his construction ideas and techniques, his operations plan, and also some of the interesting historical data that he's uncovered that he hopes to put into practice (if we're lucky, maybe even this year?) to represent a busy portside operation set in 1951.
The Design and Building of a Single Town Layout
In this presentation Ramon will discuss the design and ongoing construction of his new single-town layout that features the town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The town features an incredible amount of road freight, road switcher, run-through, industrial and yard switching action in a 2-mile stretch on Norfolk Southern's mainline through town. There's also a 60-car a day interchange with the Alabama Southern Railroad, and Amtrak action as well. Ramon will give you detailed step-by-step information on the concept, design,and construction process in a fast-paced presentation featuring hundreds of photographs, diagrams, maps, and charts.
The PRR at North Philadelphia 1958
The talk will focus on a prototypic representation of North Philadelphia circa 1958. Ron’s layout encompasses a portion of the PRR mainline and the adjoining two miles of the Chestnut Hill Branch, an electrified commuter line. Both lines also carried heavy freight traffic. In order to accurately represent the area, all structures are being scratchbuilt based on historical data. A number of recent projects, including the construction of the Margie Street bridge and the electrification of the Chestnut Hill Branch, will be used to illustrate some of the resources and tools available to construct these prototype structures.
Ted Dilorio, Ralph Heiss, & Dave Ramos
"Quick and Easy" Steam Era Weathering
Are you one of those pre-graffiti era modelers who has been interested in making your models more realistic looking like the modern era guys do, but don't know where to start, or are maybe even afraid you might "ruin" one of your more expensive cars? Well, don't be afraid anymore! Join steam and transition era modelers Ralph Heiss and Ted DiIorio as they demonstrate AND allow you to try out all the popular mediums you've read about in the hobby press like Pan Pastels, watercolor pencils, Copic pens, MIG washes, and pigments to quickly and easily dirty up your fleet without taking forever to do it. All you need is your creativity, questions, and a car or two of your own to experiment on, and Ted and Ralph will provide the rest.
Hacks at Catty: Modeling the Cabooses of the L&NE’s Catasauqua Branch
This clinic will look at the cabooses that frequented the rail crossroads of Catasauqua, PA in the 1940s and 50s. In the post-war years, virtually every type of caboose on the Lehigh & New England's roster visited the branch; and they often worked alongside a variety of hacks from the other lines that also served the area: the Ironton, Lehigh Valley, Reading, and CNJ. Todd will look at some approaches to modeling them, with special attention paid to techniques for kit-bashing the Lehigh & New England’s 560-series—the 36-foot-long, Magor-built wood cabooses that were regulars on the branch in its final years. Along the way, Todd will also share some updates on his HO scale L&NE Catasauqua Branch layout.
Realizing the Reading - 2.5 and a Half
Tom Jacobs is now 7 years into the construction of his 1970s-era Reading Company "Crossline" layout in a 20x36 free-standing pole barn, and he's nearing the completion of initial construction on benchwork, track and wiring. The clinic will cover the continuing journey of layout design and construction, the beginning development of a prototypical operational scheme based on actual Reading Co. documentation, and will cover the initial work on his JMRI-based CTC system following Reading practices, along with a variety of additional updates on his progress.
A Prototype from a Standard Brand-New Model
Using a brand-new Atlas MP15DC, Tony discusses his ideas and methods in creating a model that looks closer to the prototype. This entails how he scratch-builds his own details along with other items he decided to add during the build. Typical of Tony, he goes as far as detailing the radiator core, something that few modelers take time to do, and describes why he prefers to make his own eye bolts. His fuel tank modeling usually carries just about all the prototype details that he is working on is fitted with and this model is no exception. Tony also examines his modeling using extreme photo enlargements, his view is that if he can see something he doesn't like it will show up every time when enlarged x 10.
Make Only New Mistakes
In this clinic Travers will discuss an overview of the layout design process in three roughly defined phases: Conceptual, Structural, and Detail. The goal is helping designers “Make Only New Mistakes” by sharing some best practices. He will cover some of the many decisions and options involved in designing a layout.
We will review the layout's Purpose; Capturing the vision, or concept, from casual running to rigorous ops, highlighting the prioritized story you want to tell, and the traffic patterns supporting it. We will consider Framing the Signature Scenes; aisle widths; 'Lineals’; roles of yards; and staging needs with samples and examples. We will take into account the scope and limitations on available resources, and design standards.
There will be an opportunity to review your individual layout design during the lunch and dinner breaks, provided you bring your room dimensions, Concept / Vision / Schematic, and latest sketches.
"When it Absolutely, Positively Has to Get There in Three Days”: the Erie Railroad’s LCL business: Infrastructure, Operations, and Modeling
Prior to the rise of the modern global overnight document and package delivery companies FEDEX and UPS, if you were a Manhattan business that desired to ship a package of your products to a customer in Chicago, you likely used the Less-Than-Carload service of a railroad, such as the Erie, or PRR, whose track route crossed the country connecting these two cities. In this talk, Vince will take a look at the business environment, system-wide facilities and operations of the less-than-carload transport industry as found on the Erie Railroad in the 1950’s, and how it is portrayed on his HO scale Erie 28th Street Terminal.