Semaphore Header
March 2009, Volume 38 No. 7, Page 2
John Williams Face

From the Superintendent’s Desk

By John Williams, Division 15, Superintendent

I am writing this month's superintendent's column from my hotel room in Denver. I decided to take a different tack this month. I am attending a forensic conference and as I always do try to mix business and pleasure. In this case the pleasure, of course, is model railroading. I thought to myself what is there in Denver? Caboose Hobbies! I have heard of this store ever since I got in to model railroading in the 1980s. It is an unbelievable store, and yes I spent some money there. If you get to Denver make sure to stop by. But wait, there's more. To get to the store I traveled on Denver's light rail system. And the light rail goes by the UP's diesel yard. I have never seen so much motive power in one place and just about arm's length from the light rail line. So my trip to the hobby store yielded benefits I didn't realize. You never know where our hobby will take you.

Operating Sessions on the LOST RR

Operating Sessions in March are on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 29, both at 2:00 pm.
The Module Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at 7:00 pm. The following items are still needed for the layout: grain hoppers, cabooses, chemical tank cars, and flat cars.

The Semaphore goes (only) digital

As noted in the minutes above, the next issue of The Semaphore will only be available on the website. The elimination of the paper version will save the organization over $1000 a year, and allow a better product.

Advantages of a web-based newsletter include:

    More timely information - There is no delay resulting from production and mailing. More content - There is no constraint due to budget considerations. Better content - Photographs can be presented in color. It is environmentally friendly.
So, staring next month, look for The Semaphore at our website ( We will try to have the newsletter posted no later than one week in advance of the next scheduled meeting.

Our next meeting is Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 7:00 pm.

Clinic will be on layiut automation by Mike Nicoletti; Mark your calanders,and see you there.

Minutes of our January Meeting

The Semaphore: Superintendent John Williams called the meeting open at 7:03 pm. The Superintendent brought up for discussion the monthly newsletter, The Semaphore, placed on a web site and cease monthly mailings. Webmaster Dave Anderson has been in discussion with John Williams on this matter and recommends it. Significant cash savings (approx. $79/month) can be realized by eliminating the copying and mailing costs. Also, more content can be included in the web-version rather that the mailed version because of no limit on the number of pages as now exists with the mailed version. After some discussion, it was agreed to go to the web-based system for The Semaphore starting next month. With this change, members’ dues can, for the time being, remain the same.

Land O Sky Division Feb 20-21, 2009 Train Show: Fred Coleman advised that to date there are 75 sales tables sold/paid for the show and several more are expected. This is still down from the 100 or so at previous shows. Volunteer coverage of the key tasks and activities at the show has been achieved and Penn Bullock and Mike DeVore have volunteered for the overnight security coverage. Asheville Pizza is still on track with their promotional support. The N-scale extension layout is in its final stages of completion and will be set up at Ashe-ville Pizza next week on, February 11. The modules will be transported from The Barn at Eliada to the Asheville Civic Center at noon on March 19. Fred also stated that Tim Wagner and associates would be setting up and operating the G-scale layout at the show with their “Thomas the Tank En-gine” and equipment.

Good and Welfare: Fred Coleman spoke recently to Charlie Krug on his status after his heart-related surgery. Charlie had a minor setback with fluid on his lungs, but that was immediately corrected and he is doing well. Charlie plans to attend the March show. Lenny of Carolina Arts and Crafts has had a setback with mild diabetes affecting one of his legs which had to be placed in a cast. Kent Roberts continues with chemotherapy treatments. Please keep these members and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

The Barn and Eliada Youth: Penn Bullock advised that 4 sessions with the children are being run on Tuesdays involving their building t-track modules. This fall, Eliada with be having a public event involving a crop circle maze and will be asking for volunteers from our organization to help with parking and traffic direction.

Modular Layout: Operations Manager Wally Brown discussed the “sprucing-up” work on the modules in preparation for the show. There will be 3 work sessions; Sat.2/7 1 to 4, Tues. 2/10 2 to 5 and Thurs. 2/12 6:30 to 9. Wally will put out an email requesting volunteer assistance at these sessions for ballasting, making/setting trees, placing ground foam and dusting. Volunteers are also needed for breaking down and packing the modules and associated equipment on Tuesday, 2/17 from 2 to 5 pm. Wally thanked those members who very graciously donated some very nice cars to the layout and he is continuing to solicit donations of covered hoppers, gondolas, chemical tanks, and bulkhead flat cars.

General: The Hendersonville Apple Valley Model Railroaders continue with their work and operation of theirlayout. The National Train Show in Hartford, Connecticut the first week of July looks to be a very worthwhile-to-attend event. The French Broad N-Scalers are locating in Hendersonville at Washington St. and Kanuga Rd. They should be functional in a month. The Southeastern Region NMRA Convention in Pensacola, FL will be held June 12-14. Fred Coleman has applications for this event. NMRA’s National Election is coming up. Unlike the past, there’s real competition for the president’s position. The Show in Hickory, NC in which our club participates will be on April 4th. Still planning a spring-time “rail-fanning” trip to the Spencer Yards. Contact John Williams.

Clinic: Making Model Trees
Penn Bullock, Mike Smith and Joe Norris each gave interesting and informative demonstrations of their tree-making techniques and skills.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:50pm by Superintendent John Williams.