|Coal mine off Corridor H near Mt Storm WV|
After completing several jobs at my son and daughter-in-law's house, the road trip continued with my driving to Indianapolis to attend the joint NMRA/RPM Indy Junction Meet. The meet was very successful. About 500 people attended. The hotel was very large and it offered multiple clinic rooms, space for several model train layouts, and two large rooms for vendors. It was great fun to meet new people, especially folks that say they read this blog! Thanks. Leave a comment if you can. I was greeted at the registration desk by my wife's 2nd cousin, Barbara Soward. She is a model railroader who is married to Fred Soward, the NMRA Louisville Division superintendent.
|Nice limestone quarry model in the contest room|
|Some type of furnace model in the contest room|
The judging is part of the Master Model Railroader process, but it also adds a competition where the "best" models are selected. I don't get too worked up over the model contests as there is a lot of subjectivity involved. That is why I tend to prefer the RPM approach. I had some of my civil war railroad models on display in the RPM room.
RPM meets also have a tradition of reimbursing clinicians for their presenting a clinic at the meet. For example, at the MARPM, all clinicians get free registration. Normally, the NMRA doesn't not do that. They do reimburse some of the officers' expenses and sometimes for the key note speaker. Mike Skibbe, the RPM manager at Indy Junction, invited me to attend, and the meet did cover my registration fee but none of my other expenses. Nonetheless, that was welcome as the travel expenses were somewhat high this year with gas at $5.30 a gallon.
|Nice Great Lakes lumber schooner model at the RPM by Greg Rich|
|Scene on John Dick's layout|
I presented 2 clinics at the meet describing my Aquia Line progress, I attended 5 other clinics, and visited one home layout, which was John Dick's Milwaukee Road Beer Line.
Kevin Kayser's clinic on the C&O in Kentucky was neat. He uses a lot of Alkem Scale Models products.
Bill Darnaby presented a clinic on his Maumee Railroad. About half way through he said, "well that's finished, what's next? "Then he proceeded to show pictures of the Monon RR, a favorite of his youth. I thought he was going to say he was going to rebuild the layout as the Monon. But he calmed my fears by describing how he is just building detailed, scratch built models of his favorite railroad just to keep building. He does not plan to dismantle the Maumee.
Bill Neale gave a nice talk on what he did on his layout during COVID and after a successful back surgery. His changes included new lighting, fascia paint and operating signals. The latter was a big job.
Gerry Albers presented a talk on lessons learned from building his huge Virginian RR set in WV. Gerry lives near Cincinnati, but was unavailable for touring when I was there the week before.
Kieth Kohlman did a clinic on Realistic Outdoor Photography. He showed many examples of artful photographs of his N Scale models and modules taken out doors.
|Beautiful O scale turnouts|
I did see some nice O Scale track work and switch stands for sale in the vendor area.
It was fun to see a lot of folks I know. Notably, Doug Tagsold showed me photos of yet another expansion of his narrow gauge railroad. He is an amazingly fast builder.
Alas, I developed a sore throat the first night there, so I returned to Lexington the next day after my final clinic was over. Luckily, my son runs a COVID testing lab, so he tested me as soon as I got to his house, and then again next day when I developed cold like symptoms such as runny nose, head ache, and sinus congestion. Luckily, I did not have COVID, just a cold. But, that meant the rest of my trip to see my granddaughter and her parents had to be cancelled. I also missed out on a lot of planned activities at Indy Junction.
I stayed with my son for one extra day to finish installing a new stair railing to his basement. That job was really difficult as they bought a pre-fab-ed aluminum stair railing that was designed for 35 degrees. But their existing stair railing was 45 degrees. It took me all day to get it installed.
I returned home via the Corridor H road from Weston, WV to Strasburg, VA. This route is not yet complete so there are some 2-lane sections. But the new 4-lane sections run along the ridge tops through some beautiful mountain scenery. I passed the old B&O line through Buckhannon and then through the Western Maryland RR territory of Elkins, Parsons, Thomas and Davis. I saw a coal mine with lots of trucks in action, and the CSX marshaling yard near Mount Storm power plant, but all shrouded in fog. I returned safe and sound, but very tired. I did another COVID test when I got home and I was negative. Luckily the cold symptoms are waning and I feel better now. It was a good trip, despite being cut short and not getting to see my granddaughter.
|Former WM depot in Parsons, WV. I stopped there for a lunch break.|