Eastside Get-Together Clinic Receives National Recognition

Al Lowe

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The 4th Division’s very own JJ Johnston was recently honored in the August issue of the national NMRA Magazine, in the Division Business Car section. In case you missed it, here’s a scan of the article.

Remember: when you’re traveling, check the Magazine’s Club Car section for clinics to attend. This month’s Eastside Get-Together will include an NMRA member from Texas who is traveling in this area!

Last Day to Save on Sn3 Symposium

Russ Segner, Convention Chair

Sn3 2015The 30th Annual Sn3 Symposium will be held in Bellevue, Washington next April 16 – 19, 2015. If you REGISTER TODAY, you’ll save big bucks!

It will be hosted by the same bunch that brought you the great 2012 National Narrow Gauge Convention. With over 15 narrow gauge layouts, 16 great clinics, and lots of time with fellow narrow-gaugers. At least seven Sn3 layouts will be open for operating sessions, with slots filled first-come, first-served.

Held at the excellent Bellevue Sheraton, there will be plenty of room for clinics and contest entries. 75 rooms have been reserved at very good rates for attendees.

For more information, see sn3symposium-2015.com, or email Registrar email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Today is the last day to get the early registration rate!

Wain Miller Surgery Update

Mike Highsmith

Wain Miller ended up having a quadruple by-pass and was in surgery for nearly 6 hours. He came out of it very well and will be in ICU for at least 24 hours. He reports a sore throat but is able to speak and the doctors are very pleased with how things have gone. The family wishes to thank the railroad community for its kind words, thoughts and prayers.

Anacortes Antique Machinery Show Sept. 13

Keith Sternberg

I’d like to invite all 4th Division members to the annual Anacortes Antique Machinery Show this Saturday, September 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at 6th and Market, near the old Great Northern depot and the sternwheel steamer “W T Preston.”

Keith Sternberg's model 4-6-0

Keith Sternberg’s model 4-6-0

There will be exhibits of steam power (both stationary and marine), antique tractors, model builders with engine models, and a handcar operating on the old Great Northern track along Market Street. I will have a temporary short-line railroad of 7-1/2″ gauge track alongside of the steamboat “W T Preston.” My coal-fired ten-wheeler will be in steam with a single-car train. There will be several steam launches on display, wood-fired and oil-fired boats of 18 – 25 foot length. The “W T Preston,” a fine old steamboat built for the Army Corps of Engineers in 1914, will be open for visitors. She has cylinders about 14″ bore and 6-foot stroke, and a locomotive-type boiler.

Admission to the show is free. Admission to board the “W T Preston” is $3.

I built the locomotive using castings from Allen Models. It is 9′ long overall and weighs about 600 pounds. The boiler is state-inspected and allowed 150 psi. Cylinders are 1-3/4″ bore and 3-1/4″ stroke. I often pull a passenger train at the Great Northern & Cascade Railway at Skykomish. I have fired with several types of coal, lately a mix of Pennsylvania anthracite and Utah bituminous. A full head of steam is easily maintained all day, no matter how heavy the load.

I hope you come by Saturday for some really large-scale model railroading!

Wain Miller Hospitalized

Mike Highsmith

One of the 4th Division’s best friends and most active members, Wain Miller is facing at least triple by-pass surgery Monday morning at Swedish.  Many of us have friends and family who’ve gone through this and know the road ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time. I will update you on his progress.

Carsten Publications Purchased

Don Smith

Rumors have swirled recently that the long-time publisher of Railroad Model Craftsman was in financial difficulties and would cease operations. Good news! Carsten Publications announced that they have been purchased by White River Productions, which will honor all current subscriptions.

Complete details are on their website.

Gene Methven Passes

Ed Liesse

Eugene (Gene) R. Methven, 92, passed away early in the morning of August 10, 2014. He lived in MapleValley and attended the Tacoma Clinic often and occasionally the Eastside Get-Together. He rode with Henry Holowedel and, after Henry’s passing, stopped attending because of not driving at night.

There will be a celebration of Gene’s life on Sunday, September 7 from 1:00–3:30 p.m. at the Wilderness Villa Clubhouse, 24100 221st Place, Maple Valley, WA 98038.

See Gene’s complete Seattle Times Obituary here.

Seattle-North Clinic – No Meeting in September 2014

By Jeff Moorman

Hope you all had a good summer. For a couple of reasons we will forego our September meeting this year and start up the clinic season on October 2, 2014.

Unfortunately this summer we lost our long time liaison with the church. It has taken some time to reach a new understanding of our meeting needs. We’ll still be meeting the first Thursday of the month, but will be moving up to the main floor. In fact, please check the meeting notices carefully for the next several months. We may need to make further temporary changes to accommodate some scheduled renovations in the building.

Also, traffic and travel is expected to be cumbersome throughout the Seattle area on September 4 due to the Seahawk’s home opener.

We meet at the Ronald United Methodist Church, 17839 Aurora Avenue North, Shoreline, WA. That is on the west side of Aurora (State Route 99) between 175th and 185th Streets and more specifically, between the Cadillac dealer on the south and Deseret Industries to the north. Going southbound on Aurora, make a right-hand turn into the church driveway immediately after passing the Deseret location. The parking lot is at the rear of the church. For regular meetings go up the steps to the  entrance and go to the Fireside room which is immediately to the left inside the door.

Meetings are the first Thursday of each month, usually September through June. However in June we often do something different, so there may be no “regular” meeting. Doors open at 7:00 PM and the program starts at 7:30.

Remember that there is no meeting this September. The next regular evening meeting is October 2. Hope to see you there or at least sometime on down the line.

Skagit Valley & Whidbey NMRA Clinic September 10

Allen Frasch

Whidbey ClinicThe Skagit Valley & Whidbey Model Railroading Clinic will meet in Oak Harbor on Wednesday, September 10th at 7:00 p.m. to begin the new model railroading season.

Rich Blake and team have some great clinics scheduled for your enjoyment and edification this year, beginning with this month’s clinic by Rich himself.

OPS CRAFT — The Art of Operating Model Trains

In preparation for the upcoming OPS season (a.k.a. Model Railroad Operations), get a primer on train operations and how to make your ops participation more fun and realistic. This is not a how-to for setting up an operating session, we will focus on how to participate as guest or owner.

Whidbey2We spend considerable time modeling and developing our own operating method for our layouts but, when it comes time to operate on another’s layout, it can be confusing and difficult. We will show how to make life easier during an ops session while emulating the prototype. If time allows, we will also cover car forwarding methods using JMRI.

Remember: come to Summer Hill in OakHarbor on September 10 by 7:00. We will have our customary pre-clinic get-together at 5:15 at the San Remo restaurant, 421 NE Midway Blvd, OakHarbor. Come early and enjoy some great pizza and conversation.

Sn3 Symposium Discount Sign-Up Ends Soon

Russ Segner, Sn3 Symposium Coordinator

Sn32015Do you have a fondness for narrow gauge trains or just admire fine modeling? Then you can’t miss the annual 2015 Sn3 Symposium to be held in Bellevue next April 16! This is a national event with participants from all over the world.

The Symposium committee has lined up 16 layouts in several scales, most of which are not usually open. There will be several operating sessions available; clinics by nationally-recognized modelers; a model and photo contest; and vendors from across the nation. The Bellevue Sheraton has been selected as the convention hotel, with easy access to freeways and free parking.

Take advantage of the early registration rate of just $45 until September 10! Check out our website to see all that we have in store for you.

My Pal Al Passes

Bobj Berger

Long time active 4th Division member Alfred S. Robinson, 88, passed away from a heart attack on July 30th (as reported to me this week by his wife Doreen). Al often used the term “Pal” as a term of endearment and because of that I always referred to him as “my Pal Al.” He was one of my favorites and a mentor.

Al was perhaps best known for his many years of managing the Seattle Clinic Mart, back during the days of our Beacon Hill meetings, which is where I first met him about 30 years ago. Since the Seattle-North Clinic moved to the current meeting location, he has been unlocking the church doors, preparing the room for the clinic, and participating in the clinic events. Doreen, in the spirit of continuing volunteerism has offered to continue to unlock the building for the Seattle-North Clinic if we will call and remind her! Al was the founder of the 4D G-scale module program, and he was largely responsible for those modules morphing to become what is today’s Puget Sound Garden Railway Society. He and my (then 12-year-old) daughter Ashley were featured on Spokane TV news stories during the 1991 Railfest Northwest PNR Convention with those G modules.

He had been fighting diabetes, liver failure and cancer the past couple of years, and once said to me (while discussing his diagnosis) that he’d had a wonderful life. This was quite evident when I met with his supportive family over the weekend.

The family is planning services to be held at the Ronald United Methodist Church (same location as the Seattle North Clinic) on Saturday, August 30th at 2 pm. The church is located on the west side of Hwy 99/Aurora Ave N, just North of 175th, between the Cadillac dealer and the Deseret Thrift Store (where Al shopped before every clinic!).

Al had spent much of the past couple of years selling a large part of his train collection, but was still buying up to the day he passed. A true model railroader! The family and Railfun are currently working on an in-house estate sale of his collections of G, On30, HO and other train related items, as well as his extensive military collection of tanks, uniforms, and other items. This may occur near the end of September. Another notice will be sent out when the date is chosen.

Grab-Iron Now For ALL Members

Al Lowe

When we created the Digital Grab Iron a few years ago, we made it “opt-in,” which meant that you must actively request inclusion. Now the 4D Board of Directors believes every 4D member should be notified of all the Division’s news. Starting today, you will receive a short notification whenever any new article is posted.

Just click the link in the email to read the full article or, if you’re not interested, delete the email. It’s as simple as that. But now, all members will know what’s going on in our active Division.

Of course, if you absolutely never want to know anything, we understand. <grin> Send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required and I’ll remove you. But you’re going to miss some of the best of what your NMRA dues cover: what’s happening locally.

PSC Model Railroad Show Asks For Your Help With Magazine Storage

Bobj Berger

Ask not what the Annual NMRA Pacific Science Center Show can do for you, but ask what you can do for our Annual NMRA Pacific Science Center Show! For 40 years this model railroad show has been the primary source of 4th Division funding of member services and projects such as the clinics, module program, and video library (to name but a few of our member services). We have been able to do this because of the volunteer efforts of the committee and those displaying their hobby work, and the staff of the Pacific Science Center.

Each year we have magazines to give away at the NMRA-PNR-4D Membership table. These magazine “gifts” have always been well received by the kids and adults (and even a few members too!). A couple of years ago “Railfun Model Railroad Estate Services” began storing and then donating the magazines from the estates we had under contract for the show. We have not run out of magazines to give away during the show.

This year we have a new problem because we have over 15 estates in contract, another 3-4 pending, plus we no longer have one estate storage locker that was used for both trains and magazines. We are buried in model trains and related items and have run out of space to store the magazines for the PSC Show donation.

We need someone to step up and agree to store about 20 cardboard boxes of Trains, Model Railroader, MRC, etc the next 5 months until the January 2015 show. We could even store them in more than one place if one person does not have room for all 20 (or so) boxes. Currently they are stacked on my front porch and the Truly Unpleasant Mrs Berger has indicated her dissatisfaction with this arrangement! These are all clean non smelly magazines and all they need is a dry place to sit until the show. We can deliver even if need be.

So how about it, are you ready to step up and participate in the best model railroad show in the Northwest and possible the entire country? You even get to read them yourself!

Call PSC Show Board Member Bobj at 206-948-0862 or email at email hidden; JavaScript is required and begin your volunteering for your hobby. Thanks for your consideration, and keep on model railroading.


Tacoma Clinic Scheduled for Sept. 11

Al Babinsky

Just a friendly reminder that the Tacoma Clinic will be held on September 11 at 7:30 PM in our usual place, in the Pierce County Library Admin. Bldg. on the corner of 112th Street and Waller Road.

Hope to see you there.

Update on New Fourth Division Clinic

Al Carter

New Mount Vernon Clinic update

There usually are “bumps in the road” when starting up a new activity, and the new clinic “up north” is no exception.

First off, we have changed the name of the clinic to the Mount Vernon Clinic, to better define where we are located, and eliminate confusion with the existing Whidbey/Skagit Clinic in Oak Harbor.

Secondly, we have changed the date of the clinic to the Fourth Tuesday of the month, so there is more time separation between the new clinic and the neighboring clinic over in Oak Harbor.  Hopefully, some folks will be able to attend both clinics this way, as it eliminates back to back clinics on successive evenings.

Here is the original article, edited to include the latest updates:

The Fourth Division has added yet another monthly clinic to better serve local NMRA members and other model railroaders.  The Mount Vernon Clinic will have its first meeting on September 23, 2014, at the Mount Vernon Senior Center, starting at 7:00 pm.  The Senior Center is at 1401 S. Cleveland Street, easily accessible from I-5 via the Kincaid Street exit.  All meetings will be held on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

A number of Skagit and Snohomish County folks were making the monthly trek to Oak Harbor for the Whidbey/Skagit monthly clinic and several of us decided to start a newer clinic closer to home.  Our goal is to work closely with our fellow friends over in Oak Harbor to possibly share clinic agendas and clinicians, which seems like a win-win situation.  We also hope to serve more NMRA members (and other model rails) in the Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom County areas.

As of this writing, Ted Becker has agreed to step up and be the first clinician and he has proposed several ideas.  As we get closer to September 23, we will make a more detailed announcement in the Grab Iron. In the meantime, if anyone has any questions or suggestions, or wants to volunteer to be a clinician, feel free to contact me at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 360-399-1226.  If you wish to be added to an email list for a clinic newsletter, just let me know.

OLY-OPS 2014 Scheduled for Oct. 18

Gregory Wright

Want to operate on two great layouts? OLY-OPS 2014 has a few spots left for operators, but sign up now!

Our 8th OLY-OPS will feature 6 or 7 great operating layouts on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

Confirmed participants must be in Olympia by 8:15 a.m. to pick up their layout assignments and will spend the whole day. You will operate on one railroad in the morning and a second in the afternoon. And you will be invited to an after-event dinner. The only charge is minimal: bring food or cash for our local food bank.

Register now! It’s first come, first served. Email email hidden; JavaScript is required with  your  name  and  the  names anyone  else  you  are  registering  for  in  your  carpool. Please  limit  each  car  to  4 persons. Please provide only  confirmed participants. (No-shows destroy our schedule and block others from attending.) Tell Greg if you have special concerns like you can’t do steps or tall layouts. This year we will not provide maps. If you don’t have GPS, make a special request in your email.

Check out our videos for either Windows or Mac or Android

OLY-OPS is brought to you by the Olympia Open House and Operations Group, O.O. & O. G. And don’t miss our Spring OLY-TOURS, when we’ll have 10 or more area layouts open to visit.

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