RMRRC Open House and Work Session update
March 9th, 2014
Our Saturday was very busy, combining a visit to the Rochester Model Railroad Club
in the morning with an abbreviated work session in the afternoon. Several members met up in the city to visit the RMRRC on the occasion of their 75th anniversary. Founded as the Kodak City Model Railroad Club in 1939, the group has been going strong despite a number of moves over the years. Our first club advisor, the late Prof. James F. Scudder, was a member of this club, having joined in 1962.
The home road of the RMRRC is the Seneca Valley Lines, a fictional railroad loosely based on the route and operations of the old Lehigh Valley Railroad from Jersey City to Buffalo. The layout is quite large and features many scenes faithfully modeled after the real thing, such as the station at Geneva, the scene at Rochester Jct., and the old Lackawanna terminal in Buffalo. Many of these scenes are long gone in real life, but they live in on model form. We also visited the small train show where we picked up many items at bargain prices for our personal and club collections!
After our visit, we walked a couple of blocks over to Dinosaur BBQ, housed on the old Lehigh Valley passenger terminal that dates from 1905. Trains no longer call at the station (the last service was in the 1950s), but it has been home to tasty barbecue since 1995. Alongside the restaurant are some ruins of the old Rochester Subway and its Court Street station. We made time for a history lesson and took a quick look around before heading back to RIT.
The remains of Court Street station on the Rochester Subway. Structure at left carried a roadway into the Lehigh Valley freight yard. Dinosaur BBQ is just out of view at left. The Rundel Library in the background was built over the Subway tracks in 1934.
Photo source: RochesterSubway.com
Upon our arrival, we quickly split up into teams to tackle various clean-up jobs. One team swept the entire layout and removed all equipment. Everything was brought out to our temporary work station in the hallway for inspection (weight, wheels, and couplers). Another team removed everything from under the layout, swept and vacuumed, and carefully replaced anything going back into storage. A third group vacuumed the surface of the layout and also polished all tracks with a Brite Boy abrasive block. Some temporary fascia panels were hung to help protect clothing from being snagged on exposed benchwork. Floors were swept, empty boxes thrown away, and the general appearance of the room was improved dramatically.
The first RITMRC Golden Spike Ceremony was held on April 1, 1997. From left to right, Rob "Fro" Ranger (Secretary), Joe Wolff (Treasurer), Otto Vondrak (Vice President), Tom Rohatsch (President), Prof. Jim Scudder (Advisor). Photo by Scott Spitzer
We're getting ready to host a special Open House to celebrate the driving of the "Golden Spike" with RIT president William Destler on Tuesday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m.
Come down and join us for this historic event!
March 1 Work Session Update
March 3rd, 2014
Saturday's work session was a bit quieter than normal, but we still got plenty of work done. Matt G., Phil, David S. and James continued finishing work on the backdrops in Albion and Lockport, sanding and priming the surfaces and getting them ready for sky blue paint. Meanwhile, Phil and Otto shored up our sagging helix with additional beams and legs. Matt G. installed feeders on the B&O branch, and Otto installed another layer of street surface over the Rochester Subway scene. We played around with some possible scenarios for the Niagara Food Terminal and put together a list of parts to order. David S. continued work on our scenery diorama, applying a plaster hardshell with help from Otto and Matt. Otto also rationalized our giant tub of scenery materials to help save space.
Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 4.
We will be attending the Rochester Model Railroad 75th Anniversary Club Open House on Saturday, March 8.
February 22 work session update
February 23rd, 2014
Alumni member Otto continued detailing his abandoned sidings in the Niagara Falls scene. He also did some preliminary planning work laying out some ideas for the Niagara Food Terminal at the far end of the scene. Later in the day he worked with Jimmy to install the first supports for Broad Street next to and over the Rochester Subway scene. David S. continued work on one of our practice scenery dioramas.An R&IT switcher descends the interchange ramp down into the Rochester Subway to deliver a boxcar of newsprint to Gannett. The two tracks at right are the B&O's Main Street terminal.
Phil and David S. worked on backdrops in Albion and Lockport. Joints and screw holes were spackled and sanded in Lockport, and David S. applied two coats of primer and the first coat of sky blue paint. Meanwhile, Phil and Jimmy fit in the final pieces of masonite for the backdrops in Albion. In the middle of the day, Otto fit in a tricky curved piece to complete the last of the backdrop installation in Lockport. Max and his friend Dave also helped cut masonite panels for this project.
Matt G. worked on wiring up power feeders to the staging yards all day, while Elliot worked on fitting in the last pieces of track to connect the B&O branch to the interchange at CP 373. Elliot then began to work on power feeders for the B&O branch. Otto's shiny new B&O wagon top caboose from Spring Mills Depot
was unloaded onto the branch to test out the new track connections. The Rochester & Southern (B&O) track now connects to the CSX/R&IT main line at CP 373. Falls Road Secondary diverges to the right. Truss bridge will carry the old B&O "Belt Line" over the main line.
J.C. and David S. worked on reviving our old master equipment roster. This will help us catalog all of the pieces of equipment located in the club room, and help us generate reports that can later be used for maintenance, ownership, and waybills.
We are preparing to host a special "Golden Spike" ceremony with RIT president Bill Destler on March 11, and a open house for the Lakeshores Division NMRA on March 22. Our goal is to have the entire railroad functional end-to-end in time for these events.
Our next meeting is Tuesday and our next work session is Saturday. See you there!