Meeting Programs

The following are examples of activities conducted during regular chapter meetings.  The content of each meeting varies along with current goals of the club, but usually includes a short business meeting followed by an instructional session, workshop or demonstration.  These are only a few of the highlighted activities:


July 2016 Club Outing at Valley Railroad, Essex CT

On a bright, warm and beautiful Saturday in July, club members met at the Connecticut Valley Railroad in Essex, CT for a day-long journey aboard their Steam Train and Riverboat.  The event began with a tour of the “back shop” at the railroad complex and an explanation of the work required to maintain their fleet of restored locomotives and passenger cars.  Members, spouses and guests were intrigued by the amount of effort and expense required to keep this relic operating.  Some pictures of the early morning preparations for our train and a view of the maintenance “pit” follow:

(Click to Enlarge)


IMG_7325-1 IMG_7327-1




One of the steam locomotives is being torn down in order to replace rusted and weak boiler pipes and to confirm that boiler plates remain thick enough. This periodic work is required for safety reasons for every steam locomotive in operation.


While our group awaits boarding our luncheon train, an earlier excursion leaves Essex Station, below;



Aboard our train and on our way to the Deep River Landing, we are fed lunch while watching the scenery pass by.  Member Ed Scheff and his wife Helene seem to be enjoying the fare!  Before arriving at the riverboat landing, we spot a pair of Ospreys feeding their chicks at their nest on top of a river piling.

P1340055 P1340052


On the lighter side, club members Mike DePunté and Jeff Koellmer play around by photographing each other!



Our riverboat, the “Becky Thatcher”, prepares to dock at the Deep River Landing.  We board it for a trip up the Connecticut River to Haddam where we glimpse the famous Goodspeed Opera House before returning to port for a final ride on the Steam Train.  Gillette Castle is another famous landmark that we can see from the riverboat.



Back at the Essex Railroad Station, our train is serviced and readied for the next group.  All in all, it proved to be a fun-filled day and our members really enjoyed themselves.  Our thanks go to member Guy Daubert and his team of volunteers for coordinating this special event!


January 2007 Computer Control Workshop

(Click to Enlarge)


The first chapter meeting of the new year (2007) was held at the home of Barry Kriegsman. Two educational opportunities were offered to chapter members: 1) a hand’s on training session about the computer control software used on the chapter’s module display (Railroad & Co.), and 2) an opportunity to view prototype European Railroad videos owned by various members. In preparation for the training, 4 mini-layouts were constructed in the center of Barry’s train room, all complete with turnouts, digital decoders and controllers. Mike Haire conducted the training session that was enjoyed by all. In the photo, starting with the center foreground, going clockwise, are members Zeke Sampson (with back to camera), Mike de Punte, Kurt Hilse, Jeff Koellmer, Brian Haire, Mike Haire, Barry Kriegsman and Royce Thomas (on the right side of the layouts). Thanks go to Mike Haire for instruction (and patience!), Barry for hosting the training, extra effort by several members to set up the 4 layouts in advance, and to Mike de Punte for the photograph.

2007 Dave Frary Presentation on Scenery Techniques

Noted author and model railroad expert Dave Frary addresses club members at a recent meeting at Mike and Jay de Punte’s home on Cape Cod. Dave explained some of the techniques he so effectively uses to create realistic-looking scenery.

davef0222 davef0224

August 2006 Module Workshop

(Click to Enlarge)

The August 2006 chapter meeting was held at the home of Barry Kriegsman and consisted of a workshop for updating the display modules. Older modules received a fresh coat of paint on their faceplates while newer modules were being worked in preparation for future train shows. Above, Zeke Sampson and Mark Mervine apply a Styrofoam base to one of the new, lightweight display modules.



Karl (top) and Kurt Hilse use small paint rollers to carefully apply the new green color to module faceplates.


Barry Kriegsman and Royce Thomas prepare to install new shelves inside the chapter’s trailer so that additional modules can be transported to the next train show.


Members of the group pose for a picture at the end of the very productive day. They are (left to right): Kurt Hilse, Jeff Koellmer, Mark Mervine, Barry Kriegsman, Nigel Atkins, Zeke Sampson, Peter Manz, Karl Hilse and Mike Haire.


2006 HO “Live Steam” Demonstration

Club member Peter Stemmpel entertained the members at their meeting by bringing along his HO Gauge real steam powered locomotive.  Conditions during the demo were cold and damp, but members had fun just the same watching the little guy chug around the demonstration loop.

(Click to Enlarge)

P1000704 P1000707 P1000710 P1000712 Peters0704 peters0707 peters0710 peters0712