NMRA Michiana Division

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The NMRA Michiana Division holds scheduled meetings on Saturdays at public libraries located around the division. Our meetings are open to the public and we always welcome potential new members to join us.

Railfan the West Michigan Railroad
Time and Date: September 17, 2022 9 AM CDT - 10 AM EDT
Where: Two locations near Hartford, MI see details below

Members of the MWR Michiana Division will join members of the NCR Division 9 to Railfan the West Michigan Railroad (WMI) in Hartford, MI. The West Michigan Railroad (reporting mark) WMI) is a short line railroad in southwest Michigan. It began operations in 1995, replacing the bankrupt Kalamazoo, Lake Shore and Chicago Railroad (reporting marks) KLSC) on an ex-Pere Marquette Railway line between Hartford and Paw Paw, Michigan. That company had taken over operations in 1987 from CSX Transportation. Traffic on the West Michigan Railroad consists of canola pellets, plastic pellets, frozen food, refrigerated fresh food, stone, methanol, and corn oil. The railroad has been owned by Hamilton Hartford Group, LLC since 2015. We will visit 2 WMI locations.

We’ll start at 10:00am ET for our first stop at the Paw Paw River Transload Facility, which is behind the Paw Paw River Produce Facility on the Red Arrow Highway, west of the Fair Ground Area. The Transload Facility is on 59 ½ St that runs north off the Red Arrow Highway, north of the fruit facility at the train tracks. While there we will learn about the West Michigan Railroad operation during a presentation by WMI personnel and tour the WMI Transload Facility.

Next, we will move to the area of N Maple St and Hilliard St in the city of Hartford. This is just north of downtown. Just west of that intersection are some facilities in a dirt parking lot that the West Michigan Railroad uses and this is where the WMI interchanges with the CSX.

After Railfanning the WMI, Division 9 will go to 501 W. Main St. Hartford, for a final discussion of the WMI operations and their future and the Annual Division 9 meeting with an approximately $10.00 cash/per person catered lunch. The Michiana Division is welcome to join Division 9 for the WMI discussions, Division 9 meeting and lunch. PLEASE NOTE: You must RSVP by Thursday, September 15th to Rich Mahaney, hazmatrichm@aol.com if you will be attending these discussions, lunch and the Division 9 meeting after the Railfan Road Trip.

RAIN DAY PLAN: If it is raining the morning of this Railfan Road Trip we will meet at 501 W. Main St. in downtown Hartford for the WMI Railroad presentation, PowerPoint slides and a discussion. Then we will have the same lunch plan with the required RSVP and Division 9 will have their annual meeting. The 501 W Main Street building has a sign on it that says, "Stone Soup Lab".

Past meeting topics:
Family Road Trip to Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum
Michiana July Family Road Trip to Hesston Steam Museum
Illiana Garden Railroad Society, "The Bull Moose Line"
Indy Junction Convention
Monon Connection Museum, Monon, IN
Elkhart Model Railroad Club 17th Annual Train Show
Railroads of Porter County, Indiana with Ken Hough
The Michiana Railroad Video Archive with Greg Bueltmann
Industries Served by the South Shore Frieght with Andy Laurent
Achievement Program - The Golden Spike Award
Elkhart Model Railroad Club Train Show
Railroad Sites in Lake County, Indiana
National New York Central Railroad Museum
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, North Judson, IN
Tanks For Solids, Liquids and Gases by Rich Mahaney
Backdrop Paining Techniques by Norm Logan
A tour of the Panhandle Division of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad. by Bill Neale
Uppgrading Generic Rolling Stock to Prototypical Standards by Clark Propst
Adhesives and Their Uses by Master Model Railroader Lester Breuer
Ken Chick's (MMR) Danforth Hadley & Northern
Evolution of Duck Lake by Chuck Hart
Achievement Program - Scenery - Learn about the program and requirements with examples
A Ride on the BS Line: The Engineer's View of John Hanske's Layout
A Cab Ride on the Milwaukee road: The Engineer's View of Ron Christensen's Layout
Proto-freelancing the GTW Trenton & Western
Creating Routes using JMRI
Building the Michiana Southern: Conceptualizing and building an operations-based model railroad
Using Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) for turnout control and physical panel display
Using Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) for model railroad operations
Layout Operations: Waybills for industries and car card holders
Layout Operations using Waybills
Railroad LCL (less than carload) Operations
Achievement Program on rolling stock
The Ridge Model RailRoaders Visit
Poultry Cars
Layout and Track Construction
Xxtreme Modeling
Under the table discussion of frame work for your railroad benches
Presentation on Oil Dealers
Visit and lunch at the Cass County Model Railroad Club in Dowagiac, Michigan
NMRA EduTraIn presentations
How to tune rolling stock for improved operation
How to create believable structure stand-ins and models with Model Builder Software
Weathering with Guache, Powders, and Pan Pastels
Professional railroading videos
Using Touch Toggles to control turnouts
Operating Sessions at various members layouts
Open discussion of layout design considerations -
Bring 'em if ya got 'em Clinic on adding details to Structures
Presentation on the history of the NJI&I Railroad (with maps)
A visit to a local Model Railroad Club and other area layouts!

The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), is an organization of model railroaders that advances the worldwide scale model railroading community through education and standards as well as advocacy and fellowship. The purposes of the organization are to promote, stimulate, foster, and encourage by all manner and means the art and craft of model railroading and the preservation of the hobby’s history, science, and technology.
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