2019 RPM-East speakers and presentation details

Click here for a tentative presentation schedule. This is a PDF file.


John Albert– Southern Pacific rebuilt diesels of the late 1970s and early 1980s

Why I love the Espee's last rebuilds. A presentation focusing on the Sacramento General Shops greatest work; their differences, intricacies, and the challenges faced when modeling them. With special focus on the GP9R, SD40R ,and SD45R rebuilds.

Charlie Blenko - Paper Signals for Prototype Operation

Many of us aspire to have fully-automated signal systems governing our railroads, but this requires a substantial investment of time and money to do properly.  This clinic will give a brief overview of the types of track authority then show how to make, implement, and operate with inexpensive, professional-looking signals made of paper based on the ideas of Bruce Carpenter in an MR article.  The technique is not intended to be a permanent solution, but it serves as a cheap way to try operating with signals before making bigger investments.

David Bott - A Friendly Ghost Story: adding white laser printer toner to my custom decal toolkit

Introducing a new option to print yuor custom decals at home with a color laser printer.

Brian Carlson - Rust Belt Boxcars

This clinic is a primer on common boxcars of several Northeastern railroads including the DL&W, LV, L&NE, CNJ/CRP, RDG, D&H, P&LE, and WM. We will compare common boxcars of the respective roads in 1950 and 1957 touching on how things changed. Information from the clinic is drawn from ORERs, equipment diagram books, photos, internet sources, and other resources. The inspiration for this talk came from Bill Welch who asked for assistance on modeling boxcars from northern railroads.

Jack Consoli - CISX 500: The World’s Largest Freight Car

This monstrosity was purpose-built to aid in the War effort and was innovative in both size and its use of welded construction. This presentation covers the design and construction of the car as well as its initial intended service and its subsequent utilization by Carnegie-Illinois Steel & US Steel.

Ted Culotta – Scratchbuilding Freight Cars

This presentation focuses on scratchbuilding three cars using styrene construction. The emphasis is on strategies and techniques as well as considerations for duplication for pattern-making. There will be three projects presented including an Spokane, Portland & Seattle flat car rebuilt from a USRA 40-ton double sheathed box car, an Erie fifty-foot flat car built in 1934, and a Columbia, Newberry & Laurens (and ACL, too) single sheathed box car built in 1926.

Larry DeYoung– Approaching the Golden Spike: modeling a mile of the PRR and EL in Ravenna, Ohio

An update to Larry's O scale layout as the Golden Spike ceremony approaches.

Jim Elster - Advanced Scenery Techniques with Static Grass Material

Demonstrations and tips to acheive better results using static grass material, plus an early look at new Scenic Express products.

Steve Funaro 1 - New York, Ontario & Western Seley coal hoppers

A historical review of the Seley composite hopper car design with a focus on NYO&W cars. Modeling these prototypes will be covered with construction techniques for the new F&C hopper kit.

Steve Funaro 2 - Heavy duty flat car designs of the P&LE, PRR, and other railroads

Details covering F&C kits for a P&LE heavy duty flat car and the Pennsy F34, which was similar to other heavy duty flats on the C&NW and SP.

Ken Hanawalt - Modeling Railroad Prototype Operations

The clinic will describe some opportunities and limitations for operating sessions. It will encourage you to operate your layout and to visit and operate other layouts.

Bill Hanley - Demystifying Resin Freight Car Kits

This clinic will offer reasons why resin, how they are produced, what tools are needed, and most importantly - how to build them.

Eric Hansmann - The B&O B&O Allegheny Yard Branch

Prototype details on a forgotten B&O branch and modeling ideas for an operation-oriented garage-size HO layout.

Ron Hoess - Tools and Techniques for Prototype Modeling of the Urban Landscape

Effective prototype modeling of urban areas requires the scratchbuilding of many signature buildings. This talk will focus on using resin casting and digital cutters to help the scratchbuilding process.

Michael Hohn - Modeling an Anthracite Railroad in the Late 19 th Century

My modeling focus is the Lehigh Valley Railroad in upstate New York, including a roster of LV rolling stock from old plans, photos and equipment registers; track plans from Sanborn Insurance maps; and prototypical structures.

Nicholas Kalis - Enhance Your Layout's Story Telling - Practical Steps

A profusely illustrated presentation with action items that attendees can implement quickly on their layouts. I cover

Lessons learned can be applied to any type of layout in any scale!

Bernard Kempinski– High Tech approach to 19th Century Railroading

How do you model an ancient steam railroad when little commercial product is available? This talk will describe how  I used some of the latest technology and techniques to build my 19th Century Civil War O scale railroad. I’ll cover laser cutting, photo etching, 3D printing, spin casting, battery powered locomotives, and a microprocessor controlled telegraph system.

Den Lippert - Whittling Your Loco Roster

Real railroads are big.  Our basements are small.  We explore the methods and mindset used to pare down a real railroad’s locomotive fleet into something we can manage, and still have the proper flavor and feel.  The basis of our study will be Conrail’s fleet, circa the early 1980’s.

Rich Mahaney 1 – Perishable Operations in the 1950’s

This presentation looks at refrigerator cars for produce, fruit, meat and other similar materials, the supporting operations (icing, cleanout, repair, storage buildings and warehouses, brokers and customers), the paperwork involved, the application of all of this for more realistic railroad operations on model railroads and examples of what people are doing on their railroad layouts involving all of these topics.

Rich Mahaney 2 – Tank Car Industries 

A look at industries that use tank cars to offload and load, storage tanks for low and high pressure products, loading racks, heating unloading, low pressure and high pressure tank cars and other related topics.

Rich Mahaney 3 – Modelling Crude Oil and Ethanol Operations and Transportations For Model Railroaders.

This presentation looks at the following topics: crude oil and ethanol products, hazardous materials, placards, loading and unloading facilities, tank cars for transporting these products, unit trains, high-hazard flammable trains and other related information.  This presentation is designed to help model railroaders that want to add these unit trains and their operations to their modern era layouts.

Bob Meier - Layout yard design 

Are you building a layout and need some pointers on how to set up the yards or how to fit a yard into your layout either new or adding to your current layout? this clinic will get you thinking on what you can do to help you make that decision.

Bill Neale – Modeling the PRR Panhandle

We take a detailed look at the PRR Panhandle prototype in the days of steam and how I approached modeling the first 50 miles of the railroad. I will be showing photographs and diagrams of the prototype and then showing how I approached creating and operating a model railroad of the same area.

David Owens– DODX 38000 series heavy duty flat cars – prototype and modeling 

The Army ordered this six-axle flat car from Magor in 1953 so that it could transport two M48 tanks on a car. Prior to the arrival of the M48, general service flats were used to transport armor. The DODX flats carried M48s and M60s until they were replaced and retired in the 1990s, although the cars live on in mow service on Amtrak and other railroads.

Jim Panza – The General American family of piggyback flatcars

The General American G85 flatcar has its roots in the Clejan flatcar. Primarily used in piggyback service during the 1960s and 1970s, some G85 flatcars were equipped with auto racks. We will explore the history of the GATX G85 and the very similar G85A and G89 flatcars. At great personal risk, Jim has obtained Top Secret photos of the upcoming Walthers G85 flatcar, which he may be persuaded to share during the clinic!

Ramon Rhodes – Nailing The Visual Details That Count On Your Layout

Using hundreds of prototype and model photos, maps, charts, and diagrams, we will look at the everyday and often overlooked details that many modelers miss when both designing and building their layouts. We will see examples of the details and design considerations that will make a huge difference in your layout's visual accuracy and appeal. The focus is on the civil engineering and scenery aspects that will help make your layout stand out above the rest.

Bill Schaumburg - Discovering Hope Springs: using Google Earth, Bing Maps and PowerPoint to plan a small, one-town layout

Neal Schorr – Engineering the Right of Way

Incorporating prototypical engineering practices into your model railroad can significantly increase the realism of your layout. Neal will share with you how he has done so on his railroad. The clinic will start with overall design considerations and will then turn to a discussion of topics such as track geometry, earthwork including cuts and fills, slopes, drainage considerations, and the correct use of bridges and tunnels. Finally, he will share his techniques for right of way modeling which will allow you to accurately portray actual civil engineering practices on your railroad’s right of way.

Greg Smith – B&O Passenger Steam Power on Sand Patch: 1900- 1956

Robert Sprague – If I Could Turn Back Time:  Modeling the Ma & Pa in 1924

What made Bob Sprague decide to abandon the Chessie System and start over with a model of the Maryland & Pennsylvania RR as of May 5, 1924?  Is it treatable?  Learn about the prototype features and operations Bob plans to replicate, the evolution of his “prototype track plan,” and his experiments with 3D printing of commercially unavailable structures.

Darrall Swift – Building a freight car roster appropriate for 1979

The late 1970's was an exciting time to watch trains as steam and diesel transition era freight cars were coming to an end, while 2nd and 3rd generation diesel era freight cars built during the 1960's and through to the late 1970's can still be seen on the rails today. Here's my approach to capturing this overlap of eras accurately for 1979.

Mont Switzer – Painting and lettering Monon's signature plaintive boxcar scheme

Review general boxacar detailing and modeling various Monon boxcars; Monon #1, Monon #783 (a wreck rebuild), and Monon #9006 (refurbished AAR 1937 design).

Chip Syme – Non Revenue Equipment of the Penn Central and Conrail

A review of track equipment, cranes, scale test and other non-revenue equipment.

John Teichmoeller – Let’s Talk About the PRR H21 hoppers

E. Roy Ward - The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway Story

The  HO WVC&P RWY celebrated 40 years since it’s inception and nearly that long of weekly operations, last March. What  inspired the layout and how it was, planned ,designed and constructed that ensured that it would endure the test of time. Hopefully it’s story will inspire someone to get started and build the layout of THEIR dreams.

Dave Wilson – Modeling the Union Railroad in the late 1940s and early 1950s

Kaylee Zheng– Hot Rod Chicken: A Story about the Chicken Car and Live Poultry Transportation

The stock car is an iconic freight car that is the tag line of American railroading. However, the classic stock car has a little lessor know cousin that proved to be equally as important: the chicken car. Created by the Live Poultry Transport Company; together, they revolutionized the transport of fowl meats not only to American markets, but international markets as well. This clinic will discuss the history of live poultry transport, the engineering of the poultry cars, and the design of this model for a potential large scale production.  

Mike Zollitsch – Using Excel for Waybill-less prototype operations

Using an Excel inventory to replicate prototype operating schemes without using car cards and waybills.