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News for Members

Our next club meeting is on Thursday, December 6 at 7:00 pm
at the Haywood County Fairgrounds

If you are bringing items to the Train Show for sale at the Company Store, please complete the Company Store form provided at the meeting. Bring your stuff early – it makes it easier for those working in the store and will provide greater exposure for your precious little offerings. The Train Show will be open from noon to 7:00 pm on Friday, December 7 and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 8.

From the Superintendent’s Desk

Submitted by Fred Coleman

With the first December train show coming up; I know I will see all of the faithful workers that have done their jobs over the years that really help in the planning of a show. I also hope to see many new faces in making this show run with more ease and be more successful. As it is at a different time of year, it will be interesting to see the attendance for the show. Also, this will be the first Division show, in a while, that we will have the contest area available for those working on their MMR. This will be a great opportunity for others in the club to see some of their fellow members work. It is truly amazing the talent that we do have sitting around in our meetings that we are not totally aware of.

We do have several members that are avidly working on their AP’s. The operating sessions is a great opportunity to fulfill the requirements for Chief Dispatcher Certificate. Our last session we had a great time running trains and is also a good time to share ideas or compare projects.

Finally, on a sad note David Sebatian's wife, Carolyn, passed away on November 3. Our thoughts and prayers go with David.

Operations and Such

Submitted by Wally Brown

For those who have not been taking part in our operating ("ops") sessions, I thought it would be a good time to bring everyone up to date on how that aspect of our club is progressing as well as projects that are connected with the club modules.

Each month, the club is providing two opportunities to participate in "prototypical" operations of our modules. Now, the modules original purpose was to be able to share our hobby with others in settings such as Hendersonville's "Farm City Days", or the celebration in Black Mountain at the old depot. The modules go to not only our own train show but to others such as in Hickory, NC.

However, since transitioning the modules from DC to DCC, the possibility of holding operating sessions became a reality, due to the ability to operate more than one train per track. During an operating session, it's not unusual to have six plus trains running in different directions at the same time.

To run an "ops" session, each person has his/her own controller to use with their train (club provided if you like). They are given a printed manifest with instructions as to where the train is going, what cars they will need to drop off, (and where to drop off cars), and finally what cars they need to pick up and their destinations. Sound simple enough? Actually, there can be some real "puzzles" when trying to figure out how to get this, or that car in a siding, and it is on the wrong side of the engine. But, this is all part of the fun of operations.

The modules are set up in an oval, but we treat them as a point to point layout for the most part when running operations. Parris is the main city on the layout (named for one of the contributors to the modules existence, Sam Parris). In Parris is our main yard, Parris Yard. Going east we will come to the town of Mershon Heights. Continuing east we come to the Town of Seibert Mountain. Seibert Mountain has no industry, but does have its own station, a Boy Scout camp located at the summit of Seibert's Mountain.

Continuing east, we pass Rigg Station which is a popular stop for those spending the weekend at Crystal Lake for camping, boating, fishing, hiking, etc. One side note, you can get to Crystal Lake by car. Our final mainline destination is the town of Charlestown, (who could that have been named after?). In Charlestown, is another yard known as Coleman Yard, (hmmm). There is a branchline which takes you to Granzin Cut which is home to the layouts only coal mine. So needless to say they are quite busy filling orders for the customers throughout the area. Starting back in Parris if you travel west on the railroad, you will come to the as yet to be named gorge with its magnificent bridge spanning the wide (and deep) gap, and then on to the City of Krugville. Oh, did I mention the name of the railroad? It's the Land of the Sky Terminal RR, or L.O.S.T for short.

As for projects, there is the ever ongoing project of maintenance of the layout itself as well as the rolling stock. Our current main project is the creation of a staging area which will be coming into the center of the oval. This began with Jack Mershons' (yet un-named) bridge module which features a huge trestle and two tracks that disappear into the mountain. The inside of the two tracks will branch off into a wye which takes you into the center of the layout and a massive staging area ending at the large engine facility complete with roundhouse. Currently we have Penn Bullock building the roundhouse module, Dave Anderson building the diesel/steam fueling facility module and John Williams and Fred Coleman building the ladder modules. We still need people to construct the yard (eight tracks) body track modules. Three will be needed.

If I sound excited about all the facets of the modules I am, as are the others who participate either in the ops sessions, the construction projects, the upkeep, or all areas. This is a part of our club which is a great extension for club members to become involved. No matter what your level or interest in the hobby, there is a place for you become active. Its great fellowship when the members come together to work, or play, (oh, excuse me "run the railroad"). I encourage you to come see what's going on for yourself. Don't be shy either about "operations". It's great fun with several "vets" now to help the newcomer.

Our workdays are on Tuesday's, (generally afternoons), and sometimes on Monday's. Our Op sessions are generally the second Saturday (9-11) and the fourth Sunday (2-4) of each month. Because of the holidays, our schedule for December will be altered a bit with sessions scheduled on Saturday, December 1st at 9:30 am, and on Sunday, December 30th at 2 pm. See you there!

Other News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - On Nov. 24-25, Charlotte's LYNX Light Rail line will be open to the public for the first time with rides offered both days free of charge. The official start of revenue service is Monday, Nov. 26. The LYNX Blue Line South Corridor is the first light-rail project in North Carolina. It is 9.6 miles long, running north from I-485 at South Boulevard to 7th Street in Charlotte. The system will operate on a double-track line generally within the existing railroad right-of-way paralleling South Boulevard. The railroad is former Southern Railway trackage, originally the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad, the first railroad to enter Charlotte before the Civil War. Charlotte will run trains daily from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., with 7.5-minute headways during rush hours and 15-minute headways at all other times, and offer a $4 daily pass. Siemens Trans. Systems built the line's 16 LRT vehicles in Sacramento, Ca.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum will offer two special train rides for the upcoming holiday season, the Christmas Dinner Train Ride and North Pole Limited Ride. The Christmas Dinner Train will offer a four-course dinner aboard a restored 1924 dining car. Passengers may choose from the standard 1-hour, 45-minute trip on Dec. 1 and 8, or an expanded four-hour trip on Dec. 15. The museum will also offer semi-private dining in the Clover Colony, or the Eden Isle Business Car No. 98 for private parties up to eight. The office car boasts a dining room, lounge area, and observation platform. Prices range from $70 per person to $800 per group for the business car. Reservations are encouraged as these trips fill quickly.

Since 1999, TVRM has operated the North Pole Limited. This event is designed for families and includes a 1- hour, 15-minute train ride with storytelling, refreshments, special holiday lighting, and singing. When the train arrives at the "North Pole" (the East Chattanooga Depot in disguise), Santa will board the train and greet the children before traveling back to Grand Junction Station. Tickets for the North Pole Limited are available now with many dates selling out quickly. Rides begin on Nov. 23 and continue through Dec. 22. Tickets are $20 for children (children under 1 ride free.) For more information go to their website.