General Layout Updates for September 2021
Greetings friends of the NWR! Last Month we announced that we were unable to secure a venue for the December Train Show. But if you thought that meant we were going to be sitting on our hands all Winter, think again! We have not one but two exciting organizations coming to see us, so stay tuned for those announcements.
Another COVID Announcement
Well. That didn't last too long. With COVID Concerns again on the rise, The NWR Membership has elected to temporarily suspend Public Run Nights for the time being. We will continue to be open to Current, Probationary, and Prospective Members and by Special Arrangement. At this time, we are not encouraging walk-up visits on Mondays. This decision does not affect any scheduled events currently on the books. Masks will be optional for membership and we ask members to use their best judgement. For Public Events, we will adhere to relevant Marion County mandates at the time.
Our Friends at the Monon Society are again hosting their Convention in Indianapolis and have asked us to open our doors to them on Saturday, October 9th. If you are coming out to the convention, come on down and see us!
We will be asking attendees wear masks during this Public Openhouse.
With Openhouses coming up in less than a month, our focus has turned to cleaning up and tieing loose ends. so this section will be a lot shorter than last month.
I neglected to include this last month and promised to highlight the area now. Sorry, Ray!
Cline's Bodyshop at the top of the hill was long a staple for Hankinsville Residents. Seems as though business was good, as the original wood structure (left photo: 2019) has been torn down for a modern, two bay shop and a seperate restaurant and general store. (Taken last month) Patchwork and paint will continue on the new plaster road and parking lot, bringing an old scene to new life. In the background, a small house now serves as a Ranger's shack.
Long has the NWR had a history of honoring past Members with businesses and areas on the Layout. East Bend now has two tributes this year. In the background, Boykin Union Station and Transportation Center sports the name of a founding member and avid Passenger Modeller, Pete Boykin, who passed away earlier in the year. Some older NWR Express equipment also has him listed as an Agent. This week, we dedicated The Intermodal Terminal to Wayne Zulkowski. Wayne was only a member for a short few years, but he was always willing to learn, willing to help out, and always in good spirits. He will be missed.
Photos by Mike McClanahan; Scene and sign by Tim Clark
As part of our push to finish the scenery on the back of the Monon Sub by the Monon Convention, The City of Benning behind Hankinsville now looms large in the distance and has finally reached completion. Ray, Dave F, & his grandson Carson all worked on gluing flats together into a convincing 3D Collage. Carson and Morgan were the volunteers to pop up through the weasel holes and secure this to the wall. Benning has 3 LEDs including the Luxor-esque homing beacon that can probably be seen from Mars. The flats are all either photos printed on foam board or recycled walls salvaged from broken, unused NWR Buildings.
Coming Back Around
After 55 years, the Naptown & White River and its predecessor the Miami Valley (not to be confused with the current Modular group out of Dayton) has racked up quite a bit of custom equipment. Some of them were production runs intnded for sale to the Public, some of it privately made for use by the Club, or just because a Member wanted to have an NWR lettered engine in their collection.
many moons ago, John Lockwood produced a dozen Express Cars patterned off the Train Miniatures X-29 Boxcars. These cars were lettered not only for the NWR, but also sported Pete Boykin as the Routing Agent. (Second Photo). The cars were given to the twelve original plankholders of the NWR. When they passed away, the cars were returned to the NWR, but time saw them wander away into obscurity... until 2021.
Of the 12, the first one popped up at the CID Franklin Show for sale from a private collection Ray snatched that one up in a heartbeat. That one of these cars reappeared after so long was surprising and John was able to fill us in on their forgotten legacy, but then a second car showed up on EBAY less than two months later from Illinois. The price on it was less than favorable, but worth it to bring another of these rare NWR Express cars home. I added a load to the car and replaced a missing brake wheel.
While we are not actively looking to re-adopt every NWR freight car that pops up; we have a ton of rollingstock as it is, it was nice to see two of these pieces of our history return to home rails after so long. The other 10 are probably out there, but with private collections being sold to vendors and put out at Shows they could be quite a ways away now...
Or "in a box in Missouri." ;)
On to repairs:. During the the second full week of the month the NWR conducts maintenance on the layout. This week started with dead track in West Naptown that Ray P. And Tom C. Repaired. Following that Dave Shrewsbury and Tom W. The LAG chairman (Layout Advisory Committee). Replaced trackage leaving East Bend while Ray,D3 and probbie A-2. Andrew R. Worked on replacing a bad switch at Davis siding.