south central wisconsin division​​

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Capital 400 Midwest Region Convention Clinics

Friday, 7:00PM

Welcome Aboard  – Captain Al Nelson
Join Captain Al on the bridge of the gigantic 2,004-foot-long ore carrier, M/V Edwin H. Gott for a voyage on the Great Lakes.  Highlights include loading taconite at Two Harbors, going through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie and visits to Gary, Indiana and Duluth.  Watch Captain Al maneuver his ship like a toy boat in a bathtub.

May Day 1971 – Amtrak Begins – Keith Thomsen
Telling the story of the first day, how the railroads got there, what the changes were, with a photographic record of those changes, focusing on the Chicago area.

Bruce Chubb’s Sunset Valley Oregon System Layout – Bob Wundrock, MMR
A review of the 2500+ square foot HO scale multi-level layout.  This clinic will cover track diagrams, system and operation details, photos and videos.

Friday, 8:30PM

Designing and Building the Rio Grande Pacific – Bill Clancy
This PowerPoint will explain the history, change in design and the building of the layout.  It is basically a two-level HO gauge continuous loop of approximately 1,000 feet.  I will explain the different scenery techniques utilized as well as the various electronics including the DCC power, block detection, signals and signaling, computer control by Railroad & Co. and operations control by Ship-It software.

Track Repairs at the Rochelle Double-Diamond While UP and BNSF Traffic Still Runs – Steve Lanphear
This railfan/modeler and his wife watch the Rochelle railcam every day while eating lunch.  On May 19, 2017 they were surprised to see multiple dump loads of ballast being laid along the UP side of the track as viewed from the railcam.  From May 22-May 27, the railroad MOW workers removed and replaced about 100 feet of track from each of the 8 tracks leading in and out of the diamond.  This clinic will include a discussion of the project management involved and a video of how the railroads perform Thermite welding.  Audience participation will involve project planning ideas on how to approach this project while still allowing both the UP and BNSF trains to continue pretty much on schedule, followed by photos of how they did it.

Model Railroad Photography – Dave Rickaby
There are many trains of thought of how to do model train photography.  This clinic will show you one man’s technique and thought pattern.  Many of his photos have been published in MR and RMC.  

Saturday, 8:00AM

The Second Lives of Cabooses For Model Railroaders – Rich Mahaney  
This brand new 45–60 minute clinic looks at cabooses still in service, cabooses that have been turned into businesses or part of business, cabooses that have been turned into information stands and cabooses that can be found next to train stations, in parks and at museums.  This presentation gives the modeler ideas for caboose uses on a modern era layout or for diorama displays.

Intro to JMRI - Java Model Railroad Interface – Phil Berry
Before I used JMRI, I was spending hours programming decoders and was not really happy with the results. I was looking for a better way. Many other model railroaders have used JMRI and Decoder Pro. I looked into it and downloaded the program and set up the interface on my Digitrax system. Now I spend much less time programming decoders and I am much happier with the results. I have a fleet of locomotives that are all speed matched and have functions mapped to the same buttons. Now that I have JMRI for programming decoders, I have also started looking at other uses in JMRI like signaling and using smart phones as DCC throttles.

Prototypical Modeling and Operational Opportunity, A Look at the Illinois Railway Museum – Tyrone Johnsen
Looking at an operating railway museum for a wider variety of modeling opportunities and operating possibilities.  A museum is home to equipment from all past time periods and from any location including international. The Illinois Railway Museum illustrates this through its wide variety of equipment and track arrangements and modeling can be both prototypical and feature an unequaled variety in equipment while still offering a variety of operational experiences.

Saturday, 9:30AM

O. Winston Link: Photographing a Real 'Model Railroad – Tom Garver
Winston Link's love of railroads started when he received a "Buddy L" model railroad as a Christmas present in the 1920s. He began his career as a professional photographer in 1938, working for a New York public relations firm. One of his jobs was to make photos that showed strange combinations of people and objects which were so clever that photo editors couldn't resist using them in newspapers and magazines, even though they were advertising something.

During World War II he worked on a secret project on Long Island, where he photographed the Long Island Rail Road, and when he became a freelance photographer, he specialized in industrial subjects. He learned to make the machines and processes he photographed livelier by using people in them.

When steam faded from American railroads in the1950s, Link rushed to document the Norfolk and Western Railway in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, the last class one railroad to operate exclusively with steam power. He spent five years on the job, making both photos and sound recordings. The railroad cooperated with him and it became his "model railroad." 

Saturday, 11:00AM

Lessons Learned Building Two – Now Three! – Layouts – Tony Koester

Tony’s clinic will cover both the Allegheny Midland and the Nickel Plate Road St. Louis Division layouts and add a hint of mystery about a third layout. It's an O scale portable, one-town project railroad he’s building for MR against a Dec. 31 deadline.

Saturday, 1:30PM

Montana & Boca Grande – Mike Vivion
Mike is a professional layout builder and will take you through the steps of building this freelance HO layout.  He will show construction from bare walls to “almost completed.”

Arduino on your Layout - Part 1 – Chris Heili
A high-level overview of Arduino do-it-yourself electronics projects for your model railroad. We will explore the many uses and discuss the pros and cons of do-it-yourself vs. buying commercially available products.

Marketing Wisconsin Potatoes and the C&NW's Wood Street Potato Yard – David Leider
The clinic will trace the development of the Wisconsin potato industry and where they were shipped, with special emphasis on Chicago. Eventually, the amount of potatoes coming into Chicago caused the C&NW to build the Wood Street Potato Yard.

Saturday, 3:00PM

Layout Construction Efficiencies – Gregg Condon, MMR
This modeler currently has two layouts in separate rooms, each 17 by 40 feet.  These are his seventh and eighth room-size layouts brought to photo-finish.  In this clinic, Gregg shares his techniques for constructing a layout in a relatively short time--amply illustrated with many photos of construction and the finished layouts.

Arduino on your Layout - Part 2 – Chris Heili
An absolute beginners guide to getting started with Arduino. Where do I start?  What do I need?  Where do I buy it? Is this for me?  Get the answers to these questions as I walk you through the steps needed to begin your Arduino experience.

The Patterns of Weathering on Freight Cars—and How to Model Them Without an Airbrush – Dave Nelson
The weathering on freight cars tends to follow certain common patterns.  After viewing prototype photos that illustrate these patterns, he will show some easy—and "frugal"--ways to weather freight car models in HO, N, and other scales.