Quick Update

posted Oct 22, 2016, 3:29 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 22, 2016, 3:29 AM ]

1) Vic Bitleris will be open for tour Sunday 10am to 4pm. Please check for corrected address information.
2) Steve Benezra Sunday op session cancelled.
3) We have two openings for the Saturday Tichy tour - be in the lobby at 8:15am if leaving from the hotel. 3260 Nova Lane, Burlington, NC.
4) Jeff Grove, Carolina Craftsman Kits will be open for business Saturday  3pm to 5:30pm in Room 336.

Tracks to the Triangle update 10-22-16

posted Oct 22, 2016, 3:26 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 22, 2016, 6:32 AM ]

Ladies and Gentlemen: Here are some announcements and updates:

·         Vic Bitleris’ Otter Run and Beaver Creek Railroad will be open Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

·         Steve Benezra’s Clinchfield Southern ops scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled.

·         We have two openings for the Saturday Tichy tour. If leaving from the Marriott meet at 8:15am in the lobby for 8:30am department. Please do not arrive before 9:15am. The tour is from 9:30 to 11am.

·         We have openings for the Museum of Art tour. Depart from Marriott lobby at 9:15am.

·         We have openings for the Pullman restoration tour. 9am, 10am and 11am.

·         Jeff Grove, Carolina Craftsman Kits will be open for business in room 336 on Saturday from 3 to 5:30pm.

·         The Wilson Area Railroad Modelers club layout open house scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled due to the recent flood damage.

·         The raffle closes at 2pm on Saturday. We have almost 100 items that will be awarded. Be sure to stop in during lunch or between clinics. There are also still many bargains to be had in the Silent Auction.

·         Banquet time! All clinics will be closing by 4pm in order for the hotel staff to set up the banquet tables. Cash bar for banquet folks at 6pm, with dinner and program starting at 7pm.


Our authors’ book signing has been well received and additional Saturday times for autographs and book purchasing are below:

Author                               Time               

1.      Dr. Cary Poole             9 to 9:30 am   

2.      Dr. Cary Poole             1:30 to 2 pm   

3.      Bernard Kempinski     2:45 to 3:15pm

4.     Dr. Cary Poole             4 to 4:30 pm    

The following layouts are open for tours on Saturday.


1.       Vinny DeRobertis - NY Central 9am–5pm

2.       Bill Aulicino - Seaboard Airline 1-5pm

3.       Dan Fisher – N&W Walker Creek Branch 1-5pm

4.       Jerry Davis – Tehachapi Pass 9am-5pm

5.       Jerry Mersch – Somewhere Out West 1-5pm

6.       Mike Humble – Twin Cities & Lake Superior  9am-5pm

7.       Joe Gibson’s Chamberwell RR 9am-5pm

8.       Bruce Faulkner – CSX Shenandoah Valley 1-5pm

9.      Neuse River Model Railroad Club – 9am-5pm

a.       1615 Old Louisburg Road, Raleigh 919-400-5570

10.   Will Allen – Duckunder Terminal Railway 9am-5pm

11.   Carolina Model Railroaders 10am-5pm

a.       Galyon Depot, REA Building, 234-B East Washington Street, Greensboro

Marriott buffet tonight $16.95 all inclusive

posted Oct 21, 2016, 1:53 PM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 1:53 PM ]

Newton's Restaurant - Marriott

Tonight serving buffet - fish / chicken / beef / vegetables / dessert $16.95 includes tax and tip. 

Marriott prepaid buffet lunches

posted Oct 21, 2016, 1:51 PM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 1:51 PM ]

Ladies and Gentlemen: Marriott is offering to take prepayment for its buffet lunches today and Saturday, $12.95 includes tax and tip. This is the standard price, but buying the meal ticket in advance avoids the congestion of waiting to pay the cashier. It is a bit late for Friday, but some of you might want to arrange this for the Saturday buffet. Todays buffet is Italian. 

Authors' Book Signing Schedule

posted Oct 21, 2016, 11:15 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 2:26 PM ]

Ladies and Gentlemen: the following schedule provides opportunities to have books from these model railroad photographers and modelers autographed and purchased. We have set up an authors' table in the main lobby. Lou Sassi's book signing will take place in Edison D; all others are at the table which we set up in the main lobby. As always, times are subject to change. 

           1.     Dr. Cary Poole                    Friday             5:45 to 6:16 pm     main lobby

2.     Bernard Kempinski           Friday             7:00 to 8:00 pm     main lobby

3.     Lou Sassi                              Friday            10:30 to 11 pm      Edison D

           4.     Dr. Cary Poole                    Saturday        9 to 9:30 am            main lobby

5.     Dr. Cary Poole                    Saturday        1:30 to 2 pm           main lobby

6.     Bernard Kempinski           Saturday        2:45 to 3:15pm      main lobby

7.     Dr. Cary Poole                    Saturday        4 to 4:30 pm           main lobby

Printable PDF version of Clinic Schedule posted

posted Oct 21, 2016, 5:33 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 5:34 AM ]

A printable PDF version of the Clinic Schedule has now been added to the Clinic Schedule Page.

10-20-16 Update to Convention Attendees

posted Oct 21, 2016, 5:19 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 5:37 AM ]

Ladies and Gentlemen: many of you have already arrived and many more are on the way. We have had an encouraging response to our first effort, led by Bill Hanley, with a dedicated room for RPM displays. The modeling displayed is incredible with more coming tomorrow. The North Raleigh Model Railroad Club has its Apex, NC T-TRAK modules on display. You will be very impressed with the detail these folks can fit into a N scale layout. We appreciate the club being a part of our convention.

Two other layouts have been set up in the hotel common areas. We appreciate the support we have received for our Holiday Trains for Kids layout. This year's effort was inspired by downtown Edenton, NC. the layout will be raffled off at the Neuse River Train Show in November, but tickets are available now. $1, six for $5. This layout is on display just outside the RPM room. This annual layout build supports Carolina Piedmont Division's.

Tomorrow's line-up of clinics begins at 8am. We will have the clinic schedules posted outside of the clinic rooms each day. The clinic schedule will also scroll on the monitor near the convention registration table.

The hotel restaurant opens at 6am tomorrow (Friday) to get you off to a quick start for clinics and tours..

In case you missed it, the New Jersey Division is selling name badge lanyards for $1 at the registration table.

We have an easel set up near the registration desk to note schedule changes or other notices. You are free to use this message board.

The first Tichy tour will gather tomorrow morning (Friday) at 8:15 am. Gene Sing and I will help to get driver's and passengers matched up in carpools to save on some gas. It is also a way to make some new friends. Departure is scheduled for8:30 from the hotel.

The New Hope Valley Railroad prototype tour is tomorrow morning (Friday). The loco engineer and cab ride slots are fully subscribed, but there is availability on the 11 am caboose ride.
3900 Bonsal Road,
New Hill, NC 27562

The layout tours open Friday are:

  1. Cooper Dwiggins  9 am - 5 pm    
  2. Jerry Mersch         1 - 5pm           
  3. Vinny DeRobertis  7-10 pm          
  4. Jim Murphy           9 am - 5 pm   
  5. Charlie Rausch     1- 5 pm / 7 - 10pm 
  6. Hayes Hobby House 9 am - 5 pm     809 Elm Street, Fayetteville
  7. Vic Bitleris             11 am - 3 pm   
  8. Will Allen               9 am - 5 pm     
  9. Joe Gibson            9 am - 8 pm   
  10. Lou Sassi              9 am - 1 pm    
Note that Bill Aulicino is only open on Saturday.

If you have reserved a spot for ops or a prototype tour and need any assistance to arrange transportation, please let us know so that we can be of assistance.

We have received some nice feedback on the Guidebook App. Let us know if you have any questions about using this app for your convention clinic scheduling.

And how about this raffle! Jim Babcock has almost 100 items donated by manufacturers, retailers and individuals. With this many prizes, it is hard not to be a winner. $1, six for $5.

We hope that you have a wonderful Friday.

Bill Aulincino Layout Tour Correction: Open Saturday

posted Oct 20, 2016, 6:17 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 5:16 AM ]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Bill Aulicino's layout is not open on today (Thursday). We apologize for any inconvenience. You will be able to enjoy Bill's layout on Saturday from 1-5pm as per the schedule here on line.
Layout Schedule

10-19-16 Notes to Convention Attendees

posted Oct 19, 2016, 6:54 PM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 20, 2016, 6:18 AM ]

You will soon be on your way to Durham, North Carolina; actually some of you are already on the way as we have attendees coming from the West Coast and the Midwest. Here is some of what you can expect on Thursday.

·         Registration opens at 4pm. Registrar Bill Grosse and his team have prepared packets that include

o        registration badge

o        any prepaid breakfast tickets that you might have purchased

o        banquet ticket if you are attending

o        extra fare tour venue tickets (Tichy, Pullman, Art Museum, New Hope Valley Railroad)

·         You will also receive

o        Convention shirt if ordered

o        Convention Guide that contains

§         schedule of events

§         hotel floor plan

§         Silent Auction procedures

§         Clinic descriptions

o          Layout Tours Guide

§         Layout tour etiquette tips

§         Open house schedule

§         Operating sessions schedule

§         Two pages of layout map locations

§         Layout descriptions

·         You will see two layouts set up in the hotel’s public areas

o        Carolina Piedmonts Division’s Holiday Trains for Kids raffle layout 

o        Gene Sing, MMR’s museum layout

·         We have seven hours of clinics running from 7:15pm to 10:45pm

·         The Mid-Eastern Region has its traditional Board of Director’s meeting at 7:15pm in Edison C. This meeting is open to all members.

·         Please have your badge visible at all times for entry to clinics, RPM room, Contest room, Silent Auction room, layout and prototype tours, Board of Director’s meeting and the Annual Business Meeting.

·         Convention volunteers from the Carolina Piedmont Division will be wearing easily identifiable gray polo shirts. We are available to assist if you have any questions.

The following layouts are open for tours on Thursday. You may enjoy visiting these layouts without your convention badge if you visit before checking in at the registration at the Marriott.

1.       Charlie Rausch’s Rio Grande Southern 1-5pm and 7-10pm

2.       Joe Gibson’s Chamberwell RR 1-8pm

3.       Ken Reising’s Southern Pacific 1-5pm 6-9pm

4.       Chuck Batherson’s Blue Ridge & White Mountain 1-5pm

5.       Mike Pennie’s PennCentral 1-5pm

6.       Hayes Hobby House multi-scale layout 1-5pm

a.       809 Elm Street, Fayetteville

7.       Dan Fisher’s Norfolk & Western 6-9pm

8.       Vinny DeRobertis’ New York Central 7-10pm

9.      Carolina Model Railroaders 7-8:30pm

a.       300 East Washington Street, Greensboro

All of our operating callboards and Saturday Tichy tours have been fully subscribed, but we still have limited availability for the caboose ride, the Pullman restoration tour and the art museum tour. We also have two Friday Tichy tour openings. Please see the web site for details on these events.

One of the more popular offerings at MER conventions is the Silent Auction. Please check out the Raffle / Silent Auction tab on If you have items to sell you will want to follow the instructions and complete the form on the web site. Preparing your list in advance will save everyone time.

New this year is our Railroad Prototype Modelers (RPM) room. Bring your prototype rolling stock, locomotives, vehicles and structures whether completed or under construction for display.

Don’t forget the Contest Room. This staple of MER conventions always presents an exhibition of the work of the Region’s finest modelers. Finish up that paperwork and bring your models in for Achievement Program evaluation and consideration for many of the special awards.

Check our website for the latest announcements. We look forward to seeing you soon. Safe travels.

Three Openings for Friday Tichy Tour

posted Oct 19, 2016, 8:50 AM by Rob Rousseau   [ updated Oct 19, 2016, 8:50 AM ]

We have three openings for the Friday Tichy tour due to some last minute cancellations.

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