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This page features information on Operating Groups open to our Division members.  Information on each group is available by clicking on the name below.  

The preferred method of contact with each group is by the e-mail address provided, however a phone number is provided if e-mail proves unsatisfactory.  Please respect any restrictions the contacts may apply to calling times.

Operating Session Etiquette

Operate Gently - Prototype railroad employees understand that if shipped merchandise is damaged, the shipper will find some other way of shipping it.  As model operators we should behave like our prototype brethren.  For example, when coupling cars, use the amount of force you would use to kiss a loved one, not the amount you would use to drive in a nail.  Your hosts will appreciate not having to replace couplers and draft gear you  would knock off their cars.

Be Responsible - The Digitrax throttle uses a 9-volt battery.  While you can insert that battery in any of four different positions, only one makes the throttle work.  (Match the plus sign on the battery with the plus sign inside the case.)  Some throttle owners flip the battery side-for-side (so that the plus terminal of the battery contacts the minus terminal of throttle) for storage without discharging the battery.  Note, however, that if you flip the battery end-for-end, its terminals come in contact with the solid metal spring, and the battery starts discharging.

One guest operator did this and had no idea he had until it destroyed the rechargeable battery inside the throttle of the host.  Puzzling, as said battery became about as hot as the surface of the sun.  Anyhow, the guest had destroyed a rechargeable 9-volt battery, list price around $10, and never offered to pay for it.  Even more puzzling.

Check Your Pockets -  When leaving an operation session be sure to check you pockets. Your host greatly appreciates it if you leave their throttles, car cards, and other items provided at the layout and not take them home with you.

Handling Two-Part Car Cards - Some railroads run with two-part car cards.  The car card itself is really a pocket, with car information, and a waybill fits into the pocket.  If you are operating on a railroad which has these, generally you are not to remove the waybill from the car card.  (Sometimes, certain positions may have exceptions to this.)  If you are not sure, check with your host first.  I remember seeing a host at a loss for words when a guest operator approached him with a handful of waybills just removed from his car cards.

Nothing on the Layout, Please - The host spent a lot of time on his or her scenery to see that static grass installed on the railroad was knocked off because car cards leaned on the cars to be picked up ruined it.

Don't Pick the Cars Up to Uncouple, Please - If the models on the railroad are finely detailed, your host may prefer that you use magnets or picks to uncouple them rather than picking them up and thus damaging the details.

Summary - Our hosts have spent tens of thousands of dollars to put their railroads together, and in an act of enormous generosity, have invited us to use them.  We should be well-behaved guests.


The Anachronistic Era Operating Group

We have 5 layouts in Montgomery County and one OS2R layout in Washington, D.C..Two of the layouts are based on the Baltimore and Ohio RR, one on the Long Island RR, one based on the Pennsylvania RR, one on an Israeli prototype and 1 is freelanced.  The emphasis is on freight operations using switch lists with minimal passenger operations on some of the railroads. Eras range from transition to second-generation diesels and all of the layouts are sceniced. Informality and relaxed operation prevail as indicated by the name of our group. Our operations do not involve the use of a fast clock or Train Table/Train Order operations. Normally six members of the group attend the weekly sessions we hold. Operations usually commence about 7:30 pm and conclude around 9:00 pm. Refreshments and bull session follow the operations session.The surviving core members of the group have been together nearly fifty years.

Contact Name: Bill Demas
Contact E-Mail: wsdemas@verizon.net
Contact Telephone: 301-460-0741
Meeting Day: Every Tuesday Evening
Meeting Time: 7:30PM to 10:30 PM
Open for New Members: Not at present
Open for Visitors: Yes - no more than 2 per session
Open for Guest Operators: Yes - Not more than 2 per session
Number of Operating Layouts: Six (5 HO, 1 O), including,
Ken Nesper - B&O Shepherd Branch
Brian Sheron - Long Island Rail Road  Port Jefferson Branch
Bill Demas - Westmoreland RR
Gil Fuchs   Haifa and Jerusalem Railroad (Marklin HO)
Dean Ripple - B&O Monongah Division
Operating Methods: Computer generator switchlists/dispatching/car cards
DCC control 


The Chesapeake Trainmasters Club

Meeting in Prince Georges, Charles and Calvert counties in Maryland. All five layouts are freelance railroads operating in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. All layouts involve freight operations using different systems for car forwarding and scheduled passenger operations. Time eras range from the 1920s to second generation diesels. Informality and relaxed operation prevail. Fast clock and timetables are in use on all layouts to varying degrees. Attendance averages 8 or 9 members per meeting. Operations usually commence at 7:00 pm and conclude at 9:30 pm. Refreshments and bull session follows until 10:00. The core members have been together over 40 years.

Contact Name: Glenn Paulson
Contact E-Mail: glenndrumjome@gmail.com
Contact Telephone: 301-848-8877
Web Site: http://ctc66.weebly.com/
Meeting Day: Every Tuesday evening
Meeting Time: 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Open for New Members: Limited - e-mail above for more information
Open for Visitors: Yes - not more than 1 per session
Open for Guest Operators: Limited - e-mail above for more information
Number of Layouts: Five, including
Dale Latham - Piedmont Southern
Bob Reid - Allegheny and Shenandoah
Operating Methods: Timetable/switchlists/dispatching/car cards
DC and DCC control (varies by layout)


Delmarva Model RR Club

We are primarily a B&O Railroad with plenty of interesting interchange. We have two main yards Parkersburg WV to Chillicote OH.  Both are Division Point Yards. Both are fed from staging yards.

Time period in the early 70's with some modelers license used. Trains are scheduled from mid 60's time tables.   We are close to 40% signaled. We use JMRI panel for dispatcher with control of turnouts.

Club web site        Operations on the Delmarva Model Railroad Club HO Layout
       HO Scale Main Page        Club Yahoo Group

Contact Name: Bill Deeter
Contact E-Mail: Dodgede@cs.com
Contact Telephone: 302-856-9250 or 410-723-1709
Meeting Day: Monthly, we operate the 3rd Sunday of the month from March to November.
Meeting Time: 13:00 to 17:00
Open for New Members: Yes
Open for Visitors: Yes
Open for Guest Operators: Yes
Number of Operating Layouts: One, the Delmarva Model RR Club,103 E State Street,Delmar, DE 19940
Operating Methods: Digitrax control and also for occupancy detection and signaling (duplux and regular wireless throttles)
Use FRS radios and phones between yards and dispatch.


Pete & Jane Clarke's East Broad Top

Pete & Jane Clarke model the East Broad Top railroad in HOn3, the year is 1926. The layout follows actual EBT practices except that here the iron furnace has been re-opened. This makes the operations much more interesting and varied. The railroad is featured in Great Model Railroads, 2016.
Email to get a copy of the schedule and to get added to the mailing list.
Click here to tour the model railroad.      Click here for the prototype railroad.
Click here for Friends of the East Broad Top.

Contact Name: Pete Clarke
Contact E-Mail: ebtmx5@aol.com
Contact Telephone: (301)253-4913
Meeting Day: First Saturday of the month
Meeting Time: 12:30 to 4:30 PM
Open for New Members: Yes
Open for Visitors: Yes
Open for Guest Operators: Yes
Number of Operating Layouts: One - Pete & Jane Clarke's East Broad Top
Operating Methods: Time table, train order, car cards. Digitrax control.

  Mat Thompson's Group

Informal group of operators who share common interest in prototype operations. Contact person maintains mailing list and selects monthly dates - hosts volunteer for dates and invite operators for sessions on their layouts. Tone is informal but operations are sophisticated. Group has been meeting since September 2007 in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Contact Name: Mat Thompson
Contact E-Mail: ocrr@comcast.net
Contact Telephone: 703 743-1895
Meeting Day: One Saturday monthly
Meeting Time: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Open for New Members: By Invitation
Open for Visitors: By Invitation
Open for Guest Operators: By Invitation
Number of Operating Layouts: Varies
Operating Methods: Timetable and Train Order/Car Cards and Waybills


Nickel City Line Operating Group

The Nickel City Line operating group meets six times per year. Sessions are usually Sundays. The layout is located in Dumfries, Virginia. The layout is free-lanced and situated in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. Time period is modern day (1990s to 2000). Operations include freight, coal, local freight, passenger and commuter service. Operation sessions work a 3:1 or 2:1 fastclock. The layout is powered by Digitrax. 10 operators per session maximum. Operations commence promptly at 11:00am or 1:00pm depending on the session. Refreshements are served.
General information can be obtained at: http://nclrr.potomac-nmra.org/. Click here for the Operations Page.
Contact Name: Bob Rodriguez
Contact E-Mail nclrr@comcast.net
Contact Telephone: 703.680.2908
Meeting Day: Six times per year
Meeting Time: 11:00am to 3:00pm or 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Open for New Members: Limited - four openings
Open for Visitors: Yes - No more than two per session
Open for Guest Operators: Yes - Not more than two per session
Number of Operating Layouts: One (HO) - Bob Rodriguez Nickel City Line Railroad
Operating Methods: Virtual and Live Operations, Computer generated switch lists, CAD dispatching; CAD Yardmaster.