Vice President Dennis Mead called the membership meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the U.S. Bronze
Foundry & Machine, Inc., located at 18649 Brake Shoe Road, Meadville, PA.
Attending the meeting were Dennis Mead, Ed Cronin, Carl and Vanessa Timko, Bill McComas, Jack Sheets, John Snyder, Stan Niwa, Chris Manning, John Nagurney, and Patrick McHale.
Treasurer Ed Cronin had some great news in his report. The organization did very well with sales at the Erie Train Show in
November and with the layout display at the old Kmart building. Donations were impressive as well. This will help in the quest
to bring the DL&W snowplow home to Meadville. Ed continued with the summary of the balances, income and expenses. Income was mostly from the merchandise sales, but also from the sale of both layouts, online sales, the donations and the addition of a new member.
Expenses were the purchase of a games of chance license and a fee to file a 1099 form through Ferguson Financial. The train
set raffle was successful as well, enabling a nice donation to Toys for Tots. The train set was a 155 piece set donated by John
Snyder and won by Greg Hindle of Conneaut Lake.
Budget / Financial
The layout display at Kmart was such a success that many of the inventory levels are down to the point of needing items
reordered. Secretary Carl Timko reported that 14 shirts of 3 different styles will need to be reordered. The 2018 calendars
are all sold out. There will be no reprinting. Some day the photos from that calendar may be included in another book.
All the Fall 2017 newsletters are gone. Carl suggested ordering 25 more from the Crawford County Convention and Visitor's
Bureau so there will be some to hand out at the Erie Train Show in March. The Spring 2018 Valley Express will not be ready by
Carl also introduced a design for a new tee-shirt using the B&LE boxcar as the subject. Some modifications may be done.
Dennis Mead suggested to have Vickey Graphics work on the design.
Scott Woods of the Greenville Railroad Park sent Dennis a cd with 185 photos of the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad operating
on the Meadville Conneaut Lake & Linesville (aka the Meadville Bramch). These photos will be a good source for the next few
calendars, especially since 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Bessemer. We also have 25 photos from the Larry Smith
collection to use on calendars.
The Waylan HO train collection helped a great deal during the layout display. As per a prior arrangement, Mrs. Waylan will
receive a check of a moderate sum.
Patrick McHale was introduced at the meeting, his first. He and his family have worked on the railroads, particularly the
Erie. Patrick has been with the FCVRRHS for the better part of a year now.
Thirty five or more membership applications were handed out at the layout display, which resulted in one new member. John
Nicola of Townville is our newest member. It is hoped more new members will send in their completed applications. Welcome
Sadly, we must report the passing of former member, Elmore "Cootie" Harris. "Cootie" was a member for a few years and had
brought in another member from North Carolina. "Cootie" was well known in the community for his teaching of the Tai Chi and
Kung Fu martial arts and his prowess as a jazz musician. "Cootie" passed on January 6, 2018 at the age of 92.
Now that the two layouts have been sold, planning for building a new layout of modular design will begin soon. Model Railroad
Hobbyist, a free online model railroad magazine, recently had an article on modular layout construction. Dennis Mead suggested
using the NMRA standards, available on the internet, to ensure that the layout will be compatible with other organizations'
modules, should that opportunity present itself. John Nagurney offered to contact members of the Train Collector's Association, Fort Pitt Division O Scale Club to offer help in designing the layout. (Editor's Note: At the next meeting, former member Scott Wilson will be bringing another member of the I-80 group and a couple of sections of their module layouts to help with the understanding of how the modules are built.)
John Snyder announced that he is selling all his N scale equipment, layout and all. Interested parties can contact him through the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the secretary (Carl Timko) at 853-3763 for John's phone number.
Property / Equipment
The board of the FCVRRHS is still looking into ways to bring the DL&W snowplow to Meadville. Jack Sheets has contacted Dailey
Express, who hauled the 518. So far, they have the lower of two quotes received. The other is from Byers Trucking. Jack will
be contacting other trucking services. He also is looking into crane services. We still have a quote from Williamsport Crane for lifting the snowplow at Wellsboro. Contact with them must be reestablished soon. Jack has been in touch with Stetner who has sent him a quote for their services. They have a 175 ton crane. He indicated their price jumps up after working longer than 8 hours.
Carl Timko called the Surface Transportation Board about options with Norfolk Southern hauling the snowplow. The STB
contacted NS to make sure they will give us a rate to haul the snowplow. NS has been in contact with Dennis Mead. This looks
promising as far as getting a rate. What the rate will be is anybody's guess for now.
The contract for the loan of the caboose with the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society needs renewed. John Nagurney suggested
that when the contract is renewed that language with an automatic renewal clause be included.
The status of the boxcar door is likely on hold until better weather presents itself. Bernie Hanmore has to plane the wood
for the doors, and Stan Niwa has the frame of the door to work on.
John Snyder brought in the seat that was repaired and upholstered for the engineer's side of the #518. He had just received
it January 18. It will be stored until spring, when it can be installed.
The surveying of the new lot will not happen until spring. Walker Surveying is to complete that task.
John Nagurney is working with the City of Meadville to change the wording in the contract for using the property where the
railroad equipment is currently displayed.
Efforts are underway to possibly acquire the adjacent two lots to the FCVRRHS's new lot. John is talking with a epresentative
for the Redevelopment Authority about the properties becoming available to us in 2 years.
Public Relations /
Work has begun on the Spring 2018 Valley Express. The lead story will be on the Pennsylvania Petroleum Railroad by Dennis
Mead. Members are advised to send in submissions before the middle of March for inclusion into the upcoming issue.
Thank you letters were sent out to Meadville Medical Center, Holbrook Tool & Mold, Lloyd's Rentals, the Meadville Tribune,
Cool 101.7 FM radio, and Coldwell Banker. Meadville Medical Center offered the use of the Kmart building for the layout
display over the holidays. Holbrook Tool lent their box truck for the hauling of the layouts and merchandise to the Kmart
building. Lloyd's Rentals donated the use of the mobile sign to help advertise the layout display. The Meadville Tribune was
thanked for their articles on the display and advertisements. Cool 101.7 advertised over their airwaves for the display, and
interviewed and photographed the layouts and members. Coldwell Banker was thanked for the use of their truck to haul
everything back after the layout display was done. Their truck was needed when Holbrook's truck broke down.
Special thanks go to Debbie Niwa for advertising the layout display on FYI-Crawford County. Over 300 hits were received on
the first day. Thanks to John Snyder for unofficially being named "salesman of the year". John sold a lot of merchandise
during the display. And thanks was given to Carl Timko for the arrangement with Meadville Medical Center for use of the Kmart building. It proved to be a very successful location. Also thanks to all the members who volunteered their time to help with the crowds, the layouts, and the merchandise.
NIWX B39-8E #8525 was in Meadville Yard recently. NIWX is owned by member John Howell and his wife. The former LMX unit is
the third locomotive of the NIWX fleet to be in Meadville. The others are former NS #538 and #539, both B32-8s.
The Drake Well Museum has asked for advice to move the wooden oil tank car into another spot at the Titusville museum. The
car had two wooden vats with lids built onto the car. Members were to visit the museum on Wednesday, January 24, to assess the situation.
Special Events /Programs
Train shows coming up soon are as follows:
February 3,4 - The Grand Central Train Show at the Court Time Sports Center located at 95 Enterprise Dr., Elizabeth Township, PA, which is south-southeast of Pittsburgh. The show hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Admission is $5.
February 4 - the Buffalo Snowball Train Show is being held in the Polish Falcons, located at 4555 Columbia Ave. Depew, N.Y.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is not known.
February 17, 18 - Western New York Railway Historical Society's 27th Annual Winter Train & Toy Show at the Event Center,
located at 5820 South Park Ave., Fairgrounds Building C, in Hamburg, N.Y. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $8,
February 18 - Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society Frosty Rails Train Show at the Shenango Township Volunteer Fire
Department Social Hall, located at 2424 E. Washington St., New Castle, PA. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5.
Jack Sheets and Stan Niwa informed the organization that VFW Post 52 will sponsor the Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall to be seen at the Diamond Park in Meadville on September 20, 2018. There will be guards present for security.
The next FCVRRHS membership meeting will be Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the U. S.
Bronze Foundry & Machine, Inc., located at 18649 Brake Shoe Road, Meadville, PA. See you there!