S-scale has a relatively tight-knit group of people, where a lot of us know each other via local clubs, train shows, e-mail, discussion groups, or various forms of social media. This page covers information about specific individuals, clubs, train show reports, personal web site updates, etc. Click photos to visit the web sites.
S-scale modeler and NASG member Rhett George, of Hillsborough, North Carolina, passed away on December 14, 2020 at the age of 87. Dr. George was a professor emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Duke University. The unfortunate news was that his wife, Joanna, passed away on January 2, 2021. They were both members of the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers - Carolinas Division. The photo was taken by Jack Ruth, showing Joanna and Rhett working on repairing an AF accessory.
Outstanding Sn3 modeler and NASG member, Mike Schwab, unexpectedly passed away due to a heart-attack.
The Sn3 Symposium has been moved from May to August due to the likelihood that New Mexico is still in a lockdown situation in May.
The 2021 Lionel Big Book catalog will be released on January 20. It can be viewed online on that date, or you can pick up a copy from your local Lionel dealer. On February 2 at 5pm Eastern Standard Time, the National Association of S Gaugers has arranged, with Lionel's cooperation, a live Internet presentation, "The American Flyer 2021 Catalog Live". Celebrate 75 years of American Flyer trains with Ryan Kunkle, Lionel's Director of Product Management. He will take viewers on a journey to review the exciting new products in the 2021 American Flyer Catalog. Anyone wishing to join the presentation may go to Facebook or to YouTube on that day to join the presentation and enter comments and questions to which Lionel will respond as time permits.
Robert B. "Bob" Nicholson passed away on August 13, 2020 at the age of 79. It has been reported that his wife passed away just three days before he did. Bob received the highest award that the NASG offers its members, the Bernie Thomas Memorial Award, in 2014. Bob lived in Fort Madison, Iowa. He was a conductor and engineer for several railroads in his career, including the AT&SF, the IC, and the CNR. He retired in 2001. Some had the privilege of knowing him personally, but a good number of S-scale modelers got to know Bob "virtually" through his participation in the Yahoo! Groups "S-scale" discussion mailing list. All in good fun, he was known as "string boB". The "string" part was because he believed in running his layout without all the complicated electronics, such as DCC. He wrote his name backwards, so as to differentiate his e-mails from all of the other Bobs on the list. For one of the NASG Conventions, Bob Werre had Bob pose in front of a real locomotive with a rope attached to the engine's coupler, to make it look like he was pulling the engine, an elaborate inside-joke about his nick-name on the mailing list. Bob was a fun person and enjoyed his hobby. He created his own layout and named his railroad the "Shabbona" Railroad. Several S-scale modelers were able to buy his equipment in recent years and will have a model of "his" railroad that he worked on, running on their layouts.
If you know how to read a little bit of German, you might find this interesting. The web site is of a (former East-)German club of S- and O-scale modelers that collect information about models produced in the Germanies in the 1960s.
Trainshow.com is now the combined web site for the following annual train shows:
- "Great Train Shows"
- "Great Midwest Train Show"
- "World's Greatest Hobby on Tour"
According to their web site, they have cancelled all future shows until they are reasonably able to open up for the expected crowd levels again.
The (formerly very active) Yahoo! Groups discussion mailing list is officially shutting down on December 15, 2020. This does not really come as a great surprise, as they had cut down on their services in recent years. Most people were speculating that since their takeover by Verizon, their non-income-producing discussion groups would be phased out. Apparently that has come true. Most of the major discussion mailing lists have already moved to Groups.io, and the remaining ones will need to do the same, or simply cease to exist.
It is now planned, by the same group, to take place in 2021 instead.
Long-time NASG member, Doug Miller, passed away on September 21, 2020. Our condolences to his wife and family. Doug was one of the charter members of the Southeastern Michigan S Gaugers. Doug owned a company called Miller Engineering (there were and are several companies with that name in the model railroading industry).
The Badgerland S Gaugers have to announce the postponement of the 45th Annual, 2020 Fall S Fest Convention that was scheduled to be held this November 6th thru 8th at the Four Points Sheraton Airport Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
With increasing numbers of Covid 19 cases in the city of Milwaukee and primarily the concern for all of our attendees, the Fall S Fest Committee regrettably felt that this step was necessary during this unprecedented period. Fall S Fest sponsorship is a four club event. The Badgerland S Gaugers (BSG) wish to thank the State Line (SLSG), Chicagoland (CASG) and St. Louis (AFSGSLA) clubs for their thoughtfulness in agreeing to slide back one year as sponsors of this annual event.
The Badgerland S Gaugers have re-scheduled the 45th Annual Fall S Fest for November 5th thru 7th 2021. The event will take place at the same location the Four Points Sheraton Airport Hotel.
There are various options for those whom have already registered:
a) Return all registrations and checks.
b) Offer a carryover of the registration and BSG will deposit the payments. As an incentive, in the event that we would have to raise any prices for 2021, we would honor present payment if retained.
c) Cars could be picked up at a location in the Milwaukee area (location to be determined). Registration fee would still be required. Available October 1, 2020.
d) Offer to send the cars, available October 1, 2020. Registration fee would still be required. Mailing costs would be $10.00 per car and $4.00 for each additional car.
e) Only the individuals that pre-registered will be offered the early car distribution, which will take place October 1, 2020. The remaining cars will be retained by BSG for distribution at Fall S Fest 2021.
f) BSG will hold paid-for cars for individuals that wish to pick them up at next year's event.
If you have pre-registered, please contact Roy Meissner (see e-mail link below) and indicate which option you would prefer. Click to send an e-mail.
Richard (Dick) Kloes, a long-time NASG member, passed away due to cancer on June 22, 2020 at the age of 83. Dick was also a key member of the Badgerland S Gaugers club (for 45 years!). Dick's "Root River & Southern" appeared in the NASG Dispatch, the February 2003 issue on page 14. The layout was open during the 2003 NASG Convention. Dick introduced himself in the April 1997 issue of the Dispatch (pg. 13).
(this entry was originally posted on April 23, 2020, but more information about Bill has been provided, including the link below)
Long-time NASG member Bill Oertly passed away on April 17, 2020 due to complications from cancer. Bill was 70 years old. Bill, who modeled the Western Maryland (and the B&O), was a fantastic S-scale modeler and a member of the Potomac Valley S Gauge Association. He served the NASG as its Treasurer in the late 1970s (the first full-term one after the NASG, Inc. was created). Bill also wrote two books related to the Western Maryland. He was an expert on tank cars, as he was an inspector for the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
Brooks Stover has an article about the interesting engine house he built for his current layout.
Brooks Stover has an article about the Elk River Coal & Lumber Company Swandale Sawmill on his layout in this issue.
On June 13 Lee McCarty passed away due to liver disease. Lee was a long-time NASG member. He wrote several articles for the NASG's Dispatch. He was the recipient of the Bernie Thomas NASG award in 2016. Lee served as the NASG's Executive Vice President from 1983 through 1987, was the Eastern VP from 1979 through 1983, and served as the NASG Convention chairman up through 1986 (probably from the start of that position). Lee played college football and semi-pro football, having been drafted by the Dallas cowboys. He changed his mind and decided to proceed to get a PhD in Economics. Lee taught at various levels until retirement. Model railroading was in his blood since he was a small boy. He was an active member of the Cuyahoga Valley S Gauge Assn (he was their president for at least 10 years). Lee assisted others with the operation of local model train shows, coordinated several Spring Sprees (when in the Cleveland area), repaired model trains, and taught others how to do the repairs.
The Chicagoland Association of S Gaugers reported that their member Salvador "Skip" Sanchez passed away on May 3, 2020 due to cancer.
Long-time NASG member Frank Emiro passed away recently. Frank lived in Kodak, Tennessee. He was an active member of the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club.
The South Jersey S Gaugers now have their own YouTube channel. With all of us being locked down in place, you might enjoy watching these!
NASG member Steve Spence passed away on April 4, 2020. Steve hailed from Allentown, PA, and has been a long-time NASG member.
The organizers of the Sn3 Symposium have decided to cancel/postpone the event.
The "Valley of the Sun S Gaugers" have voted to change their name to "Arizona S Scale Association".
Owner Steve Cox announced on his web site that the company is now closed due to family situations. Cascade Rail Supply provided pre-cut homasote for laying track.
From the South Jersey S Gaugers' newsletter, they reported that their club member Don McGinnis, from New Jersey, had passed away on December 16, 2019. Don was an elementary school music teacher for 32 years. He was an NASG member, who enjoyed modeling the Union Pacific.
NASG member Marty Wik of Cave Creek, Arizona, passed away in the evening of January 29 due to cancer. Marty was a key member of the Valley of Sun S Gaugers club in Arizona. Marty (on the right) is shown admiring Bill Winans layout during the club's visit in 2019. Marty was an expert at getting old American Flyer products running again. He collected trains of all sizes, but his favorite was always S. He was also a car enthusiast, building hot-rods, and restoring cars from the 1960s.