Hundreds of railroad modelers and railfans are readying to converge on Jim Thorpe's Memorial Hall for the 2010 Fall Train Meet & Railroad Film Night-a one-stop railroad hobbyist's dream-come-true.
The Sunday, Nov. 7 event begins at 9 a.m. with the Carbon Model Railroad Society's Sixth Annual Fall Train Meet. The swap meet of model and toy trains, books and railroadiana, operating layouts, and historical materials runs until 3 p.m.
At 5 p.m., Pete Terp of Pufferbellys Railroad Gifts returns with his Railroad Film Night for its fall semiannual presentation. This season's slide shows are "History of the Railroads of Warren County, New Jersey featuring the Lehigh & New England Railroad," and "Lehigh Valley Railroad Diesel Assignments," both presented by Paul Carpenito.
Carpenito is a longtime railfan who has amassed a collection of 220,000 slides of railroading around the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He is president of the Phillipsburg Railroad Historians, Inc., an organization that Terp helped found in 1990. He took over as president in 1997.
"I've always liked trains," Carpenito said. "I started taking photos of the Lehigh Railroad that ran past my Hillside, New Jersey home as early as when I was eight years old with a Kodak Brownie camera. I got series about photography in 1967 when I got my first 35-mm camera. I haven't stopped since." Carpenito plans to fill over two and a half hours with roughly 400 slides from his collection.
The first 160 slides present an overview of the railroads of Warren County. "I'd been asked recently to speak the Warren County Historical Society regarding the railroads that once threaded through Warren County," Carpenito said. "Some were the Lackawanna Railroad, L&NE, Lehigh & Hudson River, and the New York, Susquehanna & Western."
During the 1990s, Carpenito traced existing right-of-ways, bridge piers, and other features. He was accompanied on tours with railroad historians John Wilever and George Hart.
After a break, Carpenito will present roughly 250 slides on what he sometimes calls, "A Walk Through the Weeds," or " A Hardcore On Early Diesel Locomotives," or more formally, "A Diesel History of the Last Days of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and its Locomotives and their Assignments."
The Train Meet is hosted by the Carbon Model Railroad Society. It has been promoting train shows for the past 18 years in Palmerton, and in the fall for all of Carbon County for the past six years.
"It's almost like a social for train modelers," explained Gary Mack, president of the CMRS. "People return every year to meet one another and see what they have to sell."
The Meet, the only one of its kind in Carbon County, is a great time to find that unique item to upgrade a model train layout or to own as a holiday present.
The Fall Train Meet is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An admission is charged. The Railroad Film Night runs from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and admission is free. Both events are at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe, East 10th St. off Rt. 903/North St.
The Carbon Model Railroad Society will also have two floors of operating "HO" displays at a series of Open Houses at their Clubhouse at 529 Ore Street in Bowmanstown, www.cmrs.info . The schedule is: Thursdays from 7 - 9 p.m. on December 2, 9, and 16, and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 - 5 p.m. on Nov. 27, 28, Dec. 4, 5, and in 2011, Jan. 2, 8 and 9, and there will be an Extended Open House from 1 - 8 p.m. on Dec. 26.
The programs are sponsored by Pufferbellys Railroad Gifts in Jim Thorpe, and the Carbon Model Railroad Society in Bowmanstown. For information-call: (610) 824-7730, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .