NOTE: The Lite Version is our electronic version which is available for free from this web site.  It has limited content but gives you a taste of what is offered in our Full Version.

The Full Version is our printed newsletter which is mailed to you.  It contains everything in the Lite Version along with many other reprinted pages from other NRHS newsletters, railroad publications, and flyers that contain photographs, drawings, and maps.  The full version is just another benefit of joining our chapter. 

The Wilmington Chapter NRHS Official Newsletter
Internet Edition


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President Mike Burkhart called the meeting of the Wilmington Chapter to order. As the Secretary was not present, the minutes were approved as read by the President. The Treasurer's report by Dave Warner was also approved as read. National Director Steve Barry reported that the new National By Laws had all passed. Trip Director Steve Barry reported on our Dec. 10 Street Car Trolley Trip and Feb 4 Super Saturday Streetcar Trolley Trip XIX. Conference Director Dave Warner provided details and plans for the meeting. All 13 Chapter Members present assisted in the production of "goodie bags" for the National Director's Conference and were then treated to an excellent, albeit short, program by Secretary Dan Frederick. WE got to see stations in VA, TN, NC, CT, DE, MD, OK and TX. We saw the oldest Amtrak Station in Hudson, NY. We also saw a B&O position signal in Dubois, PA and some nice views of the Reading Railroad.


After a welcome by Wilmington Chapter President Mike Burkhart and invocation by Barry Smith, the large crowd enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner (without any green beans). After dinner, some comments about Joe Williams, and remarks by Greg Molloy, we were treated to a presentation from Mario Bergeron, Amtrak's Chief Mechanical Officer assisted by none other than our own Treasurer, Registration Coordinator, Hotel Coordinator, and Conference Chairperson Dave Warner.

Mr. Bergeron noted that Amtrak runs over 200 trains per day, 70% of which operate over other owner's freight lines. Operations for Amtrak fall into three groups - namely the Northeast Corridor (NEC), short distance trains (86-600 miles), and long distance trains (up to 2250 miles). He discussed the FY2011-2015 Amtrak Strategic Plan with Vision & Plans broken down into 0-1 year, 1-3 years, 3-5 years, and 10+ years. He said that the NEC accounts for about one half of the total revenue.

He spoke about various sections of PRIA law including ¤209 on routes under 750 miles to be implanted by 2014 and ¤305 on the next generation of Northeast Corridor equipment pool which includes the purchase of 33 locomotives and 120 new cars. He discussed the vision for the Mechanical Department and spoke about #8400 - the Viewliner Diner that was just out of the shop and currently running on Train 48/49 the Lakeshore. It is the prototype for other new diners to be ordered.

We heard about ACELA Continuous Maintenance. The original plan called for 14 of the 20 train sets to run every day. The new schedule is to run 16 of the 19 sets every day with one set in for a major overhaul - the power in Wilmington and the coaches in Bear.

We learned about TCD (Train Communication Data) for the automatic control and monitoring of locomotives. We learned that the "brain" of the on-board WIFI is in the bistro car with repeaters in other cars. WIFI is available in all single (low) level cars. We also heard about the 40th Anniversary Cab Car #406. We heard that 29 AEM-7s had been converted from DC to AC power and the plan to purchase 70 new Siemens locomotives to be delivered from 2013 to 2016 plus the purchase of 130 long distance single level cars. We also learned about the new ACS-64 dual cab loco and the drop table in Boston to allow the change of power trucks on the Acela. Until now, the only place that could be done was in Washington, D .C. It was a superb presentation enjoyed by all.

November 2011 MEETING NOTES

President Mike Burkhart called the meeting of the Wilmington Chapter to order at precisely 7:05 PM. The minutes were read by Secretary Dan Frederick and approved as read as was the Treasurer's report presented by Dave Warner. Dave's report on the National Director's Conference noted that it was indeed a "success" for the Chapter. All went well for the 67 registrants which included 18 spouses and there was a net gain in our bank account. President Mike Burkhart noted that, "the Director's meeting went about as good as it could have" despite a few minor glitches and some weather challenges. Phil Snyder proposed a motion to give Conference Coordinator Dave Warner a "free ride" for the Chapter's Holiday Dinner in recognition of all of his hard work so he wouldn't have to pay Treasurer Dave Warner for the dinner. The motion was immediately passed. National Director Steve Barry reported that all attendees to the conference were pleased with their experience. Trip Director Steve Barry reported that the Wilmington & Western trip was changed on the day of the trip due to weather conditions and everything still worked out well even though there was no walking tour in downtown Wilmington. He reported that we might have a 'replacement' trip on the Cape May line in the spring. As there were no new nominees nor volunteers for office, we will keep the same officers for another year. National Director Steve Barry noted that there would be a direct election of the National Board by return mail paper ballot. He also noted that the National Convention would be held in Anchorage, Alaska in September 2013.

December 2011 MEETING NOTES

The annual Holiday Dinner was held at Maximillian's in lieu of the December Chapter Meeting. After the buffet style dinner and an appropriately iced cake for desert. Master of Ceremonies Ed Thornton ran the process for the annual dispensing of the door prizes (most of which he himself had procured). That, of course, was followed by the annual Holiday Dinner Program by Steve Barry. The computer projected "Year in Review" covered a tremendous amount of territory including Mississippi, Memphis, St. Louis, San Jose, San Francisco, Florida, Chicago, Steamtown, Cumberland, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington state, Iowa, West Virginia, Ontario, New York state, and New Jersey. Everyone enjoyed the plethora of fantastic images

Mile Marker #150

by Greg M. AjamianIn a recent interview with the Editor in Chief of The Transfer Table, he told this reporter that, "it is hard to believe that the next issue will be my 150th newsletter for the Wilmington Chapter of the NRHS." It is also hard to believe that he issued his first newsletter as Editor in April of 1994.

The Editor went on to say, "I would like to thank the many contributors that have made those newsletters possible - including of course, my most prolific contributor, Richard E. Hall (who has quite amazingly STILL continued to contribute - two full years after departing this world!). Thanks, too, to "THE ED's" (Mayover & Thornton) for their thousands of e-mails and other goodies. And to the many other contributors including our farthest flung member, Tom Smith, as well local members Ron Cleaves, and the Barry's - Steve & Bruce. My thanks also to all of the other members who have contributed a piece, or a news item, or a photo from time to time like ace reported Dave Watterson.

Reports from the Publishing Department indicate that this same Editor has been responsible for a total of 2594 pages of newsletters so far - that's an average of over 17 pages per issue, 8.2 issues per year, for 17 years! Records also show an additional 43 postcards in lieu of newsletters and/or for special announcements and notices to the membership. Over that time, we have had to upgrade computer systems three times, replace multiple printers and untold ink cartridges, and even had to find new commercial printing facilities at least three times.

The Art Department noted that way back in 1994, we were still using a commercial reprographic operation in downtown Wilmington to get photostats to improve photocopied image quality and commercial blue print services to resize and reproduce large drawings and maps. Now of course, it all happens by manipulating pixels and electrons in an ever-shrinking box on a desktop. They also remarked upon the improvements in the various "headers", logos, and artwork. We lost a few type fonts as newer computers were brought in but gained a few others. We even when to a new layout of two columns for most things at the specific request of one of the members which improved overall "readability" as they put it.

The Publishing Department also noted the one-time that The Transfer Table sported a color cover. In a moment of unrestrained madness and unbounded extravagance, The Transfer Table's Editor decided to "splurge" as he put it on his 100th issue back in May of 2005. High revenues in that year from trips and books sales were able to cover the color copying costs - sparing the Chapter from financial embarrassment. (In our interview, the Editor noted that the "extravagance" had been discussed and approved by the Chapter President well in advance of turning over the copy for publication.) Despite the extravagance, and due to the vast volume of "normal" issues, an average issue has cost the Chapter just under $135 per issue to print and mail. Of course, that's the overall average - those 20 and 30 page giants do run a little higher.

Publishing's records show that even in his first and lowest output year he cranked out over 100 pages of newsletter for each member. They also showed that the record year was 2005, which sent out 206 pages of newsletters and three postcards to each and every member. (Evidently the "extravagance" went beyond just the one color cover. No investigations were conducted since no complaints were received). A inside source in that department who wished to remain anonymous expressed some concern about just what the Editor might do for his 150th issue. But, he also expressed unrestricted confidence that it would be, as he put it, "appropriate and not too far over-the-top" (whatever that means).

The Mail Room staff noted that when this Editor started, we used to mail one-ounce newsletters for a mere 29¢ each. Today's one-ounce edition travels for 44¢ a copy at least until the next postal rate increase is approved by Congress. A typical two-ounce, twenty-page edition is delivered by the USPS for 64¢ today as long as it is properly folded, stapled, address labeled, and taped. It is interesting to note, that despite the increases in the expenses due to postage, the total newsletter costs for the Chapter have remained remarkably consistent over those years, meaning that cost cutting and various improvements have offset inflation, rising costs, and declining membership. Mail Room staff also pointed out that there were even a few three-ounce "monster" editions that simply ate up far too much in postage for a single issue before they received a cease-and-desist order from the Chapter leadership and newsletter management. No doubt the elimination of that additional revenue has been a contributing factor to the perilous financial state of the US Postal Service.

A few individuals have questioned whether or not the Editor actually reads all of the copy that appears in the newsletter. The Editor has never directly answered this question and has even, upon occasion, insinuated that the contrary might actually have some basis in truth. However, no one has ever pressed the issue out of fear that they themselves might have to take over publication of the newsletter in question.

It has been rumored from time to time that some complaints and/or negative sounding comments have been heard at a Chapter meeting. The Editor noted in our interview that none of his reporters had ever transmitted such a negative comment to him and pointed out that no such material has ever appeared in the nonexistent Letters to the Editor column and therefore it doesn't concern him. He mentioned that the easiest solution to such complaints is to simply "misplace" the address label for that individual for all future issues eliminating any possibility of that individual receiving a newsletter that offends their sensibilities in any way.

This reporter noted that the Editor's hair (what is left of it) is much lighter and thinner than historic photographs would suggest. The Editor declined to comment on that and any other issues ending the interview and thus, the end of this column.


If our normal "THIRD THURSDAY" NRHS meeting is canceled due to inclement weather, it will be postponed and held on the FOURTH THURSDAY. If it must again be canceled, it will NOT be rescheduled. We will simply wait for the next month's normal "third Thursday" meeting. If the weather looks bad or is predicted to be bad, you may telephone the Claymont Community Center to see if it will be open that evening for our meeting.

Message from the Treasurer

"We'd like to remind you that if you have not paid your 2012 chapter and national dues, now would be a very good time to submit them. Dues forms were sent to everyone last fall, with a due date of 12/31/2011. As of that date, we have received only about half of our dues. Please take a moment while you're thinking about this to send your membership dues to our treasurer, Dave Warner. His address is on the dues form you received. Thank you."



Notices, announcements, schedules, etc. are provided here as a service to the members. The Chapter has no affiliation with any commercial operation, museum, or tourist line.

Until May 30, 2015 Civil War 150th Anniversary: The War Came By Train@ B&O RR Museum in Baltimore. Monday - Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.), Sunday (11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) Between April 19, 1861 (The Baltimore Riot of 1861) and April 21, 1865 (Lincoln's funeral train leaving Baltimore for Illinois), the B&O stood witness and participant in the greatest conflict the U.S. has ever faced and changed the course of American history. The War Came By Train serves as the B&O Railroad Museum's primary attraction for the five year commemoration of the War's sesquicentennial. The National Landmark Roundhouse will exhibit the largest assemblage of Civil War railroad equipment in the world featuring locomotives and rail cars that served during the war, significant military and personal artifacts that will change annually to portray each year of the war (some artifacts never before on public display), and a narrated train ride to the original site of Camp Carroll, the largest Union encampment in Baltimore.

Saturday, January 21, 2012 Great Lehigh Valley Train Meet 10-4, Merchants Square Ma; 1901 S. 12th St, Allentown, PA - new one day all scales

February 4, 2012 Super Saturday Streetcar Special XIX -- This trip will hopefully include the very first and very last Kowasaki cars. Details still being worked out. Tickets will be $?? More info soon. Visit to order tickets or to get more information. Paying by mail? Make checks payable to "Wilmington Chapter NRHS" and send to: Wilmington Chapter NRHS c/o Steve Barry 117 High Street Newton, NJ 07860

Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 4-5, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Saturday & Sunday, February 25&26, 2012 Spring Thaw Train Meet 9-4 & 9-3, Allentown Fairgrounds Agricultural Hall, 1120 S. Jefferson St.,

Sunday, March 11, 2012 CHARTER DAY at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, March 24-25, 2012 Greenberg's Train & Toy Show 10-4, Adults $7, Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801, FREE PARKING

Sunday, April 1, 2012 9th Annual Train Meet 9 AM-2 PM, Leesport (PA) Farmer's Market, sponsored by RDG. CO. TECH. & HIST. SOC.

Saturday & Sunday, April 14-15, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MDApril 21 thru Dec. 30, 2012 ROLE OF RRs IN PA DURING THE CIVIL WAR at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Friday-Sunday, May 11-13, 2012 CONRAIL DAYS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, June 2-3, 2012 NORFOLK SOUTHERN DAYS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, June 23-24, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Tuesday-Sunday, July 3-8, 2012 READING RAILROAD DAYS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, August 4-5, 2012 Greenberg's Train & Toy Show 10-4, Adults $7, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093, FREE PARKING

Saturday, September 22, 2012 MEMBERS DAY at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Sunday, October 7, 2012 GARDEN RAILWAYS TOUR at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 27-28, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 3-4, 2012 TRAINS & TROOPS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg


Thursday Jan. 19, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Dave Watterson

Thursday Feb. 16, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Frank Ferguson

Thursday March 15, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Frank Ferguson entitled "2011 Year in Review Part 2"

Thursday April 19, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Somebody

Thursday May 17, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Somebody Else

Thursday June 21, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Somebody's Son

The Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) meets at 7:00 PM on the third Thursday of each month [except August & December] in the Darley Room at the Claymont Community Center on Green Street in Claymont, Delaware. Visitors are always welcome. Admission to regular meetings is free. Check out our Website (thanks to Russ Fox) at:

The Transfer Table is published six to ten times per year as the newsletter of the Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Items in this publication do not represent the official position of either Officers or Members of the Wilmington Chapter or the Editor of this publication.

Permission to reprint articles and news items appearing herein is granted to NRHS Chapters and other newsletters provided appropriate credit is given.

Contributions are always welcome and should be sent to the editor at or send to: P.O. Box 1136, Hockessin, DE 19707-5136.
Deadline for entries is the 25th of the month.

Chapter Officers
President: Mike Burkhart
Vice President:  Dave Watterson
Treasurer: Dave Warner
Secretary: Dan Frederick
National Director & Trip Director: Steve Barry
Editor: Greg Ajamian
Web Master: Russ Fox

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