Saturday, April 29, 2017
Sewall Center, Robert Morris University

2017 Jamboree Clinic Schedule

Open a printable .PDF file.

8:00am - 9:00am

Registration / Continental Breakfast

9:00am - 10:00am Clinic Room #1

Car Forwarding with JMRI Operations

Dennis Coglianese

When you boil it all down, railroading is about moving cars from Point A to Point B. It doesn't matter if you are using T&TO, CTC or any other methods, the cars have to move. There are lots of methods model railroaders use to make that happen. We'll talk about many of those options, their strengths and weaknesses and how to match those to your model railroad. Then we'll take a look at the JMRI Operations modules and explore how they can be used to move cars quickly and point to some of the advanced capabilities that make JMRI Operations worth exploring. Although I'm a technical guy talking about a computer program, this will not be a technical clinic. It also won't bore you with lots of details. It will show you how to get started and what advanced features are available as you put JMRI Operations to work on your model railroad.

9:00am - 10:00am Clinic Room #2

Those Devilish Details: Detailing Your Structures

Bryce Walat

Learn what all those details you've seen on real buildings do and the best ways to incorporate them into your own layout.

10:15am - 11:15am Clinic Room #1

Evolution of an Operating Scheme

Bob Weinheimer MMR

This clinic looks at how the Pennsylvania Southern and its operating scheme have evolved over the past 35 years. Any large layout grows with time to its current form and this layout is no exception. While the layout has moved twice, it has been in its present location for most of its existence. Those moves offered opportunities for development. Industrial growth over the years also led to the need for more cars, more trains to handle them, and more and different staging methods for those trains. As the crews improved their operating skills and as technology improved the methods of dispatching the railroad have also changed. All of these subjects will be discussed in this clinic.

10:15am - 11:15am Clinic Room #2

Modeling the Collective Forest

Barry Silverthorn

Barry was intimidated by the task of creating thousand of trees for the Appalachian hillsides on his layout. "Puffball trees" are fast and inexpensive, but for him they just wouldn't be good enough. He shows how he uses a variety of techniques and products - and even natural materials - to make dozens of trees for realistic "collective forest" scenes, quickly and easily.

11:30am - 12:30pm Clinic Room #1

An Introduction to the Arduino and Other Electronic Devices That Can Enhance Your Railroad - Part 1

Dave Bodnar

Join Dave Bodnar and explore how easy it can be to use microcontrollers and other simple electronic devices to enhance your railroad. We'll take an especially close look at the Arduino and why it has been embraced by thousands of hobbyists. Intrigued by laser cutters and 3D printers? Dave will show these 21st century tools can be an excellent and exciting addition to your workshop. We'll also explore a new homemade smoke generator that really puts out and create some thunder & lighting! Don't miss all of this and the usual array of tips, tricks, tools and gizmos & gadgets that can animate and add excitement to your railroad.

11:30am - 12:30pm Clinic Room #2

All Around Pittsburgh - A Nostalgic View

George Gula

I'll show scenes from around the area served by Pittsburgh Railways, including the interurban lines, neighborhoods, industrial views, bridges, private right-of-way operation and the parks. Hope you enjoy it.

12:30pm - 2:00pm

Lunch, Welcome and Business Meeting

2:00pm - 3:00pm Clinic Room #1

An Introduction to the Arduino and Other Electronic Devices That Can Enhance Your Railroad - Part 2

Dave Bodnar

2:00pm - 3:00pm Clinic Room #2


Steve Kaplan & Bob Weinheimer

More ways to have fun with your model railroad - turn it into a real one. Imagine yourself as an integral character on your layout.

3:15pm - 4:15pm Clinic Room #1

Over and Under

Neal Schorr

Both prototype and model railroads frequently cross over and under highways by means of small bridges. Unfortunately, they are often incorrectly modeled on layouts. Drawing on his interest in highway engineering, Neal will review basic bridge design and terminology and present examples of prototype structures. Then, drawing upon his experience in creating such models on his own layout, he will demonstrate how to build prototypically accurate representations of highway over and underpasses.

3:15pm - 4:15pm Clinic Room #2

A Father-Son Team - What We've Learned from Each Other

Charlie & Andy Blenko

Railroading can span multiple generations, as evidenced by this father-son team, each with his own unique talents. This clinic explores what we have learned from each other both in railfanning the prototype and modeling.

4:30pm - 5:30pm Clinic Room #1

Modeling & Managing Dual Gauge Operations

Vagel Keller

Description: Vagel Keller's HO-scale layout features two model railroads set in the late-1930s: the narrow gauge Blacklog & Shade Gap Eastern and the South Penn Branch of the PRR. The two railroads meet at a place called Richmond Furnace, where they have small passenger and freight interchange facilities; passengers, mail and express, and milk cans are exchanged between daily passenger trains and freight is exchanged between narrow and standard gauge freight cars. The freight operation is controlled by the tried-and true car card and waybill system, but the necessity for transferring freight in a break-bulk process complicates things. This richly illustrated clinic shows both how Vagel models and manages the paperwork and car flow for dual gauge freight operations, as well as follows the movement of passenger/mail & express/milk cans over the line from stops along the B&SGE then via the South Penn Branch to its connection to the outside world.

4:30pm - 5:30pm Clinic Room #2

A Tribute to Don Cassler's M & K Model Railroad

Keith Devault, Mark Vinski & Gary Deavers

This will showcase photos of the construction to the last operating session on the railroad.


Close of contest voting, please vote for your favorite entry in each category by 4:00pm


Company Store, Contest Room, Switching Layout & White Elephant Room Close


Contest Results and Raffle


Banquet - International Suite

Modeler of the Year Award

The results of our monthly Bring and Brag contests for 2016

After Dinner Banquet Speaker

Lionel Strang

Model Railroading and Social Media: A New Beginning.

Sunday - Layout Tours

Viewing hours for each layout are listed in the map guidebook