Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Friday Night Hangout December 8th 7PM

Check your email for login credentials

December 8th at 7th


Next Meeting

New Tools in Philip Taylor Collection

What is on your work bench

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Annual Meeting at Fredericksburg Meeting

 Our annual meeting for the James River Division will be on January 13, 2024 during the meeting in Fredericksburg, VA.  Please contact the Superintendent or Ken Montero if you wish to run for office or have an agenda item. 


1. Election of Officers

2. New Business

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Workshop 2 for Fredericksburg - Manifest Destiny — Expanding the USMRR Aquia Line by Bernie Kempinski

Manifest Destiny — Expanding the USMRR Aquia Line by

Bernie Kempinski

It is a well-known axiom that model railroads expand to fill all available space. Bernie will describe how he used system analysis tools to help design the optimal plan for his expanding O Scale USMRR Aquia Line railroad. He’ll also discuss what’s new on the railroad including an automated telegraph, random events, time table and train order operations in the 19th century. If you’re not interested in the techy stuff, there will be plenty of pretty pictures, bad jokes, and dancing girls. There will even be a movie. Just kidding about the dancing girls, but come anyway.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Decoder Pro Clinic at Hobby Barn December 9th

 For those who missed the JMRI Decoder Pro Clinic at the November Joint Meeting there will be another chance at Jerry Stanley's Hobby Barn on December 9th. Space is limited.  

Follow this Link for full details and reservation form

Workshop 1 for Fredericksburg in January

 Kurt Thompson, MMR®, Chesapeake Division’s AP Director will go over the requirements and paperwork needed for a member to earn this AP certificate. In a setting more of a seminar than a clinic, Kurt will also present the paperwork he submitted 25 years ago when he earned his first AP certificate. If you are interested in seeing through the “fog of the requirements” or just have some questions about your own paperwork, this clinic is for you. Bring along your paperwork as there will be time for questions and answers as well as some input about your paperwork. Remember that this certificate was easy enough that Kurt earned his.

Link to Meeting location at the Howell Branch of the Rappahannock Central Library

Monday, October 16, 2023

Monday, October 9, 2023

Zoom Hangout this Friday the 13th at 7pm

 There will be a JRD Zoom Chat/Hangout at 7pm this Friday October 13th.  Details and login information is in your email. 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Zoom Hangout Friday at 7pm

 There will be a Hangout on Friday at 7pm. Check your emails for links and login information.  

McGilvary Obituary and Memorial Information

On August 228, 2023 (Monday) at 11:00 am, there will be a secular remembrance meeting for former JRD Paymaster and long-time member, Bill McGilvary, (and three other relatives) at Blandford Church and Cemetery, 111 Rochelle Lane, Petersburg, Virginia. Interment will follow immediately after the meeting.

Parking is available in the adjacent Reception Center.

Blandford Church is a historic church structure dating back to 1735. Deconsecrated as a church, It is now a Confederate memorial building, with reproduction church furnishings and all of the 15 windows created in "stain glass" by Louis Comfort Tiffany. More at:

The main entrance has a short staircase from the street, and the brick sidewalk to the church is uneven in spots.  There is a separate handicap entrance - please contact Blandford Church Reception Center (tel. 804-691-7947 or email: Thursday through Sunday ) for more information if you plan to use the handicap access.

Please let Ken Montero ( know if you may be attending so that the set-up in the building will be appropriate for the number of attendees.

Here is a short obituary for Bill McGilvary:

Bill “Mack” McGilvary was born and raised in Colonial Heights, VA in 1942 and passed away on August 15, 2017.

From an early age he was mesmerized by trains.  His first Lionel O gauge train set was his prized possession as a child and he kept it until he had to move from his home in 2013.  He collected everything from maps and schedules to matchbooks from every railroad line.

After serving four years in the Air Force, he returned to the Petersburg area, where he resided until 2013. Ever the Southern gentleman with a traditional Virginia accent that bespoke his upbringing, Bill was kind and caring for his entire life.

Bill was a lifetime employee in the telephone industry, starting with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia, from which (after being renamed Bell Atlantic) he retired, only to go to work for other independent companies in the telephone industry. One only had to peek at the immaculate wiring (using telephone industry standard practices) on Bill’s layout to see the lifelong influence that the telephone industry had on Bill.

His personal layout modeled the Norfolk & Western Railroad and his own Blue Ridge & Western line (as Bill stated, “It was the subsidiary that the Norfolk and Western did not know that it owned”).  It consumed his entire garage and utility room and, like most layouts, was a lifetime “work in progress”.  It was a sad day indeed when he had to liquidate his collection of over 1,000 engines and cars of every variety to move to an assisted living facility in Georgia.

Trains were his first love and although confined to a wheelchair he lived for the occasional chance to “ride the rails” once more.

Bill was a member of the James River Division of the National Model Railroad Association since 1976 until his passing. Bill participated regularly in the Division’s meets until 2013, and regularly attended the region and national conventions (traveling by train whenever possible).

In 2015, Bill was awarded the Division’s Bill McMillan Award (the second recipient), awarded for distinguished public service to the model railroad hobby, for his consistent participation in the Division’s activities, including making numerous presentations as a clinician and serving as the Division’s Paymaster (Treasurer) for many years, and for having so generously benefitted the Division with his extraordinary donation of books and other printed material. Although he had moved to Marietta by the time of the award, a Division member presented the award to him in Marietta, and he kept in touch with the Division and his friends as best he could.

After Bill moved to Marietta, Georgia, Bill’s niece, Kathy Miller, her husband Dan Miller, and his nephew and namesake, Bill McGilvary, tended to his needs in his final journey, first in assisted living, then in skilled nursing care.

He is survived by his nieces Kathy Miller and Susan Abernathy and nephews Art Carter and Bill McGilvary.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

NMRAx this weekend

 NMRAx this weekend.  Please search for the feed on Facebook or YouTube

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Passing of another milestone author

 It was just posted by Charlie Getz that Malcom Furlow passed away.  Post quoted below

Just got notice from Jennifer Furlow that Malcolm passed away today from the effects of long Covid. Malcolm was known for his art and modeling including the seminal San Juan Central HOn3 project layout for MR back in the 1980’s, now part of the NMRA exhibit on Scale Model Railroading at the CSRM in Sacramento..

Sad news. He was a character but an inspiration to many with a distinct modeling style.
Charlie Getz

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Crossties for February is Out

 Have you read the latest issue of Crossties - The James River Divisions free bi-monthly magazine

Crossties February 2023

You may obtain your copy using the link above 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Wayland Slim Down Event

Earlier today an email went out with more items from Waylands slim down event. Lists D, E, H and K were updated with even more items at 5 pm. Please check the bottom of those lists.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

 Next Meet is Virtual Zoom Meeting on February 10th.  Login details will be sent via Email the week before to members and regular attenders.

1. Whats on the Workbench

2. Phil Taylor - Initial Thoughts on IVAR Benchwork from IKEA

3.  Your thoughts on the hobby

Sunday, January 15, 2023

January Meeting was a Blast

 Yesterday we a great meeting that for me was a blast.  Thank you to Ken Montero for securing the building and along with Bob Minnis and others for dealing with the Donuts and Coffee.  Tom Patterson with assistance of his son took care of broadcasting our meeting on the new NRMA Interchange.  

Chris Chapin stepped up at the last minute to give us a valuable comparison of a Rapido E8 with the original speaker and one with an upgraded speaker from Scale Sound Systems.  The difference was quite astounding and a real ear opener. Thanks Chris for helping us with another path to make our miniature worlds to sound better

Mike Bonner and Keith Pritchard gave us an overview of JMRI Operations Pro as used to enhance our miniature worlds to resemble real railroad operations.  The workshop gave us an overview of this module of JMRI and how a basic implementation might work. The power of the program is immense and Mike Bonner kept reminding us that we should start with the basics and not get “into the weeds” too soon.  It is good advice and I look forward to exploring the program further. 

The handouts and slide decks are now available for your review at our Handouts Page

The afternoon afforded us the chance to see two fine home layouts.  It was good to see the progress that Keith Prichard has made on his Great Plains layout.  His layout has under gone refinement since the last time I saw it.  Sometimes the best changes are smaller ones that make it more pleasurable to see and operate for owners and visitors. Bob Stringer was the second layout opened to the JRD.  His switching layout has operations with C&O in Newport News, PRR in Cape Charles and a Proto freelance version of the NPBL.  We look forward to seeing the progress they will continue to make on their layouts.  

Upcoming Clinic at Jerry Stanleys Hobby Barn on Tinkercad

  WHAT:  POTOMAC DIVISION Hobby Barn Clinic WHEN: SATURDAY, April 13th, 2024 TIME:   The clinic will start at 10 AM and go until done TOPIC:...