Clinician: Mike Prokop

CLINIC:  The Camden, NJ Waterfront and the Railroads
DAY: Friday TIME8:00-9:00a ROOM:  Auditorium
DESCRIPTION:  The focal point of this clinic is the Reading Railroad's Linden Street Freight Station. Located at the foot of Linden Street on the Delaware River, we'll explore the layout and operations of this Reading property in the North Camden waterfront area. The freight station and yard occupies a small sliver of riverfront land, much like its cousins up on the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfront, with most of its freight coming and going via its car float operations.

     We'll cover some Camden railroad history, including the Reading and the Pennsylvania railroads and their predecessors, service to Atlantic City and ferry operations cross river to Philadelphia. Included in the clinic will be numerous historic photos of the area as well as discussion about building the Linden Street Freight Station on a Free-mo module.

CLINIC:  Special Trackwork
DAY:  Friday TIME8:30-9:30p ROOM:  Radnor
DESCRIPTION:  Two rails laid parallel to each other on cross ties undisputedly changed modern civilization. Maneuvering about on this system of infrastructure became the “tricky part.” We’ll look at both prototype and model railroading track-work, that effortlessly and efficiently moves railway equipment from track to track over the worlds railroads and around our model layouts.

     In this clinic we’ll explore all sorts of track-work other then two parallel rails (straight track). Just to name a few, we’ll look at and go way beyond switches (turnouts), crossings, slip switches, lap switches, gauntlet track, also “Grand Unions,” and many other oddities. Lots of photographs of the real stuff from railroads all over, and model photos of how we applied and adopted some of this special track work on our model railroads. Hopefully this clinic will inspire you to include some kind of “special track-work” feature on your home layout. It might even enhance your operations while remaining prototypically correct and catch the attention of your visitors, possibly invoking interesting discussions.

About the Clinician...

     Mike retired from the office equipment service business after forty years and now pursues an ever expanding interest in scale model railroading and railroad prototype history. Mike’s HO model railroad, the “New Jersey & Western,” consumes his 25 X 36 foot basement in Hamilton Square, NJ. This transition-era railroad has monthly ops sessions using an 8-10 person crew. About seven years ago, Mike took his model railroading on the road with his Free-mo module depicting the Reading Railroad’s Freight and car-float operations at their Linden Street facilities on the Camden, NJ waterfront. Modeled near the end of operations in the early 1960’s, all of the structures are scratch-built or heavily kit-bashed. With the track plan very true to the prototype, it’s fun to operate.
Mike is on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Division and currently serves as its Treasurer.


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