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May 2019

Cleveland History Days Update

Planning for the second annual Cleveland History Days is well under way and as we wrote in the April issue of Marker Lights, Midwest Railway Preservation Society is participating by holding open house events on Saturday June 29th and Sunday June 30th.

The complete schedule of events will be available soon on line through our partnership with Canalway Partners and we will keep you posted through our Facebook page as well. There is a wide variety of events planned that will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn more about Cleveland's rich heritage.

An interesting twist this year is a plan to award points for each event that an individual attends with prizes awarded at the closing ceremony to those who have accumulated the most points. Points will be different for each event based on whether the event is free or requires an admission fee and will require online registration in advance in order to be eligible for the points. Our open house for example will be worth three points, and we will also be donating an "Engineer for an Hour" certificate to be used as one of the prizes. 

Anyone attending our open house on Saturday June 29th will also have the opportunity to attend a presentation by Cleveland author and historian Chris Whipple. Chris will talk about his book, "Cleveland's Colorful Characters", and also discuss America's railroad history and how prominent Cleveland families were instrumental in building them. His talk is tentatively scheduled for 12:00 noon.

This is the first year that Midwest is participating in Cleveland History Days and we are hoping that our open houses as well as all of the other scheduled activities are well attended. More details will be forthcoming on social media and next month's newsletter.


Restoration of No. 90

Restoration work is currently being performed on Nickel Plate passenger car No. 90. The work is funded by a grant that was awarded by the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust in the amount of $18,000.00.

Plywood doors in one vestibule are being replaced with new steel doors made to original specifications and many of the wood framed windows are getting necessary repairs.

After the repair work is completed, the exterior of the car will be sandblasted and then repainted. Completion of this project is due to be finished by the end of June.
Replacement doors are being constructed for the vestibule of No. 90.

A Link to the Past

Midwest was recently visited by someone that had a special link to a piece of MRPS railroad history.  At our first open house of the year, one visitor came with the express purpose of visiting our Nickel Plate passenger car No. 62.
Her grandmother, was one of the unfortunate passengers that perished in the tragic accident on the night of August 30, 1943 in the town of Wayland, New York.

We all know the story that led to the fateful accident that night, but now we know a bit more of the backstory of one particular passenger that night. Upon boarding the train, the visitors grandmother was initially seated on a different car of the train. A service man boarded who wanted to sit with friends or family on that car but no seat was available. She offered her seat in exchange for a seat on a different car, which turned out to be No. 62. Because of that exchange, she lost her life when the steam locomotive ended up beside the car and the steam from the damaged boiler scalded those inside.

An interesting twist to the story was that because she lost her life after giving up her seat for a member of the armed forces, her husband was subsequently excused from serving in the military.

Bunny Runs 2019

The Bunny Runs of 2019 are in the books and it is safe to say that those that attended were presented with a memorable experience. The weather for the first event on Saturday the 13th was cool but sunny. The weather for the second event on Saturday the 20th started out cold and rainy but by the time the tours started, the rain had stopped and eventually the weather warmed and the sun came out. After checking in at registration, the children (and adults) were entertained by Keith "The Magic Man" Heidenreich who made balloon creations that included animals and trains. Unfortunately, "The Magic Man" fell ill and couldn't attend the second week. 

The tours started at the old B&O Caboose in the main parking area and proceeded to our steam locomotive, the ALCO 4070 that is undergoing restoration. The tour continued to the Fruit Growers Express boxcar where a demonstration of model railroading was being presented by some of our members and raffle tickets were being sold for a chance to win a train layout that was donated late last year. Proceeds from the raffle will all go to the restoration fund for 4070.

Following a stop at the turntable, visitors boarded our Nickel Plate passenger car No. 62 where they were given a ride through the yard and back while presented with a history of the car and a visit from the Easter Bunny. The Bunny gave candy filled Easter eggs to the children and posed for photographs.

The tour continued through our Nickel Plate Pullman car Mt. Baxter and through the roundhouse where everyone could see restoration work being performed on our Nickel Plate passenger car No. 90 as well as restoration work started on the Palm Point passenger car. Members of American Steam Railroad were on hand to give everyone a history of the Reading Railroad 2100 steam locomotive that they are currently restoring in stall 2 of the roundhouse.

Midwest thanks all those who attended these events and many that did attend said that they would return for another and also pass the word along to their friends. All proceeds from the Bunny Runs go into the general operating fund that is used to keep the organization running.
The Easter Bunny poses on No. 62 while waiting for the first group of riders (left). Midwest's operating crew for the Bunny Run (from l to r) Ken Yandek, Steve Emling, Bud Ramkey, Mitch Karibinus, Greg Antz and Alex Ciparis (right). 
The Easter Bunny visits with some happy riders during the Bunny Run (left) and a few happy children peer out from the B&O caboose during their tour.
Nick Resar leads a tour group at the B&O boxcar (left). The Magic Man (Keith Heidenreich) was on hand to delight children of all ages with his balloon creations (right).
This one of a kind hand crafted bass guitar is being raffled off by Midwest to raise money for the roundhouse restoration fund. The guitar, which includes an amplifier, was made by dedicated member Sid Workman, and is the third made for our benefit. The oak body is made from a piece of original roundhouse roof timber. Tickets are $30.00 and are available at all Midwest events or on line. The winning ticket will be drawn at one of the December open house events.

Youth Day at the Roundhouse

Sunday, April 7th was a special day at the B&O Roundhouse. Midwest held its' first ever Youth Day giving our youngest members a unique opportunity for some hands on experience reflecting what our certified train crew members do on a daily basis.

The day started out with some class time for Stephen Thomas, Marcus Weber, Sebastian Marconi and Erik Hirzer that included teaching the hand signals that would be used later in the railyard with the operating crew. After class, lessons resumed around our Alco locomotive 123 and Nickel Plate passenger car 90, where engineers Steve Emling and Bud Ramkey pointed out break rigging, valves, coupler components and other parts integral to operation of the equipment.

Once the locomotive was fired up and ready to go they were shown how to use the hand signals to perform a coupling maneuver between 123 and 90. Once coupled they connected the glad hands of the brake hoses and aired up the car by opening the angle cock.

While running, everyone got to take the "point" to watch the track and learn how to count down distance by car length when coming to a stop. All of the participants then got some seat time in the locomotive while performing a large switch using 90 and eight additional cars.

During the course of the afternoon everyone was instructed on the proper procedure for crossing the tracks, and finally, how to tie down the train when finished.

Each member was given two pictures taken during their turn in the seat and a certificate acknowledging their participation in the event as well as a Midwest 4070 cap.

All of the participants are active members that volunteer for various activities and work crews. Although their activities during Youth Day do not qualify them to perform any of those tasks on site, it may encourage them to eventually take the next step to take actual classes to become certified brakemen, conductors and possibly hostlers or engineers.

The future of our organization is in the hands of our younger members and Youth Day was one step to ensure that future.
Midwest engineers Steve Emling and Bud Ramkey perform a walk around 123 explaining the brake system to our young members (left). Steve Emling watches over Marcus Weber as he takes the throttle in 123 (right).
Don't Forget to Vote!
In May, the terms for two members of the Board of Trustees will expire. In accordance with the by-laws, there will be a special election at the regularly scheduled board meeting on May 14th. Those elected will serve a three year term on the board. The members whose terms are expiring, and seeking re-election are Dale Pietrasz and Steve Korpos, Jr.
Voting is accomplished by attending the annual meeting of MRPS on Tuesday
May 14th, 2019, or returning the ballot that was sent by email in April by either mail, email or in person. All ballots must be received at the roundhouse by May 14th.
Only Midwest members in good standing are eligible to vote. The votes of all members that do not vote are considered as "yes" votes.
Any member wishing to nominate another member for the Board of Trustees should attend the meeting, and the member being nominated should attend also in order to be interviewed. Any nominee must be a member in good standing. Business
experience or other pertinent skills are desirable. Nominees found to be suitable will be brought up for appointment to the Board and upon approval will be seated in June.

Monthly Meetings

The Trustees of Midwest Railway Preservation Society hold monthly board meetings on the second Tuesday of every month. The meetings are open to all members in good standing and usually begin at 7:00 pm following the monthly financial meeting which is closed to members other than the board. If you have an interest to find out what is going on stop by sometime and check out one of our meetings.
Thank You! 
MRPS wishes to thank all those members that volunteered at the recent Bunny Run events. Your attendance helped to make them successful and also insured the safety of all of our visitors. 

Help Needed

Volunteers with skills and/or experience in the following areas are always needed.  Please stop by and lend a hand. 
Diesel Mechanics 
Project Managers 
Computer Technology 

Dues are annual (1 year) 
SENIOR (55 OR OLDER).$30.00 
PLATINUM LEVEL............$500.00 

Proud Sponsors of The Midwest Railway Preservation Society

Marker Lights Newsletter 
Editor and chief writer: Ken Yandek 
Send comments and feedback to: 


Steve Emling, President
Alex Ciparis, Vice-president
Steve Korpos, Jr., Executive Director
Richard Kulik, Treasurer
Karen Bates, Recording Secretary
Charlie Sedgley
Greg Antz
Mark Billey
Tom Hunt
Mitch Karibinus
Ken McCown
Dale Pietrasz
Petar Stojsavljevic
Ken Yandek
Bud Ramkey



Open House Dates
Speeder Day
May 11th
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cleveland Historical Days with Canalway Partners
June 29th & 30th
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Ride with Santa
November 30th
1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
December 1st
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
December 7th
4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
December 8th
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Midwest Railway Preservation Society.
Historic B&O Roundhouse
2800 W. 3 rd  Street
Cleveland, OH 44113 
Get guided tours of the site 
Learn how railroads helped make Cleveland an industrial giant 
Climb on board an original, elegant “parlor coach” from the 1920's 
Hear the history of the famous “4070” steam locomotive 
Share in our vision to save the Roundhouse 
Visit our gift shop 
Donation for Admission:  $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under 
Free admission to all members in good standing 
All proceeds to be used for Roundhouse restoration efforts 
Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes as the site is still in rough condition.  
Children must be under the supervision of an adult at ALL times.  Visitors with disabilities are  
Welcome but should know that the site and equipment are NOT ADA-accessible. 
For more information, call (216) 781-3629  

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MARKER LIGHTS is the official publication of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society (MRPS), an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and holder of a 501 © designation of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, contributions to MRPS are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the code. The principle location is the Roundhouse restoration facility at 2800 West 3rd Street, Cleveland, Ohio. The business address is also 2800 West 3rd Street Cleveland, Ohio.
Midwest Railway Preservation Society's mission is to collect, preserve, restore, display, and operate railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public. Members must be 18 years or older.
Copyright © 2019 Midwest Railway Preservation Society, All rights reserved.

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