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December 2019

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Preparations are well underway for Santa's yearly visit to the Historic B&O Roundhouse. This year our annual Christmas open houses will take place over two weekends and for the first time ever, include evening hours. Midwest's volunteer elves are busily preparing by stringing lights along the outdoor walkways and decorating inside and out.

Dates and times for the open houses are Saturday November 30th, from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Sunday December 1st from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday December 7th from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Sunday December 8th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. 

Santa, along with one of his elves and the Grinch will be on hand to visit with kids of all ages and there should be great opportunities for photos. Everyone will be treated to a short ride through the yard on our vintage Pullman car, Mt. Baxter. 

We are looking forward to a great turnout so pass the word to family and friends and help make these last events of 2019 a big success. And, if anyone is available to help out during any of the open houses come on down and lend a hand. Help is always welcome and needed for the registration desk, gift shop, tour guides, parking assistance and to keep everyone safe during their visit, especially this year with the extended evening hours.
Some of Midwest's volunteer elves were spotted on a recent Saturday preparing for Santa's visit to the roundhouse. Dave Bartsch puts the finishing touches on a lighted tree (upper left) and he and Greg Antz lay out candle lights along the walkway by the turntable (upper right). Pete Stojsavljevic has the assembly of his tree well under way (center) while Greg (lower left) has captured a couple of reindeer and struggles to light them up before releasing them in the yard (lower right).
Midwest Annual Christmas Party
Save the date! MRPS' annual Christmas Party will once again be held at The Berea Depot Restaurant. A departure from our usual Saturday festivities, this year's event is scheduled for Friday December 13th starting at 5:30 pm and running until 10:00 pm. The cost will be $15.00 per person and reservations must be made in advance by emailing the organization at The gathering will be inside the restaurant this year to better accommodate those attending. Food, offered from a limited menu, is included in the cost and there will be a cash bar. Also this year we will be having a 50/50 raffle to help fund MRPS' activities.
Grant Awarded to Midwest
MRPS was recently awarded a grant from the Tom E. Dailey Foundation, Inc. for the amount of $1000. The money will be used to offset the cost overrun on the refurbishment of Nickel Plate No. 90 that was completed this year using the grant money awarded by the John H. Emery Heritage Trust. That grant, in the amount of $18,000, funded the exterior refurbishment of the car that included sand blasting and repainting, along with replacement of all four steel vestibule doors with windows and work to some of the wooden window frames. That work was highlighted in a number of recent newsletter articles and was completed last month.

Glenwillow Depot

A group of Midwest volunteers gathered at the Glenwillow Depot on Sunday November 3rd to pull up the brick pavers around the depot and palletize them for storage and installation next year at the depot's new location. The pavers had to be removed in anticipation of the imminent move of the Depot across the tracks to Pettibone Park. By the end of the afternoon, twelve pallets were loaded up for storage. Midwest volunteers laboring on this project were (top photo left to right) Steve Emling, Mitch Karibinus, Greg Antz, Eric Kapusta, Charley Sedgeley, Ken McCown and Steve Korpos (taking the photo).
Sign Up to Volunteer on Line
It has always been difficult to determine just what jobs can be scheduled for Saturday work sessions. Midwest anticipates the tasks based on day to day priorities and although the weekend activities are emailed to all members on a weekly basis, we never know in advance how many volunteers are able to attend. On some Saturdays there are too few volunteers to accomplish the bigger projects.

MRPS has now established a volunteer sign up sheet that can be accessed on line through Signup Genius. Anyone that has access to a computer or smart phone can visit the website and browse through the posted sign up sheets.

To access the website go to or it can also be accessed from the Midwest website. No personal account or registration is needed. Use the search tile in the upper right hand corner for and then select the sign up sheet that interests you and fill in the blanks. You will then get a return emailed confirmation of your choice.

We are hoping that members embrace this new platform to help us better determine the number of volunteers planning on coming in for each scheduled activity. Work groups can then be set up in advance for the tasks at hand.

Check it out and give it a try. 
Membership Dues Increasing

The Trustees of Midwest Railway Preservation Society have voted to increase the annual membership dues across the board by $10.00. Beginning January 1, 2020, the Regular dues will be $45, Senior dues will be $40 and Family membership will be $60. The increase however, will not effect memberships at the Benefactor or Platinum levels. The last increase took effect eight years ago.

"America" Update

Dining room wall panels beneath the windows are undergoing much needed repair with the work being done by member Dennis Wert. Some similar repairs will be done in the lounge as well.
Work continues in the effort to get the "America" back in shape for private rail car excursions.
All of the loose furniture has been removed from the car and placed in a storage container for future use thereby making it easier to perform repairs within the car.

Wall panels in the dining room are undergoing repair due to damage that was caused by water leakage around the windows. Dennis Wert has volunteered his services for this task and has already completed some of the repairs. Wallpaper is being re-glued along edges that were curling up, and where necessary, complete panels will be replaced. Volunteering for these tasks are Karen Bates and Colette Emerson. A portion of the wall above the door in the secretary's stateroom has started peeling and will be scraped and repainted. A chip was taken to Sherwin-Williams and they were able to match the existing color which is common throughout the car.
The leaky pipe behind the shower stall of the car attendants quarters has been found and repairs are underway. The new kitchen layout requires some rerouting of piping and wiring which is currently in the planning stages.

There is still much to do but progress is being made on a daily basis. 
Upon completion, the redesigned kitchen cabinetry of the "America" will look like the drawing above. This layout, made with the input of an experienced railway chef, will make better use of the available space. The refrigerator will be located to the left and the stove to the right. The washer-dryer combination unit is being relocated to the entryway area off of the vestibule.
The Trustees of Midwest Railway Preservation Society would like to wish all members and friends a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Happenings "aROUND the HOUSE"

123, as seen through the cab of 4070, was decorated with lights and garland for the Christmas open houses last year. This year's decorations will light the ride through the yard during the evening hours.
B&O Roundhouse Beam pens are still available by making a donation of $65 to the building fund. These pens make a great gift and all proceeds go to the restoration of stalls six through 10.
Time is running out to get your tickets for this year's third annual edition of the B&O Roundhouse guitar. Tickets are $30.00 for a chance to win the bass guitar as shown along with an amplifier and $50.00 gift card. The drawing will take place at the last Christmas open house on December 8th.
Decorations in the machine shop last year included this Christmas tree that was there to greet visitors upon check-in at the door.
Efforts are underway to locate and inventory all of the parts that were removed from 4070 with the intent of creating a master book that will list their present condition along with work needed before re-installation. All pallets of parts are being photographed so individual parts can be identified for documentation within the book. Leading this effort is Charley Sedgeley with help from Ken Yandek. Anyone interested in volunteering with any part of this process can contact the office.
This view looking down the hallway of the "America" shows how tight the space is when having to perform repairs or move furniture.

Run a Locomotive for an Hour!

The Perfect Christmas Gift for Any Railfan!

Sit at the throttle of our vintage Alco RS3 locomotive under the watchful eyes of a Midwest engineer. An experience that you will never forget! 
If you are looking for a unique experience or a one-of-a-kind gift for that special person, consider our "Run a Locomotive for an Hour" program. People travel all over the country for an opportunity to do just what we offer here at MRPS in your own back yard. The cost is just $375 but members pay a discounted rate of only $175. Interested? Contact us at 216-781-3629 or email us at

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)  $35.00 
PLATINUM LEVEL............$500.00 

Proud Partners of Midwest

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 Seceratary
Charlie Sedgley
Greg Antz
Mark Billey
Tom Hunt
Mitch Karibinus
Ken McCown
Dale Pietrasz
Petar Stojsavljevic
Ken Yandek
Bud Ramkey



Open House Dates

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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