Aiken Mini-Meet September 23-24

The Central Savannah River Division is hosting the 2016 SER Mini-Meet at USC Aiken September 23-24, 2016. and will include clinics, operating sessions, and layout tours.

Operating Sessions
There will be two sessions on Friday:
  • I will have my Burnt Hills and Big Flats available from 1PM to 4PM.  We will have an operating session from 2PM to 4PM. Address is 356 Ashley Court, Graniteville.  IMPORTANT - you must enter the neighborhood from "Connector Road".  Some GPS's will route you in from the south from US Route 1, but this route has a big barricade across it between the two neighborhoods.
  • The second session will be on Don Barnes' 36 foot by 78 foot Baltimore and Ohio "Old Main Line" layout.  After dinner at Mi Rancho, Don's house will be available for the usual Friday night party, and we will also have an operating session on the layout from 8PM to 10PM.  It is 17 miles (about 1/2 hour drive) from Mi Rancho / Quality Inn to Don's.

Friday Night Dinner
We have a nice sized meeting room reserved at the Mi Rancho which is directly across the street from the Quality Inn.  Reservations are for 5PM to 7PM.  Address is 3607 Richland Ave W. Aiken SC.

Board Meeting

We will meet again at USC Aiken, which is a mile and a half from the hotel.  We will arrange for coffee service.  The room will open at 8AM, and the board meeting will start at 8:30AM.

We will run clinics in parallel with the board meeting, and also through the afternoon. We have lined up a good clinic schedule for which includes several hands-on clinics and practical applications.  Topics include hand-laying turnouts, backdrop painting, electronics, operations, benchwork for a helix, and historical research.  You have the opportunity to visit two layouts featured in Kalmbach's "Great Model Railroads".  Peter Youngblood will not only show you how to weather a car, but walk your through weathering your own car.   The Region board meeting will be held Saturday morning.  Doors open at 8AM at USC AIken.

For Peter's clinic - Materials will be provided, but attendees would have to bring their own piece of rolling stock (any scale)given a light spray coat of Dullcote or any other plastic friendly matte finish prior to the clinic.  He can also supply undecorated HO scale 50 ft. box car shells if needed.  

Tom Gordon will show applications of the "Arduino" circuit board.  This is an interesting open source electronics platform which can be used for signals, grade crossings, and many lighting effects, and is programmable.

Railroad Features in Aiken

Marcy Riley will be accumulating a description of non-rail activities.  For a quick overview of Aiken sites, see

We recommend the Quality Inn and Suites in Aiken SC. The website is
The website says the rate is $80 per night for Friday and Saturday night.  We do have 20 assorted rooms set aside for the two days.  Attendees must book the room by 8/24/16 to get the "special rate" of $75.00 per night.  You should be able to ask for the NMRA rate, but if any difficulty, the point of contact at the hotel is "Nash" and Robin Riley set up the rate.  Other discounts may be cheaper than the rate we received.  This is the same hotel most of you stayed at last time, and I heard of no complaints.  

However, if you really want to go first class, consider The Willcox in town -


The CSR Division will hold its annual business meeting, including election of officers, during the mini meet.


Admission is Free and open to the public. For additional information please contact Steve Prevette at

I hope to see you in Aiken this fall!

Steve Prevette, CSR Division Superintendent, SER Registrar, 803-392-7684