• NRHS Dues increase

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: Miketherailfan, rob216

  by mxdata
 
Well that certainly explains all the sightings of suspicious looking individuals in and around Newton, New Jersey, doesn't it?

  by gp80mac
 
What I never understand is what is supposed to be the focus of the NRHS?

Is it:

1. Railroad history (which I thought)

2. photography and photo specials - i.e. creating made up scenes that never existed in real life and look unbelievably staged

3. Steam railroading only (no diseasels allowed)

4. model trains
__________________________-

Going from the coverage off their site, I see mainly number 2, with some 3 thrown in. although there was a small shred of 1.

As far as the publications - I enjoyed the Conrail one, but the last one (about some RR in the west - I forget which) did not hold my interest enough for more than a passing glance. I wish their publications focused on more national issues - let the chapters focus on more regional topics.

Of course their focus on steam will be the death toll for them. I am 23. Steam is only something that exists on tourist roads - it is as much of a novelty as the cotton candy stand. I'm sorry - but I never got to see mainline steam charging with a heavy freight train. (now there'd be something to recreate) I have more interest in the SD60I I just spent 10 hours in last night. And people my age, slightly older, and younger are all in the same boat as I am in.

  by chuchubob
 
gp80mac wrote:What I never understand is what is supposed to be the focus of the NRHS?

Is it:

1. Railroad history (which I thought)

2. photography and photo specials - i.e. creating made up scenes that never existed in real life and look unbelievably staged

3. Steam railroading only (no diseasels allowed)

4. model trains
__________________________-

Going from the coverage off their site, I see mainly number 2, with some 3 thrown in. although there was a small shred of 1.
"The primary purpose of the Society is to preserve historical material and information pertaining to railroad transportation, to issue publications relating to the subject, and to encourage the use of rail transportation."

  by mxdata
 
gp80mac, I hear almost exactly the same comments from many people I know who currently work in the railroad industry and volunteer at museums. They have observed that the NRHS usually takes very little interest in diesels except when there isn't a steam locomotive available to pull their excursions.

There are exceptions to this among the local chapters, particularly those that have equipment collections that include diesels. But a lot of those chapters are successful due to their own efforts and frankly do not need to be part of the NRHS to survive.

Notice that on this year's convention coverage (so far) they mention the builder, year built, and history of the steam locomotive, but not a word on the history of any of the diesels. A diesel locomotive is a wonderful and fascinating teaching tool if you want to make use of it, but I have seldom seen the NRHS do anything interpretive or instructive with diesels at their conventions.

I am still an at-large member, as there are no chapters really near. I am getting tired of some of the chapters that I could reach with a few hours drive. They often delay until a day or two before their monthly meetings to post their programs (if they announce them at all), which makes it almost impossible for people who would have to travel to plan anything in advance. I can't believe they work on that short a lead time that they do not know the program a couple weeks in advance. A very frustrating organization to deal with.

  by RAS
 
In looking through the descriptions of the Friday seminars from conventions that are described on the NRHS website, the majority appear to fall into one of these categories:

1. Photography (their own or someone else's)
2. The presenters experience with steam locomotives
3. History of a particular railroad
4. History of railroads in a particular area

In all the convention descriptions since 1999, I saw no mention at all of any presentations dealing with the history, building, rebuilding, or operation of diesel locomotives, either as a general topic or relating to a specific make and model of locomotive.

  by chuchubob
 
There is interest in diesels in the NRHS. There is also interest in towers, stations, trolleys, abandoned railroad ROW's, electric motors, and much else. The West Jersey Chapter had a program presented by an EMD employee who accompanied new diesels to the owners and rode the first freight trains to make sure they worked. It was a fascinating presentation and well appreciated.
The West Jersey Chapter had a program presented by Bennett Levin on the rebuilding of PRR 5711. At the conclusion, he stated that he had another tray of slides on the rebuilding of PRR 5809. Nearly everybody stayed to see it, even though it was already the usual break-up time.

From the Thursday TAG trip, photographed from the train: NS MP15DC 2379 working the yard in Chattanooga. 2379 was built as SOU 2379 in October 1979.

At Kensington, GA, Chattooga & Chickamauga CF7 103 was used to pull the TVRM Budd Cars and coach around the GP7. CF7 103 was built in June 1976 as Santa Fe F9A 284L.

  by BobH
 
[quote="mxdata"]According to the convention summary the dues increase was approved.

MX[/quote]

NRHS uses a weighted voting system, based in part by chapter size, with the at large directors also getting votes.

While no one ever likes a dues increase, the vote was 3 to 1 to increase the dues.

The additional money will go to cover increases in costs due to inflation and to fund some new services. As a rule NRHS conventions are self supporting and not intended to be money makers; note that NRHS dues are not intended to fund grants or the conventions.

The next issue of the Bulletin is scheduled to go in the mail next week (i.e. the first week of Sept.) with more issues in the pipe line. Four regular issues of the Bulletin (with historic articles) are issued each fiscal year along with a yearbook giving a summary of chapter and National activities.

Members now receive 6 copies a year of a newsletter (NRHS News) and this publication contains information about society and chapter activities.

BobH

  by Otto Vondrak
 
I've been hearing a lot of stack talk about the recent dues increase. Some Chapters have threatened to pull out of the NRHS because of it. Good riddance. Those people obviously do not care about the future of the Society, and wish to commit their Chapter to oblivion. I can think of more than one group that withdrew from the NRHS to "go it alone" only to be completely forgotten about and made irrelevant. I've seen the data, and the dues increase is needed. The new president and staff are trying to right the ship, and I am certainly going to give them a fair shake.

As for not enough coverage of diesels, or trolleys, or whatever... the group is what you make of it. Don't see enough of your favorite subject at the national convention? Why not offer to do a clinic yourself? Or perhaps locating an authority willing to give a clinic? Sometimes you need to get the ball rolling yourself... step up and offer to help.

As for the publications, I said it once, I'll say it again. A newsletter published by the NRHS should cover NRHS topics... not try to supplement or replace a railfan magazine. A generation ago, the individual Chapters used to be very active publishing books on local subjects... that seems to have fallen to the wayside. The NRHS is the national organization that ties us all together and makes our Chapters possible through mutual support. The NRHS should not be responsible for producing a quality magazine that entertains with railfan content. Send me a magazine that tells me about Chapter activities around the country- be it someone's slide show, restoration of a caboose, or a gathering of old employees. Why do we only read about Chapter activities in the Annual?

My two cents.

-otto-

  by gp80mac
 
I have to respectfully disagree about the "join & fix it yourself" argument Otto brings to the table. Of course that is ideal - but the trick is to get people to come to begin with. How many people honestly join an organization with the only intent of changing it??? Usually not unless they have an ulterior motive. Yes, change may come form within.... but this is an organization that wants to attract new people. In that case - offer something that the new people may find interesting.

This is where the national group can offer help to the local groups.

  by mxdata
 
I hear the latest issue with NRHS is the national headquarters, that they are having to look for a new location.

  by BobH
 
[quote="mxdata"]I hear the latest issue with NRHS is the national headquarters, that they are having to look for a new location.[/quote]

This isn't necessarily bad news -- anyone who has visited the NRHS library and office knows that it's stuffed to the gills with material and the present location has several limitations, such as parking and the lack of a loading dock.

The current lease has several one year options remaining, so there's plenty of time to find a *better* location.

The building that houses the office and library was an old hotel that is going to be converted to condo apartments.

Bob H

  by mxdata
 
Since the lack of volunteers has been frequently cited as a problem, perhaps the relocation of the headquarters will provide an opportunity to select a location that is easily accessible to members, and where they could find lodging locally that is not incredibly expensive so they could stick around for a while. For example, some organizations now provide plug-ins for motorhomes in recognition that their membership has a lot of retired people who travel that way.

Regarding the "Join and work to fix it" argument (alternately: Why don't you volunteer?): I have tried this too. Sorry, but after a busy work day managing a bunch of projects, sitting around all evening stuffing envelopes with meeting notices that are 99% stale news items, printed too late to get to the members in time for the meeting, and with the program announcement buried 15 pages back, is just not a worthwhile use of my time. Organizations that yell for help and then use the people to send out large amounts of trash by mail frankly do not deserve to have volunteer help.

  by chuchubob
 
Per an email sent to Chapters by Greg Molloy Oct 2, six Bulletins are currently being worked on and are expected to be mailed to members before the end of this year.

Bob

  by BobH
 
[quote="mxdata"]

Regarding the "Join and work to fix it" argument (alternately: Why don't you volunteer?): I have tried this too. Sorry, but after a busy work day managing a bunch of projects, sitting around all evening stuffing envelopes with meeting notices that are 99% stale news items, printed too late to get to the members in time for the meeting, and with the program announcement buried 15 pages back, is just not a worthwhile use of my time. Organizations that yell for help and then use the people to send out large amounts of trash by mail frankly do not deserve to have volunteer help.[/quote]

Have you looked at the NRHS website (NRHS.com)? -- it has a help wanted section and the National society is looking for volunteers who are capable of doing more than *just* stuff envelopes.

What's great about the present office location is you can get there by Amtrak via the NE corridor, or Harrisburg line, NJ Transit, SEPTA or even fly into the Philadelphia airport and get downtown within one block of the office by using SEPTA's R1 and coming out of Suburban Station at the right exit.

Bob H

  by mxdata
 
Which is great for folks in the NY to Washington metro area, that is probably about 2% of the membership. For me that's almost a thousand mile trip that requires expensive hotel accomodations in the middle of a big city. Hopefully when they relocate they will find a location out in the country where less expensive lodging is available.

I went to several chapter meetings this month. At some of them the business meeting was significantly longer than the program. This organization really needs to do a house cleaning or they are going to be history themselves, dues increase or not.