No. 32: Marion RPM, Part 2

My last post on the great Marion RPM Meet was all about the location, the railfan action, and the AC Tower exhibit. This time I want to post some random musings on the models, the modelers, and the Marion Union Station Museum itself.


Above.  A beautiful display of HO scale Wellsville, Addison and Galeton (WAG) rolling stock was displayed by Ohio modeler Mike Schleigh.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I attended CORPM (Central Ohio RPM) in 2011 and 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Denis Blake hosts a neat event with slide shows, clinics, as many model tables as he can cram into the depot, a free cookout, and lots more. When I visited about 70-75 modelers and railfans attended and they brought about 700 models to each event. Of course the railfanning there is incredible and the continuous passage of freight trains 40 feet away from the model tables adds a cool factor that can’t be beat.


Above.  James Evans of Worthington, Ohio displayed many beautiful D&RGW models in the shadow of a retired CTC machine.  CTC equipment is everywhere inside the depot.  See the photos below.








In this case, below, a modeler has used one of the CTC machines as his display table.  How cool is that!


Good modelers were out every time I attended.  Below, at the right, is Brian Everett.


Below, the great Bob Harpe, center, from Savannah, Georgia, schools Brian Everett on how to finish models.




This outstanding scratchbuilt Atlantic Coast Line branchline caboose, seen above, is the work of host Denis Blake.  It’s a shocking model, really, since Denis hates the ACL.


Mont Switzer was there one year, and he brought along some Monon and other equipment, including a lot of trucks and vehicles, and this 50’s-era military hospital car.  I brought the car below; I had just finished an article on it in the SCL Modeler magazine.  It’s an SAL G-7 gon, built from a Sunshien kit.


The models below were on sale by Chad Boas from Lafayette, Indiana.  Chad sells these and other cars, and resin parts.  He does low-volume sales from his home but does excellent work.


Also included on the depot ground is the Marion Model Railroad Club, which has a large, permanent layout constructed in the depot’s former baggage building by the legendary Joe Slanser. Joe’s basement-filling HO scale Erie layout was featured in the November 1978 Model Railroader. I had just entered high school in 1978 and I loved that article.  Joe was one of the founding members of the Marion Club, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010. Joe worked for the Erie and was the key figure involved in restoring the depot and building the layout–spending much of his personal wealth and time doing it.

Some views of the layout are below.  Like I said, it’s old-school–with mountains, roundhouses, a narrow-gauge line, big stationary control panels, and everything a good 1970s-era model railroad was supposed to have.








Another great thing about Marion is The Shovel. The Shovel is the local diner next to the depot–so named for the Marion Shovels that were built in town for decades.  The inside is full of photos of the people and the equipment that made Marion, Ohio famous.  You can see AC Tower in the background; the NS main track is just to the right.  The Shovel is a lot of fun and they have cold beer and great fried cod.  I ate there four or five times on each visit.  There is nowhere else to go.


If you get a chance to get to CORPM at Marion, Ohio–go! You won’t regret it. The next meet is 27-29 April, 2017.  You can find out more information on Facebook at

– John

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