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The Train Station

320 West High Street

Bellefonte, PA 16823


September 9, 2019

Members present: Dan Durachko, Ken Dishman, Steve Dillon, Tom Milton, Andrew Cobaugh, Andrew Richards, Gene Tucker and Chris Stutzman (new member).

Call to Order: President Dan Durachko called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the train station.

Minutes for the August 5th meeting: Approval of these minutes was postponed until the October meeting, since the Secretary was absent.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Andrew Richards presented a report covering three months. He reported that the Society’s opening balance during the period was $75,189.41, which includes $4,391.97 in the caboose fund (unchanged). The closing balance for the period (including the caboose fund) was $78,244.03. Revenues received during the period totaled $3,767.17 (received from the Amazon Smile Foundation, ticket sales from speeder rides, and membership dues and donations), while expenses totaled $1,039.55 (for station rent, Oil House electricity, and payment to cover treatment for an injury that occurred during the Strawberry Festival in June). The Treasurer’s Report was approved on a motion made by Tom Milton, which was seconded by Andrew Cobaugh.

Action items: The Treasurer presented two action items for consideration:

1. Advertising in the Visitor’s Guide: He presented the possibility of taking out a 1/8 page, full-color ad in the Visitor’s Guide. The cost seems to have gone up from previous years, he said, and is now $630.00. It was the decision by those present that the potential benefits vs. the cost to the Society from placement of an ad didn’t merit placing one.

2. Donation to the Lemont Village Association (LVA): Revenues from the Strawberry Festival in June totaled $1,000.00. A motion was made by Andrew Richards, which was seconded by Tom Milton, to send the LVA a donation of $200.00. Motion approved by all.


Webmaster: Andrew Cobaugh reported that the Society’s website received 1,104 visits in August. He reported that 239 tickets have been sold for the Fall Festival trains in October. Of the 2,230 seats available, that represents 12% of the total number of seats available, he added.

Advertising for Fall Foliage trains: A review of past advertising practices was presented by Andrew Richards. Following his presentation, a motion was made by Andrew Richards, which was seconded by Ken Dishman, to allocate $1,500.00 for advertising for this year’s excursions. Motion approved by all.

Membership: It was noted that some membership renewal mailings had been returned to the station with incorrect or old addresses. These will be delivered to the Membership Chair, Tracey Besemer.

Liability waivers for Fall Foliage trains: Dan Durachko informed everyone that Society members (and others) who serve on the Fall Foliage trains are required to complete a liability waiver for Penns Valley prior to the Fall Foliage events. Waivers are good “forever”, he added. He distributed the waiver forms to those present, and said that he would send forms out via email to the membership.

Lemont track: Gene Tucker said that he is planning on having two work days on the Lemont trackage this fall: Saturday, October 12th and Saturday, November 16th. The goal for each day is to insert ten (10) ties in the track. He said he would send out a notice via email to the membership.

Old Business:

Rules class: Steve Dillon said that he had not heard back from the North Shore RR about fall rules classes, but that he expects there will be classes sometime in October.

RDC @ RMI: Andrew Cobaugh said that he’d had no response to his phone calls and emails from RMI about inspecting the RDC.

New Business:

Guard rails next to the siding: The need for the recently-installed guard rails to be moved so as to allow the RDC to negotiate the curve in the siding across from the station was discussed. The Bellefonte Borough has been contacted about this.

Station fencing: A question was raised about the new fence near the station, particularly with regard to the Fall Foliage trains. Some panels remain to be installed, and it’s uncertain whether or not they will be installed by the time of the Fall Foliage trains. It may be necessary to temporarily remove some of the fencing panels if they interfere with boarding passengers.

Safety during Society operations: Some concerns were raised about safety, stemming from our operations during the Strawberry Festival in June. A general discussion by those present took place, covering such topics as: The need for a safety meeting prior to every Society event or work day; the need for a Safety Handbook for speeders/trailer cars/handcars and other non-RDC operations; the need to obtain commitments from Society members in advance of events so as to ensure enough personnel will be present to fully staff events; safety inspections of equipment (both personally-owned and Society-owned) prior to operations; and adult supervision of persons who are under the age of 18 when they are involved in Society events. Gene Tucker volunteered to begin the process of drafting a Safety Handbook for non-RDC operations and workdays. He will circulate his draft for comments, corrections and additions.

Mt. Nittany Road crossing: The condition of the Mt. Nittany Road crossing was discussed. Gene Tucker said that it will need attention prior to the operation of any RDC or passenger operations.

Donation of motorcar wheels and axle: Gene Tucker said that he would like to donate some 16 inch motorcar wheels and an axle to the Society. This donation was accepted.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gene R. Tucker