Nick Folger


Nick was born on January 11, 1947 in Bisbee, Arizona to Frances and Dick Folger. He grew up in Dayton,Ohio and graduated from Belmont High School and Wright State University. He was a photographer in the U S Army stationed in the Republic of Korea during the War in Vietnam. After being discharged he continued his career at WHIO-TV in Dayton. Later Nick worked for Wetsel Seed as a wholesale Sale representative for nurseries and greenhouses throughout Southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. He was a member of The Sports Car Club of America and other local car clubs He was active with The National Model Railroad Association, Mid-Continent Region, Division 3 "The Miami Valley Division". One of his favorite pastimes was building and operating model railroad layouts. He was the Chairman of The Dayton Train Show for five years. He is survived by his wife Shirley, his daughter Bimini, granddaughter Ilse and sister Karen Cundiff. He will be remembered by countless friends and Model Railroaders.

Local Cartoon

Nick Folger Said this cartoon was inspired by the recent area wide power failures. "I was without power for 9 days (& nights) which gave me a lot of time in the evening to Thinnnnnnnk. "






Division 7 Superintendent Randy Kerka presents the Mid-Central Region NMRA 2012 Russ Wenderfer Award to Division 3's Nick Folger. This award is sponsored by Division 7 and is given to an MCR member who has distinguished himself or herself in volunteer service to promote the National Model Railroad Association, Division activities and the hobby of modeling railroading. Congratulations to Nick and thanks for all the good work!
May 20, 2012.



Nomination for the Russ Wenderfer Award

On behalf of Division 3, I would like to nominate Nick Folger for the Russ Wenderfer Award for 2011.  Nick has been an NMRA and Division 3 member since June 2003.  Since that time Nick has worked diligently to promote the NMRA and our division’s activities.  Justification for this nomination rests in the fact that Nick has promoted the NMRA by 1) being the chairman of the Dayton Train Show (Ohio’s largest train show each year) for the last 3 years;  2) managing the Operations portion for the MCR Regional convention in  May 2013;  3) actively participating on the committee which maintains, displays, and runs the Division 3 operating switching layout to local train shows and events;  4) promoting favorable relations with the local Boy Scout troops by facilitating the earning of the Model Rail Roading Merit Badge to at least 70 scouts per year;  5) and by operating and being a member of various work groups in the local Dayton area.


Dayton Train Show:  For the last 3 years, Nick has managed the largest train show in Ohio each November. His leadership has directed dozens of division volunteers to advertise in at least 6 national train magazines, create a 7000 name mailing list, garner 100 vendors involving over 400 tables, setting up over 25 running layouts in all gauges covering over 25,000 square feet, teaching the model rr merit badge to 70 boy scouts, publicizing in dozens of local and nation websites and over 40 paper periodicals, being interviewed on local television stations, and visiting almost every local train show throughout the year passing out flyers and interviewing prospecting vendors and participants.  His philosophy is to make our train show vital to everyone:  the hobbyist and novice, creating a kid-friendly, family-oriented model train event.  He organizes clinics, makes historical societies available, obtains train rides for children, and raffles off 4 Thomas the Tank Engine train sets to children only.  In addition, he arranges to partner with “A Kid Again” which allows free entry to children with life threatening illnesses and their families.  As a result, his efforts have brought every facet of model railroading to 5000 people annually who attend this show.  The Dayton area looks forward to this annual event of hobby promotion, instruction, hands-on learning, and over-all great entertainment. 


May 2013 MCR Regional Convention: Nick is using the same managerial and organizational skills to set up and direct the operations activities for the upcoming MCR Regional convention in May 2013 in the Dayton area.  In this vital committee position, he is responsible for the operating practices and procedures involved in the dozen or so layouts to be used in the convention.  This obviously involves sound knowledge in all aspects of layout operations, he posseses  the organizational skills to make it happen.


Division Operating Switching Layout:  Division 3 has just inherited a large 24X12 operating switching layout.  Nick has been vitally involved in the planning, maintenance, decision making, operation, and display of this layout.  He has volunteered countless hours for maintenance and repairs for the division to be able to show/run this display to the public at events in February and March.  To have a large division operating layout gives immense credibility to the division’s mission of educating the public on railroading, and Nick has played a large part in making this vision a reality in just 2 months.  Judging by the smiles on the public’s faces when they are given the controls is a testament to the success of this layout and Nick’s contribution to make it happen.


Facilitates Model Rail Roading Merit Badge and other activities for youth:  Nick recognizes that the future of model railroading lies in the hands of our youth.  Every program he works is managed with this concept in mind.  He goes out of his way to facilitate the instruction of the boy scout merit badge to 70 scouts annually and has continued the division tradition  over the last dozen or so years by awarding approx 700 merit badges in Model Rail Roading.  The intention is to eventually get the scouts to join the division and further the hobby.  He has operated the division layout and instructed dozens of scouts at the recent Dayton area Railoree and personally mentors one high school student in the division in all aspects of model railroading.


Member of Division Work Groups:  Nick further promotes the hobby by assisting other division members with work on their layout.  He is always eager to lend a helping hand in areas where he possesses experience, and he always enjoys the opportunity to learn new techniques for himself.


The list goes on….  But in short, Nick is a vital member of the Division 3 team who promotes the model railroad hobby to the division and the entire Dayton area by attending virtually every local train show to publicize our show, by educating the public in the forums of boy scouts, local rail fests and shows, clinics, division layout demonstrations, and work groups.  Now retired from the sales business, he uses his tremendous people skills and warm personality to our advantage and readily wins over the most die-hard hobbyist and the novice family member.  Nick eats, drinks, and breathes model railroading.  This love of trains, combined with his love of people and tremendous sense of community, make him an ideal candidate for this award.  He is definitely deserving and I wholehearted recommend his approval. 


Wil Davis

Superintendent, Division 3, MCR, NMRA

He was a You Tube star:
In 2013 Ohio Railroader TV interviewed Nick about the Dayton Train Show.
Here are the links to that interview:
2013 interview part 1
2013 interview part 2


Cumberland Southern


Nick was a member of the operating/maintenance crew for the Cumberland Southern. On Monday, August 10, 2015 during the operating session a special funeral train was routed over the main. All other trains came to a halt until the special arrived at the church. After a brief stay the special returned to the yard, again all traffic was halted. Nick was well thought of by the crew of the Cumberland Southern. Steve Hood was the inspiration behind this. Thank you Steve.


Nick at Church Funeral train at the church

On August 10, 2015 Steve Hood hosted an operating session of his basement-size layout of the Cumberland Southern Railroad.  In addition to the regular schedule, the 11 participants also operated an employee special funeral extra from Smithville Station to the church in Mulberry Grove and return.  This was a tribute to Nick Folger, a long time Cumberland Southern operator and one of the builders of the current layout, who passed away on August 4.  This train consisted of a passenger service (steam generator / roof top mounted air tanks) high short hood EMD BL2 (Nick was a big fan of BL2’s) and 2 coaches. All operation of other trains was suspended while this special funeral train operated, so its progress would not be impeded in any way, and so everyone could watch it.  This was without question the most photographed train that has ever operated over the Cumberland Southern System. 


Captions for photos:


Nick Folger, as we will remember him, joined the NMRA and Division 3 in 2003.  He quickly became a vital member of our division.  He became the Director of the division’s annual train show in 2008 and made significant improvements to one of the Midwest’s biggest and best train shows.  He also directed the operations portion of the NMRA’s regional convention, hosted by Division 3, in May, 2013.  Nick was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the hobby of Model Railroading by being presented with the Russ Wenderfer Award in 2011.


Nick at Hara

Nick supervising the train show table setup at Hara Arena with Ron Sturgis.

Nick interviewed


Nick being interviewed for TV at the train show.  He managed the train show despite a recent back surgery and back brace.


Nick with kid again

Nick poses with a member of A Kid Again.  Under his leadership, Division 3 partnered with all families of A Kid Again, to provide a free event for the families to enjoy.


Nick with Thomas the tank

Nick was never far from trains.  Here he poses with a Thomas the Tank Engine mockup at the train show.


Nick was a builder and operator on Steve Hood’s Cumberland Southern Railroad every Monday evening.  As a tribute to Nick, Steve added a special funeral train which ran the entire length of this massive layout, with its destination a small chapel and cemetery located on the layout.  Nick’s funeral train as it wends its way along the layout through the Cumberland scenery. 


Nicks funeral train at church

The chapel and cemetery location which was the destination of the funeral train.  After a 20 minute stay at the chapel, the funeral train reversed its run and headed back to its beginning location. 

funeral train

11 members of the operating group pause to pay tribute to Nick Folger during a 20 minute break

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