Cape May Fur Meet

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Cape May Fur Meet

The Cape May Fur Meet is a gathering of furs on the weekend before Memorial Day in the county of Cape May, New Jersey. it is also notable for being possibly the only event that (when able) caters to railfurs.[citation needed]

The CMFM was started when LionkingCMSL offered furs rides on the Cape May Seashore Lines (CMSL) when he heard about AC2000. However, being in South Jersey, LK thought AC meant Atlantic City, and did not find out until later that it was AnthroCon and it was held in Valley Forge, PA, that year. So, to make good on his promise he started CMFM.[citation needed]
LionKing and Smrgol crewing the 2005 CMFM behind LV #576.

The thing that makes CMFM unique in the furry con/meet/fest scheme of things is that it uses a chartered train as part of the meet itself, operated by furries who happen to be CMSL employees. The initial meet charters involved the CMSL's RDC cars M-407 or M-410. As the CMSL altered its operations the meet would make use of the CMSL trainset consisting of Lehigh Valley RR painted F7 #576, a former New York Central lounge car and one of the RDC's acting as a cab car. The original crew consisted of LionKing acting as engineer and JFox conducting, but at some point Smrgol took over as conductor.

A typical meet schedule includes a train ride from Cape May Courthouse to Cape May with the stops at the Cape May County Zoo and Cold Spring, followed by a dinner and free exploration of Cape May, and a train ride back. The second day of the meet consists of the train ride to Cold Spring, a school bus ride to the resort town of Wildwood, free exploration of its boardwalk and bus and train to get back.

The CMFM started out as a free, one day event centered around riding the train, but as events and activities were added (including bustitute transportation) a fee of ~$20 was charged to all participants. Railfurs (or any mundane Railfan guests they might bring) only interested in attending the charter train may negotiate for a reduced fee.

CMFM is held on the last weekend before the official opening of the tourist season in Cape May and Wildwood, so the furries manage to beat the crowds.

[edit] History

Lion King at the controls of M-407 during the second CMFM

In 2001 chartered Budd RDC M-407 was beset by brake problems caused by improperly rated fuses in the air compressor repeatedly burning out. The train just barely managed to reach the Cape May terminus on its last spare fuse. LionKing planned to operate the train in his fursuit, but was unable due to time constraints and possibly FRA regulations.

In 2004, 73 furs attended CMFM the last time that the train was able to operate for the entirety of the route.

In 2005, the train could not go to Cape May because of renovations on the Canal Bridge, and CMFM replaced that part of the ride with a bus.[1] Uncle Kage and his parents were invited as guests.[2]

In 2006, CMFM was cancelled because the bridge was still out of commission for renovations.[3]

In 2007, CMFM had to rely completely on bus rides instead of trains at the last minute because the tracks had been washed out by storms.[4] The contingency was planned ahead because of the uncertainty of the bridge's status and the schedule was unaffected.[5]

In 2009 the train ride was again canceled because of 300 freight cars being stored storage on the main line between Cape May CH and Tuckahoe due to the Economic collapse of 2009 stranding the CMSL equipment at Tuckahoe.

In 2010, the meet was held once again with no train. The 14 attendees[6] met at the South Court House train station and carpooled to the Cape May Zoo. [7]

In 2011, the Cape May Furmeet train ride was cancelled again. Attendees met at Middle Township Elementary School in Cape May and then carpooled to the Cape May Zoo. There were three attendees this year. [8]

In 2012, no event was held because nobody showed up. The meet is still planned for 2013, although vandalism along the right-of-way may cause problems for the train ride.

In 2014 the removal of 10 miles worth of track hardware north of Cape May Courthouse has sidelined the train ride for yet another year, but the trip meet is still on for May 17th and 18th.

[edit] References

  1. CMFM 2005 meet report on the CMFM Live:ournal
  2. Cape May Furmeet -- fun in the sunburn! -   unclekage (22 May 2005)
  3. CMFM 2006 is cancelled, ... on the CMFM Livejournal
  4. Update on CMFM 2007 on the CMFM Livejournal
  5. Enquiring Minds Want to Know on the CMFM LiveJournal
  6. We Can Haz Furmeet! - Smrgol,   capemayfurmeet (29 Apr 2009)
  7. Update! on the CMFM LiveJournal
  8. Weekend Weather for the 21st and 22nd on the CMFM LiveJournal

[edit] External links

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