Spring is in the air and it seems it is time for “construction”. Out in the real world things have been slowed down somewhat by the rather lengthy winter that has hung on for what seems an eternity. However, this has not dampened FUNTRAK’s progress in the construction business.
Club members John Fleming and Brian King recently visited Matthew to assist him in the construction of his home layout. Discussions at the work session lead to another building decision and the three agreed to meet at Brian’s to help John assemble his new mountain “back track” modules. This pair of modules work together to bring the mountain line to the back of the module and back to the front when connected to each other. Future modules may be designed to utilize the rear location of the mountain line to allow more scenery toward the front of the module.
It is now getting very close to the club’s annual “Valley Rail Sights” show but, hopefully, John will have these modules ready in time to display them at the show. This years show is scheduled for April 18 and April 19. Preparations are already underway and progressing nicely. One of the items that was not ready for last years show was the reversing loop module and the one-trak tee. After much work both domestically and abroad, these modules should be set up and operating properly at this years show. Some minor details are still in the works, but these should not affect the workability of the modules. As has been noted before, the simplest of projects often turn out to be much more involved than at first thought.
Such was the case with the reversing loop module. With lots of perseverance and more perspiration, Mark and Brian working closely together finally got the module to operate as designed. What takes much of the time is the lag in communications from Australia to America. However, Mark and Brian overcame this drawback and made the reversing loop do what it was made to do, allow the train to enter in one direction and exit in the opposite direction with minimum operator involvement. The next step involves disconnecting the local throttle automatically so as to avoid conflicts with the main line throttle. That is another matter entirely and currently will not affect the proper operation of the reverse loop as currently configured. When this is completed there are new ideas being bandied about and designed to keep FUNTRAK on the cutting edge of technology and operations. Watch for the new items at the shows and check back here.