Operator’s Desk

On Tuesday May 12, Funtrak made the journey to operate Bernie Messenger’s HO layout. Brian, John, Matthew, Greg and Rick made the trip to Sauquiot. John operated the yard and Brian ran some locals, while Matthew, Greg and Rick ran main line trains. Operations provide a challenge whether you are new to operating or a seasoned veteran. The key to good operations are smooth running track and equiptment, a good routing system and a visually stimulating layout, all of which Bernie provided. The layout spanned Buffalo to Albany, or Boston following a freelanced route across New York State. Car cards featuring eight locations on laminated card stock and marked with wet erase markers made picking up and delivering commodities easy. Also, a unique feature on the layout was the construction of the staging yards. Eight track yards on drawer sliders made entering and leaving the yards easy without extended switches or yard ladders. Check out some photos of our session below.


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From the Desk: April 2016

he Easter bunny came early this year so Easter is now over. While the holiday has come and gone, FUNTRAK’s construction phase carries on. As mention on
page one, two projects for the n scale t-trak portion of
FUNTRAK’s modular railroad
systems are in the works, John’s
triple mine module and the
mountain tunnel double. These
two projects have lead to much
discussion within the FUNTRAK
ranks about some new concepts.
In Australia, Mark Bean is
actively working on implementing
some of these newer ideas in his
module construction plans.
FUNTRAK would need to build some
new mountain modules to
accommodate these fresh ideas,
but that is a very good
possibility for the future.
FUNTRAK has notably been in the
forefront of incorporating new
ideas into the t-trak concept.
Some of the ideas proposed
include developing an interface
that goes under the mountain
line to the inside of the layout
from the yellow line and
eventually works its way up to
the mountain line via a two
percent incline. All this is
being designed to be inside the
traditional loop. One of the
drawbacks is that the mountain
corners would need to be
separate so modules could be
inserted between them to make
room for the track work inside
the layout. This might mean
using banquet tables side by
side as well as lengthwise, but
this still only makes a layout
five feet wide. The advantage to
this is that this would provide
a means of servicing industries
in the mountain region of the
layout and provide more reasons
for operations on the layout.

Mine Your Own Business

Construction season continues for FUNTRAK as the above photograph indicates. This is John Fleming’s latest
endeavor and is something new for FUNTRAK, a triple! As is quite obvious, this is in the very early stages of building
but the layout and planning provide some idea of the scope and size of the eventual finished project. More pictures of the
beginnings of this module are inside so its progress can be observed. This module has additional bracing due to its longer
length. This was necessary to prevent sagging in the middle of the module and to provide a more stable and robust
framework. More FUNTRAK modules are also under construction. A new mountain module with a tunnel at the front is
underway. Pictures of the progress of this module are also inside. This module is unique in that the front is hinged to allow
access to the main tracks inside the tunnel if necessary. The tunnel construction idea allows for more scenery to be placed
on top of the module providing more depth of field..Meanwhile, our southern counterpart in Australia, Mark Bean, is
merrily designing and building a set of mountain modules for t-trak in Australia. Mark and Brian have been conversing
regularly and developing some new ideas to try with the t-trak mountain modules. These have not caught on as much as
the regular modules yet, but time will tell how this goes. Discussion on some of the Internet forums has been in the direction
of a second level of modules but no mention of the mountain line has come up. This may provide an alternative to trying
to figure a way to put up a second level independent of the modules on a lower level. Mark and Brian are also looking into
the possibility of having the mountain and main lines interconnect via an interface junction that would allow the trains to
go from the main line to the mountain line utilizing a gradient inside the layout. All this is in the very early planning and
research stages but standby for more in the near future.

Mark Your Calendar

Upcoming events include the annual PicNik on the first Sunday in August.

This year, the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society is sponsoring a Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad Railfan Day 2015 on Saturday, August 1, 2015. This will be an all day affair with many different activities scheduled including train rides. Many of the scheduled events are free to the public. The action is set to begin at 9:00am and run until 10:00pm. If you are interested in attending this event and would like to make it an excursion from Brian’s house, let him know and we can see if we can make this a convoy from Brian’s house.

In support of the 2015 PicNik, the July club meeting will be on Saturday, July 18 at Brian’s house in Cooperstown from 11:00am until ? Everyone is welcome! Come on down and see what it takes to get ready for this great PicNik! Looking
forward to seeing you.


From the desk: June 2015

Now that the unofficial summer has arrived, has begun doing some outdoor activities.

First up is the June meeting tentatively scheduled for Dave’s Diner on the ninth. usually does this venue a couple times each year. June will be the first one this year with possibly
more in the future. This is a fun time in conjunction with Dave’s Cruise In where all kinds of cars are on display. There is always a large crowd of happy people who are pleased to see the little trains running at such an unconventional outlet. members have a great time conversing with the attendees at these events and usually manages to attract some new interests in the model railroad hobby.

Last month provided a unique opportunity for when we were asked to come to
the New York Central System Historical Society’s annual convention and bring a small layout representative of the New York Central System railroad. was glad to oblige and set up a small layout with Jim Domser’s Rome Station out front and center of the layout. This was well received by the public and comments were all positive about how well the station reflected our area. Of course, Lorenzo’s tornado was also the usual crowd pleaser!

Even being at the back of the layout, people went out of their way to observe this unusual module and appreciate Lorenzo’s creativity in designing and constructing this amazing module. now has a large contingent of different modules ranging from Lorenzo’s tornado to the newer helicopter loop, eyeglasses
module set, and the still in the works interface tee supported by the Wilson modules, Flip and Flop. These three modules will be automated to allow the red line to be continuous and provide provision for the red line to be operated with DCC if so desired without conflicting with the conventional powered yellow line.

Innovation continues with at the forefront of new ideas.

Looking forward to a great summer!

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