West Winds in Clayton

and pal, Rich Petito, team up to form the “West Winds Train Club” and showcase their joint layouts. Everyone had a great time in Clayton, New York on the Saint Lawrence River running trains at their annual train show.

Model railroading is certainly not limited to one gender as this picture attests. ’s recent acquisition of an Army airfield fascinates the ladies with the fine detail and animated objects. The girls are intently watching the spinning propeller on the small airplane and eagerly await the arrival of the train bringing supplies and armament to the Army. This was only a small portion of the layout the West Winds group presented at Clayton this year.

The annual show is a laid back treasure for model railroaders. There are numerous dealers as well as layouts. There is little pressure to keep things going all the time. The public is always accommodating and easily entertained with our fine running trains. This has been especially true with the t-trak concept since no two layouts ever seem to be the same. This is a huge advantage over many other methods of displaying trains since there is always something “new”.  Further contributing factors to the success of t-trak are the ease of transportation and the small size of the modules. The challenge of scenery has been pretty much overcome by most of the participants in this concept of modular railroading. The myth of long trains has also been dispelled. The small radius curves do not deter folks from running realistic length trains on these layouts.







From the Desk: July 2014

Greetings fellow train modelers! I am happy to report that members Mark Bean, Brian King, and Canadian friend David King have finally been able to culminate their efforts on the automatic
reverse loop project that has been in progress for over a year.

reverse-loop-success-01After much consternation and brain racking, all the pieces came together when Mark arrived at Brian’s and was able to actually handle the hardware. There is a lot to be said for presence. Long distance communication is nice, but nowhere as nearly effective as actually being present. After Mark arrived it was only a matter of hours
overall until the software, hardware, and operation all came together to make the reverse loop automation a
success. Of course, this leads to more projects in the future. However, these may be a little easier to accomplish now that the experience of developing the original reverse loop has been successfully completed. We are considering building and automating a new one-trak interface tee sized module. This will take some time, so in the meantime, will utilize the current mechanically operated interface module.

reverse-loop-success-02This module works but has some limitations. The curves are really small, thus limiting the trains that can be sent to the reverse loop. It is also rather difficult to understand how to operate electrically when using it. The goal of the newer replacement module will be not only to automate things as much as possible, but to simplify the operation to make it much less difficult to use. will report on the progress of this project as we move along.

Speaking of moving along, set up a small layout at Dave’s Diner in the beginning of June at Dave’s weekly Cruise In. The small layout incorporated ’s “eyeglasses” loop to make it interesting. This loop limits the length of the trains possible to run without running into itself and keeps the public’s attention on the trains. Everyone expects the train to collide with itself, but careful prior planning prevents this from happening. The layout provided the first opportunity for to use the small generator purchased for just this reason. The generator ran perfectly and amazingly quiet for the entire time was there. This makes it easy for to take a layout nearly anywhere since we can now provide our own source of power to operate the trains. The next test will be next month when anticipates running a small HO layout, provided by club member Greg Brockway, at Dave’s again. Meanwhile, other club activities for July include the Whirlwind III tour. This will be a day trip to the Boston area to visit some of the renowned layouts in that area. will report on this in the next issue.

Keep on training!

January Train Show: TTCS Utica Train Show

was delighted to participate in the 33rd Annual Toy Train Collectors Society Utica Show on January 19.

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UnionStation_02_011914 UnionStation_01_011914

Funtrak @ Toy Train Collectors Society Annual Show


finally returned to the Toy Train Collectors Society annual train show held in Union Station in Utica, New York after an eight year hiatus. Much of the difficulty in providing the N scale N-Trak layouts that the public was so appreciative of stemmed from the fact that the N scale layout was hard to accommodate because of its size. ’s adoption of the t-trak concept has made it possible to reduce the footprint of the n scale layout, diversify the design of the layout, and better tailor the layout to the needs of the public. Additionally, the t-trak system is easier for the club members to transport and set up. This makes for a win-win situation for both the club members and the show promoters. The presentation of an N scale layout is also in the best interests of the vendors since they now have a venue that is visible for prospective customers to see right at hand. This year’s show was a success as expected and FUNTRAK was a big contributing factor to that success. is looking forward to next year and another great show at Union Station.

The Annual Christmas Show

FunTrak puts on a show for the locals at the Oneida County Historical Society, over Christmas break.

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