Layout Design

Operators Desk

On July 16, Funtrak joined Jim Heidt at his home in Clockville NY for a model railroad operating session. Jim’s railroad follows a freelanced route from Pennsylvania through New York State to the St. Lawrence area. Jim’s railroad is dictated by a timetable that helps maintain a smooth operation around the layout. Aiding is a dispatch station and several station agents at key locations around the layout. While passenger trains bring its patrons around to various highly detailed locations around the layout, coal, ore, mixed freight and interchange traffic bring commodities to and from several key cities and towns. Jim’s layout featured finely crafted scenes, well maintained track, smooth operating engines and rolling stock and a well crafted plan for operation. Additionally, Jim and his operators were hospitable to the many guests that joined them for the operating sessions. The priveldge to operation on a fine layout provides not only enjoyment to the operators but also helps provide ideas and insights for their own modeling and operating schemes. Photos from Jims layout are below.

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Get to work!

It’s always great to enjoy the company of club members while being productive.

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Family Fun Center Re-Visited!

One of our favorite locations to run trains, we always have a good turn out at the Family Fun Center in Mohawk.

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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!
Brian


Perserverance Pays!

mark-and-john-June2014‘s automatic reverse loop is finally finished and operational, thanks to our Australian club member, Mark Bean. Mark’s diligence and John’s scenic abilities make great additions to ’s arsenal of t-trak modules. After over a year of research and development, it was gratifying to finally succeed in reaching the desired goal.


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