club member John Fleming assembles another t-trak unique layout at the Family Fun Center in Mohawk where conducted its March monthly meeting. John has been responsible for much of the scenery work on many of the recent modules has constructed. His artistic talent is truly “magic” on many of these wonderful modules. More examples of the before and after effect of John’s handiwork are illustrated inside. Keep up the great work, John!

From the Desk: March 2014

The second annual Fisher Elementary Traintastic Show sponsored by and the Parent Teacher Organization has come and gone and has been regarded as a resounding success. Along with cooperative weather, the crowds were bigger, the layouts were different and upgraded from the last show, vendors were in attendance, the food was plentiful, the children delighted, and the adults had a great time. What more could one ask for?

This year, the show layouts expanded and included many new scenes, as well as modules for the public to peruse and enjoy. Multiple scales were represented so visitors could compare and appreciate the different model trains. The local news media came to enjoy our family-oriented activities and report on the educational value of the model railroad hobby. With the many skills necessary to construct a model railroad, the opportunity to learn a number of these skills is readily available to anyone willing to partake of the knowledge available from the experts at these shows. From art to construction, electricity to carpentry, math, history, and English, model railroading encompasses all these areas into one excellent, family-oriented hobby where everyone can participate and get hands on experience.

With today’s technology, many of these things can be accomplished with a computer. The research, development, and designing of the railroad can all be done via the many programs available, as well as utilizing the Internet to help. Videos for “how to” are available for nearly every facet of the hobby and the results of other’s efforts can be appreciated through this medium. We are truly in the middle of the “Information Age” where almost anything you want to know about can be easily found with the tools of technology we have at our disposal. Communication is remarkably fast. There is very little lag time between asking a question and getting an answer today. If you are looking for a satisfying hobby that not only can you enjoy individually, but also with friends and family, then model railroading may be the avenue you should consider. It will enhance the skills you already possess and allow you to learn new ones to keep you interested in the hobby. Help from others is always available from multiple sources and most often willingly supplied by the members of the model railroad community. Clubs always welcome new members where expertise abounds and camaraderie is the order of the day. So, in answering the question of what more could one ask for, why not a new and exciting hobby that the entire family can participate in and have a fabulous time?


From the Desk: December 2013


This year’s From The Desk is reminiscent of last year’s as many of the same events are in the news. again joined with the Genesee and Ontario club at Syracuse to set up a large t-trak layout, which again utilized the red line for DCC operation, incorporated some new modules, and as always attracted large crowds of happy spectators. This year, however, club member John Fleming provided his own miniature camera to take movies of the traversal around the layout. These will eventually be
edited and put up on YouTube. As usual, there was a plethora of vendors available to cater to everyone’s desires for the ordinary and the exotic. After two days of running, the show finally came to a climax, wares were packed up, and all was prepared for the next weekend in Fulton where the Oswego Valley Railroad Association sponsored their annual holiday show. members John Fleming, Greg Brockway, and Brian King made the trip to Fulton on Friday evening where the N scale and HO scale t-trak layouts were set up. Provisions were made for outside participation in the N scale layout, and this occurred on Saturday when Neal Schantz showed up with two of his nicely detailed modules. These were quickly incorporated into the layout and trains were back up and running with minimal interruption. Greg’s HO layout went up without a hitch and trains were running everywhere. The weekend went by
quickly and tear down and packing up of the equipment went without any glitches. There is a lull in the schedule now until the second weekend of December when , along with the Hudson Hollow Model Railroad Club, will sponsor a show in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam Riverfront Center. To round out December’s presentations, will be setting up the two t-trak layouts at the Oneida County Historical Society on Genesee Street in Utica. This show is scheduled to operate
on December 24 from 10:00am until 1:00pm and then from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Thursday, December 26 through Saturday, December 29. This show is open to the public and welcomes all to come and enjoy the trains! So, in the holiday spirit, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all. See you at
the show and keep on training.


From the Desk: November 2013

train-show-jim-domserIt is with a sad heart that I write this month’s edition of From The Desk. Following a typical fabulous dinner for FUNTRAK’s annual anniversary gala, club member Jim Domser departed to take his lady friend home and deliver a meal to club member Clayt Farrall who was unable to attend the dinner. After delivering the meals to Clayt, Jim was taken ill and discovered at a local firehouse. He was attended to and taken to the hospital where he later died. It wasn’t until nearly a week later that any information as to what happened to Jim was forthcoming. There were no calling hours and the funeral was a family affair. Jim was an avid model railroader and a staunch supporter of FUNTRAK. Any time there was need for something, Jim was the first one to volunteer to help. He was especially helpful in arranging transportation for fellow club members who had difficulties in getting to meetings or shows. If there was a supporting detail that needed attending, Jim was the man to take care of it. He never complained and was always reliable in his efforts to support the club and club members. Jim was an innovator in his own right, also. He was one of the first
to bring along a train mounted camera in a Lionel engine that allowed the public to get an engineers view of the layout at FUNTRAK’s shows. He opened his home to many meetings where he always had something new and exciting going on, whether it be with Lionel, HO, or N scale. He tried all the newest gadgets and shared his experience with the rest of the model railroad world. Although Jim was rarely in the best of health, he never complained or let this slow him down. One thing Jim always did that impressed everyone was to keep people informed about his ability to participate. If Jim couldn’t make it for any reason, he was the first to let you know and why he was unable to help. This trait made Jim a most respected member because everyone else could plan accordingly without having to worry if Jim was going to be there. Jim has now gone to the great model railroad kingdom in the beyond and we wish him peace and great model railroading. He will be
joining another great model railroader who passed away this month also, Jim Fitzgerald. This Jim was known as “Mr. N-Trak”. He was the founding father of N-Trak in the early 1970’s. Jim’s influence on the model
railroad hobby is immeasurable and he will be sorely missed. Meanwhile, the rest of us will carry on the
great traditions of model railroading and continue with the legacies that our friends and predecessors have left for us.

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