Tag: train shows

From the Desk: February 2014

Welcome to winter! The weather outside is NOT delightful, as the old song goes. It has been cold for the major portion of January and does not look like it will warm up to close out the month. So what have ’s members been doing to counter this atrocious weather? Why, attending old shows for the first time in many moons, and continuing to build new, exciting, different, and novel ttrak modules, of course!

For the first time since 2006, was invited to attend the January Toy Train Collectors Society annual show at Union Station. provided a small t-trak layout for the public’s enjoyment to augment the large contingent of Lionel trains at the show. This little layout generated a lot of interest among the spectators and pleased the vendors, since now their customers interested in something other than the Lionel O scale trains could actually see something else operating. All went well and everyone had a great time. The layout ran well after some initial adjustments were made to correct for some minor oversights. anticipates that we will be back again next year now that the promoters realize we no longer need huge amounts of space to accommodate our small empires.

Speaking of small empires, the newest modules have been constructing involve only a single loop when assembled as a point to point layout. One end of the loop is a crossing loop while the opposite end is a balloon shaped circle. This arrangement limits the size of trains to a restricted length as well as allowable motive power that is able to traverse the small radius curves. However, it does make it easy to assemble layouts in unusual shapes if desired. This simplified design also means that one person should have no problem in maintaining the layout alone, if necessary, since only one train will usually be running around the layout. The crossing loop is visually exciting because it looks like the train is going to collide with itself, but it doesn’t! This is just another example of where has been at the forefront of design for this newest venue of N scale model railroading by designing, building, and operating some of the most unique t-trak modules to be displayed anywhere.

Other areas where is moving forward include the HO division, which Greg Brockway has overseen exceptionally well. His dedication and ambition have made the HO modules more and more popular and are ever expanding. Because of his efforts, is more visible to the general public and able to attract more people into the fold.

Finally, January saw the annual show at Springfield have its usual huge attendance, but was noticeably missing any t-trak participation. We believe this will soon be rectified when the promoters are approached by some of the t-trak interested modelers next year. This may lead to becoming a participant again, albeit not with the larger n-trak modules but rather, the smaller, more convenient t-trak modules, at this huge event. Time will tell. Next up this month will see back at Fisher Elementary in support of the PTO over the weekend of February 22nd . Make a point to come out and support both and the PTO. Bring the family. After all, our first name is FUN! See you there.


January Train Show: TTCS Utica Train Show

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

UnionStation_04_011914 UnionStation_03_011914
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.

From the Desk: January 2014

Welcome to the new year! FUNTRAK has had an interesting year in 2013. New members, new venues, new modules, new scales, repeat shows, and old friends.

This all began in February when FUNTRAK returned to Fisher Elementary in support of their PTO show. This was followed up in March with a rescheduled meeting at the Family Fun Center at the end of the month. This meeting saw the presentation of FUNTRAK ‘s transition tee for the one trak proposition. The reverse loop is still a work in progress but is getting ever so close to
completion. It is amazing how such a “simple” concept can turn into such a complicated project. David King from Canada ans Mark Bean from Australia have both been providing me with all kinds of help. This has turned out to be quite the project! Hopefully, the end is in sight and this concept will work as advertised.

Our annual “Valley Rail Sights” was next on the FUNTRAK agenda. This is always a popular show and 2013 was no exception. This netted the club not only a satisfied vendor, but a new member as well. Our annual fund raiser provided enough funds to support the club’s activities for the remainder of the year and some future events, too.

The summer months brought out the construction crew. New modules for both the N scale and HO scale t-trak layouts were built. John Fleming and Lorenzo Franchi pretty much finished the N scale modules while Greg Brockway tackled the HO modules. Many of these modules were incorporated into the layouts set up at the annual PicNik. This year was rather significant since it was the tenth anniversary of the PicNik as well as Brian and Roseanne’s fortieth wedding anniversary. It also marked Brian’s second retirement, this time from the teaching profession. All in all, a very special event!

Next on the agenda was the Fonda Fair. Again, FUNTRAK provided a large portion of the layouts for the public to admire. This week long event draws big crowds and keeps the FUNTRAK members busy. September brought FUNTRAK to Clayton. This year, John and Lorenzo made the trip and represented FUNTRAK with both N trak modules and a t trak complete layout. Each year, FUNTRAK brings a few N trak modules and joins up with our Canadian friends and folks from the Syracuse area. This show is laid back and enjoyable for everyone. Rich Petitto puts on a smorgasbord on Saturday evening at the motel and everyone joins in for the camaraderie.

FUNTRAK‘s annual dinner in October was a bittersweet occurrence this year. A small layout was set up with some of the recently constructed new modules for testing and the major players were in attendance for the dinner itself. Everything went well and much was learned about the “simple” automatic reversing loop. Unfortunately, after dinner, club member Jim Domser never made it home. After being taken to the hospital, Jim succumbed to his afflictions and went to the big railroad in the sky. FUNTRAK will sorely miss Jim’s help and support.

November brought the annual show in Syracuse first, then Fulton the following weekend. Both of these shows went extremely well. FUNTRAK joined up with Genesee ‘N Ontario at Syracuse for a large N scale t-trak layout running DCC on the red line. Fulton found a smaller N scale t-trak layout at the show.

The beginning of December found John and Lorenzo back in Amsterdam for the Riverfront show again this year. Then onward to the newest show for FUNTRAK , R.I.T. Again, FUNTRAK joined up with Genesee ‘N Ontario to assemble a small “C” shaped layout. Rounding out the year, FUNTRAK was at the Oneida County Historical Society for the nineteenth year! Here, both the N and HO scale t-trak layouts were set up and entertained the adoring holiday crowds for nearly a week. News coverage by the local newspaper and television stations help bring the model railroads to the public’s attention.

FUNTRAK is anxiously looking forward to a most rewarding upcoming year. Come join us for the fun!


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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