Moncton Train Show – April 12, 2008
We left the Island about 1:00 Friday afternoon headed to Moncton for their annual train show. Besides the four of us (Greg, Brian, Mark, and myself) we had the back of the truck and a trailer loaded with UMG modules and other sundry items. One of these days I’ll have to get a picture of the truck and trailer loaded.
We arrived at the show venue about 3:00, unloaded our gear and were starting to look for our space when Trevor asked if we were able to redesign the layout on short notice. AAAAHHHH!?
After a half hour of pacing the floor seeing where we could fit and figuring out which modules we could rearrange we had a rough idea of what we were going to do. (Left: the initial “final” plan for the show.)
As we set up modules and sales tables were rearranged we realized that we wouldn’t be able to fit as redesigned, so after a bit more head scratching we came up with plan C. (Right: the modified “final” plan.)
The redesign resulted in the 5th Street leg being about 20′ long. The Yard leg with Summer Valley was about 36′ long and the Appleton leg was unchanged other than reorienting the angle – about 14′ long. The width of the layout increased by 4′ to 32′. The overall length of modules (track) was about 102′.
Even with all the redesigning on the fly, the layout was operational and fully tested by 6:30. Not bad, and perhaps a new record for such a large layout.
We had a wonderful supper at Jean and Carol’s, where Derwin and Ken joined us. They couldn’t get the afternoon off so came over after work. After a quick tour of Jean’s layout we were off for some operating at John S’s. I didn’t get any pictures because I was so busy operating in Coverdale. There were lots of opportunities for some shots of people in embarrassing moments – being unfamiliar with the layout we made our share of blunders. John’s layout runs wonderfully. There were very few derailments that were not caused by the operators. We finished up about 11:00 and went to Ryan’s for the night. Thank you Ryan and Jodie for hosting such a rag tag bunch!
After a very full day on Friday, 6:00 Saturday morning came pretty quick! I felt a lot better after a shower and a cup of coffee. Ryan cooked up scrambled eggs and bacon. If you’re ever in the Moncton area and need some overnight accommodation I recommend Chez Nelson. The chef has learned, since last year, that you don’t scramble eggs by dropping them on the floor first, and that perked coffee doesn’t come from a bottle of instant coffee. (Left: The morning scene – Mark It’s way too early for me!”, Ken “Give me some grub!”, Derwin “Yummm, grumm,, snort, …”, and Greg “Thank you Lord for this bounty.” – Photo by Brian.)
Anyway, we got to the show venue about 7:30 and made some final touches to the layout and managed to get a first tour of the sales tables before the doors opened to the public at 9. The weather was cold with wet snow so it was perfect to get folks out to a train show. I don’t think there were many lulls in the crowd, as there has been most other years.
Our new modules (5th Street District) were a hit with lots of people commenting on them. Thank you all! It’s nice to know we’re doing something right! I even received a few positive comments on my weathered up Geeps that I brought.
Ken moves some cars along the main to bring them down to 5th Street.
The grade there is very steep at about 8%, but a switcher with one or two cars climbs it without a problem – even Brian’s very light sound unit.
He’s heading down the grade to pick up some outbound cars.
The large building in the bottom-center is hiding part of the frame where the modules are bolted together. Because there is only 1.5″ of depth to this side of the modules we allowed the frame to rise full height at the joints to provide more surface area for bolting the modules together. We figured we could hide these parts of the frame with some buildings. The idea worked fairly well. You can barely see an unhidden joint just above Kens’ right hand in the photo above. We don’t have a building to hide that one yet.
Looking in the other direction, he’s pulling some cars out to set on the main for pickup by a passing freight.
There is lots of potential with this module set. We could put another turnout in the area under the bridge and continue the branch off the right side of the modules to extend the switching area.
Brian has some closer shots of the 5th Street District on his blog – The NeverDone Railway.
This picture shows the bulk of our layout. I had hoped to get one from a better angle to show more of it, but time slipped away. If you look in the center of the photo you can see Derwin (black shirt & white hat). He’s switching at the far end of Spring Valley. The photo below has the areas of the layout labeled.
The crowd was pretty steady right up to 4:00 when the show officially closed. We were packed up and sitting at the Homestead Restaurant by 5:30. We arrived back in Summerside a little before 9:00.
Overall it was a great show1 We talked to a lot of new people, introduced folks to operating by allowing them to run trains on our layout, and spent time with many old friends.
Now it’s time to start preparations for the MFMR Convention coming up on May 16, 17, & 18. I’ll be presenting a demonstration/clinic there on basic layout building & scenery techniques. I must head out to the shed to start building some small modules for it.