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Building a new club layout (and other club related activities)

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  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3:02 PM

Water Level Route
Along that line, it seems to me that submission of a list of officers would have nullified any existing lists,

Each officer or director has an obligation to inform the government when they vacate a position or change a position. Our previous executives hadn't done that. It's likely that they didn't know they had to.

Anyhow, it is all straightened out. The only thing we still have to do is request a summary of our corporate status from the government to confirm that all the information is correct.

Our President, Henk, deserves a lot of credit for taking on this whole mess. His career was in municipal government so he has a good understanding of how things like this work, but don't confuse that understanding with enjoyment!LaughLaugh

Dave

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 11:18 PM

The wiring is progressing. We now have most of the mainline feeders installed and we are working on the feeders for the large yard. We want to be able to isolate most of the yard tracks individually so that is adding to the complexity.

The DCC system is about half wired. It should be done within the next week or two.

The number of wires under the layout is growing exponentially and we haven't even started to install the 80 or so Tortoises, let alone any signal connections and accessory wires! I'm almost glad that my back won't permit me to work under the layout!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 11:01 PM

Not much new to report. The underside of the layout is becoming a maze of wires, and we still have the Tortoise wiring, signal wiring and the auxilliary bus to install. I have just finished installing the wires on about 25 Tortoises. We are using terminal strips to hook up the various wires. I installed about 20 of the terminal strips (160 screws) on Tuesday night and my index finger is sore from tightening them all. We only have to install the wires on three more Tortoises and we have about a dozen terminal strips yet to be installed. Then somebody has to sit down with each of the Tortoises and make sure that the wires are connected properly and that the screws are tight. 80 Tortoises x 8 wires each = 640 connections to check. Peanuts!

The election of the club Directors will happen in mid October. We explained the process on Tuesday night at the monthly Business meeting. Nominations will start in late September. We are stretching the rules a bit in that the members will vote on who they want  for President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The official rules state that we should simply be electing four Directors and that those Directors will then choose who they want to fill each position. The club is too small to follow that formality.

I'm off to Prince Edward Island for a couple of weeks so you will be spared from my boring posts for a while. Enjoy the silence!Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Dave

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 918 posts
Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 6:46 AM

On your way to PEI do you ever get by Lunenburg,NS?
I visited a friend there for the month of Aug last year. Nice area

Brian

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 10:01 PM

railandsail
On your way to PEI do you ever get by Lunenburg,NS?

We were in Peggy's Cove, NS a couple of years ago, but Lunenburg is quite a ways south of that. We were headed for Cape Breton so we were going in the opposite direction. Nova Scotia is quite nice, especially Cape Breton.

Dave

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 12:19 AM

Hi there:

Finally, some news to report.

We had the Golden Spike Ceremony on Tuesday night. It was a huge success. We had about 25 guests including people from other train clubs, and some spouses. We received many compliments on the design, quality of workmanship and the progress that we have made in just one year.

I was given the privilege of 'driving' the Golden Spike. That turned out to be a bit of a challenge. The spike is so small that it is hard to grasp, and it is even harder to see. After the ceremony I realized that it was in sideways but nobody noticed.

Dummy me forgot my camera DunceBang Head so I will have to get pictures from our official photographer before I can post them.

Dave

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: Ludington, MI
  • 313 posts
Posted by Water Level Route on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 8:16 AM

Any more progress?  Missing my Tuesday morning updates...Smile

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2:38 PM

Water Level Route
Any more progress?  Missing my Tuesday morning updates...

We have made lots of progress, but it is all under the layout. We have been installing wire for quite some time. Most of the main wiring is done. All that remains is the details like hooking up the Tortoises. I say "all" but with 80 or so Tortoises x eight wires each, plus all the connections for the LEDs and switches, that is going to be a lot of work.

Our priority right now is to get the Tortoises that control the mainline passing sidings operational. Right now all we can run on is a single track. We want to start having running sessions once a month. The gang is getting tired of not being able to run trains.

We had a meeting on Monday night to begin the process of deciding what industries we want to model. We have started by identifying 12 industrial areas where we can place sidings. The term 'industrial' is used in a rather broad sense. It also includes town sites, passenger stations, service areas, yards, farms etc. We have asked everyone for their input on what they would like to see in each of the areas, and we are emphasizing the need to have related industries in different locations. For example, we might have a slaughter house in area 1 that receives livestock from the farms in area 5 and ships hides to a tannery in area 2. That is a vastly over simplified example. You may recall that I asked for suggestions about loads in and out a few months ago. Those suggestions are coming in very handy right now. Thanks again.

Once we have all the suggestions we will put everything on a spread sheet so that the Layout Committee can decide which options to choose. The spread sheet will show us what is moving from where to where so we can use it as a base for operating.

I do have to admit that there has been precious little input from most of the members on the industries. In fact, only six showed up for the Monday meeting, and I am the only person who has come up with a plan that covers all 12 areas. We have had lots of suggestions about what industries people want to model, but when it comes to tying those together for operating purposes, what I usually get is a blank stare. There is a reason for that. Most of the members have never 'operated' before. The club hasn't had a layout designed for operations for years. They have been limited to watching their trains go round in circles.

We are also adding two staging yards. One of our well experienced members explained to us that my wonderful track plan ultimately amounted to just going around in circles. So, we have designed two staging areas, one with four x 16' tracks with a run around on the far end, and the other with two x 8' tracks, also with a run around. Both additions incorporate wyes so they will add enormously to the potential of the layout. They will both be less than 12" wide so they won't take up much room space.

We had a business meeting on Tuesday night. One of the topics the Pres. and I raised was stopping people from hogging the tracks. We have several members who simply walk in the door, plunk their trains down on a track, and start to run them. They don't ask if anyone else wants to run trains. They just take over, and they will run all night if nobody says anything. We are putting a stop to that! Everyone will have an opportunity to run trains.

We also discussed how trains will be run. We had our Golden Spike ceremony a week ago with lots of invited guests who were knowledgeable operators. I hope that none of them were paying attention to the trains on the tracks because it would have been totally embarrassing for the club. We had several rear end collisions. People were just letting their trains run without keeping an eye on them. We also had people trying to run cars that obviously didn't want to stay on the tracks, but instead of taking them off after a couple of tries, they persisted in demonstarting to our guests what bad rolling stock looks like. One guy lost contact with his locomotive. He tied the mainline up for a good 10 minutes farting around with it. I had to tell him to get it off the tracks.AngryBang HeadGrumpy

Sorry, this is running on, but allow me to relate one more thing that happened on Tuesday. We opened the nominations for the Executive Committee election in October. What made it interesting is that our current President wants to be the Secretary. The current Secretary can no longer do the job but he wanted to stay on. His abilities to keep proper records have deteriorated to just about nil. That has meant that The President, the Treasurer and I have been doing the Secretary's job for quite some time. Unfortunately it was either him or us. Had he tried to stay on, the President and I would have withdrawn from the Executive. It was that frustrating. By the way, I have put my name in the hat for President.

Dave

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 918 posts
Posted by railandsail on Thursday, September 27, 2018 5:43 AM

hon30critter

 By the way, I have put my name in the hat for President.

Dave

 
Good luck on your run for President. Hope you don't try and become a dictator like our current situation.
Brian
  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: Ludington, MI
  • 313 posts
Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, September 27, 2018 6:03 AM

Dave,

Congratulations on the progress.  Sounds like it's coming along well.  Good idea getting the mainline tortoises running.  The happier the members, the more engaged they should be.

hon30critter
We have had lots of suggestions about what industries people want to model, but when it comes to tying those together for operating purposes, what I usually get is a blank stare.

Probably one where you will have to just take the bull by the horns.  I've had similar experiences on a committee at work that is made up entirely of volunteers.  When asking for input on initiatives we could go after, some would offer up basic ideas, but when I would press for them to work out some details to come up with a finalized concept...nothing.  Everybody wanted to just come up with things for ME to work on.  Don't forget that now with the staging yards, you don't have to cover all 12 areas with on layout destinations.  Might free up some space to incorporate wants from the members.  Keep the natives from getting too restless! Laugh  What length of trains are you anticipating?  I'm assuming 8' maximum length judging by the dimensions of your staging tracks.  

Good luck on the elections.  I'm sure all the forum members would vote in your favor if we could!

Mike

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, September 27, 2018 9:46 PM

railandsail
  Good luck on your run for President. Hope you don't try and become a dictator like our current situation.

No, that's not in my nature. If anything, I'm not assertive enough.

One of my goals is to encourage those members who are inclined to sit back and watch to participate more. Barking orders won't get me very far with that.

Dave

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, September 27, 2018 10:37 PM

Hi Mike:

The current President and I had a talk tonight about getting more people involved. We decided that we will take one more kick at the cat by asking the members to choose an industrial area that they like and not only come up with a more detailed plan, but actually build the scene themselves. We are going to try to form teams of two or three people. We will give them assistance and advice but we will not do the work for them. We will offer them the suggested list of industries that we are working on, but if they want to do something different they can go for it provided that the Layout Committee approves their plan. I will use my CAD program to help them with the track planning in terms of getting their ideas to fit in the space available, but they will design the track.

As for my odds of becoming President, there is only one name in the hat for each of the Executive positions thus far. I don't think that is likely to change.

Thanks for your interest.

Dave

 

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,900 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, September 28, 2018 11:18 AM

 You can lead a horse to water...

Some people just aren't going to want to step out of their comfort zones - especially us old fogies. I'm not very good at scenery, so I will naturally gravitate to things like wiring. The one time I really wanted to help with and learn scenery stuff is when I donated a shelf switching layout to my odl club, I had all the track down and it ran, but there was absolutely no scenery on it. My only condition on giving it all to the club was that when the scenery got added, I wanted to help and learn. Well, next time I came back, it already was fully sceniced. Grrr. It's good to put forth the effort to get more members involved in all aspects of layout construction, but at some point, you will have to realize that herding cats is next to impossible and some will just not want to follow along. At least the have no grounds for complaint - you've made every effort to include them and if they chose to not get involved with some aspects then they have no one to blame but themselves. 

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 8:58 PM

We had a train running night on Tuesday just for fun. Everything went smoothly. We had no problems with the mainline track. There were a few derailments at the turnouts but those were the fault of the cars, not the turnouts. We will do more testing. Everything that ran last night was diesel. One of the members has a steamer that is a little picky, pardon the pun, so we will use it to test the turnouts. I have to remember to ask him to check the wheel spacing before we take a hammer to the turnouts.

We have a couple of Tortoises operating which allowed us to have a passing siding available. That proved handy because one of the members was running an 'ICE' train and he was lapping the layout pretty quickly. The ICE train ran flawlessly, which is good because it got knocked off the track at a show a few months ago and it has required several hours of work to get the couplers connecting properly again.

The Layout Committee has finally given approval to add a staging area on the north wall. I thought it was a done deal but apparently some of the committee members were not sold on the idea. I haven't a clue as to why they questioned it. The staging area will have four tracks each about 16' long with a run around and a caboose track on the far end. It will be accessed by a wye so the operation will be very flexible. Unfortunately the wye has to go on a bridge that is required to allow access to an electrical panel so the bridge itself will be rather large. Some of you may have seen my thread asking for advice on how to build a bridge. I got some really good suggestions. If you are interested it is here:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/272349.aspx

Dave

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:21 PM

As you may have seen on the Diner thread, I am now the President of the Barrie Allandale Railway Modellers Association. It's OK, I haven't begun to regret it - yet! Seriously, I have big shoes to fill. The previous President has done a fantastic job of pulling the club out of the mire.

This thread has achieved a milestone that I could never have imagined when I started it a year ago. It has just exceeded 40000 views!! Thank you everyone for your interest and your many helpful suggestions, both on this thread and the other related threads related to building the layout.

Here are some of the other discussions if you are interested:

How to build a hinged benchwork bridge:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/272349.aspx

How to cut Tortoise lever wires:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/271948.aspx

Building a double track curved steel bridge (which we have decided not to do by the way):

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/271455.aspx

Scenery construction methods:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/270575.aspx

Industry suggestions:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/269603.aspx

Dave

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 17,408 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 4:59 PM

hon30critter

As you may have seen on the Diner thread, I am now the President of the Barrie Allandale Railway Modellers Association.

Dave, congratulations and best of luck!

Rich

Alton Junction

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    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 11:31 PM

Thanks Rich.

Dave

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 3,617 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, October 19, 2018 2:02 AM

Prez Dave by Bear, on Flickr

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 19, 2018 10:41 PM

JaBear,

LaughLaughLaughLaugh

When you get acclaimed popularity has nothing to do with it!Smile, Wink & Grin

I'm tall enough. 6' 2", at least in the morning!

Cheers!!

Dave

P.S. Nothing from Ulrich.

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