View the report in PDF format:
2013 Show Reports
2013 Show Schedule
|Feb. 9-10||Marine Corps Museum||Quantico VA||Mike Fistere|
|March 2-3||Greenberg Show||Upper Marlboro MD||Rick Eudy|
|March 9-10||Boy Scout Show||Dale City, VA||Bill Creech|
|May 19||Beltsville Day||Beltsville, MD||Rich Myers|
|June 1||Wings and Wheels||Bay Bridge Airport, Stevensville MD||John Harper|
|June 1||Manassas Rail Festival||Manassas, Virginia||Frank Hale/|
|June 6-9||Celebrate Fairfax||Fairfax , VA||Colton/Herndon|
|July||Trackers Social Event||McLean VA||Garrett Goldstein|
|August 24-25||Greenberg Show||Chantilly, Virginia||Rick Eudy|
|Aug 31 – Sept 2||Labor Day Train Fest||College park, MD||George Tsakiris|
|September 7-8||Kensington Armory||Kensington MD||Jeff Talaga|
|September 21||Special Event||Garrett Goldstein|
|October 5-6||Fall for Fairfax||Fairfax, VA||Jack Frost|
|November 9-10||Rockville Lions Club||Rockville, MD||George Tsakiris|
|November 23-24||Enchanted Forest||Westin Hotel, Tysons Corner VA||Joe Helsing|
|Dec 7-8||Fairfax Station Museum||Fairfax, VA||McKinney/Colton|
|Dec 7-8; 14-15||Museum of Eastern Shore||Kent Island, MD||John Harper|
|December 11-15||Winter Wonderland||Manassas Candy Factory||Regis Harkins|
|December 14-21||Trains & Planes||College Park Aviation Museum, MD||Dave Sealing|
|December 22-29||B&O Railroad Museum||Baltimore MD||Craig Schelle|
Winter Wonderland Train Show
Download a pdf file: Winter Wonderland Train Show 2013
Manassas Candy Factory 2013
The Manassas Candy Factory, aka the Center for the Arts at the Hopkins Candy Factory, proved a spectacular venue for our train show. As usual the show featured both O Gauge and Standard Gauge layouts. Being alongside the Norfolk Southern main line only added to the uniqueness of the show. The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) contributed to the attendance by scheduling Four Santa Express trains departing and returning from the Manassas station on Saturday the 14th. All trains were sold out and we took advantage by advertising our train show at the station using sandwich boards, which proved very effective. Saturday’s attendance was just under 900 people. The City along with the Candy Factory and local papers advertised the show several weeks in advance of the actual event. The weather played a factor this year causing some delays and cancellations during the set up process but the show opened on time as scheduled. The total attendance was 1870 folks as counted by the building guards.
This year’s layout was designed not only as a fun layout for the Candy Factory but as a Beta site for the layout being considered for the York show next April. The Up and Over concept was incorporated into the original design and proved very effective. The Up and Over idea requires the Over modules to be raised enough to allow adequate clearance for the under modules. The target was 7 1/2 inches from the top of the lower track to the bottom of the Over Module.
HEIGHT:The height was achieved by using Lifters (Frank Hale). The lifters are comprised of PVC (2”) pipe cut into 17” lengths. The module legs are placed inside the PVC pipe and once the module is raised to the desired height a C clamp is attached to the leg at the top of the PVC holding the module at the selected height.
- All raised modules were double clamped to the adjacent module for support
- Using 2 PVC pipes per module worked well but required at least three folks when attaching and measuring the height of the module. The advantage is less PVC pipe and clamps.
- Using 4 PVC pipes per module made it easier to adjust and attach but requires double the PVC pipe and clamps.
- Our goal was a grade of 1” per 4 feet ( 2%) The Under modules were lowered to 39” to help with the clearance of the Over module. This was achieved by adjusting the legs.
- The Over module was actually a special Girder bridge built for the show. Instead of underneath support on the module it was on top for maximum clearance.
- The actual clearance was just under 7 “ which proved adequate. The
final height was a direct product of the limitations of the room and the total layout.
The layout was our typical two track configuration with a twist so to speak. Each loop (Inner and Outer) was completely separate but because of the Up and Over configuration one side of the layout was a mirror image of the other, this required a harness change in two distinct places. We used a male to male jumper harness with the red and white wires reversed and a female to female jumper harness with the red and white wires reversed. The male to male was inserted at the end of the Over module where the next modules were reversed and at the end of the Under module again as the modules were reversed. Fiber Pins were not required. These were the only wiring changes needed. Each loop was approximately 180 feet in length. The Power House was connected as usual.
The show is located on the third floor of the Candy Factory so it requires all modules and club assets to be moved via the buildings elevator which is quite adequate but time consuming. Once everything was on the third floor it required about 5-6 hours for assembly minus the inside skirting and some scenery. As mentioned earlier it takes multiple people to assemble the modules with lifters. Multiple measuring devices are needed and at least a two foot level is also required. It is important to assure the tracks are level both across and along the length of the modules.
Note: the Old VA Gezzer Gate (Bruce’s) does not lend itself to lifters due to it’s design.
New Virginia Corners:
Two new corners were also used and tested at the show. Both corners were used next to each other spanning 12 feet. The corners went in flawlessly and also worked well with lifters attached as they were part of the grade. The track work is excellent and any engine overhang problems were non-existent. One end of the corners were adjacent to Justin’s crossover module and the other was a standard module. The other end of the rectangle was composed of standard corners and a module totaling 12 feet also. Some extra cleaning of the track was needed (Weathered Track) as expected. Normal running cured any issue.
As in any layout with separate areas, Gezzer Gates are needed, especially when all trains are assembled at the yard. A lot of trains were physically carried from one side to the other.
Since one side of the layout was a mirror image all tracks were reversed. What was outer loop on the yard side was the inner loop on the mirror side. The same held true for the inner Loop. We used the yard primarily to avoid any confusion when placing trains on the track. With one yard servicing both loops run time should be separated by at least 15 minutes to avoid congestion.
Since both sides of the layout incorporated a 2% grade we paid special attention to all trains looking for any difficulties but I am happy to say every train, including a 40 car consist, worked without incident.
Normal skirting is sufficient on the majority of modules. Where modules are raised 8 inches or so the PVC lifters show which isn’t too bad but all the boxes stored under the modules are also viewable. Where this this impacts the overall image of our layout ( For example at entrances) we stapled a skirt to the legs so it just touched the floor and then applied the normal skirt over it.
Our members outdone themselves this year, Winter Wonderland scenes were evident on every module. The clubs Dept 56 collection was artfully displayed and attracted a lot of attention. I noticed a lot of pictures being taken. With our display on the 3rd floor of the Candy Factory the majority of spectators use the elevator. Both elevator and stairwell open directly into the room so when either doors opened everyone had the same reaction. A loud WOW! The whole effect of our layout was being surrounded by trains and it was noticed. The first comments I heard were from the Manassas City folks and they especially liked the Up and Over idea. This comment was echoed may times over to several Trackers from our visitors. We also placed Santa’s chair directly in front of the Up and Over so as Santa (Bear Bailey) sat in the chair with kids on his knee trains were crisscrossing behind him creating a very special effect, Outstanding. Once again a great photo op that wasn’t missed by our visitors.
A large rectangle (10×28) tabletop layout was put together by Clem and Dan with the scenery decorated by the Candy factory volunteers following the Winter Wonderland theme. Three loops were constantly in motion requiring special attention at all times. Clems’ collection of trains is amazing and unique. Besides the Standard gauge Clem also featured a Gauge 1 loop running European trains. A half restored train caught everyone’s attention as it went around the loop. One complete side finished while the other side was in its original condition. Clem also kept a running blog of the days events through his eyes, It is worth reading!. A pleasant unexpected photo op seemed to come out of nowhere. While standing in front of the Up and Over bridge looking directly towards the back of the room the Standard gauge layout with its white skirting was in view. It fit perfectly.
Thanks to everyone who provided a great selection for each days repast. Roast Beef, Sauerkraut and Sausage, Meatball Subs, Chili and a exceptional Pastadish.Of course each day had a delicious selection of desserts including chocolate cake, apple pie, cookies and fruit. A very generous effort by all members that was truly appreciated by all.
To say this year’s show was a success is an understatement. We met all our goals as a Beta Site for York while providing an impressive display enjoyed by everyone who attended including all our members.
Many thanks to all participants
Candy factory Trackmaster
Download as a PDF: 2013_MCMuseum_Show
NATIONAL CAPITAL TRACKERS
“O” GAUGE TRAIN CLUB
US MARINE SHOW REPORT, FEBRUARY 9-10, 2013
As a gracious invited guest, the Trackers showed up on time at 6:30 a.m. David Fair, our host and Education Specialist for the Marine Museum, greeted us at the loading dock.
Thanks to Regis who hauled the VA trailer, the equipment for the show was quickly unloaded and placed on the showroom floor.
The floor was taped for the 16 X 48 ft. layout by John Zampino and Zach Gibson (guest of Matt Flanagan). Lynn Gaines came all the way from Mineral, VA to help with the set. It was great to see him. Also Glen MacKinnon arrived to help with the setup.
By 7:15 a.m. the tables were going up. Regis was securing electric lines for the power module and making the necessary connections to the layout. Zach Gibson was a great help setting up and expressed an interest in joining the club.
The two crossover modules made by Justin Krause were placed at both ends of a 3-track module system. This design allowed trains on the inner and outer loops to crossover to a center track. The trains could be taken off and put back on without disrupting train movement. It was an excellent design allowing for non-stop operation. We ran like a real railroad!! Oops—except for the occasional rear end train wrecks by George Tsakiris. The NTSB was called in and found several engineers had come down with a distraction disease—“talkitis”. Fortunately it wasn’t texting or there would have been an engineer suspension. The assembly went well and by 9:30 a.m., the trains were running. Throughout the day there was never a problem with DCS or TMCC. The electrical system and train operations ran without a hitch.
He was most helpful in setup and take down. He was the go-to man when we needed to bring the club trailer to Bill Creech the following day. He had Caterpillar heavy equipment on his modules. Harold Palvelka brought his new module which displayed an automobile roadway under the tressle.
Matt Flanagan brought his two Union Pacific Big Boys. Also a beautiful Lionel Legacy B&O E-7 engines with scale B&O Heavy Weight passenger cars—a great looking set. Dave Bonner brought his MTH Northern Pacific F-3’s ABA to pull 32 freight cars and a wood sided caboose. Also an MTH Milwaukee Road F-7 ABA with 40 freight cars and a bay window caboose.
Richard Colton displayed 3 modules at the show. This Statue of Liberty module is a tribute to the Twin Towers of New York City. The other two modules are famous US landmarks—Mount Rushmore and Yosemite National Park. The mountain ranges featured hikers, campers and various wildlife such as mountain goats and black bears. Ken Warren brought his two module Dept. 56 Christmas village snow scene. He ran his Western Maryland Legacy AC 6000 engine with matching caboose and 17 freight cars. Jim McDermott displayed two modules with three tracks and a passenger station with people.
Chuck Pestacchi brought his two modules that displayed a McDonald’s operating food stand with sounds and a moving car, a Christmas carousel, and a 1930’s ice skating rink with skaters. He also had a series of classic cars on his modules. He ran an Erie Tri/Plex steam engine pulling custom Caterpillar heavy equipment flat cars, and an RF&P Berkshire engine with a full set of 19th century woodsided passenger cars.
George Tsakiris put up a bump and go trolley, passenger station and Montrose flour warehouse. He ran a Pennsy Atlantic B&O engine and a Mikado freight engine pulling Pennsy passenger cars. Justin Krause brought his famous triple crossover modules, a Lionel 4-12-2 engine and 36 reefer cars; also an MTH New York Central Mohawk engine and passenger cars.
John Zampino brought his modules sporting the nightlife of the Baltimore strip clubs complete with the Gaiety Theater and the local police station. John ran an MTH class “A” N&W 4-6-6-4 engine #1218 and a leatherneck beer freight car with an end of the train device light. Rich Colton kept the tracks clean with a daily wipedown. Thanks, great job!! Bill Robbins, Lynn Gaines and Ken Warren’s guest helped in takedown at the end of the show. The show was a great success. DCS and TMCC operated flawlessly and the trains never stopped running. Attendance on Saturday was 1,662 people and Sunday was 494 with a total attendance of 2,156.
Our thanks to the US Marine Museum and David Fair for hosting us. When all vehicles were loaded we headed to Dixie Bones Restaurant in Woodbridge, VA for a celebration dinner of ribs. Thirteen members and guests attended.
Submitted by Mike Fistere, Trackmaster and George Tsakiris, Assistant Trackmaster.
Download as a PDF: 2013_Kensington_Show
NATIONAL CAPITAL TRACKERS
3 rd ANNUAL “ALL ABOARD KENSINGTON”
Model Toy Train Show
Kensington Armory, Kensington, MD
September 7-8, 2013
Reported by: Jeff Talaga, Trackmaster, and Michael Fistere
It was Friday morning, September 6, 2013 at 58 degrees with clear skies and a slight breeze. Setup time was noon at the Kensington Armory. Jeff Talaga, Trackmaster, was first to arrive with Michael Fistere and Bill Hakkarien arriving next. He was a great help and savior of the day. He moved modules in from the loading area to the Armory main floor. He set up the consolidation yard as well as other members’ modules. Michael Fistere’s truck was disabled with a locked gear shift lever. The consolidation yard was in the truck. He took his van to Michael’s vehicle and offloaded all the modules. He then took them to the Armory where he helped set up the yard. He saved the show from disaster.
A single rectangular layout design surrounded Michael Fistere’s 8 tables, 9 track staging yard. The yard promoted the assembly of train consists so that they could be taken out without stopping the continuous operation of the trains on the main line. It also allowed trains that had finished their runs to pull into the yard and park without stopping the operation of other trains still running on the main line. Later in the afternoon, Chris Herndon, Rick Colton, Justin Kraus, Ed Beaver and John Harper arrived for setup. John Harper arrived with the new 3-track corner modules. The outside track had a 108 degree curve, the middle track had a 96 degree curve, and the inner track at 72 degree curve. The tables built by John were very sturdy and easy to set up. Great job, John!
Saturday, September 7
Doors opened at 11:30 a.m. Jeff Talaga instructed the Trackers to sign up for the times they wanted to run their trains.
By 11:40 a.m., all the tracks were fully occupied with 2 or 3 trains on each loop. With careful attention to keep the trains evenly spaced apart, there were no collisions. Occasionally Thomas the Tank Train snuck onto the tracks to the delight of the kids.
The show had 22 Trackers members in attendance. The layout was a rectangle pattern 62 foot long by 34 foot wide with the horseshoe modules on the right side of the rectangular design. John Harper’s turntable module was positioned at one end of the rectangle with leads into Michael Fistere’s yard modules and also directly out into the main line tracks.
Rick Colton brought his “Tunnel View of Yosemite Park” module. It was just the right setting.
Rick had incorporated a smoke machine to authentically make his Yosemite steam beds seem like the real thing in miniature. With the fog and steam pouring out of the mud flats of his module display it inspired everyone to think they were in the Yosemite Valley. He attributed his inspiration to Frank Hales’ modules that caught the attention and curiosity of the kids that came to the shows. Rick wanted to inspire the children’s curiosity and encourage them to be passionate about life.
The operation of the show went well with the use of DCS (MTH’s control system) and TMCC (Lionel’s control system). Early in the morning, there was a voltage drop across the Horseshoe Curve module section. Steve Kehn, our resident electrical whiz kid, identified the problem and installed a 50 foot jumper cable to carry power thru the horseshoe curve modules. The power drop and the signal losses were fixed.
Trains ran smoothly until 12:27 p.m. when a panic set in. A very important person had disappeared off a “Star Wars” freight train. Lego Darth Vader had vanished. The fear in the hearts of all the children present were that Lego Darth Vader had been kidnapped. An extensive search found him at the bottom of a ravine in Chris Herndon’s module. After a thorough exam for injury, he was released to ride again on top of his train. Hi-ho, the “Empire strikes back.”
Gary and Diane Ditto, our sponsors, had hired a 6 person jazz band to play on the stage for 2 hours.
The Dittos also provided pizzas and drinks for the Trackers and gave out wooden train whistles to the attending children.
The show had a large turnout. There were over 700 people in attendance.
Sunday, September 8
At 11:30 a.m., the show opened to the public. Several vendors were in place selling food and gift items. A local gentleman had train displays and told stories to children. The Boy Scouts sold hot dogs, sandwiches and soda to benefit the show.
The TIU overheated. It was replaced and in 5 minutes trains were back up and running.
Jon Grasson of Red Caboose Restorations, Olney, Maryland, was our in-house train doctor. He was in attendance for Saturday and Sunday repairing trains. This was a great community service for the attending public. Thanks Jon.
The count for Sunday was about 700 people in attendance. The Kensington Armory train show
organizers have already asked us to return next year.
The following members have signed up with tables:
Gil Baldwin 2 straight Chris Herndon 4 straight
Ed Beaver horseshoe curve
Rich Colton 3 straight Justin Krause 2 6’ tables
Allen Krotts 2 straight Joe LaCasio 1 straight
Toni Duncanson 1 straight Craig Schelle 4 straight
Mike Fistere 9 track yard Dave Sealing 1 T module
Bill Hakkarinen 2 straight Casey Talaga 1 straight
John Harper turntable George Tsakiris 2 straight
The following brought trains to run:
Dave Eadie, Ralph Fox, Mike Smith