When I joined the club in 2003, we had space in one of the local malls, which we filled with an Ntrak modular layout, and opened up for public display at least once a week. The space had started out as a bookstore when the mall first opened, later was used by an athletic-shoe retailer, and was given to us when the mall found itself with an excess of unrented space. This particular mall had always had trouble attracting business, and it just got worse over time. For a while, there were more community groups than retailers. This was obviously unsustainable, so in 2009, mall management evicted what few tenants remained, and locked the place up. We haven’t been in a mall since, until last month. (more…)
The blog is called “Furniture Railroads,” so…where’s the furniture? To make a long story short, my attention has been elsewhere. I still build furniture for a living, but my current employer has a stricter policy on personal projects than my past employers have. No personal work during lunch or breaks. I can take maybe fifteen minutes at the end of the workday before the lights go out. (His shop, his rules.) By quitting time, I’ve usually had enough of noise and sawdust, so I’ve been barely able to muster the enthusiasm for essential honey-do jobs, let alone hobby projects. (more…)
Several of my clubmates have attended the N Scale Weekend show in Bedford, Pennsylvania over the past several years, and have urged me to join them. The event is no longer held in Bedford—this year, it relocated to Altoona—but no matter. I went along, and had a great time. I somehow managed to make it home with a whopping 19¢ still in my pocket.
Once upon a time, Dave built some T-Trak modules. He spread a pair of passing sidings across several of them, and called them “the yard modules.” Those modules proved incredibly useful, and were included in every show layout. When Dave took a break from the hobby, Dana got the yard modules, and they went to so many shows that their foam-over-flakeboard carcases got all beat up. I built new carcases from oak-veneer plywood, and Dana and I installed the old track on them. They continued to go to every show. When Dana stepped back from his train-show activities, I got the yard modules, and here our story begins. (more…)
We toured the Central Library’s new Bausch & Lomb building on its opening day, back in 1997. Being the proud parents of a toddler, we naturally visited the new Children’s Center on the second floor. I noticed the glassed-in space under the stairs immediately. “Good place to put a railroad,” I thought. It took me seventeen years to turn that idle notion into reality, but here it is.
Four years ago, I had an upcoming show for which I needed a reverse loop module. I had one week, and a minimal budget, to build one. With limited after-hours shop time at my disposal, I decided to forego wood and experiment with corrugated cardboard instead. I’ve written about the construction of this module elsewhere. So, how’s it holding up?
This week I’m recuperating from the Syracuse Train Fair, which is the biggest show in our end of New York State. Our club always participates in a large, modular N scale layout. For the past four years, we’ve built T-Trak layouts with two other clubs. The intensity of this event serves to reminds me of everything I love, and hate, about modular railroading.