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Old 04-11-2009, 06:05 PM
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The Model RR Club, Union, NJ

Well, seeing it was a rainy, ugly day in Jersey, and I needed to help get a couple kids out of the house to save the other half from insanity, a short Road Trip was definitely needed!

So our adventure took us to The Model RR Club in Union, NJ, home of the largest club of it's type in the State. TMRCI - The Model Railroad Club, Inc.* Union NJ. This Club has been featured in MRR and Allen Keller, and I'm sure a bunch of other publications. They have operating HO, N, and a G scale layout, along with some other surprises. So come along for the visit! We'll start out with pics of the N-Scale for now.

Here's the little building they have, and this is about two-thirds of it...



Here's a cool toy. Now if I can only figure a way to get it in the back of the truck, and home without being seen...



Here's some pics of the N-Scale




And some logging going on...



And a steel mill



They had a huge Harbor Scene...




And even the USCG is there!



I'll be back with some more tonight. Till then!
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Where Alcos, Fairbanks-Morse, Baldwins, EMD's and the rare GE live on
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:07 PM
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Im sorry i missed this trip with you it looked like fun. Martin
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:08 PM
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Cool I've got another one I'm working on, I'll let you know.

Well, as promised, here's a few more of the N-Scale portion of the Club. In addition to the harbor, there's lots of intermodal



And yards...




Lots of industry, and much still being built





Roundhouse and Turntable...



Bridge



More pics





Lift bridge and Heulitt Loaders






So there's some of the N-Scale stuff. In our next installment, I will show you what's in THIS picture with the HO Scale world...



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Where Alcos, Fairbanks-Morse, Baldwins, EMD's and the rare GE live on
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:07 PM
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What a club
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:56 PM
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Fantastic job Mike!! I thoroughly enjoyed the photos and story! Besides it looking like a great club, I must say that your photography is getting better and better each time as well!! Nicely set up shots, great lighting, etc!
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:44 PM
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Cool Well, thanks TD!

Thanks guys! This is a pretty cool place to see. They've always been super friendly, and this particular weekend they were short handed as a bunch went out to Fort Washington PA to operate on another club's layout there.

I had some stats I wanted to share before moving along. The N- Scale portion is a double deck design in a 30X27 foot room.

The HO Section was originally in a 40X40 area, but the new section adds another 80X60 to the layout. It's an operating layout, and they use car magnet markers to identify destinations for the equipment. All track is HANDLAID! All turnouts are custom built. The only commercial track is in temporary locations. The club was originally founded by Paul Mallory, NMRA Master modeler #4, and the club has held high standards since. Everything is DCC, and uses Digitrax. The Club was approached by Digitrax before they went public with their product, and was the beta test bed for them.

We're going to see some of the underdeck wiring, and electronics, and I have a few surprises I thought i would toss in this bunch of pics. So sit back and take another look at The Model RR Club!

Here's another overall view of the layout from the other end of the building. In the immediate foreground you may notice some HUGE trains some of us here on TWP play with...G-SCALE! In the background is the N-Scale area we just left.



More of the G-Scale, they had a RS-3 hooked up to fourteen cars and a caboose.



As I look at the size of this layout, I keep thinking Shawn Fields is bigger...

The helix in the background is a "temporary" structure for the new section of the HO Scale stuff to climb between levels.



Then here's a surprise, I was here two years ago, and it was complete back then, but it's a live steamer. Note the seat on it. The unit was sitting in an "off-limits" area and I couldn't get close enough to get a better shot



The crews get a place to take a load off, and guzzle some 75 cent Cokes.



Here's another view looking across the completed section of the layout, note the mirrors in the corner. We'll see more of the mirrors later.



Heading over into the new section, I took a few pictures......of a passenger terminal almost completed.



Scratch-Built...



They use their own road names because, as a member told me, it cuts down on the "rivet-counters". Here's some passenger equipment.



And we'll end this chapter with a picture of a roundhouse under construction.

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Where Alcos, Fairbanks-Morse, Baldwins, EMD's and the rare GE live on
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:41 PM
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Some very nice photos Mike, thanks for sharing them with us. BOY !! Wouldn't it be great to be a member of a club like that ?? Drool, dribble, drool !!!!!

Cheers, Simon
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the road trip Mike that is a layout I would never have seen so your photos are much appreciated
Ken
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:07 PM
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Smile Now you know why we have TWP!

Thanks guys for the compliments! I know I'm fortunate to be living in an area with a fair amount of the hobby's jewels, and I definitely appreciate seeing other folk's handiwork. I appreciate knowing you guys are taking this in, as I figured most of you wouldn't ever get a chance otherwise to catch this great Club Layout! This group of modelers REALLY goes to great lengths to do things the best they can, as you will see in this chapter of our visit.

First we'll catch a couple pics above deck, and then we'll take a tour underneath!

They have a great variety of structures, some complete, and one kinda wrecked...



An RDC laying over for the weekend...



The entire HO Scale layout is up off the floor, with walkways throughout underneath. There we find the programming area, some workspaces, storage cabinets and all the wiring and electronics to make the thing function. The layout has signaling, and is run off DCC. A lot of the wiring harnesses are not used anymore since the club went to Digitrax, but they still need to make the switches function, as well as any layout lighting and power.

So with that all said, come along and see it for yourselves



Now I take pictures of EVERYTHING, including the areas you probably wouldn't get much from. But what I got from this pic is how sturdy everything is built...or OVER built! Since everything is off the floor, these guys don't mess around and probably have the equivalent of a house's worth of lumber in there!



Here's some of the Digitrax stuff...



Here's some circuit panels and fuses...



Under the older section of the layout, we see some of the electronics for running it. There are electronic "cards" with the necessary circuitry for various parts of the layout to the left (you can see LED lights on some of them), and the relays on the right to make the track turnouts function.



Under the new section, they came up with more advanced electronics, where this little card does what eight relays and their motherboards would do. I was told one of the members is an Electronics Engineer out of Princeton University.


Now, one of the cool things about doing layout visits is that you will always find some "pearl" that you would have never thought of, or is just a stroke of brilliance. The next picture is one of those things I would place in the "pearl" category. These are the switch machines for the layout. Now if they don't look like Tortoise or Circuitron Snap switches, well, you're right, they aren't! These babies cost $4 each. What are they????



When I tell you in the next installment (maybe ) you will be surprised (I think!) Till then!
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:25 PM
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great layout pics. love the 'under' scenes showing the wiring, they did a bangup job on the wiring.
now,,the little switch machine for 4.00,, i'd be guessing it's a doorbell plunger/solenoid. they are cheap as heck and will work fine.

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