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JANUARY 2012 Volume 2 • Issue 1

www.trainfest.com

Small Beginnings Bring Great Things By Angela Podewils

From the two bedroom apartment where their club began, the Milwaukee Operators Organization (MOO Crew) has grown and developed over its 24-year history. It was the mid-1980’s when a group of friends got together and decided to form the Moo Crew as a way to come together and display their modeling work. When founding the club, most of the members were in their twenties and thirties, some newly married - and all lacked the room to build their own home layouts. Paul Rathkamp, a model

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railroader for as long as he can remember, found that this great group of modelers was the perfect situation to keep his modeling going despite space limitations. The first task for the MOO Crew was to find somewhere to build their layout. The small two-bedroom apartment of one of the single members was selected as the layout’s construction zone. It wasn’t long before they had taken over the apartment barely leaving that member with a kitchen and a bedroom to call his own. see Small Beginnings Bring Great Things Continued on page 3

What’s Inside MTH, Meeting the Technology Challenge PG 4 Wishes from Walthers PG 19 HOW TO: A Signal Bridge, Three Decades in the Making PG 20 Passing on the Hobby PG 24 New Annual Trainfest Award PG 25

Trainfest 2011 Wrap-Up

SPECIAL

PULL-OUT SECTION Starting on page 7 Kids Activities PG 7 Prize Winners PG 10 Trainfest 2011: Fun for All Ages PG 12 40th Anniversary Awards PG 13


Trainfest From the

Caboose

Now that the dust has begun to settle, I would like to personally thank everyone who participated and volunteered to help at Trainfest 2011. With your help and dedicated effort, our 40th Anniversary of Trainfest was the largest show yet! Trainfest 2011 broke the all time attendance record with a total attendance of 23,764. On both Saturday and Sunday, we had the largest adult attendance in the history of Trainfest. Our 4th annual Friday Product Showcase set a new attendance record of 210 attendees too. This record breaking crowd not only represented a mix of serious modelers and young families interested in model trains, but also individuals representing countries from around the world including Japan, Australia and Germany - to name just a few. Trainfest truly has become a worldwide event. This global attraction extends to Trainfest EXPRESS which electronically reaches over 12,500 subscribers hailing from across the United States and Canada, plus New Zealand, Spain, Germany, England, Australia, Japan, China and more. A special welcome to the nearly 3,000 new subscribers who have joined us this fall. Since Trainfest 2011, I have received many thank you emails commenting that this year’s show was one of the best, with the most efficient set-up and tear-down ever. One such note was from a Trainfest visitor from Japan and I would like to share it with you, as quoted below, Dear John,

Thank you so much for the invite to Trainfest. It helps our business very much. [Hiro operates Train Hobby Shop of Japan and has visited Trainfest for the past 4 or 5 years]. I’ve attached a photo of you at the site and my favorite wired Northeast scene [David Harrison’s Acela Express-Northeast Corridor layout]. It reminds me of when I lived in the Northeast during the mid 60s — [the layout is] so full of my young memories packed in it. Thank you for taking care of me on every visit and I hope you have a nice Christmas... Sincerely yours, Hiroyasu Ushijima Receiving letters and notes like the one from Hiroyasu mean a lot. I thank all of you again for you tireless help and dedicated support during the past 20 years, which I have served as your Trainfest director. Because of your enthusiasm and continued dedication, we have been able to make Trainfest – America’s largest (and best) operating model railroad show. Nancy and I would like to wish you and your families a Prosperous and Joyous New Year. In the spirit of Model railroading...Happy Holidays and Clear Signals Always,

Sponsoring Publisher Wisconsin Southeastern (WISE) Division, Inc., NMRA

Publisher John H. Tews, MMR john@trainfest.com

Contributing Editors Angela Podewils Bonnie Moyer Topczewski Jody Delie

Newsletter Design, Web & Advertising Mercury Communication Partners, LLC 262-782-4637 www.mercuryww.com

Photos Contributed by LaRoy Chisley Jeremy Topczewski

John John H. Tews, MMR Executive Director – Trainfest Trainfest EXPRESS is sent free via email as a PDF or can be viewed on the Trainfest website in an interactive, online paging-style format. You can also print out the pages or articles you desire.

Hello, how are you? I guess Milwaukee is much colder [now] than the Trainfest weekend.

TRAINFEST, Trainfest EXPRESS and the Trainfest LOGO are registered trademarks of the Wisconsin Southeastern (WISE) Division, Inc., NMRA.

www.trainfest.com

Trainfest Committee John H. Tews, MMR Executive Director, E-mail: john@trainfest.com Richard Cecil Asst. to the Director Cedor Aronow Security Scott Porinsky Computer Services

Gary Kamin Trainfest Treasurer

Joe Russ WISE Superintendent

Ed Padgett Volunteer Coordinator

Mercury Communications Advertising Agency

Kurt Wamser Floor Director

Trainfest is possible due to the dedication and hard work of our volunteers and board members. If you would like to volunteer for America’s largest operating model railroad show, contact us via email: volunteer@ trainfest.com. Trainfest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Southeastern (WISE) Division, Inc., 2 NMRA

Linda Sukup Ticket Coordinator Terry Thompson HMA-MRD Advisor


SMALL BEGINNINGS BRING GREAT THINGS

A module from the Moo Crew layout which illustrates the industry of the Midwestern US.

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Everything necessary for putting the layout together was done in the apartment — from cutting wood to screwing and gluing all the pieces together. Multiple stations were set-up. Members worked on scenery pieces, structures, and track as they put the layout together. There were challenges. Obviously the small space made it difficult to maneuver around. The noise and activity of the club did not help their member’s popularity with his neighbors or landlord either! Sawdust was everywhere and so ingrained in the carpet no amount of vacuuming could get it out. White glue was on the walls. “Yikes! We made a mess.” Their efforts were ultimately worth it; today the MOO Crew layout is 44-ft. long and 22-ft. wide with 20 modules. The club currently has 14 members. While many of the members now have the space for their home layouts, they still enjoy coming together to work on the ever evolving MOO Crew Layout.

(And yes, they did eventually help clean-up the apartment where it all began.)

MOO Crew Today

The MOO Crew layout is an HO scale freelance model railroad. North Coast Engineering DCC electronics are consistently used throughout the design. The club chose to make a freelance layout to cater to the creativity of its members, enabling them to create the module they wished. Overall, the layout covers a wide time period — from steam engines to modern diesel engines. The only continuity setting element of the layout is a general Midwestern United States location. The MOO Crew has maintained this feeling through their use of trees, grasses, and ground cover indicative to that area. The scenes depicting heavy industry remind visitors of industrial centers of the Midwest. Continued on page 23

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From Roots in Tinplate Cars, MTH is Meeting the Technology Challenge

Metro Milwaukee Z Scale Debuted New Module at Trainfest 2011

In a time when video games and other electronics can draw away potential future model railroaders, MTH Electric Trains® is a company who is rising to the challenge by developing more advanced and realistic technology for the Model Railroading hobby. Back in 1980, a college student named Mike Wolf had an idea how to cater to the nostalgia of modelers. MTH was launched to capture the opportunity from Mike’s parent’s home. Initially the company produced tinplate train cars much like those of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Today they still produce the toy trains under a joint venture with Lionel Corporation Tinplate and Lionel Electric Trains®. However, just as Mike matured so has MTH. Products focused on by the company are developed to answer the demand of modelers for more realistic details in their electric trains. Under the MTH and RailKing® brands, MTH offers several product lines. The MTH brand offers; the O gauge Premier Line and HO Scale MTH Electric Trains line. The RailKing brand offers; the O gauge RailKing line and the G scale RailKing One-Gauge line.

The Vision

To meet the challenge offered by video games and other hobbies, MTH has looked for ways to create a more interactive product so to keep the user’s attention and create more enthusiasm for the hobby. As model train technology has progressed in becoming more and more realistic while still getting smaller in size, it can be adapted to be put into trains. Advanced technology is the name of the game. According to Rich Foster, Vice President-Sales, MTH has invested in developing an operating system which incorporates as many realistic features as possible for their trains. One such advancement of realistic features includes an HO scale electric locomotive with a pantograph operating much like an actual electric locomotive. Another popular item seen at Trainfest 2011 was the synchronized puffing smoke and sound.

In the November issue of Trainfest EXPRESS we mentioned the new module from Metro Milwaukee Z Scale to be debuted at Trainfest 2011. Built by Bill Hoeppner, the 2’x4’ module had its finishing touches being made as late as Thursday night before the show, but it was looking great by show time!

Wisconsin Garden Railway Society at the 2011 Loretta Thomson Christmas Fantasy House Christmastime inspires memories of a train set making its way around a tree. The Wisconsin Garden Railway Society reincarnated this memory in its participation at the 2011 Christmas Fantasy House in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. This event which occurred November 5th through the 13th benefited the American Cancer Society. Keep a look out for other model railroad groups participating in community events.

Continued on page 6

A display from the MTH Electric Trains booth at Trainfest 2011.

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FROM ROOTS IN TINPLATE CARS Continued from page 5

“By adding more operating and sound features, MTH Trains provide more action, better prototypical operation, and more fun, says Rich. This has helped our products compete with electronic and video games because MTH trains are more interesting and compelling.”

The Technology

The goal of the MTH operating systems ProtoSound 2.0 and ProtoSound 3.0 is to get a realistic prototypical experience. In addition to an advanced sound, drive and digital control system, they also include scores of sound and operating features that increase the operator’s experience. The electronics behind the engines run the motors in a precise manner allowing the trains to run at accurate scale miles per hour. It’s why MTH trains are known to

be some of the smoothest running trains in the industry … it’s also another example of the companies’ work toward prototypical accuracy. A large factor in attracting and maintaining interest in the hobby is bringing advanced technologies to newer modelers. MTH has made available entry level “ready to run” train sets with their most advanced ProtoSound 3.0 system. “This allows even first-timers to see the advances the hobby has made in sound, features and control,” says Rich.

MTH at Trainfest

Train shows offer consumers an opportunity to see MTH trains operate and to see how their products have changed, as well as overall how the hobby is progressing. Rich especially enjoys the Trainfest experience and its ability to blend hobby enthusiasts and future generations of modelers.

The realistic features of MTH Trains displayed at Trainfest 2011 drew visitors to the MTH booth.

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Trainfest 2011 40th Anniversary

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Circus Train Ride and Train Races Returning Children’s favorites, the Circus Train Ride and Train Races gave kids the opportunity to not only ride a train but run the trains as well!

Kalmbach Publishing Kalmbach Publishing presented their Trains4Kids rest stop area, with story time and coloring offered both days. The area was a hit with all young railroad fans.

7 Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


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Radio Disney

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Sunday afternoon Radio Disney’s Road Crew cranked up the fun with activities, dancing, prizes, and train-themed crafts.

Face Painting The 40th Anniversary brought about some new and exciting kids’ activities. Free Face Painting was a very popular addition. The most requested design?.. Trains, of course!

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Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing,


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LEGO Area ÂŽ

The American Institute of Architects presented a build and play LEGO area. It was the perfect opportunity for young modelers to build some displays themselves.

Uniformed Scouts

There was a great showing of uniformed scouts and active military who received free admission into Trainfest as a part of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations. 9

, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


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Trainfest Promotion Prize Winners

Three Generations The true mission of Trainfest could not have been more apparent than in this family of three generations coming out to the show and passing on an interest in the hobby. 10

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing,


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Trainfest Promotion Prize Winners

Sendik’s Food Market

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In the weeks leading up to Trainfest 2011, Trainfest partnered up with Sendik’s Food Market in Milwaukee to hold Train Set giveaways in their stores. Here are some of the winners from the Whitefish Bay, Mequon, and Grafton Stores.

40th Anniversary Celebrations

As part of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations, several lucky visitors went home with their very own new train set. It was certainly inspiring to see the looks of excitement on the faces of a new generation of model railroaders.

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, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


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Trainfest 2011, Fun for all ages

The 40th Anniversary of Trainfest did not disappoint. With record setting attendance, Trainfest 2011 was the largest show yet! From demonstrations and workshops to hobby dealers and manufacturers, show goers - young and the young at heart - all found something to satisfy their love of all things trains.

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Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing,


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Trainfest 2011 40th Anniversary Award Winners

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The Trainfest Award Committee looks for Layouts, Displays, Modules, Individual Scenes and Manufacturers, which in their judgment, depict the Best of the Spirit of Model Railroading, and adds value to the Trainfest experience, and creates new ideas in modeling for Trainfest goers. Layout - Best of Show: S Scale Work Shop of St Catharine, Ontario Canada.

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Andy Malette, Jim Martin and Pete Moffitt were recognized for their attention to detail, from the weathering of the structures and rolling stock, to the overall effect of the scenery.

Layout – 1st Place: Colorado Narrow Gauge (On30) of Milwaukee, WI. Jim Zeren and Bob Smoczynski were recognized for their technique used in the creation of the rocks, trees and detail to the track work.

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, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


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Module - 1st Place: An HO gauge series of modules constructed by Ken Lynn and Rodger Camplin, depicts an operating steel mill with a simulated functioning electric arc furnace in the Milwaukee Operators Organization (MOO Crew) layout from Milwaukee, WI.

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Module - Best of Show: Bernie Rossbach’s railroad crossing scene module in the Northwest Traction group’s layout from Skokie, IL. This scene depicts the crossing detail required in an overhead wire traction layout.

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Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing,


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Display – 1st Place: John Giove, group coordinator of The Milwaukee Electric Traction Club of Muskego, WI, recognized for their new display of electric traction equipment and the preservation of a unique collection of historic memorabilia.

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Display - Best of Show: The vast, historic collection of preserved and restored model trains presented by the Wisconsin Standard Gauge Operators of Mequon, WI. Robert Lemke, group coordinator.

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Trainfest 2011 40th Anniversary Award Winners

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, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


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Trainfest 2011 40th Anniversary Award Winners Chairman’s Award – Trainfest: Presented to Neville Meades for his scratchbuilt, super detailed Canadian National Railroad Depot as part of the Craftsman Corner, Niagara Frontier Region of the NMRA of Severn Bridge, Ontario, Canada. Neville’s structure included board by board construction of the entire depot, including the framework.

Chairman’s Award – Manufacturer: Presented to Jim Scorse, president of NCE Corporation of Webster, New York, for their Interactive display of their DCC equipment, including the new programmable modular layout lighting equipment.

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Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing,


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Trainfest 2011 40th Anniversary Award Winners Trainfest Committee Award – Trainfest: Presented to Ed Varick for the fall scene constructed by Ed on the Wisconsin Bits and Pieces Railroad layout from Milwaukee, WI.

Trainfest Committee Award – Manufacturer: Presented to Dan Larsen and the crew of Exact Rail LLC of Provo, Utah, for their interactive display of their product line-up of detailed model railroad equipment.

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, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


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Honorable Mention: Presented to Mike Slater for his unique, historic OO Gauge Lionel layout as part of the display of the Lionel Club of Southeastern Wisconsin from Racine, WI

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Trainfest 2011 40th Anniversary Award Winners

Honorable Mention: Presented to Jim Peterson of Milwaukee, WI, in honor of his continued participation at Trainfest. This is Jim’s 40th year of coordinating the circus train display area, as well as bringing his personal collection of circus train’s to Trainfest for all to enjoy.

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Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Accurail, Athearn, Bachmann, Broadway Limited Imports, Heritage Art Editions, Horizon Hobby Trains, Kalmbach Publishing, Lionel Railroad Club Milwaukee, Marshall Publications, Micro-Trains Line, MTH Electric Trains, Sendik’s Food Market, Train Collectors Association, Walthers


John, Congratulations on a record-breaking Trainfest! We are so happy for your success. Since it was a special milestone year, we wanted to be sure to mark it with some additional fanfare. This card (poster) was displayed in our booth and signed by your show’s many friends. We hope you can find a place of honor to display it and recall the hard work and success of this year and the 39 preceding. Best regards, Stacey and the Walthers Team

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HOW TO:

A Signal Bridge, Three Decades in the Making Tackling new techniques or taking on a new project can be a formidable opponent for some modelers. Yet the commitment to the hobby’s continuous education philosophy is a challenge many modelers thrive and draw upon to have confidence in their capabilities to try something new. Such was the case when Bill Hambly, member of Nottawasaga Model Railroad Club - Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada, began to build a brass signal bridge in the Fall of 2011. This project had been a long time coming, as Bill had spotted the plan in the December 1979 issue of Model Railroader. He immediately ordered the brass shapes and they arrived in January 1980. Finally in October 2011, Bill had built-up the courage to create the bridge and began the signal bridge project. Bill has been modeling for over 50 years; he has always enjoyed working with his hands. His favorite aspect of the model railroading hobby is how it keeps one’s mind active and constantly learning. He thoroughly enjoys how this hobby challenges him to utilize a variety of skills from math and electrical knowledge to artistic design and history.

Tools to Build the Signal Bridge

In addition to the brass shapes Bill ordered from Special Shapes, he recommends that modelers preparing to take on this project should have the following tools on hand. A good soldering iron with a small tip is a must (Bill uses a Weller soldering iron). Next he recommends to aid in scratch building the structure having a: digital caliber set, scale ruler, machinist’s squares, and weights. For holding onto the pieces while soldering, Bill suggests having a tweezers or X-Acto® Third Hand. Overall this project may take some time — especially the electrical work. However, Bill found the time and patience needed for working in metal was well worth the feeling of satisfaction upon completing the signal bridge. “Ultimately in modeling you only have to satisfy yourself,” says Bill. “Take your time and don’t be afraid to make mistakes — that’s how you learn.” Bill Hambly is a member of the Nottawasaga Model Railway club, and has been attending Trainfest for two years with the Niagara Frontier Region of the NMRA.

Bill’s Step-by-Step Signal Bridge Building Process

Scratch Building in Metal

As most modeling today is done in wood and plastic, Bill feels the art of working in metal has all disappeared. It was his opinion as well, as it had been years since he had personally worked with metal himself. Further, most modelers today do not know how to solder. To Bill, it’s a useful skill for not only building structures, but in doing electrical work as well. For this signal bridge project, Bill uses sweat soldering to form the joints in the structure. He used brass for the structure, as it is a soft metal which can be easily cut and shaped. Bill confronts the potential fears of modelers of working with metal by comparing the practices of building with wood and that of working in metal. “When you build with wood, you often cut the piece oversize then sand it down to size,” says Bill. “You do the same with metal except you file the pieces down to size; it just takes a bit more time and patience.”

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Step 1: To aid in assembling the structure, build a simple jig of balsa wood, masonite, and plywood to serve as a good platform for soldering the main pieces together.


Step 4: For making the joint, hold the pre-tinned pieces together and apply the soldering iron to them. The solder sweats or flows thus making your joint. Repeat the previous steps to assemble the entire structure.

Step 2: After cleaning the pieces, begin the sweat soldering technique. For this sort of building, an acid flux is best to use when soldering. The flux can be either liquid or paste form depending on the modeler’s preference. Note: do not use the acid flux when working on electronics. Apply the flux with a toothpick to both metal pieces on the spot that will make up the joint.

Step 5: After assembling the structure, Bill moves onto the electronics of the piece. For the lights he uses LED lights from Minitronics. The signal heads are plastic from Oregon Supply Company. When using LEDS you will need to use resistors. To have operating signals, Bill puts in a current transducer (ct) which tells when something is drawing current from a particular section of track. The circuits to drive the 3-color LEDs were designed by Bill Hudson (hudsontelcom.com). It also drives the circuit board and can cascade the signals, plus turn the signals red, green and yellow.

Step 3: Clean the tip of your soldering iron on paper towel or a sponge and apply it to the metal pieces. This process of “pretinning� the pieces helps the solder melt quickly. As the metal can get rather hot, it is best to hold the pieces with a tweezers or third hand.

Step 6: The finishing touches of the signal bridge were created by Bill to fit his home layout. The structure itself was brush-painted with Polly Scale Engine Black and the walkway is wood-stained black. 21


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SMALL BEGINNINGS BRING GREAT THINGS

Continued from page 3

Over its 24-year history, the MOO Crew has enjoyed exhibiting at three to four train shows each year. Bringing home awards for their layout, most recently for their Steel Mill Module at Trainfest 2011. Paul especially enjoys how these shows offer the opportunity to spend time with friends. “Train shows usually turn out to be a guy’s weekend for the club, says Paul. It is our chance to play with trains all weekend and display all the work we’ve completed on the layout throughout the year.” At Trainfest 2011, Trainfest EXPRESS was able to get “a behind the scenes” look at the MOO Crew’s “guy’s weekend.” Their layout is a flurry of movement, with some members operating the trains, others doing maintenance work, while still other members focus on answering questions from visitors. It is easy to see that each member is in their element. A favorite part of exhibiting at shows is talking with newer modelers and answering their questions. “We love answering questions about the hobby, says Paul. It is great to pass on our knowledge from years of modeling onto the next generation of modelers.” Continued on page 24

Another Look at 1st Place Module At Trainfest 2011, the Steel Mill Module of the MOO Crew’s layout was recognized with the 1st Place Module award. MOO Crew member Ken Lynn who built this module, has provided an in-depth look into the inspiration and construction of the module. Inspiration to build the Still Mill Module was found by Ken Lynn when taking a closer look at Dean Freytag’s vision and modeling of the steel industry. The inspiration carried through from the subject of the piece to some of the techniques developed by Freytag. Ken used these techniques in interior detailing and with H and I columns. The steel mill buildings are completely scratch-built. Ken used items from Plastruct, styrene sheets and shapes from Evergreen, and detail parts from Walthers. So far, Ken has spent about 160 hours working on the module … and he is not done yet. Ken has plans to add more lighting and automation. Ken expanded upon his inspiration from Dean Freytag’s models by completing further research on the steel industry. He utilized a wide variety of sources including internet archives, books, and photographs collected over the years. As an added benefit of working with a club like MOO Crew, Ken has found a wealth of knowledge to turn to when the project went outside of his areas of expertise. Specifically, he recruited another member with an expertise in electronics to help create the lighting effects and automation. Having his work recognized for a Trainfest Award is most gratifying to Ken and most welcomed. Yet, ultimately he feels the greatest recognition is that his work is inspiring other modelers.

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Passing on the Hobby: Model Railroading Spanning Generations One thing apparent at Trainfest 2011 was that multiple generations of families were out in full force enjoying the show and continuing on the tradition of model railroading. This is certainly the case with MOO Crew member Paul Rathkamp as he recalls observing and later joining his father in the hobby. In turn, he has since passed on the hobby to his son. Paul shares his story here of following his father into the model railroading hobby. My Father, Robert W. Rathkamp, was a Lifetime Member of the National Model Railroad Association and an excellent modeler known for his scratch-building skills. My earliest memories as a child are of watching my Father scratch building a large HO Scale wooden trestle that was more than three feet long and two feet tall. The model took him hundreds of hours to build as every individual piece was cut and stained by hand. The finished model was featured in Model Railroader Magazine. My Dad took me for weekly walks — “hikes” we called them. We’d walk to The Milwaukee Road’s Humboldt Yard on the east side of Milwaukee, and we’d watch for hours as the engines switched freight cars back and forth. Afterwards, we always stopped for a rootbeer before going home. By then, I couldn’t wait to get home and go down in the basement and switch model freight cars back and forth on my Dad’s small layout. Whenever my Dad would model or build kits, I’d sit and watch him. He took the time to explain all the various parts of the railroad cars and engines and how they worked. He always showed me how to use the basic modeling tools he was using. When I was old enough, he started giving me my own little modeling projects to work on. When Dad went to his model railroad club every other week, I usually tagged along. After a while, they actually let me run the trains at the club too. By the time my Dad passed away in June of 2001, history had already repeated itself. I was now taking my son to watch trains, and teaching him to model railroads and run trains. I’ll always cherish the memories of the time I spent with my Dad — both in my youth, and later when Dad, my son Blake, and I could enjoy the hobby of model railroading together. Paul Rathkamp

SMALL BEGINNINGS BRING GREAT THINGS

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“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” advises Paul to new modelers. The MOO Crew enjoys answering any question about their layout or the hobby. Beyond speaking with experienced modelers at shows, Paul urges modelers to support their local hobby shops, as they are a wealth of knowledge regarding the hobby. When asked about how much time they devote to model railroading, the query circulated among several club members and the general consensus was “a couple hundred hours a year.” Three times a year the MOO Crew holds work sessions where they touch-up the scenery, correct any electrical issues and maintain the track, as well as other work that needs to be done. In addition to the confidence in asking questions, Paul encourages new model railroaders to have confidence in their modeling work. “Sometimes it can be scary to pull apart or change something you have worked on, says Paul, but there is really nothing you can break that cannot be fixed. Embrace fearlessly and take chances, then have the patience to put it back together. It’s the keys to the hobby.” Paul credits his courage, when it comes to modeling, as having been learned from other modelers and his fellow MOO Crew members. Through the decades the club has been around, the MOO Crew members have formed lifelong friendships. With each member using and sharing his own specialty, whether in scenery, track or electronics, the club works together as one to accomplish what their layout needs – but friendship is always at the core of it.


New Annual Award Recognizes Passion to Trainfest and Model Railroading As Trainfest 2011 was gearing up for its 40th anniversary celebration, the Trainfest Committee came together to establish a new annual Trainfest Award. The inaugural John H. Tews, MMR-Spirit of Model Railroading Award was presented to John H. Tews, MMR Executive Director Trainfest on November 11th, 2011 at the Friday Product Showcase. The award was presented in honor of John’s 20 years of outstanding service as the executive director of Trainfest, as well as his lifelong passion and dedication to the hobby of Model Railroading. The John H. Tews, MMR – Spirit of Model Railroading Award was established to recognize those for their lifelong passion and dedication to the hobby of Model Railroading and for their continued support of Trainfest as exhibited by the leadership and commitment of John H. Tews, MMR.

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Trainfest Express JAN2012