Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Update on Module Initiative

The module initiative began earlier this year with an ambitious goal of starting an HO modular group and renewing the On30 group.  In line with these goals I ordered with my personal funds an end plate template from the Switching and Sipping Society group in NC earlier this year.  The templates were finished recently and I hope to have it by early June.  The next step will be to make two or three demo modules in HO for the July Meet.  The location and theme of the July meet is still in the works.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Remembering Railroaders


We as modelers tend to focus on equipment and structures of the railroad as that is what goes on our model railroads.  What we tend to forget is the men and women who work or worked the railroad during the period we model our chosen prototype or freelance.  Blair Kooistra has produced a roughly 30 minute video that captures the essence of those railroaders with shots of them in their daily jobs during the last days of Milwaukee Road's west coast operations.  It is worth your time to view this black and white gem that may rank as one of the best productions on railroading of this decade.  

Remembering the Milwaukee Roads Coast Division: Scenes from a Dying Transcontinental 

Remembering Milwaukee Road’s Coast Division: Scenes from a Dying Transcontinental

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Operations Day

This past Saturday 10 March 2018 the JRD was treated to two excellent clinics on operations.  The first by Chris Artale on operating without car cards in N Scale which is still applicable to other scales.  Chris opened up his house in the afternoon to see his layout in operation.  The second clinic was by Andrew Dodge on operations on his O Scale (Proto 48) Colorado Midland.  Andrew gave a frank discussion on compromises necessary for operation along with how historical research changes what modelers have as preconceived notions of their railroads operations.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Passing of a Friend and a Fixture

This Thanksgiving we lost a fixture of the Richmond Model Rail Community when Mike Trader unexpectedly passed away.  Mike was the constant stretching back to Bob's Hobby Shop and in each new place he was behind the counter with helpful ideas.  He will be sorely missed by JRD members and we wish to express our condolences to his family in this unexpected loss..  You may read his obituary from the Richmond Times Dispatch

Monday, October 30, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

New Innovation, Youth and Growth

We hear so much about the hobby as aging and not appealing to the youth. Today at an operations session of a large layout we having a good time with the normal issues of crowded tracks or aisles and the normal couplers that adjustment.  Several of our operators were under 30 with one under 18.  This is a good sign and one I hope will be repeated in many places.

One way we can interest young people is moving forward with the new and not focusing on the past.  We can seek new ways that interest them and relates to their world. It is known that most young people (and many others) exist on their smart phones. Today at the ops session mentioned in the first paragraph the owner of the Western Maryland (Moseley Subdivision) after the session settled down and was running smoothly allowed me to setup the new Digitrax LNWI.  The setup took less than a minute and it is prime example of how simple things should be to operate on a model railroad.




Once the setup was done and the new wifi device connected to by my iPhone I was operating my locomotive bidirectionally with quicker response than with my older simplex throttle.  Once news filtered out our youngest operator Paul with obvious enthusiasm was asking if he could use his WiThrottle. Moment later he was operating his locomotive with WiThrottle and showing others how well the WiThrottle worked over the Digitrax LNWI.  If we want more young people in the hobby then we need hit their excitement points since they are the ones who will excite their peers on how much fun is Model Railroading.

Philip Taylor

(There will be a review of the Digitrax LNWI in a future Crossties)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

November 2017 in Charlottesville

November Get Together at Cardboard Safari

We will have a clinic which include a demosltration of laser cutting of a structure and module/LDE benchwork. Second clinic is unamed as of yet. Our tour will be of Bob Macionis Layout which is a basement filling layout which will be torn down and a new one built shortly after our gatherning. Plans of the new layout will be on display

Please bring a folding chair!!!

Update on Module Initiative

The module initiative began earlier this year with an ambitious goal of starting an HO modular group and renewing the On30 group.  In line w...