The Casey Jones Chapter of the Train Collectors Association held their second show of the season at the beginning of December. Show volunteers decorated the facility and even added Christmas touches to the operating layout to create a more festive atmosphere.
Well over two hundred people came out to see the show. This is pretty good considering the show fell on the same day as the St. Jude Marathon. There was also a Christmas crafts show in town just down the road at the Agricenter. Still, lots of families came out to see the trains, and over sixty kids entered a drawing to win a new Lionel train set that was awarded near the end of the show.
The Casey Jones Chapter holds five shows each year in the months of October, December, February, April, and June. The shows are aimed at people with an interest in larger toy-like trains, such as those produced by Lionel.
The Pennsylvania-based Train Collectors Association has over twenty thousand members around the world.
Do you have trains set up around your Christmas tree or in another winter holiday scene? Let us see them. The Casey Jones Chapter of the TCA is putting together an online holiday photo album and would love to get pictures of your holiday-themed train displays. You don't have to be a member of the TCA to send us pictures. You just have to snap a picture or two and be willing to share them with the rest of us. Any scale or type of model or toy train display is just fine with us as long as it is winter / holiday-themed.
If you would like us to include your pictures, please submit them by email by December 20th.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kelly
2019 is almost here, and the new year promises to bring with it lots of activities for the train enthusiasts within the Mid-South region of the country. Be sure to occasionally check our Events page for the latest information on upcoming events and activities in the area. Most of the events are within a day's drive of Memphis. A few more distant events are listed due to their prominence.
If there is a model or toy train event scheduled in the next few months that you think we missed or that you would like posted, please email us the details.
Another open house event hosted by the Memphis Model Railroaders (MMR) has come and gone. These events began a couple of years ago when the MMR member groups decided to open up their club layouts for friends and family to visit. They were held once a year and not heavily advertised to keep the events somewhat private. Now there are two open house events each year and word has spread to the broader train-enthusiast community. Last week's event was by far the busiest of any MMR open house to date. A quick count part way through the day-long event registered over fifty people at one single point in the day. It was great to see so much interest in the trains and the work of so many talented people.
Video clip courtesy of Mike McTavish
The Memphis Model Railroaders open house event is scheduled for Saturday, November 17th starting at 11 a.m. Local model railroading groups will put their layouts on display. This is a free event open to anyone with an interest in model trains. Check out our Events page for more information
After weeks of planning and months of building, Casey Jones Chapter, TCA's new portable layout made its debut at our season opener show on October 6th in Germantown, Tennessee. If you've been following this story at all, you'll know that we desperately needed to replace our layout due to its heft. It just had become too heavy to move down three flights of stairs, transport across town, carry in to set up, carry back out, transport back across town, and move back up three flights of stairs. Built almost entirely out of a special type of packing foam, the new layout is a dream to move - and talk about a great way to recycle waste foam!
Images courtesy of Danny Corbitt
The new layout is also much bigger than the layout it replaces. Its three mainline tracks are longer and feature broader curves. We can run more trains at the same time with a wider variety of locomotives and rolling stock. There is also plenty of room to add more scenery details and other interesting features as time goes on. We hope it will make the show experience much more fun and interesting for our younger visitors.
We've still got a few bugs to work out to make set-up and tear-down easier, but all in all we are very pleased with how the project turned out and look forward to seeing people enjoy this new layout for years to come.
Here are some other highlights from the show:
If you didn't get a chance to visit the show or see the layout this time, be sure to visit our annual Holiday Show on December 1st.
Summer days are getting shorter and nearing their end. Work on the layout we take to our local TCA shows is also nearing its end. With just a few weeks to go before our fall opener, the structure and base scenery work are complete, as is much of the wiring prep work. Here's a view of the layout - minus one section on the end - after paint and some ground foam were applied this week.
This weekend we will secure the track into place and dismantle the layout for its move from this workshop to its future home, where finishing touches will be applied and operational testing completed.
The Casey Jones Chapter of the TCA is getting ready to kick off another train show season with its Fall Opener just seven weeks away. It is now possible to reserve your tables for the show online. You can choose any one of the shows in the upcoming season, or select all of them to arrange for tables at every show. Reserve your tables here.
The Casey Jones Hi-railers achieved a major milestone this past weekend with the closing of the third and final loop of track on the new TCA train show layout. The Ron Williams Memorial Layout, named in honor of a former member who was instrumental in spearheading the first local TCA show layout, is on track for making its debut at the Casey Jones TCA show on October 6th.
The 10' x 15' layout features lightweight foam construction. Each of its 10 sections are aligned and held into place with dowel pins and furniture table leaf-style locks. The layout is so light it rests on 2x2 wood rails that sit snuggly in the factory 2-inch notches in plastic sawhorses purchased from Lowes. No more moving heavy tables to support the layout.
The new layout will have three independent FasTrack loops with minimum curves of O36, O48, and O72, respectively. The O72 track is planned to be the longest of the three lines and features a passing siding that transitions in and out of tubular track to allow use of older postwar accessories. The layout will be wired for both conventional and command control.
We hope you will visit one of our upcoming shows to see the new layout in operation.
There is a new National Model Railroad Association division in Tennessee. The Plateau Division was recently formed as a new division of the Southeastern Region and covers middle Tennessee. Their new website went live just a few days ago. There is a link to their new site on our home page. Select "Home" on our menu bar and scroll down to the "Other Resources" section. You will find a link to their site along with links to many other useful and interesting websites.