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.
The Morton Museum of Collierville History will be holding its annual Train Heritage Day on August 11th from 10 AM to 4 PM. This event has proven popular with the model railroading community in the past, and model railroaders are once again invited to participate. This event is open to both groups and individuals.
Participants may set-up on Friday, August 10th between 9am - 5pm or Saturday morning between 8am - 9:30am. The Museum can provide 6ft. tables and chairs, please let us know upon your RSVP how many tables are needed. Groups provide their own extension cords if needed.
Mobile and Stationary Displays are both welcome.
The Museum views this event as an educational opportunity to promote model railroading, teach railroad safety, and celebrate Collierville's rich railroad history. For this reason, we ask that if vendors are interested in participating they not sell on site, but share their information and/or products and teach our visitors about what they do.
Last year around 1,200 people were in attendance. Groups who have participated in the past have been The Memphis Chapter: National Railway Historical Society, The Casey Jones Hi-Railers, The Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum, The Bluff City Benders, and the Mid-South Garden Railway Society.
Contact the museum if you have questions. (901) 457-2650.
Alas, summer! Time to take a break from trains, right? Not for some of us members of the Casey Jones Hi-railers. We have been working hard to rebuild the layout that is a main feature of the local TCA train shows held in Germantown, TN.
The current traveling layout has just gotten too heavy to haul around. It measures 5' X 20' and is constructed out of seems like concrete masonry blocks. We are currently knee-deep into building a new layout almost entirely out of foam. The foam we are using is not the typical blue or pink stuff one finds at a local home improvement store. This foam is a special material used to insulate pharmaceuticals during shipment. The only traits it shares in common with regular insulation foam is its blue color and 2" thickness. Otherwise, it is much stronger and more rigid than the normal blue stuff.
The current layout uses the older tubular O-gauge track, has two mainlines and several sidings, and it features several postwar operating accessories. Our new foam layout will use FasTrack and feature three mainlines. There will be single passing siding that retains the more traditional tubular track to simplify the reinstallation of older accessories. Otherwise, it is all foam and FasTrack.
Whereas our current layout is composed of four heavy sections that each require two people to move, our new layout will consist of ten smaller and much lighter-weight sections. One person can easily move two of the new sections at a time. The sections will be arranged in a rectangle doughnut-like shape measuring approximately 10' X 15'. The foam base will rest on two sets of collapsable 2x2 wooden rails that rest nicely in notched plastic sawhorses. The rails are constructed in such a way that allows them to fold down to under five feet. Every aspect of the layout is designed and being constructed with easy transport and storage in mind.
We hope our new layout gives show attendees something fresh to look at and enjoy and be easier to manage for our Hi-railer helpers. It will certainly be a lot lighter, if nothing else.
We kicked off our project back in June and are about a third of the way through. Anywhere for four to eight members get together every Saturday morning to complete the tasks outlined in our project plan. Our objective is to complete the rebuild in time for our season opener show on October 6th. The project is tracking pretty close to plan and we should be finished in time for our first show of the new season.
Below are a few shots from our first few working sessions.