May 21, 2023 - Brick Elks Lodge - Brick NJ - T-TRAK 9am - 2pm. (setup 7:30)

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Atlantic City N-Scale Gathering - April 21-23

T-TRAK Layout Report

By Dave Ferrari, Northern New Jersey N-trak 

The 2023 N Scale Gathering at the Atlantic County 4H Fairgrounds took place on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 with setup on Friday, April 21. I was coordinator for the Combined T-TRAK layout again this year.

There were 86 separate modules provided by six (6) different clubs covering four (4) states: Atlantic County 4H Model Railroaders, New Jersey Southern N-trak Northern New Jersey N-Trak, Jersey Central N-Trak, Keystone N-Trak (PA) and Lynchburg Area N Scalers (VA). In addition to participants who brought modules, there were several attendees running trains and helping with setup and breakdown. 

The T-TRAK layout this year was a bit smaller than last year’s. There were fourteen standard (96” x 30”) banquet tables and eight narrow (96” x 18”) classroom tables used to set up the layout. It was 36' by 28' in a "backwards J" or “modified fishhook” shape, the same as last year. There were 156 feet of modules, or four and three-quarters scale miles. That was double-track mainline and the total run length of the “Red Line”. The modules were the equivalent of 165 single modules. I've listed a full breakdown of module types below and have included the "As Built" plan. 

Setup started Friday afternoon at 1 PM. Once all the table covers were on we started to set up the modules. We had all the modules in place, leveled and snapped together by about 6:15 PM. The Red Line was DCC along with a large Yellow Line loop. A smaller Yellow loop was analog. Everything was running well after a bit of trouble shooting with our wiring bus. We had more trouble with shorts in the DCC system soon after Mike Maloney, my club’s DCC expert, left for his hotel. It turned out one of the modules had a power feed wired with the polarity backwards. A big thank you to Chris Oliva for helping us trouble shoot that problem. 

In addition to the Combined T-TRAK Layout, the 4H Club had another T-TRAK layout in the club room. It was made up of all 4H members’ modules. It included 7 Doubles, a Triple, a Single and 4 Corners. The ends were 2 Standard Corners split by a Double. It was on 4 standard banquet tables, 2 rows back to back with a gap in the middle to stretch it a bit. 

Thanks again to everyone who participated! 

Module Count: 

Singles: 21 

Doubles: 34 

Triples: 14 

Quads: 1 

Standard Corners: 3 

Wide Corners: 6 (includes 1 Wide Inside Corner) 

Inside Corners: 1 

Jackson Junctions: 2 

Ferrari Junctions: 2 

7” Bridges: 1 

One-inch spacer modules: 1 

Photo by Mike Wong

Friday, March 24, 2023

Brick Elks Lodge Show Report - March 19, 2023

The club was sked to set up a layout at the Brick Elks Lodge on a rather last-minute basis. John (East Coast Train Parts - show coordinator/promoter) gave us 2 rows of 4 8' tables back-to-back for a 5' x 32' layout.

In addition to Harry and Bill M., Dave invited members from Central Jersey N-Trak who were at the Toms River show - Al Etzel and Bobby Sweet (CNJNT president). They are the first members in their club to build T-TRAK modules. Al came with an urban scene Double. Dave also invited members from New Jersey Southern to join in the fun. Konrad Richter came with his Quad+Double station module set, which we've seen in Atlantic City, and Ed Hollema who doesn't have any modules yet but stopped by Dave's to help transport modules and equipment to the show.

Set up started at 7:30 AM with Bill M and Harry there just before Ed and Dave arrived. Konrad was already there and Al arrived minutes later. We were using Dave's Digitrax Zephyr for DCC control with 3 UP-5s around the layout. Al brought a UR-93 so we did have duplex radio. It took longer than expected to get the layout set up and running. 

With some technical assistance and equipment 'loans' from TF Trains and the O gauge club, the layout ran well with only a couple of electrical glitches. Tony and Anthony Sansone showed up at 10:30, ran trains, and helped with breakdown. Bob Goldstein was there for a while too. And Joe Zimmerman, a prospective member, was there helping a vendor. The show was a success overall and John said we'd be invited back for the Brick show on May 21st.

Show report and photos by Dave Ferrari

Monday, February 3, 2020

Northeast Regional T-TRAK - Winterfest 2020

Most of the T-TRAK participants, including Northern NJ N-TRAK members.

Mike Wong Photography: Amherst Model Railroad Show 2020 &emdash;
Photo Credit: Mike Wong Photography

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Greenberg Show - Secaucus, NJ

February 9-10, 2019

(photos by Dave E.)