March 24, 2024 - Wayne Train Show - PAL Building - Wayne, NJ

April 19-21, 2024– N Scale Gathering, Atl. County 4-H - Mays Landing, NJ - ALL N-SCALE EVENT - FREE ENTRY - Open to the public

May 19, 2024– Elks Show - Elks Lodge, Brick, NJ

June 18-23, 2024 - NSE Convention, Bethlehem, PA. (ALL N-SCALE EVENT!)

Monday, February 12, 2024

Toms River Elks Lodge Show - February 11, 2024

By Dave Ferrari, Northern New Jersey N-trak 

We set up a layout at the Toms River Elks Lodge on Sunday 2/11. It was on 8 six-foot tables, 24' by 5'. Set up started at 8 AM with the show opening at 9 AM and running till 2 PM. Bill M, Jason Sawyer from NJ Southern, Al Etzel from Jersey Central and I were there with modules. Norm came to help set up and Bill brought Harry too. The layout also included a Double from Tommy of TF Trains. Al's modules included his 2 new Wide Corners.

We had the modules all in place and snapped together with wires connected by a few minutes after 9. Unfortunately, there was no track power even after turning it on with a throttle. After a call to Mike Wong and further investigation, it turns out the ops switch was not set to Run. Once it was, everything was fine so we were up and running by 9:15. 

The trains ran well all day but we did have on mishap on my Double Crossover Single. It seemed to run okay in 3 out of 4 directions, but it was adjacent to my Intermodal Yard and later we discovered that one module was probably wired incorrectly underneath. That could have affected the crossover because it was being fed power from that module. I'll be doing some troubleshooting. 

We had the layout broken down and packed up by 3 PM. 

Thanks to everyone who helped!

Monday, January 22, 2024

Brick Elks Show - January 21, 2024

By Dave Ferrari - Northern NJ N-Trak

We did a show on Saturday, January 21st at the Brick Elks Show. All went as planned. Bill M, Steve W, Michael Walpow, plus Al Etzel and John Peruggia from Jersey Central Ntrak were all there to set up and breakdown. One wiring glitch in John's auto transload modules had to be resolved, things ran well otherwise. Everything was packed up by 2:45 pm. Some photos and the as-built plan are attached. Thank you to everyone who participated and thanks to Bill Myers for running the show and providing this report and some photos. Also thanks to Steve W for some additional photos.

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