Showing posts from July, 2013

JRD's George Gaige wins 3 prizes in photo contest at NMRA National

George Gaige reports that three photos of his layout took First, Second and Third place in the black & white photo category at NMRA National. Way to go George!!

NMRA Atlanta National: My First Three Days… pt 1

The last three days have been a whirlwind as I have… Driven from Charlottesville to Atlanta, given two clinics, attended five other clinics, helped assemble the Civil War Roadshow for display and guest operations, pitched in to assemble the rest of the displays brought by other members of the Civil War RR SIG for our SIG room, driven all around greater Atlanta on the Layout Design SIG home layout tour, drove to a local Michaels to buy supplies and glue, attended the LDSIG annual business meeting, caught up with old friends, made plenty of new friends, visited the NMRA contest room, made photocopies of my clinic handouts, not slept much, eaten too much pizza, and just had a great time. This was originally going to be a Wordless Wednesday Blog post but if I just posted pictures with captions (and yes our blog page will get better) it might seem a tad under contextualized. To make a long story short…the Civil War Roadshow seems to be a big hit as people have been stopping by all d

NMRA Atlanta National: My First Three Days… pt 2

As far as giving clinics, I had two 90 minute clinics back to back and showed 235 Powerpoint slides to two slightly overlapping audiences of apparently intrigued model railroaders (?) on two very different topics. In my first clinic, “The Delicate Stomach of the Iron Horse:Water Supply, Purification, and Water Engineering Practice on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, 1918-1948,” I explained the importance of university trained chemists hired by the railroad to successfully respond to the a quest to lower locomotive and operating efficiency costs by avoiding mechanical breakdown due to hard water. To be honest… it is more interesting than it sounds! In my second clinic “‘Going to War with the Railroad You Have:’ Designing and Operating the Chesapeake & Ohio’s Olby Branch in 1944,” I explored the possibilities of designing, operating, and building a C&O layout during WWII using the industrial expansion of the American chemical industry to diversify/complicate operations

Civil War Roadshow Update

The Civil War Roadshow proved to be very popular this week from early morning until the SIG room doors were locked at 10:30PM.  Here volunteers, along with a crowd of   visitors who crowded around to watch, run an operations session with scale link and pin couplers in O-Scale.   The Civil War RR SIG Room has been a busy place all week demonstrating to model railroaders the possibilities of modeling railroads during the war in various scales among a number of prototypes. by Gerard Fitzgerald

Kitbashing by Tony Koester

Tony Koester gave a wonderful clinic on structure kitbashing on Wednesday evening that featured models from his home layout and examples from other layouts across the country. by Gerard Fitzgerald

NMRA Contest Room

The NMRA contest room featured many interesting and highly detailed models including structures, locomotives, and rolling stock. by Gerard Fitzgerald

Military Loads in the Contest Room

As someone who models the C&O during World War II, I found the military loads train built by modeler Bruce Smith down in the Contest room to be a clinic all by itself. Dr. Smith also gave a regular clinic on the topic this week in Atlanta.    By Gerard Fitzgerald

Young Engineer

The engineer in this photo, who wandered in and was given the Roadshow throttle after showing some interest, demonstrates that model railroading’s future (which for some always seems to be in doubt) will be just fine.  by Gerard Fitzgerald

Brian Rudco’s Pender Street Mills

One of the most interesting displays in the contest room was Brian Rudco’s Pender Street Mills, a Gn15 layout. Gn15 is G scale industrial/narrow gauge using HO standard gauge track. The portable layout replicates a very highly detailed manufacturing plant with various visual and acoustic effects.    Courtesy of Gerry Fitzgerald

Philip Stead’s 30’ x 52’ O/On3

The LDSIG layout tour featured the Philip Stead’s 30’ x 52’ O/On3 layout which replicates operations on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad ( Pueblo Division , Alamosa/Chama Subdivision) on September 23, 1949. Brass K-36s, bridges, and mountain scenery make it a great place to visit and operate.      Courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald

The W.H. Whiton blows her whistle and officially commences operation of the Civil War Roadshow at the 2013 NMRA Atlanta Convention. Huzzzzahhhh!


Bill Welch and Gabriella add a finishing touch to the Civil War Roadshow


Paul Dobbs mans the main desk at the American Civil War Rail Road Historical Society table in the Civil War SIG room.


The Civil War Road show layout that Gerard Fitzgerald built with Bernie Kimpinski was assembled and operational in less than an hour with the help of a few friends and a cordless drill.


Scale Rails editor Steven Priest displays the detailed plans of his new multi-deck track plan for his Santa Fe St. Louis Division in the Layout Design SIG room.


The Civil War Roadshow Arrives in Atlanta! by Gerard Fitzgerald

--> This is the first in what I will hope will be a series of special guest blog posts this week from the 2013 Atlanta NMRA National Convention. Philip has graciously appointed me the James River Division (Blog) Minister without Portfolio for the duration. As such I will hopefully be sending some nice photos and a few thoughts back to those of you at home in the next week or so. This is my third national convention and will be my longest stay to date (Five days!!!) as I was only in Philadelphia and Hartford for 2-3 days respectively. I used to live in the Atlanta area and as a proud graduate of the University of Georgia, it is always great when I get a chance to go back and visit the Peach State. My interest in attending the 2013 NMRA National convention was driven in part by my membership and participation in two of the NMRA’s special interest groups or SIGs   ( ). The Layout Design SIG    ( ) is one of th