The NCMRC Invite Run - 2007

So you want to run trains huh? Are you tired of watching them grow dust on the shelf? Me too. Well we had a great opportunity to run our own equipment on a really nice layout this past month. Did I mention LARGE layout!

Poway Station was graciously invited to come and run (with our own equipment too) on North County Model Railroad Clubs new layout. For those who don't know, NCMRC moved a while back into the up stairs of the Boney's Market in Oceanside. Close to 30,000 sq. feet is available to them. ( A dream come true for any model railroader or club)

Let me take you on a little tour of the North County Model Railroad Clubs new layout.
You enter Boney's main door, (now the hard part is not to get hungry and go shopping for munchies) and you turn left. You'll see an elevator and a phone. One quick phone call and you are whisked upstairs by a NCMRC member and you enter train heaven.

As you walk in, they have their modules setup in one corner

and right past that is a door way leading to their huge two tier staging yard which is behind the scenes of the layout in it's own separate room.

Here is where we unpacked our loco's and cars. We were each given a track to setup on and a departure time. The NCMRC is experimenting with operations and currently the schedules of freight and passenger trains are being hand written and figured out. They are looking into buying RailOps like we did. Actually I think at the time of this writing they might have purchased it all ready.

Each Poway Club member was teamed up with a NCMRC member making a two man team. The PS member was the engineer and the NCMRC member conducted because they knew the layout better obviously.

They are running the Easy DCC system. There were some glitches at first, (but aren't there always) but once they disconnected the radio transmitter, things seemed to settle down.

Brain took the first train out and was gone in a flash through the tunnel portal leading from the yard out into the next room where the layout resides. About 5 minutes later it was my turn. I had to borrow one of their engines because the new engine I just bought didn't have DCC in it. (Nuts, read the box wrong, DCC Ready does not mean DCC on board, duh. Their system will not run DC). So I backed up an A-B unit of the Western Pacific that they graciously let me use and coupled up to my 8 car tank train and out I went.

The first thing you see when you hit the road is a very deep canyon and mountain scene.

Nice sweeping curves around this canyon area.

We soon found ourselves in the first town which has water front warehouse and trackage and on to the rest of the layout which is pictured below in no particular order.



From here you'll wind through some more country, and start to climb, twisting and turning as you go. The layout is in the shape currently of a large E with track work climbing and dropping, twisting and turning through cities, towns and country sides. The layout itself is in different steps of completing from bare track work, to plaster only areas, all the way to finished land scenes. They have a lot of work cut out for them, but it's going to look great!

Different Poway Station members took their trains out one by one. The conductors lead the trains along the route directing the engineer to stop at different sidings and pickup or deliver cars along the way. Ahhh the sounds of whistles blowing, bells ringing, diesel and steam exhaust filling the air. What a fun night.
But alas, it was all over way to quickly, even though we had run for a couple hours, it always ends to soon doesn't it!

You know one of the other great things about that night? After the run you don't have to spend back breaking hours tearing down the layout and carting it home. You box up your train, all of 5 minutes, go to your car and drive home enjoying a job well done. Man, we need a HOME guys!

Thanks again to the North County group for a fantastic night of fun and hopefully down the road we can return the favor.