OGR Spring 2019 Grand Stand Meeting Minutes
Our meeting was once again held in the “Gold Hall” under the grandstands at the York Fairgrounds during the Eastern Division of the Train Collectors Association meet – their semi-annual meeting. Sort of like semi-sweet chocolates. I have been attending York twice a year for nearly 20 years, with the exception of my Birthday one October when we had Eagles tickets and who could miss Hotel California live. I digress. Anyway, this was the lightest crowd I had witnessed at York. Well, not individually. Some of these guys have put on some weight in the last twenty years.
Anyway, the meeting started right at 2:00pm with cloudy skies and a temperature of 63 degrees. We had to set up our own chairs again. There are large benches in there with plaques from sponsoring banks that we were not allowed to use because those banks had long since failed and the FDIC was expected at any moment to come and repossess them.
Ed Boyle welcomed the crowd and got things going.
Allan Miller – Editor and Chief OGR
Allan reminded the group that the 50th anniversary of the founding of OGR’s parent magazine is in June. They are thinking about restarting their line of apparel and any suggestions are welcome, except mine about boxers. Evidently. Always looking for articles – particularly layout and how to’s. Most people that decline do so because their layout isn’t “finished.” Finished? It will never be finished. Pick a spot, and submit some pictures, will ya?
Dennis Brennan – Brennan’s Better Ballast
I suggested he change the name to Brennan’s Best Ballast and he told me no – I couldn’t afford the best – better ballast should be good enough for me and to stop making suggestions. Ed agreed. Anyway, he brought his latest kit - #2 in the Frank Ellison Tribute Series called the Hap Hazzard Packing Company. A craftsman kit, but easy to assemble. A lot of thought when into its construction, and he wrote terrific instructions for it. Give him a shout to order yours. I forgot the price, but it sounded very reasonable, for a guy that normally sells crushed rock, anyway. BTW – his wife accompanied him this trip and helped out in the booth. A big improvement, in my opinion.
Al Zamorski – Millhouse River Studio
Al shared with the group they are getting into HO scale with a new turntable. They have new detail parts they are creating using 3D printing and he showed a new diamond cut plate decking they now have as an option for their products. He also shared that they are bringing their brass casting production back to the US.
Dennis Zander – Z Stuff for trains
He is also moving into HO with signals and an operating crossing gate. Has a new silver based light, hooded with three colors, and 3 different light configurations. Each operating light can have variable timings from one to sixty seconds.
Kevin Davis - Manager of Programs for the National Standard Modular Layouts for the LCCA
Kevin discussed that they had two modular layouts on display in the Orange Hall and they would have a very large display at the LCCA national convention in Reno this summer.
Roger Farkash and Mike Reagan from TWTrainWorx
Roger reported that they have a 3000’ square foot layout they assemble for the Ronald McDonald house in Dallas and that it gets bigger and better every year. They are working on a new layout for the Kansas City Children’s Museum. It will be both upscale and very interactive. Children will be able to crawl into the layout and be surrounded by the trains. Their production schedule is full for 2019, both corporate and individual layouts are planned, and they are working on selling projects for 2020. He and Mike showed a Lackawanna bridge kit they have now – 17” high and 30.5” long, in both single and double track. The single track kit was only $157.00. They also described a yard office building for your layout designed to house your turntable key pad. Lift the roof and operate the turntable.
Scott Mann – Golden Gate Depot
Scott shared with the group that the ERR Company products are available now and that they are bringing back all of the products. He also expects to introduce a mini-commander. The Silver Meteor project was a sellout. They now are using CNC technology to cut details in aluminum for his passenger car production. He talked about a Krauss Maffei project – help here – that was a one off run by both the SP and UP. The Monon didn’t have any so I missed this part. Also doing the C&O yellow belly and passenger cars, though the cars and the engine missed each other, I am told. Regardless, I have one on order.
Chris Miller – Miller Engineering
They just released an N scale drive in movie theatre. His new signs are Hamms Beer and Swingline Staplers. They also have a new American flag window sign. He also shared with the group that they are moving into a new business venture with astronomy products.
Steve Brenneisen – Ross Custom Switches
Steve brought a half-scale lit operating switch stand to show the group. Powered with 12 Volts and lit with LEDs. Just the thing for your train room or den. $199.95 each.
Andy Edleman – MTH Electric Trains
Andy started out his discussion with a tribute to Barry Broskowitz. Very nice. Obviously, the new catalog is out and they are doing a lot of new tooling in G Gauge. Finishing off the last of the Lionel Tinplate. Not saying they will not release more in the future – but this is it for now. The last of these products arrive later in April.
With that, Ed adjourned the meeting and the stacking of the chairs commenced. To the elderly woman that grabbed and stacked mine – my thanks. I think she was in a hurry for me to leave.
Any additions or corrections, please post. Thanks for putting this together, Ed.