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Putnam Division posted:

Today was our annual planning and "pancake breakfast" meeting at my house..... Thanks to all who participated. We typical plan an overview of our year at this meeting, elect new officers, review our finances and introduce new members. As you can see, we had a great time..... The RR crossing sign helps new members find the house......



Thank you, this captured the essence of the meeting. What a great bunch of guys. When this all started in 2007, I never would have dreamed that it would have grown into this.

As for the large power cart, everyone standby. There is a bunch of work to do. First thing, I do want acknowledge our friends at National Capital Trackers for helping us sort out the control issues we experienced in 2018. 


Last edited by Gilly@N&W

As a preview of what's to come. For 2020, scenery on our 12x15 layout will finally be completed. The days of sitting unlit plastic buildings on brown painted plywood is about to come to an end.

The chicane on the right side is going away and being replaced by straights. 14 Menards Buildings all connected via prewired AC/DC converters under the layout. 

RC3R-2_SCENERY_3None of this would be possible without the generous support of our fans.



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Last edited by Gilly@N&W

At our annual meeting, seven members decided to go ahead with club cars. There are currently ~ 25 club members. We had explored having custom cars from major OEMs. The cost, lead time, minimum quantity, and lack of consensus of "what car" rendered that option impractical.  Thanks to this forum, I was introduced to Christine Braden. The VO1000 was painted by Christine in 2019. 

In the midst of the pandemic, Christine has been hard at work for our club. Using undecorated cars from Beth Marshall (with the exception of the green car), Christine has painted and lettered the cars. Today, all of these cars made an appearance on my layout. This will likely be the only time that all of these cars will ever be together at the same place at the same time.

Three cars had previously been done by RC3R member Walt. These cars are club property and have been quite popular at our local displays. These are the darker MTH Premier PS-1s interspersed within the consist.

To facilitate this ferry move, RC3R contracted Chesapeake Western. The Atlas Magor caboose is also fresh out of the paint shop as well. I could not bring myself to use one of my brass N&W cabooses for a repaint.























IF you have a painting project in mind with custom decaling, I would encourage you to consider contacting Christine. She does excellent work. My email address is in my profile if you would like further information.



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Last edited by Gilly@N&W

River City 3 Railers has several modular layouts. One of our smaller layouts is a 6x11 Postwar themed layout. During  our "off season", a lot of work was planned. The Governor says groups of 10 or less, but the majority of our club members are adhering to 1 or less (certainly no more than two). Because of resource limitations, we have focused on getting the 6x11 work done first.

Many guests have reminisced about how they had a 4x8 just like this when they were a kid. It was originally built with only one lock-on per loop. Trains would slow down and speed up as they went around. Some folks liked the "feature", some really didn't like it. We were driving it with a Z4000. The wires to the original two lock-ons were "toasty".

We just added (not shown) 4 additional lock-ons for a total of 6; two per module. All lock-ons got new 18ga drop wires. There is a 4 conductor 18ga bus wiring on all three modules now. The modules are now interconnected with 4 pin trailer plugs. 

This is the last of the layouts to receive plexiglass barriers. It was built intentionally lower so children can see better. But that has it's issues with grabby little hands. Jack has completed the installation of the plexiglass barriers. We made them so that any barrier will fit in any position all the way around the layout (hence the intentional gaps you see).


Last year, a gentleman donated his trains to our club. One of the items he donated was his KW transformer. Prior to giving it to us, he completely refurbished it. It operates perfectly. We had been using a Z4000 transformer for this layout. But, the "spare" Z4K is now in the large power cart. Given the Postwar theme, the KW is a perfect fit for this layout.


To ease in setup/teardown, the KW is prewired with banana plugs. I found these flush-mount sockets on eBay. We have also wired a 4 pin socket prewired so this layout can be plugged into the small power cart if we choose (in-leu of the KW). The small power cart is equipped with DCS, Legacy/TMCC and WiFi. 

The KW transformer has mounting slots on the bottom. A couple of screws on this module will allow us to lock-down the KW when it is operation (one of the screws is covered with my wire stripper).


We run everything from prewar to the latest command control engines shipped just last week. To provide protection, we have added two DCC Specialties PSX1-AC circuit breaker boards. They are mounted in a 6x6 plastic junction box below the transformer. The trip current is selectable using jumpers on the board. Ours is setup for 4.8a. Should be prefect for use with the KW.


Left to be done: the area around the transformer is going to be repainted. My wife is hemming the skirts by 4" (to accommodate the plexiglass barriers). One of the members brought a helicopter car to play with on the big layout. It was a hit with the kids. We're going to add a section of operating track. Finally, buildings previously used on the 12x15 layout will be repurposed. In addition we have numerous Plasticville and Lionel kits to build to fill-out the postwar theme for this layout.


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Last edited by Gilly@N&W

There are about 16 man-hours in the work on the 6x11 this year. Probably another 8 to complete. It we had to, we could have it presentable and running in about 30 minutes. We will leave it setup when we're finished and move on to the 12x15 layout next.

There is a greater volume of work planned for the 12 x 15 layout. That is going to take 2-3 full days of a large portion of the club to complete. It probably won't happen until late June or July. I am really looking forward to being able to provide updates on the 12x15. When we're done, the scenery on that layout is going to be very nice. ALL Menards buildings. Peter has a "count the dogs" activity on his large layout modules. We going to put out the "count the dogs" challenge on the entire 12 x 15.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

Work continues on the 6x11 layout. We have committed to a postwar theme. We purchased several Plasticville and Lionel building kits. The kits were passed out to members to build. 

Bob W built this kit...


Peter built this kit



I built this Lionel log loader kit. It was the last one left in the box.


More to come...


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Last edited by Gilly@N&W

But wait, there's more.

The transformer area has been repainted


At the Great Big Greenhouse last January (seems like a decade ago), the kids had a blast playing with a helicopter car on one of Peter's modules. So, an operating track section has been added. This track section was donated by the same gentleman that gave us this KW transformer.

Member Bob B gave us a great deal on the MTH helicopter car. It works great!!!  Just need to keep the KW at 13 volts, or less to keep it from bouncing off of the ceiling...



The small power cart had an issue. We couldn't close the lid without unplugging the USB cable between the TIU and the WIU. It is used primarily for our 12x15 layout. The 6x11 layout is now wired so we can use the cart on this layout as well.

Rotating the TIU 90 degrees took care of that..


After EVERYTHING we had done, while running trains we saw trains slowing down in the curve again. Aaaarggg! Well, one very well placed jumper fixed that problem once and for all



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Last edited by Gilly@N&W


We are SO ready to have some fun again!! Seems like everything we planned back in February has been cancelled. Hopefully we'll know something next week. 

We're trying to get ready...


We will be nesting the 6x11 and 12x15 "L" layouts together to form a "C" shape (with a wall behind us). This will ensure a minimum of 6' separation from the viewing public. All of our plexiglass barriers will be receiving "Do Not Touch" decals.


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Last edited by Gilly@N&W

Tom, I'm sure you fellows are chomping at the bit!  It is good you are planning for making the event safe against COVID.  At least you have 'a doctor in the house' with Peter on site!  

I certainly wish I was still working in Richmond or Fredericksburg every time I see yours or Peter's posts.   I worked for Vepco in Richmond from 1976-'78 and in Fredericksburg from 1985-'93.  I do remember going to train shows at the wonderful train station/museum.

Now that we are solidly in Phase II of opening back up, we felt that we could get together as a group within the prescribed gudelines. We have a lot of work to do to get ready for the Fall/Winter. We realize that EVERTHING is up in the air, but we need to be ready.

We will finish working on our 2 smaller layouts, 6x11 and 12x15, first( before we tackle the 20x42 one). The 6x11 features a traditional tinplate theme, including a KW  and a fasting acting circuit breaker build by Tom (Gilly@N&W). The 12x15 will have more modern scenery. FasTrack and Menard's buildings. We will be making  foam templates so the the buildings go on and off both easily and in the same place every time (another good idea by Tom).


It was great to see everyone again....We had all been busy with "cottage projects" that we all brought in.



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Last edited by Putnam Division

The revised chicane trackwork on the 12x15 layout is done. These are 060 curves replacing the original 036. The chicane on the left is 048. The switch was changed from a right to left hand. This puts the mainline on the straight portion of the switch. Putting the mainline on the diverging leg was a mistake (mine).


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