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Sureply Our local Lowes carries it.

 It is 1/4" thick underlayment placed under sheet vinyl product. Strong and very stable. Modules topped with this show little to no warping over the course of many years.

We bond this to the benchwork with Liquid Nails. In the sixth picture, Jerry is applying the Liquid Nails. You can also see the benchwork constructed with Kreg pocket screws. These joints are glued with Gorilla glue. This results in light weight, and extremely strong composite modules. 

In the seventh picture, I have just finished using an edging router bit to trim the top flush to the benchwork. The 1/4" Sureply cuts easily and cleanly with the router.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

Peter, It looks like you fellows are doing great!  Those are a lot of nice buildings.  Is the paper down to draw outlines of the building bases, to protect the existing ground cover, and/or some other reason!

It looks like it rained outside.  It has been so long since we have rain, we have about dried up here!  

Thank you for always posting what the River City group is doing!!!

Tom is going to cut pieces of Sureply based on the paper forms. Then we will cut out the areas from the Sureply for each building and place the wires that will be needed for lighting.

Next roadways will be cut out. I'm sure Tom will chime in at some point.....

We are getting a Diluvian-type storm.....rained most of the last 2 weeks (over 12") and it hasn't stopped since 6PM last night. I'm without power right now.



Last edited by Putnam Division

@Putnam Division (Peter), thanks for the photos.  Those will be highly entertaining layouts for sure.

Question:  Where are you fellas working?  It looks like a commercial setting with the windows and exterior views of parking.

Keep up the good work.

PS:  We've had 5.7" of rain TODAY alone in Newport News, or the 757 as the kids say.

Last edited by Pingman
@Pingman posted:

Question:  Where are you fellas working?  It looks like a commercial setting with the windows and exterior views of parking. 

We are very fortunate to have use of an available storefront in a local shopping center. In a normal world, we would be presenting our layout to the public one weekend per month. The current state restrictions makes that nearly impossible.

What you are seeing is a combination of our 6x11 and 12x15 layouts. We did quite a bit of work to the 6x11 earlier this year. It is a representation of a typical postwar layout. Despite it's size, we have received numerous comments from visitors about how they had a "4x8 layout just like this" when they were a kid. This is precisely what we were trying to achieve.

The 12x15 is in the process of having the scenery completed. This layout was built a couple of years ago and has become our most displayed layout. This year we made a significant investment in (14) Menards buildings. The buildings will be powered using power converters sourced from eBay. The accessory outputs from the CW80 and MRC Pure Power Dual transformers are already prewired to terminal blocks on our layout. Especially in low light conditions, this layout should be spectacular once everything it lighted.

Our goal in combining these layouts is to have a scenario where we can maintain 6' distancing, presenting top notch scenery, and four trains in operation. While I cannot go into any details now, we are doing everything possible to safely re-establish running trains for the public. That has been one of the most painful parts of this pandemic.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

RC3R is excited to announce that we WILL be running trains at the Great Big Greenhouse located at the corner of Robius and Huguenot Rds in Midlothian, Virginia! This will be our 7th year. 

This year due to Covid-19, we have had to make changes. Our large 20x40 layout has 32" wide modules. As a result, we could not ensure 6' distancing. While we normally welcome guests to run our trains or bring their own, we cannot do that this year. There will be hourly shutdowns to clean the plexiglass barriers on our display.

Now for the good stuff. We WILL be displaying out 12x15 L shape layout nested together with our 6x11 postwar layout. These modules are 6' wide and do meet the 6' separation requirements. There will be four trains running at a time. This layout is lower than our big layout making viewing much easier for small children. The overall size will be 21'x12'. Smaller than before, but we will do our best to make it fun and safe for everyone.

The 12x15 layout has all new Menards buildings. We are working hard to finish this scenery upgrade! These lighted buildings are very attractive. The 6x11 layout will initially be decorated with all Plasticville structures. These were a club "Covid" project this year while everyone was quarantined. Later in the season, we will be 100% Christmas themed on this section.

Schedules and hours will be posted ASAP. We are looking forward to being able to share our display with the public in the upcoming Christmas season!

Last edited by Gilly@N&W

Tom, I thought it would be your first this year!  To my knowledge, no one here in Western and Central Pennsylvania have had any events since the Monroeville Greenberg show in February.  I visited with the Pittsburgh Independent HiRailers with their standard setup at that show.  I do not know if they have any possibility of setting up for their annual Christmas event at Kennywood Park outside of Pittsburgh.  I'm glad you can have some normality.  I agree it is a necessity for everyone to have safe fun.


I know how you feel, We have had to cancel every event from March on, If we are lucky, our "Holiday Lights" may happen in a modified form. We would need the city to mark the 6 foot distance spacing and enforce the policy.

We all miss the ability to run with others members in groups, the public interaction and smiles.

I'm looking forward to lighting all of these buildings up!! Patently waiting, for now....

Based upon feedback received here, the buildings face "Main Street", not the tracks. The public will need to walk around to see everything. In keeping with an activity we have on Peter's modules, we're going to have a "count the dogs" activity. I "think" we have 17 on this layout.

Last edited by Gilly@N&W


Bringing those Diamonds in the Rough back to life will be satisfying and give the public a peek into the world we grew up in among the modern buildings and settings.  The J11 and the DRG F-3 are great gifts, are you going to have a small industrial section to utilize the Navy switcher?   The GG-1  looks to be in good shape , all will benefit from a gentle bath and maintenance, lubing.

I am looking forward to pics of them pleasing the crowd in the future.

@RSJB18 posted:

Tom- I think you may need to ask the local utility for a bigger feeder on that layout to power all of those Menards sunglasses to all visitors too.....

Great stuff as always guys.


If I did my math right, we're looking at a 3 amp load on the accessory circuit on our MRC Pure Power Dual. The Menards are all LED. We have a Lionel CW80 wired and ready if we need a little more juice.

And yes, "The future's so bright I've gotta wear shades" 

Here are a few more PostWar additions....

The New York Central are both dummies.....we have a spare power 2343 Santa we will do a conversion and have an AB dual motor New York Central addition to the 2344 Santa Fe ABA that we already have.....


The 6804 was once a military load flat car from 1958.....I would say wish me luck finding the vehicles for less than 100 shares of Amazon.....but we can reload it with something else for sure.....




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Last edited by Putnam Division

The foam that will define streets and landscaped areas has been cut and glued in place on our 12x15 layout. The citizens of Menardsville are delighted with the progress of this $150K (scale dollars) infrastructure project.

When asked for comment, Mayor Feckless Styrene initially denied any knowledge. Claiming that this was a reckless slur by his opponent in the upcoming election, and the young woman he had been seen with was merely a friend of his younger daughter. 

After being reminded that this project was providing streets, lighting, municipal, and commercial buildings to his town, Mayor Styrene immediately switch gears, and delivered a rousing stump speech. He took credit for all aspects of this project ,and pointed out how lucky the citizens of Menardsville are to have him as their mayor.

When questioned about the dogs on the layout, his was response was "Dogs? What dogs?". He has now appointed a blue ribbon commission to do a census of the local canine population.  Leash and dog tag ordnances are expected to be voted on in 2021.

Guests of Menardsville will be invited to count all of the dogs in the town and submit their count. 



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Last edited by Gilly@N&W

The Modular Group met this morning to review the plans for finishing our 12x15 layout for the upcoming Holiday display.

Our up coming 21x12 display will consist of 2 small layouts with four independent loops. Not our 20x42 monster, but an adaptation for these crazy times. We are so happy to have a holiday venue to share our passion of model railroading!

A s you can see, the weather cooperated. It was cold (45-50), but the sun was bright and the wind was at a minimum. The location is my driveway in Midlothian, VA.


It is so much fun just to get together.......we will be finishing up the layout scenery on October 22, 23 & 24.... our own little "York" meet. We also heard from Bob Buehler, one of our members (President of the Virginia Train Collectors and also serving as the TCA Eastern Division Vice President), that the Virginia Tran Collectors will be having an indoor/outdoor train meet (that will be compliant with the current guidelines in Virginia) on November 15th in Ashland VA....more on that when we have more details.

Have a safe and fun weekend, folks!




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