Skip to main content

A crew of six NJ Hi-Railer members spent this past Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday preserving the contents of our departed friend Marty Fitzhenry's layout.  We were graciously offered this opportunity by the family.   Special items that were saved include Marty's Famous Signature Wall, his catenary, the signed Train America Sign, the signed OGR Magazine sign and his South Street station.  We were able to save almost every item on the layout and many of them will live on by being incorporated into our layout.

They will be on display by Trainstock.

Below are of couple of videos that show the layout before and after we collected the items.  The 2nd video is quite sad.    And of course a picture of the famous signature wall (which I was privileged to have signed.)

I'd like to thank John Xenides, John Henninges, Chris Lonero, Bob Feneran and Scott Miller for joining me for 2 or 3 days on this important task.  And a whole gaggle of members who helped unload on Friday.



20210916_19564020210914_14523520210914_14523920210914_14525520210916_090946

20210916_20064120210916_202643

Attachments

Images (8)
  • 20210916_200641: Marty's Signature Wall
  • 20210916_202643: Truck Loaded and Ready to go on Thursday Night.
  • 20210916_195640: Original Location of the Signature Wall
  • 20210914_145235
  • 20210914_145239
  • 20210914_145255
  • 20210915_145419
  • 20210916_090946
Last edited by Chris Lord
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Oh my…

Watching that second video was a bittersweet moment to be sure. It was sad to see the basement looking so bare, but I’m very happy to know that parts of this historical layout will be preserved.

I fondly remember shooting the OGR video of Marty’s layout. He and Dotty rolled out the red carpet for me, that’s for sure! They were very gracious hosts, and the video came out great. Of course, that’s easy to do when the subject is so good!

Kudos to the family and to the NJ Hi-Railers for doing this!  

I remember driving out to Ohio and meeting Marty and Dotty there for one of Lionel's sales. Mike, Marty, Dotty and I went to the old TrainAmerica building and removed the sign from in front of the building. I had driven to Ohio and took the sign back to NY. Later I took it up to Marty. Nice to see it coming to NJ.

During that trip, we went to Dave Minarik's store and home. It was great meeting him and seeing how he customized his bikes. Marty took a picture of me on one of the bikes and some of my "friends" got a good laugh out of that.

Thank you Wendy and Dean. Marty always liked the NJHR, and I think he would really be pleased to know so much of his layout ended up there.

Gerry

It was 3 days of mixed emotions for me: sad to see the layout go as taking it down was a huge reminder that Marty is gone; happy to have helped preserve the important parts of it, and also happy to have had the chance to spend time with some of the club members. Chris, Chris, John, Scott and Bob, it was an honor to work with you on this project and get to know all of you. I hope our paths cross again soon.

By the way, we had a few laughs at Marty's expense. The number of screws that went into the track was like nothing any of us had ever seen.  And the benchwork and bridges, well...."sturdy" doesn't even begin to describe it.

John

The before and after videos were heart wrenching!  What a shame to tear up such an impressive layout!

Yes John it was and I had a knot in my stomach going back to Marty’s house for the first time after is death it was very emotional.  We had our one and only chance to preserve Marty’s memory and legacy and the possibility of the layout meeting a much worse outcome was not an option. Marty built his layout like a battle ship but it was worth all the hard work we did in the end.

I have to say, I'm happy I didn't participate in that activity, I'm not sure how well I'd have done.

Marty must have gotten some deal on tracks screws.  10 in pieces frequently had 10 or so screws in them. And to make it worse they randomly switched between slotted and Phillips.  Marty got his revenge on us!  It turned out the easiest piece to get out may have been the signature wall.  It was a piece of Masonite glued to the sheetrock.

Beautiful layout, I always enjoyed his posts in the forum and pics posted of that layout.  Its a sober reminder that our time on this earth is short and to enjoy every single min of it.  Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do and enjoy today.  Only the good Lord above knows when our time is up and we have no say in it.  Glad the club was able to save things that will live on for others to enjoy in the future.   AD

The before and after videos were heart wrenching!  What a shame to tear up such an impressive layout!

Don’t think of it as tearing up “an impressive layout”... think of it as the rescuing of an irreplaceable treasure. In the early 1960’s, the magnificent ancient Egyptian temple Abu Simbel was going to be swallowed up by a man made lake, and the world banded together to cut apart and move the entire temple to higher ground - it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marty’s layout will live on in a new home with talented caretakers - that should evoke a great celebration!!!

This is the best outcome I could ever think of. The N J Hi-Railers are the preservers of great layouts.  

Marty always had an open door for Forum Members to visit his layout.  During a chat at York he personally invited Lynley and I to visit his fabulous layout. But while we were planning the trip we realized he wasn’t doing very well health wise. We figured we’d schedule when he was feeling better.

It was one of those moments “you remember where you were” when we heard of Mr. Fitzhenry’s passing. We were driving on our way to Las Vegas, passing through Victorville, Ca. when I got the call.

@gmorlitz posted:

I remember driving out to Ohio and meeting Marty and Dotty there for one of Lionel's sales. Mike, Marty, Dotty and I went to the old TrainAmerica building and removed the sign from in front of the building. I had driven to Ohio and took the sign back to NY. Later I took it up to Marty. Nice to see it coming to NJ.

During that trip, we went to Dave Minarik's store and home. It was great meeting him and seeing how he customized his bikes. Marty took a picture of me on one of the bikes and some of my "friends" got a good laugh out of that.

Thank you Wendy and Dean. Marty always liked the NJHR, and I think he would really be pleased to know so much of his layout ended up there.

Gerry

Hi Gerry...sorry we never got that chance to take that ride up to see Marty's layout. Marty was always saying he and I  were going to exchange visits. He had mentioned coming to my house after the last Trainstock but wasn't up to it, so we planned for the next one. You and I had planned to take a ride to see him but he was not doing well at the time and we had to cancel. But, I'm happy the NJ Hi-Railers are preserving pieces of the layout and look forward to seeing you guys at Trainstock.

Great to see that Marty's layout will live on. I only knew Marty through the forum but his dedication to model railroading comes through in all of the photos and the comments of those of you lucky enough to call him a friend.
Also glad to hear that the family has all of his trains.

You guys at the NJHR deserve a standing ovation!

Bob

Brings back many memories from when I use to visit him we both ran the layout together ,  a very great Friend. makes me sad but at least he is not suffering anymore. he use to love running my challenger on his layout . We were running engines one time and one of his Z4000 the throttle stopped working so I offered to replace the potentiometer he said go for it after that the layout worked perfecting ! makes me sad to see him gone but I'm glad Njhighrailers is preserving the layout as much as possible ! IMHO **** be missed by all, but his layout will be preserved forever in njhighrailers !

Thanks Njhighrailers

Alan Mancus

Good Morning Everyone,

What a wonderful way to preserve someone's hard work and dedication. Too often this doesn't happen. In my short time I have seen many layouts end up in the dumpster. I, unfortunately, did not know Marty except through this forum. I quickly learned what a staple he was for several individuals as well as the forum in general. It was difficult to watch his decline and see forumites who knew him morn his passing. I'm sure those type of bonds still exist among others on here as well. A great example of how trains bring people together.

As it's already been said enjoy every day that you wake up because the next is not promised. There are many wonderful people on this forum that regularly contribute to the enhancement and education of this wonderful hobby. A motivating photo, a kind word, a helpful tip, or even a best guess at a fix for something come out daily. I quote Ellen DeGeneres when I say "Be kind to one another", because one day all of us will leave the station one last time and your last comment or simply how you said something will stay with you.

Prayers go up to the Fitzhenry family and the wonderful men of the NJHR. Your work recently was honorable and I'm sure Mr. Fitzhenry is smiling.

Dave

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×