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@Andy Hummell, grateful for all the photos of your club's extraordinary layout.  Seeing it up close, and having now had two set-ups of my recently joined O gauge club's modular layout under my belt these past two weeks, I am truly astonished by the level of effort required to present what you've shown us.

On a technical point, how do you connect what appears to be Gargraves Phantom rail track from module-to-module?  In other words, how to the bridge/fitter pieces attach one module to the next?

Also, what type of electrical connectors do you use for the module-to-module rail electrical, and accessory electrical power?

Last question:  do you find it necessary to cut track on site?  If so, how is that accomplished?

Again, staggering effort involved in what you and your crew do that I am only beginning to understand after my own, far more modest, experience with a traveling layout measuring 46' x 16' using modules 6' x 32" and smaller.

@Pingman posted:

@Andy Hummell, grateful for all the photos of your club's extraordinary layout.  Seeing it up close, and having now had two set-ups of my recently joined O gauge club's modular layout under my belt these past two weeks, I am truly astonished by the level of effort required to present what you've shown us.

On a technical point, how do you connect what appears to be Gargraves Phantom rail track from module-to-module?  In other words, how to the bridge/fitter pieces attach one module to the next?

Also, what type of electrical connectors do you use for the module-to-module rail electrical, and accessory electrical power?

Last question:  do you find it necessary to cut track on site?  If so, how is that accomplished?

Again, staggering effort involved in what you and your crew do that I am only beginning to understand after my own, far more modest, experience with a traveling layout measuring 46' x 16' using modules 6' x 32" and smaller.

Thanks for the compliments.  When we do 1 or 2 day shows, we don't connect the track between modules.  We just clamp the modules together with the track, which goes to the very edge of the modules (no bridge/fitter pieces),  aligned as close as possible.  Each end of each track is adjustable, so we can adjust it to get better alignment and occasionally shim it if needed.  For this event, we actually pin the track between the modules.  It takes a lot longer to set up, but it reduces the need to make adjustments once together.

We use 2-prong polarized plugs and regular electrical outlets for the power connection between modules.  We went with this method over other connectors because these plugs are designed to be plugged and unplugged over and over again, and if anything needs replaced, any decent hardware store will have them.  We also have a 110v line running in the opposite direction to track power for accessories.  Everything is color-coded to the extreme for safety.

For your last question, we occasionally need to cut and replace damaged track in the field.  We use a Dremel tool to cut the track and a small file to clean it up after the cuts.  It helps to have a small collection of tools and repair/replacement materials at any setup.

Andy

@Pingman posted:

Thank you, @Andy Hummell for your reply to my questions.

You guys are some very careful movers to run track to the end of each module, and still maintain the integrity of the track profiles for the rail ends while assembling, disassembling and transporting the modules.  And re-pinning?

Interesting solution to wiring solutions.

Thanks, again, for the reply.

Many of us put end protectors on the ends of the modules (as simple as screwing a piece of thin plywood or luan on the ends covering the track), and some of the bigger permanent modules, like the crashed UFO, have lids that fit over them and fastened with screws.  Our main 4 corner modules even have a special cart to secure and transport them.  I transport my module in the back seat of my pickup, so it hasn't needed end-protectors so far, but if it were to be transported where it could shift, like in the bed of my truck, I would put protectors on it.  We also have strict handling rules where modules are never set down on their ends.  Still, accidents occasionally happen, and having the right tools and materials on hand makes short work of the repairs.

Andy

Last Sunday was our final night at Kennywood for this season.  We received a visit from the park mascot, Kenny Kangaroo:

K2021-162

K2021-166

This season, we ended up with 35,609 visits to our layout.  We use a counter to keep track and report the numbers to Kennywood.  Doing this is helpful to Kennywood and was instrumental in their decision several years ago to move us out of the Parkside Cafe building and into the Arcade (doubling the size of our layout).  In the coming years, the park is thinking about moving us again into an even bigger space.  This might be part of the park's plan for their 125th anniversary  which happens to coincide with our club's 25th anniversary in 2023.

Here is a video of just some of the trains we were running this season:

We had over 128 hours of running trains this season, and the park was only closed one day due to the weather.

Today was the final full day of work at Kennywood for this season:

K2021-167

The layout took eleven days to set up, and only a little over four days to tear down, pack up and haul out.  Approximately a third of the layout went to a storage unit to wait until our next big layout (we consider our Greenberg setup a medium-sized layout):

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One of the reasons we love doing this event is that we get to talk to hundreds, if not thousands of people about the hobby and answer their questions, and listen to their train stories and memories.  Many even showed us pictures on their phones, and one even brought us print photos!  One of the most common stories we hear is concerning the vague memories of their childhood experiences with toy trains:

This_Big

We are all tired, but we are also looking forward to next season (and all the shows we will be doing in the mean time).

Andy

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@Mark Boyce posted:

Congratulations on another fine season of railroading at Kennywood!!!!  All of you gents deserve a nice rest!  Oh, wait!  the Monroeville Greenburg show should be coming up next month!! 

Thanks!  We actually have a show at the end of this month at New Eagle.  We were also supposed to be doing a show this weekend in Elizabeth, PA (Grand Central Train Show), but it was cancelled due to problems with the venue -- we are disappointed about this, but also a little relieved, as we do need the rest.

Andy

Thanks!  We actually have a show at the end of this month at New Eagle.  We were also supposed to be doing a show this weekend in Elizabeth, PA (Grand Central Train Show), but it was cancelled due to problems with the venue -- we are disappointed about this, but also a little relieved, as we do need the rest.

Andy

Like Troy Polamalu says in the Head and Shoulders commercials, “Never not working!”

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