Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Layout Tour 28

November 19th was the 28th Layout tour of a group called Model Railroads of Southern California. The group was organized by Bob Chaparro back in 2006 to gather information on layouts in Southern California in advance of the 2008 NMRA National Convention in Anaheim. Bob was the layout chair for the local convention committee and wanted not only find layouts for the convention tours but also get layout owners ready for the tours.

It has been three years now since the convention and five years since the group started and its membership has grown to over 1400 members. I had been on a tour 15 in January 2009 but at that time I only had one level and not nearly as much "thin wall" as I do now.

There was talk of rain on the day of the tour but it dawned bright and clear. [The rain came the next day with about an inch.] I had help from friend Jim Scott so I could answer questions and attend to visitors. The day started slowly so Jim and I did some programing of his four new Athearn Southern Pacific GP9's in Black Widow paint scheme with Tsunami sound decoders. They sounded great.

We had about 30 visitors during the day from as far away as Bayview, Idaho and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and as close as next door. Ages also ran the gamut from youngsters to seasoned model railroaders. Several of the youngster's enjoyed running trains over the layout - a feat that I usually am unable to do. The trackwork still needs tweeking but we helped them over the rough spots.

Here are a few photos from the tour day.

Bob Chaparro talking with Jim Scott at the sign-in table with more signing in

Answering questions as a small engineer in red pauses during his train running around the layout

Happy and enthusiastic visitors

As always, in anticipation of a tour, I try to get more done on the layout. This time I put in another 40 feet of fascia on the upper deck, painted all 130 feet of fascia on the upper deck, installed more slow motion switch machines, installed most of the street trackage in Lompoc, and installed a few more decoders to increase my DCC equipped locomotive fleet. In the next few days I will try to post some of these projects so you can see more progress on the SP Santa Barbara Subdivision.

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