‘Middle Kingdom’ T Trak News and Notes November 2014

T Trak News and Notes
November 2014

To hear the old steam whistle blowing from down the avenue. I smell the coal steam and I look around for you. Oh the chugging of the compressors and the trolley bell. The sun is shining and the conductors waving. Hey could we ever ask for more?

And we are back finally T Trak fan’s after a long hiatus. Much has gone on since the last issue of the newsletter has come out. Six months is a lot to go over, but I shall try.

Back in June, while the summer was at it’s height, T Trak was already finishing the start of it’s busy schedule. Gaithersburg’s and Sykesville’s came and went. We were starting our break in July to prepare for the big fall/winter season, which we are half way through now.

August started off with having the opportunity to go to the N Scale East Show as part of East Penn’s T Trak Trolley guys. It was a bit weird running On30 trolley’s at a N scale show. I had Sting’s “Englishman in New York” playing in my head: “I’m an alien, I’m a traction alien, I’m a traction fan in Chantilly”. What it accomplished was East Penn showing off what can be done in the world of traction in all scales, including N, were there are new things coming out almost every week. Although we had a good time and met lots of people, including the Mexico City T Trak club, the convention as a whole was a mere shadow of what had been done during 2004. Not trying to judge, but the event seemed as worn out as B&O/C&O Capital Limited photograph used as the masthead. The train chugged on, but most of the glamor had passed. It was sad to see how a once mighty club like NVNTRAK had fallen and how they had not been able to read the changing of how things had changed since 2004. One hopes that this may serve as a wake up call to that organization to get their house in order and become a healthy club again.

Shortly afterwards, T Trak went to Bedford. As always it was a wonderful show. A chance to run trains. And as always have fun and meeting new people. Every year it seems that more of us T Trakers show up and have our own minicon inside the larger N Trak show. The fun continues not just at the sports plex, but after the show as well. Thanks again to Mike for having us rowdy T Trakers put up our layouts.

September went off with a bang besides the Gaithersburg setup, we did the Armory show in Kensington. This is one of the shows that we do as a good cause to keep the doors of the Noyes Childrens Library open so that children of all ages may enjoy it free of charge. Thank you to the Kensington Historical society and the Ditto Group for having us there once again this year, we look forward to next year. A big thank you to the Capital Trackers, especially Jeff for the yomen job that he does every year putting the event together and bringing order from chaos. Thanks to the efforts of everyone there, not only did we get to run trains in my beloved home town of Kensington and listen to Hot Dixieland jazz, but we made the library’s budget for a year.

October was no let up. We started the begining of our busy season by going to a show that has become a regular favorite of ours. Ranson West Virginia. Jeff Peck was the coordinator on that one and he was able to put together a fine show showing off the best of our division to our fellow T Trak club from Northern VA by running not just one, but two layouts (one being an all German Themed one). Furthermore he showed that no matter what the conditions are, T Trak packs the gear to do a layout no matter what. Certainly when the hosts forget to show up with tables. If you have not been to this show, you must try it for it is like a one day Bedford for all scales that happens twice a year. Thanks much to the Bunker Hill club of WV for having us do the show. The following day we dusted ourselves off and did the Oktober Fest at the Kentlands in Gburg. It was an exciting event as always showing off an all central European layout to the general public and inspiring them to try N scale as a hobby.

After that event we tried something new by doing a one hour set up at the Kensington Retirement community, something that we are looking forward to doing in the future. Yet another way to bring joy to people and thinking outside of the box when it comes to events. Thank you for having us, it was a blast.

Then at the end of the month T Trak did it’s usual stint at Timonium. As always things were great once everything was up and operating. Til the next one….

November brought on yet more events. Silver Spring and the Artifacts show were both done on the same weekend. Jeff took the guys down to S.S. Station to give support to MPI in their efforts to keep that historic station open. The next day, the Hyland clan ran the artifacts show. What kinda show is it. Like they say in Vegas: What happens at the artifacts show, stays at the artifacts show… Looking forward to doing that one as long as they will let us. If you want to join in on the fun, show up next year and find out about what it is all about. The middle of the month had us at the Rockville Lions club at the Rockville Senior Center. This is a fun show, where kinda like the B&O, we run all weekend long in a really nice facility. And we do it once again for the best of causes. The gate goes to the Lions club buying poor kids glasses and helping them with eye exams. What better cause is there than that, and we get to run stuff. Big shout out to the Lions club of Rockville and the guy who puts it all together and does tons of charity work all year, including slinging icecream at the MOCO fair. Steve thanks for having us and we can’t wait to return again next year!

So as T day approaches, what is in our future. Lots more. No rest for the weary. It’s holiday time and what would you rather do. Run trains or go and deal with the hordes on Black Friday. Jeff has a space for you at Bowie to run and watch trains on Sunday. But wait, there’s more: Greenberg shows on the first weekend of December and the last weekend of December at Timonium and Chantilly. And a few Sykesvilles. Not to mention the big one. The B&O railroad museum complete with a Great Scale Train show at the end. Lots to do and even lose some of those turkey pounds after the big meal. Avoid the inlaws! On top of this we are always trying new stuff trying to push the envelope of T Trak. Such as running layouts without using electricity from power drops……

Before we go I have a few announcments. The T Trak division has always had it’s own internal list in which people communicated with each other. We still do this to this very day. We have to keep our most important rituals secret, otherwise how can we take over the world? But the club newsletter has been a bit behind the times in getting information out. During this summer Cliff hammered out a webpage for us to get our message out to the public at large. The address for this is: mdttrak.com

This has all the public comings and goings of T Trak.

As T Trak becomes more complex, we will be switching more of our news to that venue. I will still be putting in a column as long as we continue to have a newsletter, but I believe it has come time to take a lot of the day to day stuff, including the schedule and afteraction reports to the new site. It has been a pleasure to have brought you the news and exciting events of T Trak over the last year and a half. Certainly a lot of mileage has been covered since I started this one steamy summer night all that time ago. In someways it has been a bit like Cosmos meets Globe Trekker meets Sunday Morning. So please visit us as we continue to explore the vastness of the T Trak universe, both to confuse and entertain and just to partake in all around tom foolery and ballyhoo like we always do.

And as always,

See you at the shows,

-Chris “Red Button” Hyland

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