Articles - Clubs
06/16/2012
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I am mostly a lone-wolf modeler. It fits my personality. However for about two and a half years from 2000 to 2002 I was involved in the Houston-based Northwest Crossing Model Railroading Club. I quickly volunteered to take on the duties of the club's Librarian and also its Webmaster. I created a new web site for the club and, upon approval, published the new version. Using Fourth Ray Software's FRSLibrary, I was able to show the club's large library of model and prototype railroading references on the web site. The club members were able to reserve items via the web site for me to bring to them at the next monthly meeting. Since I modeled in N-scale I was involved in the N-scale division of the club (it also had Z- and HO-scale divisions). After getting deeper involved, I also got more involved in the business of running a club, i.e. the politics. After a while burn-out started setting in, because not only were there the monthly meetings, there were also the in-between meetings, all taking up precious modeling free time. The N-scale division has a large NTRAK layout that they set up for local train shows. However, there really wasn't room for additional modules, and the group seemed to only be interested in running trains 'round-n-'round. I was more interested in operations. The photo below shows me (foreground) and Frank Wyatt at the Great American Train Show in Houston, Texas in January 2002. Frank is getting the DT100 throttle to select my E8 freight train, which you can see in front of us. This photo was taken by one of the club members. Frank shared some of my frustrations with just running trains in a continuous loop. I resigned from the club's positions and withdrew my membership around late 2002.
Clubs
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After switching from N-scale to S-scale, I was invited to visit the Houston S Gaugers club in the summer of 2008. My first meeting was at Richard B.'s hi-rail layout in his garage, where I got to meet most of the club members. This was in September, 2008. The group is really a loosely-knit group of people who happen to enjoy S-scale. The meetings are very relaxed and the business portion, if even brought up, only takes minutes. In February 2009 I signed on as the club's official webmaster (see link above). We occasionally meet at members' homes where we get to enjoy all the fine modeling that each are doing. Most of our get-togethers are at the local trains shows. We do between 3 and 5 shows a year in the greater-Houston area. The photo below is of our layout at one of the local shows.
Clubs