The Club continues its tradition of education, socializing and model railroading. The format of our monthly meetings has been changed so we spend less time on business and more time on education and model railroading. The Board of Directors now conducts much of the Club's business and provides a summary at the monthly meeting; votes are held on items requiring member approval.
Starting in 2003 the Club has formed close alliances with a number of other NTRAK clubs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey— the Eastern N Lines Partnership™. Clubs in the Partnership work together to organize and put on regional train shows, especially larger train shows, and visit with each other at local train shows. Click here for more information.
The club continues to participate in all appropriate train shows with our NTRAK layouts. Some new modules have bneen constructed and many refurbished and updated. Electronically controlled turnouts (Via puchbutton or DCC throttle) have been installed in severla modules, especially in our yard modules and junctions. Track alignment signals in our yards and jnuctions have been installed. Lighting effects are being installed on several modules. Floding legs have been instlled on most modules, and a track measuring gauge is being used to correctly identify the length of needed joiner tracks, thus speeding up the l;ayout setup process.
Operations on our NTRAK layouts are 100% DCC. Train control is wireless using either Digitrax throttles or smart phones.
Beginning about 2010 members have increasingly adopted a new N Scale modular standard known as T-TRAK. T-TRAK originated around 2000 in Japan where space isevery constrained, and is increasingly popular in the USA.
Club members now have more than 70 T-TRAK modules and growing.
T-TRAK modules are much smaller than other modular systems. They feature sectional Kato Unitrack as the standard track, which is also used to "clamp" the modules together to form a layout. T-TRAK layouts sit on banquet tables; they are not self-standing like NTRAK modules. However, smaller does not mean less. T-TRAK modules are just as realistic and fully scenicked as NTRAK modules.
The smaller and easier to set up T-TRAK modules and layout allow the club to participate in one-day trains shows, such as at retirment homes. The club currently participates in about 6 retirement hoem shows a year.
Like NTRAK, our T-TRAK layouts are 100% DCC-controoled with wirelss throttles and smart phones for control.
Club Name and Logo
The name North Raleigh Model Railroad Club was selected at an early date in the Club's history, and within a few years a Club logo was developed. This logo took the form of a steam locomotive plus the Club's name inside a border made up of track, as shown at the left, below. As the Club became more of an area club, some Members felt that the name should be changed to reflect its regional membership, and, while we were at it, change the logo.
The vote on the name took place at the Annual Meeting in January, 1996. Since the Club's By-Laws specify a simple majority vote on any item, it was decided to conduct a number of ballots on the proposed names until one achieved a majority, then have a run-off vote against the current name. So what was the result? By a single vote, Members decided to retain "North Raleigh Model Railroad Club."
The logo is a different story. Following several months of discussion, sample designs and revisions, in June 1996 the Club voted to adopt a new logo. It is the one you see throughout these pages, and at the right below.
Official Club Logo
The Club publishes various Publications related to model railroading and of interest to model railroad clubs, including Standards & Recommended Practices, Application Notes, and Digital Command Cointrol topics. Go to the Publications Page.
Since its founding in the early 1970's the Club has achieved many goals. Some of these are listed below:
Developed a club logo that lasted for more than twenty years, then updated the logo to reflect the club as it has evolved over the years. Obtained illuminated logo signs and v inyl signs to advertise the club at train shows.
Designed and starting wearing uniform Club shirts.
Constructed skirting for our layouts. Replaced the early material with fire-resistant material to meet applicable fire codes in train show venues.
Became a 501(c)(3) IRS-approved non-profit educational organization.
Migrated to total use of wireless train control using both Digitrax radio throttles and Wi-Fi connected throttles.
With the Carolina Piedmont Division of the NMRA hosted the Southern Junction Model Train Show for several years at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.
Continued emphasis on the social aspects of model railroading and being a club member.
Became a founding member of the Eastern N Lines Partnership™, an association of regional NTRAK clubs that work together to organize, set up and operate out-of-town train shows and large conventions.
Continued participation in major conventions and uNcoNveNtioNs, both with NTRAK layouts and T-TRAK layouts.
Proactive participation in the DCC revolution and in setting and updating NTRAK standards and recommended practices.
The leader in DCC applications and developing procedures for stable and reliable DCC operation.
Adopted T-TRAK standards and modules in addition to NTRAK standards and modules.
Digital Command Control
The North Raleigh Model Railroad Club adopted Digital Command Control using the Digitrax DCC System in 1995. It is today used for almost all train control on NRMRC show layouts; analog DC control is available for train operation on request. Specific DCC achievements include:
Detailed and extensive testing of DCC wiring and commons (grounding) to ensure system stability and reliability of DCC operations on NTRAK layouts of all sizes.
Published on this site detailed instructions for installing DCC decoders in a variety of locomotives.
Developed and published on this site guidelines for DCC Design for NTRAK Layouts.
Provided Digital Masters to major national and regional conventions and meets.
Developed operating rules for bi-directional operations on DCC-controlled tracks when formal dispatching is not in use.
Developed methods for card order prototype operations on club layouts with DCC control.
From time-to-time the Club attempts to set a record for the longest train run on the Club's layout at a Train Show. For the record to count, the train must travel around the layout a minimum of 3 times without having to stop due to a derailment or a breakaway.
The current record was set at a train show at Crabtree Valley Mall in 1993 on a layout measuring 20' x 48'. The record setting train consisted of 223 cars, mostly hoppers, equipped with a mixture of Micro-Trains and Rapido couplers, pulled by 9 diesel locomotives, 6 at the front of the train and 3 about halfway back.
Organizations Supported and Other Events
Displays at City/Town/Business Events:
Danville Old 97 Rail Days (Danville, VA)
NC Transportation Museum Rail Days (Spencer, NC)
Page-Walker Hotel (Cary, NC)
Selma Rail Day (Selma, NC)
Virginia Museum of Transportation (Roanoke, VA)
Displays at Malls and Shopping Centers:
Cary Village Mall (now Cary Towne Center)
Crabtree Valley Mall (Raleigh, NC)
North Hills Mall (Raleigh, NC)
South Hills Shopping Center (Cary, NC)
UNC Public Television Festival
Hurricane Floyd Relief Fund
Hurricane Katrina Fund
September 11 Firefighters Fund
Virginia Museum of Transportation (Roanoke, VA)
Model Railroad Conventions
National NTRAK Show & Danville Old 97 Rail Days (Danville, VA) 2010
NMRA MER Convention "Rails to Raleigh" (Cary, NC) 2006, "Piedmont Crossing (Cary NC) 2011
NMRA National Train Show — Atlanta, GA 2013, Kansas City 2018
National N Scale Convention — Capitol Limited (Chantilly, VA) 2004; Derby City Express (Louisville, KY) 2008; Roanoke, VA 2014, Pittsburgh PA 2017, Nashville TN 2020
NTRAK East Convention — Alexandria, VA 1996, Orlando 1994, 1998; Capitol Limited 2 (Chantilly, VA) 2014
uNcoNveNtioN — No Bull (Richmond, VA) 1999, No Bull 2 (Richmond, VA) 2002
Assisted Living Facilities
Brookdale Cary Memory Care Facility (Cary, NC)
Carol Woods (Chapel Hill NC)
Cypress of Raleigh (Raleigh NC)
Forest at Duke (Durham NC)
Galloway Ridge (Pittsboro NC)
Litchford Falls Healthcare/Rehabilitation Center (Raleigh, NC)
Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community (Raleigh, NC)
StoneRidge Retirement Living (Cary NC)
Windsor Point Retirement Center (Fuquay-Varina, NC)
Other Displays and Train Shows:
Carolina Coastal Railroaders Show (New Bern, NC)
Carolina Piedmont Division 13, NMRA MER Mini-Meet (Cary, NC)
George L. Carter Railroad Museum (Johnson City TN)
Seymour Senior Center (Chapel Hill, NC)
Duke University Children's Hospital (Durham, NC)
Eno Valley Model Railroad Club Show (Durham, NC)
Grand Strand Model Railroad Club Show (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Great American Train Show (Norfolk & Richmond, VA; Raleigh, Greensboro & Winston-Salem, NC)
Great Train Expo Show (Raleigh, NC))
Lynchburg Rail Day (Lynchburg, VA)
National Train Day (Durham, NC)
Neuse River Valley Club Train Show (Raleigh, NC)
Ronald McDonald House (Durham NC)
Science Museum of Virginia (Danville & Richmond, VA)
Southern Junction Model Train Show (Raleigh, NC)
Southeast Train Collectors Association (Raleigh NC)
World's Greatest Hobby on Tour (Chantilly VA, Raleigh & Charlotte NC