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Rochester Area S Gaugers Newsletter

March 1999

Recent Monthly Meetings

January–Steve Coughlin played host for the January monthly meeting, and part of the day’s activities was planting trees on Steve’s Flyer layout. An earlier version of Steve’s layout appears in the photo above; those of you who have visited will recognize that the front has changed, with a larger outside loop. The Gilbert Autorama set now has its own place in another room, too! Ted Larson brought one of the club corner modules to show what he’s been doing in the way of scenicking them. Among the business matters were some rough plans for work over the next several months: the "East Siders" will be tackling the inside staging yard, and the principal focus of the weekly work sessions at Mike Shea’s house will be further progress on Mike Holland’s 16’ of modules, including trackwork and wiring.

February–Ted Larson arranged for the club to set up the entire layout at his church, Perinton Community Church, during February Break, from February 13th through the 20th. Ted has offered a summary report:

"The February RASG meeting that I hosted was a fun success. Modules were set up Saturday. We worked on them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night. Some work was also done duting the day by our retirees. More work and tear down was done on the second Saturday. A few of us went home with ToDo lists, but they were based on KNOWING what needs doing, rather than guessing what needs doing.

Partial list of accomplishments:
Charlie Smith, Mike Holland - Tuned up new switches
Charlie Smith, Ted Larson - Found module leg problems
Roger Delthony, Steve Coughlin - Wired club modules for AF accessories
Ted Larson - Tune up bridge rail ties to reduce "bumps" in the bridge rails
Ted Larson - Worked on club corner module scenery
ALL - Demonstrate to new member, Terry Crosby, module care techniques.
Terry is an AF operator from Webster.

Reach him at
752 Eastwood Circle
Webster NY, 14580


A couple members were unable to attend because of conflicts with the short evening meetings, but all-in-all this sounds like an excellent model for the future. Welcome to the club, Terry!

March TTCS Show

RASG set up at the Finger Lakes Race Track in Farmington on Saturday, March 14th, in the afternoon and ran trains through the day on March 15. Chuck Smith made the arrangements, and we had a good time. There was a shortage of different trains to run, though, so we'll have to make better plans to bring those to the next show, in Batavia next month. We also had a few operating difficulties, but Steve got to try out his Lionel train control system briefly, and we were able to resolve a number of other difficulties that occurred through the day. Michael Holland kindly provided a brief report on the show:

"Here is a short report on the show at Finger Lakes on the weekend of March 14, 1999. Had a good time with both the module layout and the action layout for the kids, although more adults were interested in the operating accessories on the modules. I heard a lot of talk that they really liked those. We got two possible new members. That's it for now."--MJH

Weekly Work Sessions

Weekly work sessions are continuing at Mike Shea’s house, and we are making more progress on Mike Holland’s modules. Other work has been done as well. At the most recent meeting, Harry Butler brought one of the Bob Peare switches that he intends to use on his Flyer layout. Attendance has been fairly high, and if you haven’t been able to come but your schedule permits, do try to stop by. High attendance reduces the workload on any individual and allows people to swap off between construction activity and conversation or individual projects.

On the east side, Ted Larson and Chuck Smith are working on small (1-foot wide) modules for a staging yard to go in the center pit. More supplies are needed, as Ted reports: "We'll need some more building materials. Club bought the framing. I supplied the plywood tops. Is there any leftover, or does anybody have 3/4" foamboard (12"x48" - 4 pcs)? If not, we'll need to buy some. I think that Mike H has club Homasote roadbed. The club bought track. I can supply wood ties for the ends. We'll build these so the ends and roadbed will match the club standard."



Upcoming Events

  • March 28, 1999 – Monthly meeting at Ted Larson’s house, starting at 2 p.m. Contact Ted (716-223-0917 or for details.

    April 11, 1999 – Batavia train show; 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the racetrack in Batavia. Set-up time is 7:30 a.m.

    April 24 or 25, 1999 – Club outing to the 13th Annual Railroad Showcase at Kenan Arena in Lockport. Sat. 10-5, Sun. 10-4. Admission: $4 adults; $1 children. Contact Mike Holland for details of our plans.

    April 30, 1999, and May 1, 1999 – Spring S Spree in Dayton, Ohio. We'll be looking for reports from those who can attend!

  • A glimpse of the club layout in operation at Genesee Country Museum in June, 1998.


    Modeling Tip

    I found out that a common mustard bottle makes a great squeeze bottle to position ballast or scenery cement. It does not clog up like the cup method commonly used by some modelers. You can mix you cement in the bottle, and if it separates all you have to do is shake the bottle to remix the cement. So save your mustard bottles!

    --Mike Holland

    Product News

    Mill Side Trains, on Ridge Road in Ontario, is having a storewide clearance sale. Although nothing specific to S is listed in his flier, cross-scale converters might want to check out his stock of Walthers Cornerstone building kits (30% off) or Lionel & K-Line items (20% off buildings & operating accessories). The sale runs through March 31; the store is open Tues.-Fri. noon to 4 p.m., Thurs. 7p.m. to 9p.m. as well, and Sat. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Ted Larson passed along a flier from Western Car Shops (800-305-8535 or mailto: They now have in stock Rio Grande decorated PRS (1937 AAR-type) boxcars and in April will have C&NW decorated PRS (1937 AAR-type) boxcars, at $39.95 for cars with trucks, plus shipping. This dealer also provides a handy "Worldnews of S Scale Model Railroading" as part of their flier, which lists products available or coming from various manufacturers.

    Alder Models will make the Hayes sliding derail and two train-order sempahores if a minimum order for 100 of any one item is placed, according to the folks at the Canadian S Scale Quarterly. You can visit Alder Models on the Web (and see their offerings of dummy and operating switchstands and an HO scale version of the Hayes derail) at The most recent issue of CSSQ has a form for pre-ordering the new items, and I’ll be happy to send a copy to anyone who would like one.

    The latest issue of S/Sn3 Modeling Guide has arrived, and it contains an extensive article by Jeff English on building Pacific Rail Shops boxcar kits. Included with the issue was an order form for Bill’s Train Shop, which currently has a number of different S Helper Service stock cars on sale at 25% off, through the end of April.

    On the Sn3 list, Clark Womack mentioned dry transfers for rivets, used by airplane modelers, produced by Archer Fine Transfers, which has a web site at There are three sizes of rivets, which would scale out to approximately 1", 1.5" and 2" in S scale, I believe. They also make transfers for weld beads and some other detail transfers that might prove useful.

    An architectural modeling firm in South Africa, Modelart (, has advertised trees on the Sn3 list, which they are willing to sell in lots of 100. It might be worthwhile to contact them if looking for a large number of broad-leaf trees.

    Web Sightings

    A New York railfan forum can be found at Fans of the New York Central might want to check out, and the homepage offers plenty of other resources as well.

    Genesee and Wyoming has a web presence, at Much of the site is currently under construction, but they do have a nice small gallery of "pictures of the month" in their "For the Public" pages.

    A Closing Word

    If you have any comments or items for inclusion in the newsletter, please let me know at or by calling 716-663-0895.

    –Harry Butler

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