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6 Displays | Susquehanna S Gaugers


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Temporary Public Display Layouts


Contents below on this page:
1. SSG Display At Williamsport Toy Train Expo -- 1998
2. SSG Display At Williamsport Toy Train Expo -- 1999
3. Wellsboro Rail Days -- October 2000
4. Scranton Train Show -- October 2000
5. SSG Display At Williamsport Toy Train Expo -- 2000
6. SSG Display At Williamsport Toy Train Expo -- 2002
In SEPARATE Google Picasa album:
7. Toy Train Expo 2008 (featuring automated passing siding)

Related page:
Toy Train Expo Photos Page (Year 2000)

1. Toy Train Expo, December 1998

The following two photos were taken December 1998, at the Lycoming County Historical Society Museum's Annual Toy Train Expo in Williamsport PA.

Photo 01
Mrs. Claus (Petie Waltman) operates Santa's favorite scale of train, at the Susquehanna S-Gaugers display,

Photo 02

An adjustable timer underneath the wood building, activated by an electric eye in the track, pauses the train at station for about 25 seconds. This pause gives the engine a rest, and also breaks the monotony of continuous, non-stop around-the-loop running.


2. Toy Train Expo, December 1999

The following photos were taken December 1999, at the Lycoming County Historical Society Museum's Annual Toy Train Expo in Williamsport PA.

Photo 03

Comments About The Above Photo, The Mainline

  • The S Helper Service Union Pacific SW-9 is running on DCC.
  • A "Robo-Cupp" "black box" (picture, below, made by Fred Cupp) uses adjustable timers to cause the train gradually deaccelerate to stop with the passenger cars in front of the station (as shown above) every second time around the loop.

Photo 04 -
Robo-Cupp Automatic DCC Station Stop Controller
  • The stopping cycle is initiated when the train travels over an electric eye in the track. In the photo, the eye is located just in front of the Flyer switch, where you see the bright light in the upper right corner of the photo.
  • The train gradually deaccelerates, then stops for about 20 seconds, with engine headlight and car lights at full intensity, then gradually accelerates again.
  • The "Robo-Cupp" accomplishes this stopping by changing the track current from DCC to reverse polarity DC, which causes the train to deaccelerate and remain stopped. It then changes the polarity from DC back to DCC which causes the train to acclerate.
    • This deacceleration/stopping by using a decoder that conforms to NMRA DCC Recommended Practice RP-9.2.4. Note that some decoders conform to this practice and some do not. 

Comments About The PCC Cars On The Elevated Viaduct

  • The green & white PCC car on the viaduct is a James Edwards PCC car, which runs on DC. Two spare cars are parked on the ground track.
  • A PH Hobbies automatic reversing timer cause the car to run point-to-point on the viaduct track.
    • This point-to-point control is accomplished by a simple, commonly-used method of reversing the polarity with a timer, and having a gapped rail at each end, with a diode across the gap. The trolley will travel to each end and then sit there and wait until the polarity reverses.
    Photo 05 -Overall View Of 1999 Layout


3. Wellsboro Rail Days, October 2000

Dennis Oberholtzer's 10/27-28/00 Display Layout At Wellsboro Rail Days

Photo 06
  • This impressive display was part of the displays done for Wellsboro Rail Days.
  • Dennis and his wife Karen and two sons spent about 6 hours assembling this layout, which included putting up the four modules, attaching legs, making umpteen inter-module wiring connections, buildings, people, crossing gates, automobiles, little signs, snow, and the "whole nine yards".
  • Dennis and his family may well have set a record for setting up the most impressive S-Gauge temporary display layout in Central Pennsylvania--a record that may stand unmatched for the rest of the 21st century, as there is just not much S-gauge activity going on in Central Pennsylvania.
  • Dennis was kind enough to let Jim Ingram run two S-Helper Service SW-9s on the outside loop of what is usually an all-Flyer layout (plus display the Susquehanna S-Gaugers signs).

Photo 07

This layout requires 2 vehicles to move: the truck as shown above for plaforms, and a car to haul all the buildings and accessories.


4. Scranton Train Show, October 2000

10/29/00 Scranton Train Show at the Lackawanna Station Hotel

Photo 08


Photo 09
The laptop computer sends commands to the NCE DCC command station, which sends commands to the track to control the engine
  • Jim Ingram set up this display, which consists of a small loop of S-Trax with an S-Helper Service SW-9, equpped with the following add-ons:
    • Soundtraxx DCC decoder
    • flashing strobe light on top of the cab roof
    • cab light
    • special high-intensity headlights
    • (all installed by Chick Viggiano of Chicks' Hobby Shop in Gibbstown NJ)
  • The engine is controlled by a 386 laptop computer running QuickBasic to automatically control the North Coast Engineering DCC command station. The computer "ramps" the train up, "cruises" the train, ramps the speed back down down, then holds the train at idle for about 20 seconds. Then it repeats the whole cycle.
    • (The laptop and the "smarts" of the Basic code were both borrowed from Fred Cupp.)
  • Thare are several reasons for using the computer to vary the speed of the train:
    • the person manning the layout can focus his attention on talking to people, while the computer handles the "busywork" of running the train
    • the varying speed-cycle is intended to break the monotony of a train just running endlessly in a circle
      • the idle period gives the motor a rest from constant running
    • having the engine idling and "creeping", with full lights and sound, demonstrates the DCC capability


5. Toy Train Expo, December 2000

Photo 10
  • Most of the flyer trains in this view belong to Milton Sholley
  • The upper platform contained a loop of N-gauge
  • Larger size versions of these same photos, plus other displays, can be seen on the "Toy Train Expo 2000" photo page

Photo 11


6. Toy Train Expo, December 2002

Photo 12


Photo 13
Operating Personnel, from L to R:

Supervisor wearing tie is Frank Smith; workers are James Ingram, and non-member Richard Dill

This page modified 9/25/2010 by James R. Ingram . . Williamsport PA