Train Town Relocation Updates

DATE EVENT
December 2020 Discussions begin with a well-know local museum for potential relocation of Wade's Train Town layout.
January 9, 2021 "Last Run at Brookford" Open House was held 10 am - 2 pm in Room 107, Brookford Community Center. The room is now closed to the public. Relocation discussions continue.
February 1, 2021 Inventory sessions scheduled for Saturdays during February. Relocation discussions continue.
February 25, 2021 Inventory completed and being studied. Many thanks to volunteers Fred Miller, Alan Hardee, Larry Paffrath, Keith Iritsky, Joe Skorch, Ed Smith, and Andrew Stitt. Packaging the removable items on the layout comes next during March. Work sessions scheduled for March 13th and March 20th, 10 am until 2 pm.
March 20, 2021 It's official! The Newton Depot Authority has agreed, in conjunction with Wade Warren's family and the CSD, to relocate the layout to the Depot's Model Railroad Center located at 1111 Main Street, in Newton, NC. We believe that this is the best possible place in Catawba County for this so that future generations can continue to enjoy Wade's handiwork. Click on this link to see the official announcement.
 

Relocation work sessions during the last two months have been amazingly successful. As of March 20 all the buildings have been removed from the layout and packed up along with various other groups of items in the room. We installed some of the new legs for the tables and separated all of the 9 tables making up the layout. They are ready to move! Thanks to Bob Halsey, Joe Skorch, Andrew Stitt, Keith Iritsky, and Ed Smith for their excellent work this month. We will have no scheduled work sessions during April mainly because we are now waiting for the Model Railroad Center folks to finish up preparing the room that we will be moving into. They believe it will be finished during April, so look for us to schedule some moving sessions during May.

April 19, 2021 April has been a quiet month for the relocation. Ed Smith and Keith Iritsky have been doing some work on the layout table legs and Ed continues to work on replacing the incandescent lights with LEDs. We have been waiting for the folks at the Model Railroad Center to finish preparing the space we are moving into. They report it will be ready for us on or about May 15, so we have scheduled MOVING DAY for May 15.
May 15, 2021 This has been a BIG DAY! Train Town has a new home! Thanks to the efforts of 14 members of the Division, we moved Train Town from the Brookford Community Center to its new home at the Model Railroad Center of the Newton Depot, which is located at 1115 North Main Avenue, Newton, NC. Rick Beam and Gil Harris pulled the Metrolina Club's trailers for us. Thanks to them and their club, the move went smoothly and relatively quickly. We were able to move everything in about 3 hours. In addition to these two, Neal Anderson, Gil Brauch, Bob Halsey, Alan Hardee, Keith Iritsky, Fred Miller, Larry Paffrath, Daniel Poole, Chuck Redmond, Ken Riddick, Ed Smith, and Dave Thrams provided the manpower to load and unload the trailers as well as carrying assorted odds and ends in their vehicles to the new home.
Dave Thrams accomplished the most important task of the day by picking up and delivering the celebratory pizza for us.
What is now ahead is putting the layout back together and restoring it to its former 'glory' as a faithful representation of the work of Wade Warren. We have a 'hard date' for our Grand Re-opening of August 28 and there is much work to be done. We are scheduling Saturday work sessions during the summer months to get this task accomplished. We need folks who like to do just about everything involved in our hobby -- trackwork, electrical, scenery, structures, mechanical animation, electrical animation, you name it, we need it. We will not be doing sign-up and urge our members to just show up and we are pretty much guaranteed to have work for you.
May-June 2021 Since our Moving Day, May and June have been extremely active in the relocation journey. We had an extremely successful move on May 15. A whole bunch of guys showed up and made relatively short work (4 hours) of moving the layout and the entire contents of the room from the Brookford Community Center to the Model Railroad Center at the Newton Depot. Special thanks to the Metrolina Railroaders for the loan of their two big trailers that greatly contributed to the success of the move. Since Moving Day, we have held 4 formal work sessions to restore the layout to it's former 'glory'. As of the end of June, we have re-connected eight of the nine tables, reconnected the tracks, installed a new electrical system for both trains and accessories, and begun the process of repairing the basic infrastructure of the scenery in preparation for refurbishing and re-installing the more than 280 structures on the layout. Our goal for next month is to have most of the re-installation complete so that we can concentrate on the fine details that will make sure we have been faithful to the original modeling of Wade Warren.
July 2021

We held four official work sessions during July and made substantial progress toward our goal of having the layout and room “show ready” by the end of August. We put the last table in place on July 10 and even cleaned up and re-installed most of the buildings on Table #3. The electrical crew activated several tables’ worth of new LED lighting for buildings. Meeting these major milestones allowed us to make really visible progress in the remaining weekends. Thanks to the following guys for helping out that day: Ed Smith, Keith Iritsky, Gil Brauch, Larry Paffrath, Danny Poole, Ken Riddick, Ed Gumphrey, and John Yarborough. During the month we added two new members/workers to the team – Chad Barnette and David Myers joined the Division and contributed to the work as well.

During the remaining three work weekends we were able to place all but 12 of the over 280 structures on the layout. The remaining dozen have embedded incandescent lights that need to be replaced with LEDs and Ed Smith should have those converted fairly quickly. He and Danny Poole have spent most of their time under the layout connecting wires while the rest of us worked ‘topside’. Keith has the mainlines and trolly line track in good shape. Larry, Ken, Ed, John, David, and I worked on buildings.

We are nearing the ‘home stretch’, but still need workers to show up during August to finish the job. We will be working every Saturday morning in August starting at 10 am each day.

August 2021

We held four official work sessions during August and made the layout and room “show ready” as was our goal. All buildings are installed and lighted and many new street lights were added to make the layout "pop" for visitors. A skirt has been added (which hides a bunch of 'stuff' under the layout that we will have to deal with later). But the layout is fully operational and ready for a preview showing for the attendees at the National Narrow Gauge Convention in the first 4 days of September. Thanks to the following guys for helping out during the month: Chad Barnette, Gil Brauch, Ed Gumphrey, Keith Iritsky, Fred Miller, David Myers, Larry Paffrath, Danny Poole, Ken Riddick, Ed Smith, Dave Thrams, John Yarborough and his son, John Yarborough III.

During our two work sessions in September we will be focusing on dressing up the room to create a truly museum quality display area. We will be working on September 11 and September 18 and still need workers to show up to finish the job. Details are on our Calendar Page at this link.