Bristol Club at the 2014 West Springfield Show

The Amherst Railroad Society Show was an excellent one for the Bristol Club this year. These pictures are from Don Haiges, if anyone else has pictures to post, please send them in!

Also, if anyone has comments or stories about the show to contribute, please send them in also!

The Bristol Club Layout Setup

A few questions asked dozens of time during the course of a train show are: how long does it take to setup the train layout and how does it go together. What follows is a photo sequence of the process. Our modular layout is kept in a trailer all year long with the exception of the time it is taken out for show display. The layout modules and accessories are stored on portable racks making it easy to transport the gear from the trailer into the show setup area.


A happy crew getting ready to unload. Note the portable rolling racks with the modules stacked. There are five racks of equipment plus other loose accessories.


Helen and Dale getting ready to position the first corner module and align the layout


The crew begins to position the first few modules and prepares to level the tables


Helen adjusting legs. As the modules go together, the tables are leveled on the “not-to-level” floor. The legs have adjustable feet.


Also each module has to be connected to one-another electrically. The connections at the joints are made via color coded push connectors


Topside, each loop of track must be individually connected between the modules, here Tommy, our club president, installs some of the 3” connectors. There are about 65+ track connectors required


Lots of topside work is required, here Phyllis sets up the fire station next to the hinged bridge which doubles as entrance to the center of the completed layout for access.


Maintenance is always required as the modules go together; here some track repair is in progress.


Each operating accessory is individually installed and hand wired into the layout, here Dale works on the coal loader


Still unloading the portable carts, Bill finds some more accessories to install on the layout


More progress and the module loop is assembled, Bill is holding the “poles” that will set up to hold the club banner and the radio antennas for the Video Camera Car.


Here Don mounts the backdrop behind the passenger RR station


Trains are ready to run, here a New Haven freight and a circus train pass the maintenance yard


Chief Engineer Bill gives the OK to go. It’s been about 4 ˝ hours since we started the set up, but then again we’ve been doing a lot of “chatting and catching up”


Sixty years of “S” Gauge. A 1940’s Gilbert American Flyer Pacific 312 with heavyweight Pullman passenger set, with a 2000’s American Models Steam Northern 4-8-4


Dick checking the operations


More operating trains. The 2 NH Diesels and green caboose belong to Don Hahzenzahl, the rest of the locos in the yard belong to Dick Connors. All these are custom painted.


A range of scale – “O” – “S” – “HO” – “N”


Tommy's Circus Train rumbles through Brasor Station.


A little gas and refreshment….


The Boston and Maine slowing down to pick up some freight. The video camera and transmitter are mounted in this F7. You can see the lens sticking out the front. We had many questions about the video equipment that we were using, our setup is documented here.


The Sugar House brewing up some Maple Syrup


So the show is over and we continue the process in reverse, here the modules are beginning to come apart for the return to the trailer


Just some of the accessories that Dick brings from his personal collection to each outing to help scenic the layout


Accessories and trains put away, waiting for the storage racks


All done, just about 2 hours to tear down and load the trailer


The layout is all loaded in the trailer and ready for the ride home. Bill, John and Don will be happy to get out of the 8°F weather. Even the camera doesn’t like the cold and wind.

Another Amherst Railroad Society Show is in the books! This is the biggest show in the Northeast, and is especially fun for us because we have our own "S scale" section where several S dealers and manufacturers are all together. This allows lots of catching up with old friends, and is the highlight of the show weekend for me! This was the first year the S-Helper Service was not there, and we really missed seeing the S-Helper crew. We understand Robin and Don are sailing in warmer waters these days, and we wish them well. But S will never be the same without them! The show attendance was very good, with over 21,000 people attending! The Bristol Club also had a Great show! The re-implemented camera car/TV continued to be one of the most appreciated features of the layout. The new system designed by Michael Greene gives an excellent picture, and we had many requests for information on the equipment.

Tommy brought his circus train pulled by his AM Northern with a souped up smoke unit. Bill Chase ran a Dan Lundy train, the American Flyer Missouri Pacific passenger set. Don Haiges brought his Big Boy, which ran for several hours pulling 43 cars. Very impressive! Dale Hahzenzahl also ran his three unit NH diesel set pulling the Dan Lundy NH chrome passenger train. Looked and ran great! We were down on crew members a bit during the weekend because of sickness, but everyone who was able to make the show pitched in and I think we all had a fine time. We had great set-up and tear-down crews and both went very well. Deane Louise Greene and Don Haiges did a great job scheduling everyone so we all got to both work and play. All-in-all a dynamite weekend!

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