The latest news about the NTGRC.
North Texas Garden Railroad Club


2018 Club Calendar

Jun - Annual Membership Meeting Patrick & Donna Miller
Jul - Mike Weatherford
Aug - Cook Children's Hospital
Sep - Clark Gardens / Fall Plano Train Show
Oct - Dave and Cindy Valdez
Nov - OPEN
Dec - Christmas Party Lane & Brenda Haviland

2019 Club Calendar

Jan - Plano Winter Train Show
Feb - OPEN
Mar - Thomas & M'Lou Lytle

Details at

NTGRC Events Update


Welcome to the start of another hot North Texas summer!  As usual, it looks like we’re in for a scorcher, where those outdoor G scale railroad tracks can become hot enough to become branding irons after a full day in the Texas sun.  Read on to find out about the Club’s latest activities, as well as what’s coming up throughout the summer.


The President’s Car

By Thomas Lytle
Today it’s summer in my backyard.  I do not care if the calendar says summer does not start until mid-June. AND your trains, running in the full sun, think it is summer also. 

There is not much to bring to your attention at this time.  The Board is looking into a community project at Fair Park; running a two-day display (instead of only one) at the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children’s downtown location; setting up a display and running at Scottish Rite’s new Frisco Grand Opening in late fall; and holding small classes at locations when we run our trains (with topics such as basic wiring; DCC or NOT; incandescent vs LED in cars and layout; proper POL [petroleum, oils and lubricants] for outdoor trains and usage).

This last month we met at Donna Orr’s and Roger Shank’s lovely home in Rockwall.  See the group pictures below.  Donna and Roger did a wonderful job with grub.  Roger was an extraordinary grill master, turning hamburgers into a culinary delight.  Donna had some great sides; mac and cheese; potato salad; hot beans (gringo style).  Thank you, Donna and Roger.

Door prizes were a miscellaneous G scale grab bag and an LGB DRGW wood sided 40’ box car.

At our next home meeting we will be voting for Board Members at the Miller’s home on the 24th of June.

We vote for board members, not for positions on the board.  Once elected, the new board will meet and decide who fills each position.  (NOT good if a board member fails to show up for THAT meeting!)  We elect board members for a two-year term and elect ½ the board each year.  This year we are voting for four positions.
Ballots have been emailed.  There are three ways to vote. 1. In person at the June meeting: 2. Email your ballot back to me: 3. Snail mail your ballot to NTGRC, c/o Pete Dahlberg, 4519 Willow Bend, Arlington, TX 76017

The home meeting for July will be on July 15th at Mike Weatherford’s home: 2709 Woodpoint, Lewisville, TX 75067 at 2 PM.

We are hoping that when Clark Gardens closes during the summer months the landscapers will be freed up to install those large river rocks that we need for retaining walls to hold back the decomposed granite (DG).  Until that happens we are at a standstill.  We will keep you posted as many of you are wanting to know when to come to lay down that DG.

Mike Pritchett however is still fixing up buildings, and the trains are running with new bridges being installed all the time.
The 2018 34th National Garden Railway Convention was held June 4th thru the 9th in Atlanta.  I attended as did several other members of the Club.  I'll provide details of the Convention in next month's Newsletter.  The 2019 Convention (the 35th National Garden Railway Convention) will be hosted by the Rose City Garden Railway Society in Portland, Oregon, and will be held from August 27th through the 31st, 2019.  Click HERE for more details.
Reminder:  Your 2018 Dues are still only $25.00 for this year AND a Life-Time Membership is still only $250.00.  Those Life-Time memberships make a wonderful gift.  There are still a few members that have not renewed from 2017.  2017 gave us the highest membership numbers ever in the history that we have on record for this club.  My hope is that we get the highest number of members ACTIVE (at least a couple of times) this year.   Mail your dues to Pete Dahlberg, 4519 Willow Bend, Arlington, TX 76017.


June 24th Home meeting:  2 – 4 PM at Patrick and Donna Miller’s home at 1508 Rodden Drive, Decatur, TX 76234
July 15th Home meeting: 2 – 4 PM at Mike and Karmen Weatherford’s home at 2709 Woodpoint, Lewisville, TX 75067
August 7th Train Run, Cook Children’s Hospital, 801 7th Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76104, 8:30 to approximately 4 PM.  Click HERE for a detailed campus map of the Hospital.
May your tracks be true; your stay on passing’s be short; do not take any dead-end sidings and keep her between and out of the ditches.

The Mail Car

By Pete Dahlberg

Q: A light on my equipment has burnt out. How can I replace it?
A: The simple answer is to buy a replacement lamp from the manufacturer.
However, the problem will be determining which lamp you need to purchase and how to remove the old burnt out lamp. The answer to these questions will vary markedly depending on which company manufactured the piece.
USA Trains has a very helpful service department so finding the correct lamp is merely describing to the technician which locomotive or car it is from and where the lamp is located. Unfortunately, USAT does not have any wiring diagrams nor exploded parts diagrams to help with the removal or installation. Some lamps are plug-ins while others are soldered to circuit boards. It should also be noted that lamps can be either incandescent or LED.

LGB has wiring diagrams as well as exploded parts views which contain detail part numbers. Train-Li has the diagrams on its website, however, finding the diagram(s) appropriate for your equipment is difficult since they are not organized by model number. It should be noted that LGB frequently will use the same fixture for lamps of different voltage so you will need to be careful to match your lamp with the voltage present in the fixture.
Bachmann has exploded parts diagrams available for many of their items, however I do not recall ever seeing a wiring diagram. Presumably from the parts diagram, you will be able to order the appropriate lamp, however if the part is not available you may not have the specifications for ordering a substitute.

Aristocraft had both wiring and exploded parts diagrams available on their web forum. Unfortunately, this site is no longer available. As sources you may look for other Large Scale forums for help. Examples are: George Schreyer, Greg Elmassian
Good luck!
That wraps up this month’s newsletter.  I hope to see many of our members at Patrick and Donna Miller’s home (1508 Rodden Drive, Decatur, TX 76234) on Sunday, June 24th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.  In addition to this being our annual meeting, where Thomas will provide us with his “State of the Club” address, we’ll also be electing new Board members, so please provide your vote, either in person, by email, or mail.  Patrick has working overtime in building his new outdoor layout, which I’m very excited to see.  He’s shared numerous pictures while he's been constructing it, and it looks fantastic.  I’m sure he’ll be happy to pass along the many tips he’s learned while building it.  Thanks for reading.

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