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


2019 Club Calendar

Mar - Ron & Peggy Trees
Apr - Dave & Gerry Minna
May - Scottish Rite Train Run
May - Cumbres Toltec Texas Visitation
Jun - Annual Meeting - Lane & Brenda Haviland
Jul - Work Session - Discovery Gardens
Aug - Cook's Childrens Hospital/
National Garden Railway Convention/
Clark Gardens Festival
Oct -  Fall Plano Train Show

Nov - Home Meeting TBD
Dec - Christmas Party - Donna Orr & Roger Shank

2020 Club Calendar

Jan - Plano Winter Train Show
Feb - Home Meeting TBD
Mar - Home Meeting TBD
Apr - Home Meeting TBD
May - Scottish Rite Train Run
Jun - Annual Meeting - TBD
Jul - Home Meeting TBD
Aug - Cook's Childrens Hospital/
Sep - Clark Gardens Festival
Sep - Home Meeting TBD
Oct -  Fall Plano Train Show

Nov - Home Meeting TBD
Dec - Christmas Party - TBD

Details at

NTGRC Events Update


Welcome to the March NTGRC Newsletter.  Today we can say that Spring is officially here since the vernal equinox occurs this year on March 20, at 4:58 P.M. CDT.  It’s also a somewhat unique day since it’s a Full Moon on the Spring Equinox!  This is called a “Full Worm Moon,” and the last time the Full Worm Moon happened within one day of the March equinox was 19 years ago, in 2000, and the next time will be 11 years from now, in 2030.  March’s full Moon will also be a supermoon, meaning that it will be slightly larger than most of the other full moons this year.  So, this year we have an extra-bright way to greet spring!

The Club had a great turnout at Cindy Roerig’s home in February – her outdoor layout was terrific and the weather was great!  Let’s hope this nice weather holds for our next meeting this Sunday at Ron & Peggy Trees’ home in Little Elm.   Read on to find Thomas’ latest news and thoughts, and review Pete’s always invaluable advice on all things G scale.

The President’s Car

By Thomas Lytle

Is Winter Over, or is this Weather just a Tease?

We had a very good showing at Cindy Roerig’s home last month.  About 37 members and spouses, partners, and significate others came and enjoyed the sunny outside, with running water in the Koi pond and two trains huffing and chuffing around the back yard.

Now those two trains had help.  Jack and Joyce Huffman and Pete Dahlberg pitched in to revive Miss Cindy’s tracks from Old Man Winter.  Their hard work made those two trains run all afternoon, without a moment’s hesitation.  Below are some pictures of Cindy’s great outdoor layout, as well as the crowd at the event.

Some news about your President is that he is gainfully employed.  It is a full-time job that is really cutting into my doing what I want to do, when I want to do it time during the week.  I am the eyes and ears for a busy corporate company owner, assisting him in remodeling his condominium, and extensive additions to his ranch.  This is the same ranch that I assisted him in building his ranch house in 2002-2003.  Hence, the call for help again.

CLARK GARDENS EAST Now Discovery Gardens.

Do you remember me telling you about our looking into an outdoor adventure in the Dallas area?  Well, I think I let the cat out of the bag at Cindy Roerig’s home, spilling the location.  For those of you not there or outside enjoying a beautiful day, it is the Dallas Discovery Gardens.  Initial plans are for a large pond and running water stream.  Initially, we are looking at installation of two loops of track by September 15th.  It is in a beautiful setting and club members volunteering can run the trains on site or bring your own. (They need to fit into the theme of the train runs.) This garden has been there since 1932.  So, if you come and help, parking and admission is free.


Speaking of Clark Gardens.  They opened on March 1st.   Mid to end of February, Pete, JC and crew did an assessment of the trains and condition of the track, track beds and bridges and trestles.   They brought all five loops back to life from their winter hibernation.


MARCH 24th -- 2:00 PM - HOME MEETING at Ron & Peggy Trees home (3513 Pinnacle Bay Pt, Little Elm, TX 75068 - click HERE for a map)

APRIL 28th -- 2:00 PM - HOME MEETING Dave and Gerry Minna home (6519 Deloache Ave, Dallas, TX 75225 - click HERE for a map)
May 4th Cumbres & Toltec meeting in Cedar Park, Tx.   Train rides, short meeting and lunch will be provided.  The 50-minute meeting will start at 8:30 AM and then (if you are a member of the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec {$35 dollars family membership} AND emailed in your reservations) there is a train ride to Burnett, TX.  In Burnett, a lunch will be served (Free) and then we will board the train back to Cedar Park.  We will have a private car for our members) Four years ago it was well worth attending.  Talk to Pete or Tom if you have any questions.  We have special room rates on May 3rd at the Springhill by Marriott in Cedar Park.  YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE FRIENDS OF THE CUMBRES & TOLTEC and MAKE A RESERVATION WITH THE FRIENDS HEADQUARTERS TO THE TRAIN RIDE.  LIMITED NUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE.  It is only $35.  Where else can you get a 4 hour train ride and free lunch for $35 for two people.  No walk ups.

MAY Date and Time to be Determined SMU Campus Library, One Day 1 or 2 loop train run. In observance of the Sesquicentennial (150-year) Transcontinental driving of the golden spike at Promontory Point Utah.  This event will be hosted by Dr. Russell Martin, SMU Library.  Any EX Mustangs in our group?

 35th NATIONAL 2019 GARDEN RAILROAD CONVENTION, Portland, OR, 27th to 30th August 2019.  Will you be there? Or will you be at Clark Gardens?

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: How much clearance do I need for the height of portals, tunnels, bridges that my track goes underneath to accommodate 99% of the locomotives and rolling stock in G scale?

A:  LGB has published in its book “EPL Techniques” that the maximum height from the bottom of the ties to the top of their highest car/engine is 248 mm (9-3/4”). To be safe use 10 – 12” and measure what you believe is your tallest car and/or engine and take the larger number.  It should be noted that LGB also published information on car overhangs on curves. They indicated that the overhang on R1 curves would be 85 mm (3-1/2”) from the centerline of the track. Again, I would measure your larger cars on the curves which will be present and then take the larger number.

Q:  How do I setup a catenary power pick up for locomotives and street cars with working pantographs.  Heights, towers correct wire etc.  Does a rail stay powered?  If so which one or both?
A: The only commercially available catenary system which I am aware of is sold by LGB and is configured to work with their engines/trolleys.  All of LGBs engines which use a catenary for power have a pantograph for pick up. If your engine uses a pick up pole, it may not work with the LGB system.
A summary of the basic LGB catenary parts follows:
                56201    Wire (12 segments @ 680 mm)
                56203    Insulated Connectors
                56204    Connectors
                56301    “Model” mast
                56302    Standard Base
                56303    Tilt Base (for application on significant grades to allow mast to be vertical)
                56403    Feeder wire
                56405    “Standard” mast
In summary, the bases are clipped to the track, masts are inserted into the bases and the wire is hung from the masts. The arms on the masts are the appropriate height for the pantographs on the engines/trolleys to hit the wire. The “Model” mast is designed to have a support wire holding the power wire and is more typical of a catenary system. The “Standard” mast has the power wire strung between the masts.
If the catenary is to be used to power engines/trolleys, then the engines need to be set to pick up the power from the catenary. The “EPL Techniques” book documents this. From this documentation, the catenary will carry the + current and the normal – rail will complete the circuit. If the engines are modified this way then engines without a pantograph can be operated on the track by applying + power to the other rail. In other words, both rails will be powered normally and the engines will determine where they pick up the + current.
If the LGB system will not work (not proper clearance for your engines), then the installation of a catenary system is much more complex.
That’s a wrap for our March newsletter.  I hope many of our members can make it to this month’s meeting at Ron & Peggy Trees’ home on March 24th at 2:00 – 4:00 PM (3513 Pinnacle Bay Pt., Little Elm, TX 75068).  See you there!

Thanks for reading.
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