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


2018 Club Calendar

May - Donna Orr & Roger Shank
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

Details at

NTGRC Events Update


Welcome to our May Newsletter! This is usually the time of year where we start to see severe weather conditions in North Texas, as evidenced by the flooding of three years ago, and the hail storms that moved through some areas and destroyed roofs (including mine) last year.  Severe weather is always a threat to an outdoor layout - let’s hope that we’re more fortunate this year!  May is also home to Memorial Day, usually recognized as the semi-official start of summer.  In any event, read on to find out about the Club’s recent and ongoing activities, as well as some of the events we have planned for the next several months.

The President’s Car

By Thomas Lytle

It seems that I start out every article with something like ‘where does the time go’?  Or, it was just yesterday I was writing last month’s article.

Well, this article is no different.  Why I like Ron Trees, is his gentle reminder of “Hey guys I do not have any articles to date from ……………, AND I was one of those guys.  (Again)

I want to thank all of those that attended the Scottish Rite display and participated; either in set up, running your trains or someone else’s, tear down or any combination.  See Lane’s article for those that graced us with a presence and if you were not mentioned, it is my fault as I did not write down names.  I had help from a spouse who did not know a soul, but stepped up and did a great job of tracking a warm body down and asking them what their name was and how was it spelled (thanks Sharon Greenlee!).

Our set up system of assigning a crew leader and assistants to each loop, or the three-rail bypass, or the criss-cross or smaller loops, seems to have worked.  Proper curves were used and not mixed with other sizes and we were up and running with details like trees and buildings in 2 hours and 10 minutes.  GREAT JOB to all.  Also, fun was had at the no host dinner following setup at Duston’s Steak House.  Food was not as good as we remembered from years ago, but we did not care as we had a great time in conversation. 

For the last two months I’ve written about what we need to accomplish at Clark Gardens’ spring opening to return the train railroad to the masterpiece that it is.  Pete and Mike and JC are putting detail touches on buildings and lighting.  We are still awaiting the grounds crew to install retaining walls and then our club members show up in force to drop and distribute decomposing granite over the rails.  Once that is completed, FOUR DATES will be sent out.  We will monitor the forecast for inclement weather and cancel (via email) that date.  However, the first date with good weather we will need at least a dozen volunteers to distribute the decomposed granite and brush it into place.  If we do not finish, then the next good weather date will be used to finish the project.   Now that I am back from California, yours truly will be working on the interior display buildings to convert the incandescent lighting into LED.  That will reduce heat, the amount of electricity used, and bulbs will last for 10 to 15 years.

WE NEED HELP FOR PLACING THE BALLAST AND BRUSHING IT IN AROUND ALL THE LOOPS.  YOU DO NOT EVEN NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SPELL TRAIN TO DO THIS SIMPLE TASK.  This is for the strong backs and weak minds like me.  Even if not so strong, carry a ½ filled bucket and pour out on the track.  I know of two people (members) who can not lift because of medical restrictions, but you can sure supervise!!!  WATCH THE EMAILS FOR POSTED DATES.

Next Home meeting will be at Donna Orr’s and Roger Shank’s home on the 20th of May.  Then in June, we will be voting for Board Members at the Miller’s home meeting on the 24th of June.

NOTICE:  The NATIONAL G SCALE GARDEN RAILROAD CONVENTION IS BEING HELD June 4th thru the 9th in Atlanta.  I am attending as are at least 3 or 4 other members of the club.  It is not too late to register on line.

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 dues to Pete Dahlberg, 4519 Willow Bend, Arlington, TX 76017.


May Home meeting - Donna Orr and Roger Shank, Sunday, 20 May, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, 2625 Rolling Meadows Drive, Rockwall 75087


June Home meeting - Patrick and Donna Miller’s, Sunday, June 24th, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, 1508 Rodden Dr., Decatur, TX 76234

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 Combo Car

By Lane Haviland, VP.

Howdy Folks,

Last month was the Scottish Rite Hospital show. We set up on Sunday, April 22nd and ran all day on Monday.

This was one of the neatest layouts we have done.  Well done group!  Some pictures of the event are below.

I got there in time for Tom to buy me lunch but otherwise we had a great showing.  I may leave out some but I saw Tom Lytle, Johnny Nelson, Ron Trees, Dave and Cindy Valdez, Mike Pritchett, Sharon & James Greenlee, Pete Dahlberg, Edi and David St. John, Mike Weatherford, Patrick Miller, Ron Natinski, Jim Pipkin,  John Kersey, Jerry Raskin and Shel Travis dressed up in a Scottish kilt.

The kids and staff loved the event and if you missed it, please try the next one. It’s worth it.

This month’s home meeting is at Donna Orr’s and Roger Shank’s home (2625 Rolling Meadows Drive, Rockwall, TX 75087).  Always fun, so don’t miss it - Sunday, May 20th at 2:00 PM.  Donna let it out of the bag that Roger is cooking hamburgers; and she is over doing it again with potato salad, macaroni salad, lettuce, tomato; onions and cheese.

It seems that pesky bridge to her neighborhood has still not been replaced, so don’t depend on your GPS!  Detailed driving and parking instructions:

Come east on I30 through Rockwall to the John King Exit.  Take the John King exit, turn north (left) onto John King.  The first stop sign on John King is Airport Road.  Turn right onto Airport Road.  Airport road will dead end into 3549.  Turn left on 3549.  Go about 1/2 mile and our entrance is on the left.  Pull up close to the gates and they will open.  When you get to our house (2625 Rolling Meadows Drive, 4th house on the left) turn into the driveway.  Once past the plant bed on the right of the driveway you can pull onto the grass at an angle.  There is also parking for at least 6 cars lined up towards the fence behind the garage.

Stay on track---Lane

The Mail Car

By Pete Dahlberg

Q: Power supplies and controllers

What voltages work on different scales?
  • HO
  • On30
  • O
  • N
  • Z
  • G
Will this used power controller work on my stuff?

What about accessories?  Are voltages different in the different scales?  How many VA do I really need or how many Amperes “Amps”

A:  For track power you have 3 basic options for powering the track: DC, AC or DCC.

3-rail O gauge (Lionel and MTH) engines use AC and typically can accept up to 18 volts. The smaller gauges typically will operate on 12 – 16 volts DC. G gauge typically will accept up to 24 volts DC.

DCC (digital command control) supplies a constant voltage to the track and individual controllers/receivers on each locomotive will translate signals received from the base station into direction, lighting, speed and sounds. Typically in a DCC setup there is a base station which generates the control signals and one or more boosters which will provide the constant voltage to the track. Typically the voltage for the smaller scales is 16 – 18 volts and for G gauge equipment 24 volts. It should be noted that MTH has a proprietary version of DCC called DCS.

To determine if a used power controller will handle equipment you merely need to add up the amperage draw (motors, lights, accessories) which will be operating at the same time and determine whether the amperage capacity of the control unit is greater than the maximum combined load which will be operating. A rule of thumb is that G gauge engines will draw between .5 and 1.5 amps each. Incandescent lamps on cars will typically draw .5 amps per car.

Accessories are typically operated on DC but may require AC. Voltages are typically in the 14 -18 volt range and amperages can vary greatly.

VA or Volt-ampere is merely the product of the voltage and current (ampere). If your power supply is 100va and you are operating at 20 volts, then you will be able to have a current of 5 amps. If you are operating at 10 volts, then you will be able to handle a current of 10 amps.

That's it for our May Newsletter.  I hope to see many of our members at Donna and Roger’s home in Rockwell this Sunday.  Thanks for reading!
Copyright © 2018 North Texas Garden Railroad Club, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp