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Standard Gauge Module Association Presents Spectacular Operating Standard Gauge Layout At York

by Jim Kelly

The Standard Gauge Module Association

Back L to R: Bert Schuck, Jim Kelly, Kirk Lindvig, Kent Anderson

Front L to R: Lloyd Wisner, Tom Bianculli, Jon Hinderer, Bob Nelson, Scot Kienzlen

The newly formed Standard Gauge Module Association (SGMA) presented an historic first time ever operating modular standard gauge display at the TCA Eastern Division train meet in York, Pa on Thursday, October 19th through Saturday, October 21st, 2006. The SGMA team developed modular standards and specifications earlier this year, and individual members designed and built 34 separate four foot long modules in various widths which were transported to York and assembled for the very first time on the site.

The Black Hall at the York Fairgrounds was the venue for two modular groups at this meet: the SGMA and an S Gauge club, the Baltimore Area American Flyer Club.

The SGMA team gained access to the hall at 7 AM on Thursday and began unloading their cars and trailers just five hours before the meet opened.


Kirk, Lloyd, Bob, Scot and Jon discuss the plan of action during unloading.

Jon and Kirk with Kirk's fully loaded U-Haul trailer prior to unloading the modules.

Kent transported the four all important 48" X 48" corner modules in his large van.

Kirk Lindvig, SGMA team leader ("Modulator") transported a large number of modules and accessories in this U-Haul trailer.

Scot seems to be trying to figure out how he got all that stuff in there in the first place!

Lloyd's big smile is in anticipation of running those great standard gauge tinplate trains.

Those big corner modules in Kent's van seem to be a tight fit!

One at a time and easy does it, Kent!

Bert's specially designed home-made benchwork added great interest and complexity to the display.

That red chest in Jim's car contains some great vintage tinplate trains soon to be running like they've probably never been run before!

This module shows protective strips applied for transport.

John transported his modules with accessories in place.

With the help of several hard working volunteers, the team assembled the display and had a train running five hours and 47 minutes later, at 12:47 PM on Thursday afternoon. This accomplishment is quite remarkable, considering this display had never been assembled before. The SGMA team brought a wide variety of standard gauge trains and accessories to run and display, including both modern and vintage tinplate. Lionel, MTH, Pride Lines, Boucher, IVES, Dorfan, and American Flyer were among the manufacturers represented. There were also some pretty unique one-of-a-kind standard gauge items on the tracks.


Clem Clement's "STOMPER"

The Maple Donut Car

From Clem Clement: "This is Smokey. He has psysological problems. His smoke always flows forward except on Tuesdays or when he is at the beach. He ran a bit on the SGMA layout but I understand he suffered from a dragging coupler ( now fixed)."

The completed modular layout was 20 feet wide by 52 feet long. The straightaway was long enough so that big sets such as the Lionel Hiawatha and the MTH Blue Comet could operate at full throttle! The display consisted of three main loops of 84", 72" and 42'" diameter tubular tinplate track. In addition, there were two passing sidings where trains could be parked. Power to the tracks and accessories was provided by two massive MTH dual-throttle transformers.

Scot's wife made a beautiful banner for the group.

Guest operators with trains to run were welcomed. The display was in operation during the entire duration of the meet, with SGMA members alternating at the controls and answering questions from visitors. Breakdown of the display at the end of the meet took slightly less time than setup.

Special thanks go to a number of volunteers who helped make the SGMA York display a smashing success. Very special thanks go to Chris Bogus of "Trains R Fun" in Frazer, PA. Chris put in many hours and worked incredibly hard as a volunteer with both assembly of the display and with help in running the modern tinplate. Special thanks also to Clem Clement for his support and encouragement throughout - and for lending us "STOMPER" (take it back now, please.) Thanks to Gordon Wilson for taking the group photo.

Look for announcements soon from the SGMA relative to future venues for the display.

Contact Kirk Lindvig or Kent Anderson for more information or if you're interested in joining the SGMA.

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