Swap Meet: – 29th August 2015 – Great Friends and Great Trains

Calling all model train fanatics. On Saturday the 29th August 2015, EMRIG will again be hosting a regional Swap Meet on the East Rand.

The Swap Meet will be held in the Northmead Mall in Benoni. Click here to see a map. However, the mall is next to Pretoria Road just off the Snake Road off-ramp from the N12.

Bring the family for a breakfast at the Maxis, then the better half can visit the various clothing stores, the Clicks, a bank or the Pick and Pay in the centre, while you brows the tables at the Swap Meet. There are also a number of smaller shops serving hot dogs, curry, biltong and the like.

The meet will be from 09h00 to 12h00 and buyers are encouraged to come early. Our swap meets are usually well attended by both buyers as well as sellers.

The Club will also be operating their show layouts.

For more info, please contact Colin TT  whose details are below.

Cell: – 082 828 0665 or email at: – cttremaine@mweb.co.za

We look forward to seeing all our friends.

Club Layout Visit to “Gauteng Freemo Group of South Africa”.

[singlepic id=443 w=300 h=233 float=right]On Sunday the 19th July 2015, the club members were invited to the operations based modular “Gauteng Freemo Group”. As with many modular layouts, the club normally sets up during the school holidays at a school that will host them. This time it was the Panorama Primary school in Roodeport.

Wow, the layout was amazing. The length of the run is in excess of 80 meters and fills both the school hall as well as taking a gander through the foyer entrance to the hall as well.

Mike Richardson gave a talk to the EMRIG members on the history and overview of the layout. The Freemo concept originally started off in Germany and was copied in the United States soon after. Freemo means free “styled” modules and are primarily single track, meaning the module can go in any direction desired. The primary idea behind it all is just to have an operations based layout. No running round and round in circles. Mike said the group started about 4 years ago with about 7 to 8 members, first setting up in Erich Dokupils patio, the one time and then his tennis court the next. There after they started using the likes of St Martins school and Panorama primary to name but a few.

The membership is being limited at the moment to 20 members who have already created over 120 modules! The time period has been set in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s in the mid US. Track is Peco code 83 and control is Digitrax.

Operations is based on the 4 turn Car Cards which follow the rolling stock. They have on occasion operated with a dispatcher, using 2 way radios for communication.

There was the usual contingent of members from EMRIG and they definitely had a great time. With the number of modules out, one can imagine the number of scenes that were available to look at. The detailing on the modules that were complete was impressive. However, it was simply amazing to be able to look down long railway lines meandering along modules. It certainly gave the impression of a branch-line in the US.

To visit the GRGSA website, go here.

To see a video following around the layout, go here: –

To see more photos, look below.

Enjoy 🙂

Club Layout Visit To Ron Gill

[singlepic id=379 w=300 h=233 float=right]On Sunday 29th June 2015, the club outing this month was to see Ron Gill’s N gauge layout. Ron is the current chairman of the Saturday Afternoon Group and more commonly known as SAG.

One enters Ron’s home and turns right proceeding down some steps before entering his train room and one simply goes wow!!! Articles like these just do not do layouts like Ron’s and similar scenicked layouts any justice. Ron’s Layout was just out of this world! The layout is a folded dog bone in a room of roughly 6m X 8m. The middle section of the dog bone has the tracks basically next to each other mimicking a double mainline. What this results in are trains passing each other in opposite directions, however according to the track plan, they are actually going in the same direction. It certainly makes for some fantastic meets.

The layout is freelanced, although many of the hills, mountains and cuttings look like those in the North West of America. The Railroad modelled is after the BNSF and Ron quite simply says this is because the first locomotive he ever bought was a BNSF unit.

[singlepic id=406 w=300 h=233 float=left]The scenery is super detailed and the Crème de la Crème has to be the sports facility! This is situated on one of the two peninsula’s and entails a clubhouse, four tennis courts, an amazing swimming pool with swimmers and a golfing green that will make you green with envy (Pun intended).

There are 2 towns and at the one return loop, a very large container facility, coal mine, locomotive work shop and more. Everywhere one looks, there are people. There are multitudes of little scenes everywhere. Folk sitting around a table near a steam train, hikers on a mountain ledge, horse rides herding cattle, people around town and a church. The list just goes on and on. Ron challenged everyone to find the person with the “plumbers crack”, the “naked sunbathers” and the “kissing couple”. Did the EMRIG members have fun looking for them. I myself only found the kissing couple when reviewing the photos. So check the photos out for that and much much more.

As has become the norm, everyone broke for a truly sumptuous beverage and meal with Ron’s wife cooking a lovely soup which because of the terrible cold snap over the weekend, was just what was needed.

Please look at the photos for many pictures of Ron’s superb layout. Thanks from EMRIG go out to Ron and his lovely wife for letting us into their home and allowing us to see such a wonderful layout.

Church Visit to EMRIG

[singlepic id=327 w=300 h=233 float=right]On Sunday the 24th May, EMRIG was asked by member Noel Stoddart, if a church group could visit and see what model trains was all about. The group that visited EMRIG’s were the Pathfinders from the Atlasville, 7th Day Adventist Church.

The Pathfinders normally meet every 2nd Saturday after Church at about 2 o’clock. During this time they might go for an outing, for example a nature walk, but this time the Model Railway was on the list. Most of them have never ever seen a Model Railway and was a first. The only person who saw one before was one of the mother’s that was there as well, and who has seen Noel’s railway. Apparently these visits are part of their curriculum where they could learn about Model Railroading and will get honours for doing it. The group that visited will even attempt to do a diorama.

As for the Members, Chairman, Colin TT sent out a request for volunteers to man the layouts and talk to the kids. Well, some of the guys eventually excused themselves when they heard how many guys were going to be there. The turnout was amazing and very satisfying to see. What is difficult to work out was who enjoyed the event more, the church group or the EMRIG members.

Noels wife, Rosette said she is sure we will be seeing the kids again. “It was quite funny how they saw all the detail. They even noticed a couple kissing on the one small layout. That was so funny”. Goes to show, kids are very observant.

The youngest child was about 5 and the oldest 16 years old. In total, there was about plus minus 20 people, adults included. The children are all divided according to their age groups called the Busy Bees, the Eager Beavers, and the older children are called the Explorers.

Emrig May 30th Swap Meet

[singlepic id=349 w=300 h=233 float=right]EMRIG again hosted the regional Swap Meet in the shopping mall where the club layout is situated. The turnout was again out of this world. Every time one hears the comments about the hobby dying, events like this go to dispelling that myth.

All the usual traders were there from Dream Trains, Marks trains, Natures Model Scenery to Cross Roads Hobbies and many smaller vendors. The Swap meet was held this time in a different passage right outside the new Club shop aptly called “Paddington’s Station”. Folk were able to literally step from the Swap meet into the shop and either run their new purchase or see what the club had to offer. What was nice was to see folk socialising not just at the meet, but also at the Maxies restaurant, either for a cup of coffee or a wonderful breakfast.

EMRIG’s thanks go out to all the Vendors as well and the shoppers who participated in this wonderful event and made it the success it was.

The next Swap Meet is booked for the 29th August. Come and join us and have some fun.

Club Layout Visit to Glynn Chamberlain

[singlepic id=409 w=300 h=233 float=right]On Sunday 31st May, it was Glynn Chamberlain’s turn to host the layout visit for the members of Emrig. The
turnout was great with many of the members getting together on the day to firstly see what Glynn has done
in his world of model trains, and secondly to enjoy the day with other members of the club.
The last time that Glynn opened his home for a layout visit was approximately two years ago. The trackplan
since then is still the same but what has changed is that a large portion of the layout has now been

Glynn has chosen a large section of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe’s ( BNSF ) operations in Montana,
between Stryker and Browning with Whitefish as a major town. The layout fits into an area that measures
twelve meters by five meters although the layout area is only 8m X 5m and is in the shape of a large E. The layout consists of two levels that are connected at each end by a helix. The operations revolve around an eight track visible staging yard that represents destinations beyond the modelled area, and a large classification yard (Whitefish) where trains are broken apart and made up according to the need of the individual businesses and industries located in the towns along the route.

The layout is controlled using a Digitrax Chief with radio throttles to control the trains. Glynn is in the
process of implementing an operations system that used car cards for control. On the day Glynn had a long intermodal container train, and a mixed freight making their way around the layout while he answered many questions about his layout.

Again, a good day was had by all. A big thank you goes out to Glynn for having us for the day, and also to
his wife Lindsay and daughter Hayleigh for making all the snacks and eats, and also to his son John for braaing
the wors for the wonderful Wors rolls.

Emrig May 30th 2015 Swap Meet

2015 May Swap Meet Flyer


Club Layout Visit to Andreas Kappmeier

[singlepic id=319 w=300 h=233 float=right]On Sunday March 22nd, our layout visit took us on a journey far out of town to Sasolburg to see yet another amazing layout, this time the completely scenicked Marklin layout belonging to Andreas Kappmeier.

Andreas has taken approximately 10 years to build and fully scenic his model railway. His layout is totally freelanced but uses German steam locomotives and typically Continental scenery and buildings. It comprises of a double mainline using the Marklin 3 Rail system that passes through the country side, past industrial areas and into busy mainline stations. The layout is divided into four power districts fed from four separate boosters which in turn is run and controlled using a Marklin computerised control unit which allows Andreas to run a number of trains simultaneously and fully automatically.

[singlepic id=312 w=300 h=233 float=left]The layout is extremely busy with many small scenes that catch the eye and have the visitor looking for more. With crowded city streets and packed station platforms, to small country scenes that are bustling with activity, one can take a long time to walk around the layout and take it all in.

When asked how many HO figures he had on the layout, Andreas could not say, but at a glance, it must be in the high hundreds, possibly over a thousand. It was nice to visit another layout where the scenery was complete.

After spending a couple of hours viewing this magnificent layout, socialising with the other guys that joined us from the club, and enjoying the excellent eats and drinks that were prepared by Andreas’s wife, it was time to make our way back to Northmead. As always, a good day was had by all, taking part in one of the highlights of the clubs activities, and that is to go to another model train lover’s home to see what they have done with their collection.

In the photos below, not all are commented as the text would be repetitive, however, there are many photos depicting an awesome layout!

A new lease of life again

[singlepic id=295 w=300 h=233 float=right]The EMRIG club again has a new lease of life for the foreseeable future after a good 4 months of nothing!. The owner and management of Northmead Mall have allowed the club to move into the old “Paddington’s” bookshop after they unfortunately moved out about 2 months ago.

Last Sunday (12-04-15), a gang of guys got together and started moving the HO modules down to the store from the “Warehouse / rubbish dump” room, where the equipment was being stored. All the modules were put in place, individually on their legs before load shedding put an end to the rest of the day.

Today (19-04-15), the gang got together again and the gods were with us. The power stayed on!

Firstly the n gauge show layout was moved down, set up and running in about an hour. As members were arriving, they all climbed into the HO DCC layout and started the task of joining the modules, levelling them and then fitting the sometimes finicky set track links between the modules. When there were enough people, the new layout from Jean Dulez’s friend was transported down to the shop. It took a bit of huffing and puffing, but in the end was put in place with Jean getting to work on it in quick time. Before long it was running a single SAR loco.

Work continued on the main layout. Working out which cables went where on Colin TT’s yard modules amongst other things. Curtains were put up and by the look of it, the team had a very good time.

Unfortunately, we did not get to the point of actually running a train, although we were very close :-).

Can you believe that only one chap brought a loco down to run on the layout and he did not know what the number was LOL. Oh well, next Saturday, we will be up and running in pretty much no time. Kobus and guys diligently worked at getting all the modules joined and set track in. So, stay tuned for more news next week.

Oh, and by the way, why don’t you come down and visit. Look at the Contact page for directions on where we are.

Club Layout Visit To Erich Dokoupil

[singlepic id=266 w=300 h=233 float=right]On Sunday March 1st, the members of Emrig were kindly invited to see another model train enthusiasts home layout. This time it was the amazing HO Scale, Union Pacific empire of Erich Dokoupil. Erich explained that this is his sixth or seventh layout that he is in the process of building and that the progress he has made to the current layout so far has taken him approximately seven years to complete.

The layout is on two levels connected by a helix at each end to give a continuous run on a double main line in a train room that measures approximately ten meters by four meters. Erich is a true fan of the Union Pacific and gave the club members a small introductory talk about the history of the Union Pacific and in particular, the small area of the Union Pacific’s vast network that he has chosen to replicate. The top level is prototypical and features the Union Pacific Yard in Cheyenne Wyoming. The time period that Erich has modelled spreads over the 1950’s and 1960’s so the transition from the Giant steam locomotives to the first generation diesel locomotives is clearly evident.

Cheyenne was a crucial hub of the Union Pacific for freight crossing the continent and in its time housed one of Union Pacific’s largest steam locomotive repair and service facilities at the time. While we were there, Erich had four long freight trains running at one time, and needless to say, the trains ran flawlessly. The layout is controlled by a Digitrax system with DT400 throttles plugged in to control the locomotives. Equally impressive were the numerous train display cases on show in the pub adjacent to the train room that were filled with a huge collection of Union Pacific steam and diesel locomotives, young and old.

[singlepic id=267 w=300 h=233 float=right]Erich mentioned that the equally large and impressive lower level is free lanced. It was closed in at one point and was intended to serve as hidden staging. Erich found that the trains were therefore out of sight for too long while on this level and in the two large radius three to four turn helices, hence the decision to open it up and add lighting. There is still much scenery to be done on the lower level but this will come in time. The advantage of this lower level being open and well lit is that additional trains can be parked and staged in the open for future moves.

Apart from the two big yards positioned one above the other, the trains make their way through impressive country and mountain regions before cleverly moving out off sight as they go into the helices to make their way to the other level.

A visit to see a layout such as this one is an inspiration to start a layout of ones own, or to get back to work on an existing layout that has been standing idle for too long. A big thank you goes out to Erich from the members who attended the visit on the day.