"I'm proud to be a railway modeler" - Rod Stewart

San Antonio 2011

The San Antonio Model Railroad Association held its Annual Family Train Show for the ninth time on July 30-31, 2011. The venue was the Live Oak Civic Center in Live Oak, Texas, a suburb on the northeast side of San Antonio. The San Antonio NTRAK Association (SANTRAK) invited a few other clubs in Texas for a joint NTRAK layout (map viewed here). Besides SANTRAK, AustNtrak from Austin, Fort Bend Model Railroad Club from Fort Bend, Northwest Crossing Operating Model Railroad Club from Houston, and Tex-N Modular Railroad Club from Plano were represented.

Besides the NTRAK layout, the HO, O, LEGO, Z and T scales were represented at the show, and a good number of dealers were on hand. Life on the layout tracks and in the train show aisles was quite busy. We nearly ran out of throttles on Sunday, having regularly more than half a dozen trains out on the red line at the same time. The other lines around the layout were also busy almost without interruption. Quite naturally, a good time was had by all.

 

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The lobes from left to right are: Northwest Crossing, a combined SANTRAK / Tex-N / Fort Bend, and AustNtrak.


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Layout overview.


 

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An unusual junction letting the two red line branches cross each other. The diamond is protected by operating signals (Joe Cox, AustNtrak).


 

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A Nickel Plate Loco Yard with a round house and service facilities stretches over two modules (John Pearce, AustNtrak).


 

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Reverse view of the Nickel Plate yard.


 

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A quite accurate representation of Rosenberg, Texas, with Tower 17 in the 1950s (Russell Straw, Fort Bend).


 

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A corner module built around a souvenir copy of the big heads of Mt. Rushmore (Ken Meitz, Northwest Crossing).


 

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An elaborate Union Station takes front and center on this module set. The main lines swing behind the station tracks. (Ken Meitz, Carl Wappel, Mark Wilcox, all Northwest Crossing).


 

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Alexandria is a 4-module set named after its builder (Ralph Alexander, SANTRAK and SAMRA).


 

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Observatory Hill is one of two “endcap” modules that allow folding back of a lobe into U shape, thus avoiding the crawling underneath modules to get to the inside of the lobe (Jim Ladd, SANTRAK). The two modules behind it are also from the SANTRAK club.


 

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Tex-N’s Britain module is inspired by scenery from its namesake country and shows that even a 2 ft by 2 ft can provide a visual highlight for a layout (Richard Marsden, Tex-N).


 

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The Prairie module shows a town with a passenger and freight station. An observation tower is a favorite spot for railfanning (Inge and Jochen Trost, Tex-N).


 

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Long shot of Tex-N yard on the right side.


 

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View of the city yard.


 

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Loco shed and caboose track.


 

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Air museum.


 

Three man runby.


 

Engine inspection.


 

14-finishing-rerailing

Finishing rerailing.


 

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Joe Cox City.


 

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Railfanning.