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Santa Clara was the site of the 2006 edition of the National Garden Railway Convention. The Bay Area Garden Railway Society would serve as its host. Santa Clara is in Silicon Valley which is just south of San Francisco and around 20 minutes from where I live. Though I don't currently have a garden railway and none is planned for the foreseeable future I couldn't let this opportunity pass. Because it was held the week of the 4th of July holiday and I would be returning from Las Vegas that weekend I had to limit my attendance to a single day. I chose Thursday because that would get me into the train show that was to be held at the end of the convention as well as allowing me the opportunity to visit several garden layouts that were holding open houses.

While my schedule unfortunately did not allow me to attend any of the seminars that were held as part of the convention I did attend the Large Scale Train Show where many of the companies involved in this segment of the hobby were able to show their products. The featured car of the convention is a 1/24 scale G-gauge Cable Car (powered) made by Accucraft Trains that retailed for $300. By the looks of it this was a very popular item and I know that I longed for one.
The range of companies was quite extensive with representatives from AMS, LGB, Bachman and Aristo Craft to name a few. Some of the notable products I saw were:


Mention should also be made of detail parts by Ozark Miniatures as well as new publications by Garden Railways Magazine. To top it off the Bay Area had a short line modular layout and the Live Steamers had a layout as well to run their live steam locomotives. This was my first American national convention as most of NMRA's conventions are held in the East Coast or mid-west which is the center of model railroading in the United States. Though I model German prototype there is much to enjoy and learn at these conventions.

To read the rest of the article and view my pictures please click on the following link:

22nd National Garden Railway Convention
 

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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 14 Jul 2006, 00:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It was interesting to see how all of the layouts were going towards some form of DCC. Radio Control was very popular with some layouts forsaking track power for battery power.
I suppose that's understandable considering the power required and the distances involved. It seems the larger scale you model the closer it gets in some ways to the real thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It seemed like the track was pretty much laid like the real thing and everything has to be robust which may be one reason why nobody seemed interested in Hornby Live Steam. I knew a store near Orlando that brought some in but couldn't sell any while Accucraft and their AMS line was very popular. Of course the scale probably had a big thing to do with it as well.
 

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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 14 Jul 2006, 09:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It seemed like the track was pretty much laid like the real thing and everything has to be robust which may be one reason why nobody seemed interested in Hornby Live Steam. I knew a store near Orlando that brought some in but couldn't sell any while Accucraft and their AMS line was very popular. Of course the scale probably had a big thing to do with it as well.
I think scale is the big issue. The hornby live steam is too small for a garden it would get lost out there. You really need large scale trains for a garden layout. The Hornby live steam is fine for indoors. I guess the heavier weights involved for large scale would neccessitate more secure track laying. You wouldn't want $3000s worth of loco falling off into the pond or the cactus area?
 

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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 14 Jul 2006, 11:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Falling into the cactus is ok ... retrieving it, now that's a bitch.

I guess it's something you would have to think about before setting up your layout. But then again if you're the kind of guy who doesn't fasten down you're track you're not going to plan ahead enough to anticipate this.

It would be painful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was just thinking about battery-powered radio controlled trains and it got me thinking about my friend Tesla and his experiments with radio transmitted electricity which would do away with the needs for batteries. Now that would be something.


One of the joys of having your own library, besides never having to leave home is the pleasure you receive upon discovering a book you had forgotten of ever owning. Such a book is one concerning the life of Nikola Tesla entitled: Master of Lightning. I always think of Tesla when I hear the names Edison or Marconi spoken, due to my belief that Tesla stood head and shoulders above either gentleman. His story is one of pure genius rather than the manufactured kind. The picture on the left is one I remember most.

The lighted bulb in Nikola Tesla's hand is unconnected to any wire or conducting material nor is it battery powered. (1919)
 

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As a result of this topic, I have spent more time than I should surfing far and wide conjuring up a garden railway. To return the favour
here's a product that I hope has Dennis
all over his open chequebook. Something for the garden, sir?

David
 

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Neil, Damn clever you Assies, must be a fall back to the days when you were all ex convicts and castaways, so had to invent things or go without! Have a nice day!
 
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