RSS Feed

Past Events:

August 20-26, 2023
Grapevine, Texas

July 6-9, 2023
Sugar Land, TX (near Houston)

May 5-7, 2023

The big Austin show moved to May this year to get farther from the National Train Show coming up in Grapevine.

This one was mostly notable for showing that the club can do two shows essentially at the same time. All our Eastern Division folks were at the Galveston show the week before. It also showed that it would have been more FUN with a bigger group. And everybody was critical to our success. Had we lost any one of the four exhibitors, the whole layout would have had to go to half size or less.

Gareth designed and managed the layout this year. Displaying were Gareth, Steve, Derik, and Michaela. Also represented in the layout were Joe Herbert (by the solid wood box he built to transport Ed's new bridge). Rob Clarady and Doc Geracci (both of whom loaned buildings), and Matt Sailors (the big flag, which was great for filling a layout hole). By the way: happy 80th birthday, Doc!

Setup was routine but slow with only four people. Michaela was a hero for picking up Steve's stuff in her Megalodon, since he had to bring more than his car would carry.

The crowd was appreciative, as usual, and we got enthusiastic remarks from several other exhibitors during breakdown. The bridge got oohs and ahhs. Seek and Find was popular. They still go crazy looking for the tree frog.

There were small incidents but no big ones. No trains left the table.

We did a short presentation about TBRR in an upstairs room; there were only six attendees but a couple of them were already Lego trainheads who didn't know about us, so it's possible we'll get some new members.

Breakdown was fairly routine, but our location next to the loading dock meant that those who broke down quicker had to make their way around us. This has been pointed out to show management; maybe we can be more out of the way next year. The kids will still find us!

Photos from Gareth here and here.

April 29-30, 2023
Galveston, TX

After a hiatus, we were back at the Galveston RR Museum show!

In attendance: Tony and AJ Sava, with assistance from Christina and Mr. Sava Sr.; Ka-Un and Ed Chang; Brittany T; Tim Hutchings, with Tim Howell's buildings/track; Pat Hough; and Christie M.

Displaying the Galveston museum at the Galveston museum is good . . . People noticed, and the museum appreciated it. Having separate town sections kept interest spread out around the layout. The R104 S-curve was a little extreme for the larger/faster trains, but having the track run around behind some buildings helped keep some variety in the layout. Theree were two loops and a long reversing trolley track.

We set up without a level; it would have been useful. Shims are faster than threaded feet, especially on the older tables (this was also the conclusion after Grapevine). We were slightly delayed in unloading, but we finished setup in under 5 hours and were fully running when doors opened.

Tony's TSRR #7 RS-2 returned to service using the Deltang receiver. Brittany brought several things, including the new Jazz Club modular, some Disney 100 CMF figures, and the ice cream truck from BTS Dynamite. We reused the Texas City Seek-And-Find (thanks to Brittany for providing Big Bird). We had one minor train collision when the T1 lost its front end and then its wheels.

Attendance was probably comparable to last year, but we don't have official numbers yet.

The museum allowed us to tear down starting around 4:15, and we were ready to load by 5:15. We are invited back again to Galveston for next year. We also received an invitation for the Houston Area Model Train Show, hosted by the Houston T-Trak Association, November 18-19 in Pearland. This is a different event than the Greater Houston Train Show.

Photos from Tony Sava here.

April 15-16, 2023

We set up an 18 x 18 display on the stage at the New Braunfels show. Attending and displaying were Gareth Ellis (sadly, without the clan this time), Joe Herbert, Rob Clarady, Steve Jackson, Glenn Copeland, and Doc Geracci.

New at this show were a lot of Rob's modulars that had not been on a TBRR display before, including a very nice 3 x 2 railroad station. Also new was Steve's Chocolate Factory (which is a chocolate shop with smokestacks, not a real factory).

On the whole, we had two mainline loops, the bouncing trolley in Ellistowne, and more lights than we could count. We did not do Seek & Find this show, due to time constraints, and at least a dozen people asked about it!

As always, the San Antonio TexLUG group had their own display, and this time it featured some really excellent monorail track design.

We very much missed our friend Kermit Baese, who had been a keystone of the New Braunfels train shows and passed away just the Sunday before. Without his hand at the wheel, the show was sometimes a bit bumpy, but everyone got out alive. Setup and breakdown were both efficient.

Photos from Gareth: Instagram and Facebook.

March 11-12, 2023

January 29, 2023
International Lego Day at the Killeen Library
Killeen, TX

A six-hour show hosted by the Killeen Library. Six of us went and it was great; see the report in the blog.


October 22-23, 2022

See the blog for the full report!

September 16-18, 2022
Killeen, TX

Fantastic event; our biggest layout ever. See the blog for a full report.

August 27-28, 2022

Once again, Austin's big annual train event took place in the Palmer Events Center. Things went wonderfully. Report will soon be on the blog.




June 30-July 3, 2022
Austin, TX

Everything was awesome. Gareth won Best Train. Look for a longer report on our blog.

April 22-24, 2022

A great show. The report is on the blog.

April 9-11, 2022

Another good show. See the blog for the trip report!

October 30-31, 2021

We had a small turnout for this event, but thanks to good support (such as loaning baseplates) from our TexLUG Austin friends, we were able to put on a good showing. TexLUG-SA was there in force, too, with a monorail that ran all the way around their table. See the blog for our report.

September 18-19, 2021
Killeen, TX

We and our trains were invited to this new show, in the Killeen Civic & Conference Center. It was sponsored by the City of Killeen and was free to the public. Kudos to Deanna Frazee for putting it together. It went very well!

See the blog for a full writeup.

August 28-29, 2021

July 22-25, 2021
Sugar Land, TX (near Houston)

The show went very well - probably our best presentation yet. See the report in our blog.

April 17, 2021
Joint Online Meeting with WBI
We held a joint Zoom meeting/event with the Women's Brick Initiative to talk about LEGO trains and other topics related to trains and train layouts.

September 5-6, 2020

This event was canceled.

June 17-21, 2020
Schaumberg, IL

This event was canceled.

April 25-26, 2020

Indefinitely postponed.

April 18-19, 2020

The event was skipped for the season; we may still get a Fall dhow.

March 28, 2020
Rosenberg, TX


October 26-27, 2019

SJ reports: The show was a big success and well attended by the public. We had 10 AFOLs: Joe and Lisa, Gareth and Cat (with their family), Glenn, Doc, and your humble narrator. Ed and Sarah came in from Houston! And we were joined by first-time participant Lee, with his enthusiastic 5-year-old daughter Sara.

Brickville is growing New builds on display included Lisa’s incredible Necropolis (8 baseplates in size!), Joe’s Hotel and his completely interior-decorated, two-baseplate, puzzle-box Museum, Gareth’s two-table MILS lake, his son Aedan’s Barn, two Halloween railcars from Sara and Lee (featuring a flying witch), a decorated road curve from Glenn, and my own Deli. Joe and Lisa had also updated their crane display, and Joe had modified his Spooky Train to Powered Up. Ed brought the new Disney train set (also Powered Up) to show us. And Sarah brought a big Dia de los Muertos mosaic that had never been seen in this area.

We had an 18’ x 24’ space, using venue tables except for the two MILS tables. The layout was a C shape to maximize space around the edge while leaving everything reachable, at least by our taller members. We had a work table in the middle of the C on Saturday, but Sunday we removed it and things looked even better.

The mainline was two big loops; we also had a trolley loop around the carnival area and Joe’s 9V loop. There were three motion displays and three lighted features. Gareth’s Ferris wheel fell into both categories and hypnotized many viewers into . . . wait, I can’t remember . . . so sleepy . . .

There was only one dive-off-table incident, and it had no visible cause. The audience was very, very polite, which was good, since we were running without stanchions.

Lessons learned: The 18” x 72” skinny venue tables are only 29” high. The quarter-scale planning models should be separated into baseplates before photography. Bare edges around the layout are very good for children to lean on without approaching anything breakable. Decorated baseplates without trees or foliage serve a similar function. A “C” layout is pretty, with some long sight lines, but we don’t want the mainlines to get much longer or the trains will spend too much time out of sight of any one spot.

Breakdown finished in almost exactly two hours.

Below is a drawing made by a fan, Jane, KFOL/TFOL, who Joe had earlier met at Anna's. She left it at our work area, and we found it during tear down. So awesome! (The comparison photo is the closest Ed had taken. We were already half packed when we found the picture.) Click for bigger versions.

October 26, 2019
Texas City Train Show
Texas City, TX

Short report: good show, though public turnout was disappointing. Longer report later.

Photos from Tony: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHZuNrD



July 4-7, 2019
Austin, TX

Brick Fiesta 9 was busy and successful. Once again we surpassed our own record for largest and busiest layout. For planning purposes, we created two divisions - one basically Austin with R40 curves, one basically Houston with large curves – with a linear track connection and monorail between them. Setup took about 100 man-hours but was completed on time.

On the whole, we had six loops on the main layout, plus two monorail lines. Joe had four more loops on his 9V display. We had a couple of small motion features, Joe’s two huge moving cranes, and several lighted buildings. We did two Seek & Finds, one for each side.

Participants included Ed Chang, Glenn Copeland, Gareth Ellis, Doc Geracci, Joe and Lisa Herbert, Will Heron, Tim Howell, Steve Jackson, Brian and Jenn Lasseter, Tony and A. J. Sava, and David Tapia. MOCs by Tim Hutchings, Lee Rahe, and Christina Sava were also on the table. Special guest taco by Josh Gay. And in addition to A.J., we had four other KFOLs present, adding enthusiasm and chasing small parts for us.

Extra breakdown help – much appreciated – came from, among others, David Hawkins and Sarah Silverman.

It was a packed event. Saturday was quite full - enough so that the crowd around our layout was two deep at times. Sunday morning was quieter, but it got very active again by closing.

Beyond the Brick, the popular Lego channel on YouTube, featured Joe’s 9V display on their Facebook page, and filmed a layout tour with Ed.

The event was a financial success, enough that Will Heron, to public acclaim, dedicated the entire auction proceeds to charity rather than keeping half for the con. Vendors also reported good sales.

An experiment this time: since BF was short on tables, we brought in a stack of plastic tables from Steve’s office. They were adequate, once shimmed to a full 30”, for the 40R side. Not as good as our custom tables, though. Where they were very useful was in setup and breakdown, saving a lot of bending over, but 5 or 6 would have been a big plenty for that.

Awards were won! Lisa Herbert was recognized for her landscaping, Gareth Ellis got Best Shiny Thing for his bridge, Tim Howell won the "Nice Caboose!” Award for his not-a-caboose Galveston Trolley, and David Tapia won the Polymoccer award for having good MOCs in so many categories. And TBRR won the Best Collaboration award!

Next year’s BF will be July 23-26 in the Houston area: Marriott Sugar Land Town Square. Layout is already being discussed on the forum.

Video of the layout from Beyond the Brick - more than 27 minutes! – here. Ed did a great job guiding the audience through the layout.

Joe's interview with Beyond the Brick here.

Photos from Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/collections/72157711501504122/

June 12-16, 2019
Brickworld 2019
Schaumberg, IL

Report by Tony Sava and Ed Chang:

Planning for Brickworld this year started earlier than usual. Because the health of Tony's 15-year-old truck was in question, he didn't know if it could handle towing a trailer all the way to Chicago and back. Simultaneously, a modular building standard was being developed directly from the results of last year's NMRA National Train Show. 

Since it had been decided that the newly christened L-Gauge Modular Standard (LGMS) would be tested in full at Brickworld Chicago 2019, it was decided that instead of the usual TBRR/PennLUG collaboration, we would instead contribute to the LGMS display.  These modules would, in theory, take up less room and therefore no need of a trailer.

Between fiery inspiration and delayed part shipments, construction of our brand new modules continued all the way up to the literal last moments. 

Steve Jackson, Ed Chang, and Tony and AJ Sava would be in attendance.  Steve and Ed would fly, Tony would make the long haul. Tony left Monday morning, deciding to take three days to drive to Chicago, arriving early afternoon on Wednesday; he was one of the first LGMS participants to arrive. Unloading went quickly with help from new AFOL Karl Joffre from Georgia, who was attending his first Brickworld along with his wife. 

Setup took longer than expected, as we were forced to wait for modules to arrive to ensure proper placement, so some modules couldn't be set up right away. The finished LGMS display was not finished until late Friday afternoon due to the PennLUG trailer breaking en route, delaying their setup of the yard, which was a third of the entire design.

Ed brought a module based on the Imperial Sugar factory in Sugarland, complete with outbuildings, interiors, and lights. 

Tony's module was an explosion of foliage, and with the help of Steve, every tree Tony owned, minus two that Ed borrowed, were stuffed onto two club tables.

Tony donated a copy of his Santa Fe Warbonnet F7A and B locomotives to the charity auction, which earned a whopping $2,700 bid, the highest of the evening. All told, train-related items gathered over $4,000 for charity, and about 15% of the full auction total.

Brickworld Awards: Best Replica Train award went to Scott Hoffmeyer (aka Brick Tracks) for his C&O 10-Wheeler, Best Original Train went to Tim Lydy and his Gingerbread Train. Best individual train layout went to Stuart Kahler's (WisLUG/KCBL) beach corner, and best group layout went to WisLUG.  The LGMS layout was also nominated for Brickworld's best group train layout.  Ed and Tony's LGMS modules were nominated for best individual train layout (separate from the group train layout), and Tony's Texas Eagle was nominated for best train.

The LGMS group presented their own awards, separate from the Brickworld awards.  Tony won best straight module (as opposed to curved module) with Flyover Country, and Ed’s Imperial Sugar won best module in show.

Visitors to the group layout: We had Holger Matthes, German AFOL and member of Bricking Bavaria, and author of The LEGO Train Book, who visited the layout with his trains.

Teunis Davies brought his VR Spirit of Progress train headed by a streamlined S-class Pacific. The train featured a unique telescoping coupler system between the cars and motorized coach configuration. The train generally ran well, but had a few spectacular derailments due to excessive speed before ending up on the floor in a tragic packaging mishap at the end of the show.

We also reconnected with Susan Earls, who had joined us before at New Braunfels a couple years ago, and some members of ULUG. Brad Rowley of ULUG ran some Union Pacific engines including a Big Boy on the LGMS layout, pulling Susan's pair of UP coaches.

There were several other train builders and railfans that joined us, from all over the country. I think this is one of the big success of the LGMS debut, bringing everyone with similar interests together.

Club cars: On Sunday we ran the LGMS Club Special, a long train with everyone's club cars. TBRR was represented by my No. 1801 Prairie, double-heading with a couple of engines from PennLUG. It included cars from all the participant LUGs plus LOLUG, CincyLUG, EmpireLUG, BrickMania, and LUG Peru! We have resolved to come up with a more suitable club car for future shows.

New track: We had an unexpected visitor on Saturday – Michael Gale of Fx Bricks. Michael made a surprise announcement of the Fx Track System, a new project aimed at the rebirth of powered track. It's a very ambitious project aiming to produce metal track straight track, curves from R72 to R152, and modular wide switches, with long term plans of new metal-wheel motors, pick-ups, and DCC decoders. He's set some very lofty goals, but Michael appears to have solid financial backing so there won't be a Kickstarter. The prototype production samples looked very promising.

Additionally, Scott of Brick Tracks announced injection molded short plastic track segments (8 stud, 4 stud, and 1.6 stud, delivering next week). Brick Tracks' wide radius switches should be available soon (end of the year?) and will need the 1.6 stud segments to make crossovers.

Control systems: Ed was able to get Powered Up to work with a single controller, but range was limited to about 10 feet during public hours.

This was the debut of Tony's full 10-car long Texas Eagle (only 7 cars were finished by Galveston).  It ran superbly, with no issues to report.  Video here:


All too quickly, the show was over, and teardown began. Again, due to the abridged nature of our offerings, teardown went swiftly. The LGMS group went to dinner that evening, and most then went their separate ways.

Monday morning, before heading home, Cale Leiphart from PennLUG, Teunis Davey from VRLGM in Australia, Richard and Ashley Glatter from ArkLUG, and Tony and AJ visited the Illinois Railway Museum, the largest of its kind in the US.  It was impossible to see it all, so it will have to be revisited next trip.  Pictures were taken, a trolley was ridden, fun was had.

Tony and AJ stopped for the night in St. Louis, and visited another railroad museum Tuesday morning.  This time it was the National Transportation Museum, home of a Big Boy, a Warbaby, and even MOPAC Eagle coaches.  Pictures were taken, a train was ridden, fun was had.

Photos from Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/collections/72157711501041796/


May 4-5, 2019
2019 Austin Area Train Show
Taylor, TX

Report by Ed Chang and Steve Jackson:

This was a two-man setup, and because of weather, Ed wasn’t able to get to the Taylor expo hall with the tables until about 7:30. We did what we could until we had to leave shortly after 9, arrived the next morning at 7 when they opened, and were almost ready to go when the show started. Call it a 6-hour setup. The layout was similar to Galveston, with slightly less yard space due to the squarer room.

With so few members able to come in person, the show was greatly enhanced by contributions from absent builders. We had Tony’s Bluebonnet Station, switch tower, dino park, and trees, buildings from Doc and David, Tim’s unstoppable trolley, and of course the MOC box.

We had our own room, and set up 14 tables plus Ed’s bridge (which was as much as that room should hold). We had two big loops (120/104) and the trolley loop. There was enough yard track, and enough switches that many yard operations could be handled using the controllers. There were no moving features. The lighted TransBlue Tower and lighted Princess Train got lots of comments.

Weather cooperated Saturday and Sunday, and with strong advertising effort on the part of both the host club and Expo Center, attendance was up to around 1,000 (vs. 700 last year). Ed ran the TBRR 1801 engine most of the weekend, plus the Jubilee and 765. The Princess Train only filled the last hour when other batteries went out. The 1801 took a tumble again (I didn't see exactly – a toddler was blamed, but I think it was the mom). Damage was actually worse than last weekend, with the main driver assembly getting fairly smashed, but was eventually repaired. On Sunday, Steve was able to run his Maersk with many (12?) cars. David brought a CNW-livered Maersk engine and an L-motor powered 4-6-0 modified Hogwarts engine. Both engines were powered through Sbrick with 9V/700mah rechargeable lithium batteries. David also brought some MOC cars, as well as a BMR bulkhead flatcar and tanker, and Brickmania 40-ft. flatcars. Sunday also saw a couple minor derailments and a head-on collision caused by kids flipping switches, but no major damage. Powered Up and Sbrick both had no issues. Having the range and no line-of-sight requirement, plus solidly reliable throttle, makes PUp good for running trains on the outside track where they're prone to getting bumped/derailed/decoupled.

A new problem surfaced – little fingers poking lots of ugly holes in our plastic skirting.

Seek and Find was popular – we brought 100 slips and ran out about 30 minutes before the show was over. We learned that not everyone in the world has seen The Lego Movie. Sorry, Benny!

On the second day attendance remained strong, and David and family came out to join us. Peter also visited with his daughters. It took us about 3.5 hours to pack and load, though we were not the last ones out.

Next year's show will be the first weekend in May again.

May 4, 2019
Austin Maker Faire
Austin, TX

Report from Lasso:

This was a one-day show at the Palmer event center. We loaded in on Friday.  Parking was easy on Friday, despite the Pop Cat show next door.  I arrived at 2pm, David arrived at 3pm.  We cleaned the show tables, and used them to set up our layout.  We were mostly done with setup by 7pm, and the event provided pizza and beer at 7pm which was very welcome.  I came into the event with a loose plan for track layout, but pretty much planed the rest of the layout as I went along.  For smaller shows, it is not always needed to have an ironclad plan.  Steve's track was integral to our layout, and the layout would not have happened without Steve.  Without Gareth's drop table, I put out a flat Minecraft layout that seemed to work well.  Tim's carnival area was very impressive.  David brought the only MOC trains.  Claire, Will, Ed, and David all brought modular buildings.  I premiered a new forest which seemed to work well.  The layout was small enough that I provided all of the trees.
We had two R40 loops and various carnival motion features. We had ten members, not counting KFOLs, participating.
We should remember that the venue tables here are very uneven, and use TBRR tables, with shims, when we can.
Ticket entry cost was $22.  Saturday was packed as people crowded into the smaller space, but our layout was well received.  Tim's Rubik's Cube robots were a hit, David's fantasy war display was beloved by all, and the blue brick pile attracted people from all over.  Lots of the blue brick ended up on the floor, so there was a constant attempt to keep the brick back on the table.  Susan was extremely helpful in disassembling the blue creations, and we certainly could have made use of more brick.  The tables of blue brick were full all day.  Ed took 2 bins of blue brick, and Claire took 1 bin of blue brick home.
We won a Maker of Merit award for 2019!

April 27-28, 2019

Ed Chang reports:

This year's Galveston train show saw the return of Pat Hough, along with Tony and I, and Tim Howell on Sunday. AJ spent most of the weekend at the show, as well as Pat's girlfriend Nicki, who will be made into an AFOL yet!

New and notable for the show:
• Pat's train station, featuring a glass-enclosed platform and interior lights. As usual, kids loved seeing trains going through the station. It did present some clearance issues with taller trains and long coaches, but we solved those on the spot.
• Also new, the majority of Tony's new Texas Eagle consist with F7 A and B units, named coaches, diner car, dome car, and observation coach.
• The "new" Dreyfuss and Daylight with 3D printed XXL wheels also ran publicly for the first time.

On Saturday Tony mostly ran his F7s, both the Santa Fe with lengthened generic coaches and the T&P with the Texas Eagle. I ran the TBRR 1801 for a bit but ran into derailment issues with the grand-curved S-curve, so the Jubilee took over the rest of the day. I got many comments at the show and online confusing the Jubilee with the Royal Hudson (they are very similar, with the Hudson being much better known). There were many oohs and ahhs for the Texas Eagle. On Sunday we ran Pat's 60197 passenger train, Tony's Dreyfus and Daylight, and Tim's Hogwarts Express. I made some modifications to the 1801 which fixed the derailment problems . . . but then had a kid-induced rapid disassembly. A few replaceable parts were dented but nothing major broke. Tim's Hogwarts coaches seemed to have problems shedding wheels (BMR bearing wheel sets). We are not sure why, but maybe extra reinforcement with the Kragle will take care of it.

The layout itself featured R104/R120 mainlines, an R72 branch which we actually did not use at all except for parking. Also an R40 trolley line with Tim's Galveston trolley. We had a reasonable yard, and almost ran out of track. The city saw a little bit more brick-built roads, and the usual suspects for buildings plus Pat's new station (ADA compliant!).

The organizers have indicated that they will plan for the same weekend next year, probably to be announced by the end of this year.

Tony's Texas Eagle photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmCSwLpZ

Ed's photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmAQLLo2

Tony's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157711501882132/

A video from a museum guest: https://youtu.be/9prm2PCjlCk



April 13-14, 2019

Steve Jackson reports: We had seven AFOLs for this show: myself, Joe and Lisa Herbert, Glenn Copeland, Gareth Ellis, Doc Geracci, and newcomer-to-TBRR-shows David Tapia. Gareth and David brought enthusiastic KFOLs, and Aedan Ellis ran his own train at one point.

The big thing new to the show was Joe and Lisa Herbert's updated crane display, with an operating gantry crane, an operating tower crane, and its own 9v track loop. The cranes drew attention from far off. Also new this time:

• David Tapia's MOC collection, including buildings, some 8-wide, and two MOC steam engines controlled by Sbrick.

• Internal black light illumination built by Gareth for SJ's Trans-Blue Tower.

• Aidan's double Passenger Train with the new Bluetooth remote.

This was a moderately large layout for TBRR - tables were 15 x 18 feet, with about 6" empty buffer space at each edge and no hole in the center. There were two streets and three rows of buildings. We were right at the limit of how far we could reach into the middle.

We had three operating loops: two R40 for Power Functions, and the 9V loop serving the cranes. Motion features were Joe and Lisa's cranes and Steve's Tiny Ball Contraption. Lighted features included the TBT, new lighting for Gareth's Cloverleaf Station, and David's lighted Lego shop. Gareth and David were both running sound systems on their trains.

Gareth suffered a couple of "hit the floor and explode" mishaps (his trains, not him personally) but everything was put back together and ran again. We were running without stanchions, but there were few kid problems. The empty area around the edge of the tables gave the little ones a place to lean while looking, and is worth remembering.

The Seek & Find went especially well. We printed up 100 slips and had only 4 left at closing Saturday, so we printed 80 more and went through at least half of them.

We got lots of happy comments, including "This is the best layout," and lots of repeat visitors.

At the end of it all, we were out in less than two hours. The shelf rack Joe built for his crane setup made it very easy for him and Lisa to handle.

Joe Herbert's video: https://youtu.be/t2YN3weWXeI


February 9, 2019
Trains on a Train
Austin, TX

November 24, 2018
Houston Fall Model Railroad Tour
Orange, TX

A small show, one day long, but we are always appreciated when we go.

We had an 8-table setup with two loops. New at this show were Ed's still unnamed restaurant; the N&W caboose (modified BMR design), and the TrixBrix R104 switches (which seemed to work well enough).

Photos from Ed: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmnQtgjC

Photos from Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157711502174237/



October 27-28, 2018

Steve reports:

New Braunfels this fall was understaffed, but we put on a crowd-pleasing show anyway. Several things went right and nothing went wrong.

Ed, Lasso, and I got about 80% set up Friday night. Glenn came in Saturday morning and helped, and we were up and running by the time the show opened. Doc Geracci helped us watch the table.

We had a relatively small display by our own current standard: only 15 by 9 feet. We used the venue tables and had no big problems with them (NB has clean, solid tables, though they are a weird size). We had two large loops and (courtesy of Lasso) several lighted features. We had Lasso's huge Tentacled Horror fighting Dr. Strange, and various other Halloweeny features hidden in the trees and on the streets.

As always, the Seek & Find drew a lot of attention. The show in general was busy, especially Saturday morning and early afternoon. Lasso had to pick up his MOCs and go on Saturday night, but we were able to fill the space with the extra buildings that Ed and I brought.

New at this show was my Sanctum, a modular building that started out as a couple of “Sanctum Sanctorum” playsets and is now a 24-wide townhouse building to fit beside the 8-wide Sushi Bar. Ed continues to develop his brick-built roads, and had a brick-built level crossing. I don’t know of anything else that was new.

We had no stanchions, but we also had no audience problems!

Lessons learned: Having a few inches between the baseplates and the table edge gives the little kids someplace to lean without touching. Lasso brought balloon lights that blinked and drew attention.

Breakdown took less than 90 minutes with three of us working; it was fast enough that we had to wait for a spot at the loading dock, because the dealers were still getting out.

The show had just under 2,000 paid plus another 200-300 volunteers, layout crew, and vendors.

October 27, 2018
Texas City Museum Train Festival
Texas City, TX
Tony reports:

Tim arrived about 5 pm and unloaded before AJ and I got there; when we arrived about 5:30 we unloaded the truck. Tables were leveled and set up in short order. Because the layout was smaller and primarily large buildings, setup progressed quickly.  When we left at 9pm, most all that remained were trees, which there wasn't much room for, and people.

Peter and Robert arrived Saturday morning and helped Tim finish setting up.  AJ and I arrived later before the show started and added a few more minifigures.  
The show started at 10 am, and was a bit slow to start, since we were in the back of the museum. The show progressed in waves – either the room was packed or was empty.  Towards the end, Peter's family and mine both arrived to take a look around and them help tear down.
There were a few accidents; the worst was caused by me, when I flung Tim's caboose off the table. There were a few derailments, but it was otherwise uneventful. 4 pm came too soon, and by 5:40 we were packed and loaded out the door. 
Tim's Brick Loft was a hit (was it brand new?), as was his Hogwarts Express. I had nothing new of note, except I now have a full 360 degrees of r120+r104 corner modules.  
I also brought my Trix Brix switches and we discussed their pros and cons. We all agree that I should attempt to ballast them, in spite of the difficulty.
The museum, as always, was greatly appreciative of us being there. They had fewer traditional clubs in attendance this time, and they tell us that people ask about us months in advance. I would like to continue supporting the museum as long as we are able. They reported that there were 1,213 visitors to the show.

October 13-14, 2018

As part of the TexLUG Houston presence at Maker Faire, we had a 20' x 12.5' train layout. Ed reports:

Attendance was much lighter this year than last.

New and notable for the layout: Tim Howell's Hogwarts Express had its maiden outing. The tender has a one-of-a-kind pivoting-sliding-fixed axle arrangement, which works really well. The long coaches look very nice, with interiors and passengers. The power car has impressive pull and life with dual batteries. Steve Laughlin's Darth Vader / Star Wars train also ran on our layout for the first time. Also quite popular with the crowd. We had several Haunted Houses/ Halloween scenes from Tim, Mike, and Sarah, also Mike's Arcade (with lights). Sarah also set up Joe's full windfarm set.
We had 2 main lines, a trolley loop, and an elevated loop.
There were 3 or 4 major accidents... at least 3 due to public interaction, despite having full curtained stanchions. One due to my boxcar losing a wheel. Nothing too catastrophic though.
Things for next time - 
Might need to invest in a fly zapper. Seems like fly infestation is a common thing at shows (GRB, Taylor Expo Center, etc.)
Sidings need to be longer. The ladder was nice but filled up quickly. With longer coaches this will be even more of an issue, but we are also limited by layout size (tables and transportation). 
For "unlimited space" events like this we might consider using a branch yard off the main layout. We could use folding plastic tables.
9 hour set up, 2 hour tear down. Thanks for everyone's help in both, especially David Slater for picking up tables and boxes and making a detour to save me a second trip.

Tony's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157697072535480/




August 10-12, 2018
Kansas City,, MO

Steve Jackson and Ed Chang report:

The NMRA show in Kansas City went very well. From TBRR, we had Steve, Ed, Tony and AJ, and Gareth. Tim Howell sent his trolley and a lot of MOC scenery.

It was a three-day show. Lego was big, and the AFOLs did a good job. There were at least 7 clubs in attendance. We set up a combo loop with PennLUG, as we often do. OKLUG was right beside us and we had a track connection. The PennLUG/TBRR section comprised three big loops and one trolley figure-8 with R40s. We also had two motion features: the sawmill and the Tiny Ball Contraption. Between tracks and yard, the PennLUG side of the layout was 12 tracks wide.

TBRR cleaned up on Lego awards from Brick Model Railroader and our hosts at KC Brick Lab: three for Gareth (trolley, and two for his lighted Gresley teak coaches), two for Ed (sawmill and Jubilee) and one for Tony (the new Santa Fe).

Lots and lots of discussion about standards, physical and social, for interclub cooperation. There were also experiments with the new Powered Up train. Right now it doesn’t seem to work well enough in a big hall. More testing is needed.

A few wrecks, only one really spectacular. All that I observed were either operator error or FOD from train parts falling onto the track. No spectator interference. It was learned that a trolley pushed hard enough CAN tip right off a R40.

Lots of appreciative and polite spectators.

Notable and new or almost new: Ed's sawmill, Ed's swing-up bridges (which made life much easier for those with old knees), Tony's Santa Fe. My 8-wide sushi bar also made its first show appearance. Brick Model Railroader (mostly Cale and Glenn) produced a limited edition MoPac caboose kit for the event. We have a few copies in the club and should have at least one of those by the next show.

Special thanks to Cat Ellis for her efforts in transportation!

Next year's NMRA is in Salt Lake City - probably out of TBRR’s range.

Coverage of the whole show from Brick Model Railroader here.

Photos from Tony here and here.

A couple of photos from Steve, of a great mod of the Diner, turning it into a four-baseplate drive-in.


June 13-18, 2018
Schaumberg, IL

Ed Chang reports:

I went to Brickworld and worked with Cale Leiphart of PennLUG and Jason Steinhurst of MichLUG to create a display. It mainly comprised PennLUG's yard and roundhouse, their forest corner, and a re-arranged bridge complex. My portion used my two big red bridges, except end to end, in a wider, 10-brick valley (instead of the 20 bricks of the first version). We had 3 active tracks, so this required a new bridge - I used 48-stud deck girder bridges from our 2014 display, plus a new 144-stud single track deck-truss bridge.

Most notable for my section of the layout was a new sawmill, with lights and operating steam engine and circular saw.

Train-wise, new to Brickworld were my two Jubilees, and Cale's Maryland & Pennsylvania #43, 2-8-0 engine with Pfx sound and (head)light, and 3rd party battery. Other notable trains there were Nate Flood's (LOLUG) UP E-units, Ben Storck's (LOLUG) BNSF diesel, and Andy Mollman's (CincyLUG) fleet of UP Heritage diesels.

I ended up not using pallet shipping since the costs were far in excess of the published rate of $207 each way. It would have cost at least $1,600 round trip, not counting packing materials. FedEx Ground with a FedEx account got the price down to $560 round trip, plus $200 for boxes and packing materials. I used double-walled cardboard boxes, which seemed like a good investment. I'm not sure how many more times the boxes can be used to ship again, mostly because of the amount of tape building up. Packing tape doesn't like to stick to itself.

I won the pink scooter plaque at the Charity Auction. I'm planning to put a driver from the original Princess Train on it.

We got to spend some time with Andreas Kvant from Swebrick. I've followed him on Flickr for some time, and had met him last year at Skaerbaek. He's not so much a train builder, but likes to build train stations and landscapes around trains.

Photos: https://flic.kr/p/LgRLE9


May 5-6, 2018
Taylor, TX (near Austin)

Ed Chang reports: Good show; the hosts are very appreciative of us. Attendance was light, around 700, but I think in line with expectations. The hosts would like to move closer to Austin, but it may not make financial sense to do that yet.

Tim Howell, Tony, and I set up on Friday; Sarah helped on Sat urday and Sunday; and Steve J came on Saturday. I'm happy that we were fully set up with 20 minutes to spare.

The conference room we set up in was right behind the entrance/silent auction. It's a nice carpeted room with a wall of windows and its own exit door and room for a wide aisle all around. There was also a counter along one wall with outlets, useful as a staging/work area.

We had a reasonably large city, all MOCs except the Diner set. The city featured a trolley line through a town square anchored by the Grim. We were able to use the 90-degree cross track to make the trolley line more interesting than a simple oval. We had a small ladder yard ending at the turntable and roundhouse - this time set perpendicularly to the yard. We also had a switchable mainline again.
Tim debuted his drive-in theater, and it was very popular with visitors. The battery pack worked well.

As far as running trains, the main things of note were:
• The Princess Jubilee engine taking two separate dives off the table. First time was due to an adult hand. Second time I'm not sure about but I think might have been due to a part coming off a piston.
• A little girl on Saturday just about went through the roof when she saw the Princess train.
• The Berkshire's front truck is very sensitive to switching even with the wide crossovers. I think as long as the wheels are spaced just right, it works.
• Several of the other exhibitors were very interested in Tim's Genset diesel.
• Amazon branded rechargeable batteries don't last as long as the Tenergy ones.

Teardown was pretty routine, about 2.5 hours into 3 fully packed vehicles.

We also had our club dinner Saturday night; I'll post the photo separately.

Ed’s photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42114068@N06/sets/72157693485664822/

Tony's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157695875476304

May 5-6, 2018

Report to come.


April 28-29, 2018

Ed Chang reports: Tony, Tim Hutchings, and I set up on Friday afternoon. About 8 hours total, including some work Saturday morning. Setup was reasonably on schedule with trains running, trees, and people up by show opening. Tim Howell sent track and MOCs, and joined us on Sunday.

We had 3 operating loops, with one mainline switchable between a perimeter oval and an inside/city line.
Layout was significant for:
• Tim Hutchings' new buildings - a towering Avengers Tower, and a Museum/French-theme corner modular building which is an alternate model for the Tower Bridge set. He also had an Avengers vs. Thanos battle for the new movie weekend.
• My new 4DBrix wide-crossover switches (super-switches? Do we need an official name?). Officially they use 148-stud radius curves.

Also new were my modified BMR standard PS-1 boxcars (five, and I just finished the sixth one). The modifications primarily were to make brown boxcars practical to build (Cale's design requires brown 1x2 Plate modified with Handle, which are nearly impossible to find), and also more textured doors.

Saturday morning my trains had many mechanical problems, I think mostly due to worn-out pieces. The most noteworthy accident happened in the first 15 minutes, when a kid threw the switch on one of the new crossovers, sending Tony's Hudson into a head-on collision with my Jubilee on the bridge.  Luckily, only minor damage was sustained, the trains stayed on the bridge, and we proved a big train can take the switch at speed. On Sunday we switched the inside mainline to run through two of the crossovers to go through the city. It worked well. Other than that, the rest of the show was pretty smoothly. The boxcars got broken in. Nothing major hit the ground (luckily a visitor caught my Berkshire before it went over).

Overall attendance hasn't been counted yet, but 3,000 people rode on the caboose, so there were at least that many. I think show attendance will increase once it becomes more of an annual spring event (next year will probably be last weekend of April).

Teardown was reasonably quick also; we were out of the parking lot after 2.5 hours.

Tony Sava’s photos and videos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157690495452960
Tim Hutchings’ photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126053374@N06/albums/72157695611692714


April 14-15, 2018

SJ reports: A good little show, as New Braunfels always is. This time we were up on the stage in a relatively small space, so we set up a line of 8-9 tables and built a (for us) small layout with no internal space.

Numbers: At least 2,000 paid attendance. Six AFOLs displaying in person, four more displaying via MOC Box. Three track loops and two motion features. All the curves were original Lego small-radius track, which limited the length of trains but caused no operating problems.

We used the venue tables rather than hauling our own onto the stage, and had no problem. We did use our stanchions and they were worthwhile, because occasionally we were completely surrounded by viewers.

We did a Seek & Find, which stayed busy. The most heard line at the show, as always, was “Is this all Lego?”, but the second most was probably “Where is the tree frog?”

New at this show: Glenn’s QR code for TBRR; Steve’s “tiny ball contraption” set up as a town feature (public art!), Gareth’s Back to the Future train, and, most spectacular, Joe’s big seven-motor crane, scenery-greebled by Lisa, with movement in three axes plus a grab function. With that crane, Joe was able to pick a container off one track, move it to another track, and position it on a car. No hands! Then we modified a caboose to give it grab points, and Joe picked it up and positioned it properly on another track! And the crowd went wild. There was actual applause.

We had one derailment due to accidental overspeed, with no serious consequences. The ball machine dropped a few balls Saturday and none at all on Sunday. There were no Tiny Hands incidents of any importance at all; the crowd was notably respectful and appreciative.

Video from Joe, including gantry crane awesomeness: https://youtu.be/T5lXfEcZ__0

Photos from Joe: https://www.flickr.com/photos/herbertrobotics/albums/72157668265090788

February 3-4, 2018

Report by Ed Chang and Steve Jackson –

This was our five-year anniversary show – the very first TBRR event was in early 2013 here at the NRG Center.

We had 8 FOLs, with others dropping by or sending MOCs to display. The layout was a 12 x 25 space with three loops, three motion features, four bridges, and a big, enthusiastic audience. We heard a lot of “This is the best exhibit here.”

The layout closely resembled what we did at the last New Braunfels show and Houston Maker Faire, but new and notable for this time were:
• Main line spanning two completely separate groups of tables, connected by bridges. Care taken during table setup meant we had no alignment issues – success!
• 4DBrix ladder yard by Tim Howell, set up next to his roundhouse. We didn't do much running through the switches, but having a compact (vs. regular switches) yard was nice.
• My (Ed’s) Princess Jubilee and its CPR-colored clone. These engines are based on the Canadian Pacific F-1-a class 4-4-4 "Jubilee" engines, with some artistic license.
• We had busy streets thanks to vehicle contributions from Steve, Sarah, and Michael. This was good because we usually just have a handful of trucks.
• Doc Geracci’s buildings made their first showing with us outside New Braunfels. They help with "layering" the cityscape by bringing interest to the foreground without blocking the street behind. Tim Howell’s little newsstand was another good small building.
• Motion features were Tim Howell's windmill-spin ride, his hydraulic press, and Michael's big helicopter – all of which were very popular with the public.
• AJ's Minecraft display was very popular also.
• Full conversion of the mainlines to BrickTracks R120+R104 curves. Reliable and durable, easy to set up.

Attendance numbers: to come. We gave out a lot of flyers and cards.

On Saturday night some of us made a dinner-and-Lego-store trip to Baybrook Mall. On the whole, a fun event.

Problems: relatively few. The venue floor is lumpy, so leveling took extra time. The venue food is costly and nasty. We did not have stanchions, so we used the string of Texas flags supported by chairs; this gave some protection to 3/4 of the layout, but we had to watch the crowds on the remaining side. We lost several trees and one vehicle to little hands, but it was all easily fixed. The only derailment was not crowd-related and was also easily fixed.

Setup took about 7 hours, breakdown only about 2.

Ed Chang’s photos here.

Tim Howell’s photos and videos here.

Tony Sava’s video here, and photos here. Especially this one.

December 1-2, 2017
Holiday Under The Stars
Killeen, TX

SJ reports: This show was light on AFOLs – just me for trains, plus, from TexLUG Austin, Ed Frazee and James Browder with some excellent displays and the TLA blue play brick. However, we put on a very good show for several hundred kids and parents. There were lulls (which were welcome breaks), but it was very busy a lot of the time. Show management was happy with us and wants us to come back.

Setup took about five hours for a 6 x 10 baseplate layout. It was built on four 30” x 6’ venue tables, so there was a lot of space on all sides, which helped some (though not perfectly) with the “little hands” issues. There were no crashes or table dives and only a couple of serious scares for the minifigs. The venue tables there are in good shape and needed only minor shimming to level. The venue in general is good! We had our own lockable room and the staff is helpful and friendly.

We had two standard-radius loops and a display siding, with up to three trains running at a time (though usually just one or two). The new motorized Holiday Train has some traction problems on curves, but it always makes it around, and everyone loved the rotating tree.

The Seek & Find was very popular. I printed more than 100 slips, and we would have run out if I had not started salvaging and re-using them. The AFOL Box was used and added some good elements to the show.

Breakdown was complete in 2.5 hours, thanks to very good help from Ed and James.

A few pictures on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/65153023@N03/38814746351/in/dateposted-public/

November 4, 2017

Ed Chang reports -

We did an 8-table layout featuring a larger town and separate winter village. There were two loops, mostly BrickTracks. The starting point for the layout design was the goal of putting the Grim at the end of a street (as you see in Tony’s photos). There isn't much yard space available on such a small layout, but there was a display case we used for static display.

Setup was done in about 5 hours between Friday night and Saturday morning. Doors opened at 10 AM, and though it was slow the first 15-20 minutes, the floodgates opened and the room was packed until the end of Touch-a-Truck.

Overall it was a smooth show, especially for having so many people crowded around the tables. There was one major derailment and a couple minor incidents. I don't know if my motors are getting less efficient on the Berkshire, but I was having battery heat issues in the afternoon after having run for 4-5 hours.

We had one guest train on the layout in the afternoon - a MOC yellow/orange diesel with freight cars by a KFOL (10ish years old, I don't know his name, but with the long blond hair who we also see at NB and Galveston).

I think crossing arms on the edge of the layout is just going to be a no-go - they are too much of a finger magnet, even if you build one that's bulletproof.

Tear down was fast, about 1.5 hrs, and the host club helped us move and load. In attendance were Tony and Christina Sava (+AJ and Katie), Tim Hutchings, Tim Howell, and me.

Touch-a-Truck has grown in the past 2 years, so the show has doubled its attendance since last year. Physical space at the museum is starting to be a limiting factor for the show as a whole. Next year this event is likely to happen in April.

Tony Sava's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157690432791276

October 28-29, 2017

Steve reports -

Our New Braunfels setup took about six hours for four people (Glenn, Tony, Ed, and Steve), plus a little time on Sunday.
We had a large space, well located on the main floor near the docks, with 14 tables, three loops, and lots of display track. It was a very dense layout – not many of the filler landscaped baseplates were required. The sidewalks were full of people and the streets were full of vehicles.
The dramatic new structure this time was Ed’s multiple bridge, on its third outing and its first in New Braunfels. Also notable was Tim Howell’s Galveston trolley, which ran like a champ all weekend on the small inner loop.
The BrickTracks curves continue to work better than the ME curves ever did.
Everything looked really good, and the show had a record turnout on Saturday. We got lots of admiring comments. Sunday wasn’t as busy, but there was still a good crowd.
We did not use the stanchions. There were no serious accidents, and both the minor derailments were caused by adult fingers rather than kids!

Our only problem this weekend was table transportation. We had room for perhaps four more tables if we’d had a way to get them there. Special thanks to Gareth for delivering and picking up some of the tables, even though his schedule didn’t allow him to actually see the show at all!

Steve Jackson’s photos (just a few): https://www.flickr.com/photos/65153023@N03/38019380032/in/dateposted-public/

Tony Sava's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157666142041199

Ed Chang's photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmaeSYiY

October 21-22, 2017
Houston Maker Faire
Houston, TX

Ed Chang reports -

We did this show in conjunction with TexLUG-Houston. The layout took about 10 hours to set up.

The first major milestone this weekend was the use of Brick Tracks' R104 and R120 curves, which we used in 3 of the 4 corners. They are a massive improvement over the ME Models tracks, because of their improved durability and clutch power. They pack into little boxes, which is nice for transport as they can go in footwells and little spaces. They can be easily set up without any expertise or experience in handling, and set up in a minute. No more 10s of minutes fiddling with exploding track. They also broke down easily and quickly.

Another major milestone was our first use of ball bearing wheelsets - Tony installed 4 sets from BMR on his TSRR coaches. They gummed up after about 10 minutes but a little bit of oil fixed that.

We had some play brick tables, and my experiment with setting out some track and train bases worked well. I was worried about broken bogie plates, but that didn't happen.

The 14-table layout consisted of track and modules by Tony and me, brownstones from Donna, and large city by Michael with working elevated loop, motorized police helicopter, and a densely populated police standoff scene. Urvy Jarmillo also contriubted some superhero vehicles and characters. Tim Howell contributed some infrastructure, and his Galveston trolley ran the whole show on the R40 loop. Tim Hutchins and Bobby Edge were also immensely helpful in transporting our stuff and setting up.

Lesson learned about setup - We need to have a standard operating procedure to extend all the table feet by about 1/4 inch before trying to level them. This helps the awkward height matching that sometimes happens when one table is all the way down and still too high. It may be preferable to use a bubble level to make sure the tables are truly level, and not just even. One table sloping up meeting just right with one table sloping down will still cause derailments.

The show had reasonable attendance. Sunday attendance was slightly dampened by heavy rain in the morning, but seemed to pick up for a bit between noon and 3. I will share final attendance numbers when available.
Saturday at the train layout was marked by many derailments and problems, including my Berkshire hitting the floor about 5 minutes after show opening. Sunday was better, after table leveling.

On Saturday I gave a talk to introduce people to the AFOL community (hoping to recruit new members). There were two people in attendance (fail). Apparently all the classroom sessions were poorly attended.

Thanks to Donna, Damon (and son), and Michael for helping us tear down and pack up, and also to Tony for staying later to watch my stuff while I ran home with some tables. We were the last exhibitors out of the hall, but 3.5 hours for tear down including an extra 1 hour round trip for me - that's pretty good.

We had about 15 in attendance plus spouses and kids.

Tim Howell's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tdhowell/sets/72157687651252990/

Tony Sava's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157688259268571

Ed Chang's photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6Pz34c

October 7-8, 2017

June 29-July 2, 2017
Mesquite, TX

Report from Tim Howell -

Three TBRR members each provided a separate layout in the group display area.  Tim Hutchings brought a large Wild West layout with train, mountain and waterfall, a shootout, a fort, and much more.  David Hawkins brought his Steamwood Falls layout, an L-shaped display with a lot of detailed landscaping, and a train running uphill and downhill.  Tim Howell brought a city scene with roundhouse, assorted buildings, trolley and track, and diesel locomotive (parked).  We almost always had two trains running at a time, plus the trolley periodically going back and forth through the town.
Load-in and load-out were fairly easy - TBRR wasn't too far from the main loading door.  Setup was leisurely over Thursday and Friday.  Venue tables were good enough (with a few shims), venue stanchions did their job (although they weren't particularly sturdy).  Public visitors were excited and interested, asked a lot of questions.  No major train disasters that I saw.  The city had a snowman that people could touch, and that went over well.
Winner of "Best Train" was Whistlestop Cliffhanger, a detailed scene of a trolley passing over a bridge with much activity happening around it.  (Unfortunately I don't remember who built it and I can't read the name on the card).
Overall it was quite a good show.  Lots of quality MOCs of all sizes and subjects; many with some kind of movement.  Voting was difficult in many categories (I think Art was the hardest to choose).  There were more building contests at this Brick Fiesta than there have been in the past.  The prizes were organized and distributed quite well.  TJ Avery (Houston) won the Automation award, and Lia Chan (DFW) won Poly-MOC.

Final attendance numbers were not announced.  I heard one unofficial estimate of 2,000-2,500 total public for the weekend.  I believe about 250 AFOLs were registered.

June 15-18, 2017
Schaumberg, IL

Report from Tony with additions by Ed:

We [Tony and AJ] arrived in Schaumburg about 2:30 in the afternoon, just in time for the sky to open and the torrential rain to start.  By the time we arrived, Cale, Chris, and KC had unloaded the PennLUG truck and trailer, so they were available to help us unload.  Due to the rain we could not drive in, but we were able to unload in the loading dock under cover, and walk everything the rest of the way.  By 4pm the truck was unloaded and parked. 

The rain continued for most of the evening, delaying many of the attendees that chose to fly.  Ed was no exception, but he arrived late in the evening.  We had already begun setting up, though we took a leisurely time of it.  By Wednesday night the tables were up and the track was mostly out.  PennLUG had their half of the layout's tables up and a few pieces of track out.  In addition, Jason Steinhurst from MichLUG also joined us and helped set up.  He was going to provide his excellent steam engines and rolling stock to our layout.

Other BW attendees from Texas included Kristena and her son from Austin, and the Bradford family and Travis Cisneros from Dallas. Tim Howell and Steve Jackson contributed track to our layout but were not able to attend. Will Heron was mostly busy vendor-ing but provided part of the town and roads/baseplates.

Gareth made 4 new short 3x6 tables - two were used in the bridge module, and the other two will be used to start a sawmill/trestle corner.  These tables worked well, and were stable without needing to be clamped. Ed’s new truss bridges work fine and were popular with the public. One boy spent at least an hour just watching trains go over it. Work will continue to make them functional bascule bridges.

Thursday found us working on Ed's new huge bridge module. The trip was not kind to some of his modules, but we were able to get them all put together and finished in short order.  Then came all of the little bits and parts.  We attended the train roundtable where many of the same old topics were discussed - Power Functions vs. 9v, ME Model rails and their competitors, etc.  Opening ceremonies came and went, and we continued to set up details and minifigs.

Friday was Tree day and more figs day.  Ed's new planned "Train Festival" module worked well, with minifigs attending a mini train show on our layout. Trains began running, and AJ enjoyed playing with the three full Grand Curve loops. Cale unveiled his gorgeous Blue Comet, and I took the Yellowstone out for a spin.

Friday night was the charity auction, and once again it was the highlight of the weekend.  There were no locomotive train MOCs donated for auction this year, but Brick Model Railroader donated a full kit of their new boxcar design, bricks included, which went for $450.  All told Brickworld raised over $28,000.00 for charity, with Bryan Bonahoom bumping it up to an even $30K.

Saturday morning found Ed and I planting flowers and putting finishing touches before the public arrived.  Sadly AJ fell ill again, so he and I missed almost all of public hours.  I am grateful to Ed, Cale, and Jay for manning the display while we were missing.  No huge accidents were reported, though Jay's Big Boy did derail after a member of the public felled a tree across the tracks.  Ed left Brickworld to ride an excursion train pulled by the Nickel Plate 765, the real model upon which his Berkshire MOC is based. He came back with a huge grin and great pictures.

Saturday night was World of Lights, where Michael Gale brought over his fully lighted and programmed Shinkansen bullet train, and it sure did strut its stuff.  Ed and I re-iterated our strong desire to install more lights in our MOCs. This will be a priority in the near future.

Sunday found the last day of Brickworld and more public attendance. James Burrows from GFLUG brought over a locomotive train MOC dedicated to the memory of Robin Werner, who we lost a few months after Brickworld last year.  Robin was a regular Brickworld attendee and volunteer, and was usually heavily involved in many aspects of the show.  For me, personally, Robin has been my Brickworld roommate, having shared the room with me several times.  I can't say we were close, but I was proud to call him friend.  James brought his train MOC to all of the train layouts and made it a point to run it around each.  Our layout was no exception, and the locomotive ran well.  The MOC may have only visited our layout for a few minutes, but Robin was with us the whole weekend. 

All told more than 8,000 public attended the show.  Teardown began at 3pm and then the closing ceremonies at 4:30.  PennLUG and TBRR were packed and loaded into our respective vehicles by 7:30, and we all went out to dinner.  We ended the evening with beer and conversation in the hotel lobby, where we stayed up a little too late.

Travel Blog: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157682686984654

PennLUG/TBRR Layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157682498415122

Other MOCs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157682782759443


May 13-14, 2017

After-action report from Lasso:

We had at least 10 people show up for Friday setup. We started at 2pm, were delayed slightly waiting for Gareth's arrival, but we still finished by 7pm going at a very leisurely pace.  I didn't feel rushed, and I think everyone got what they wanted to have into the display. With all of our electrical needs, we were surprised by needing a power strip.  Event power was a little late in arriving, but was very nicely setup and gaffed.

Our 10.5 table display was a moderately sized TBRR layout with two loops of track and a lot of city buildings, including many MOCS, provided by many different members, but we also had a large area with the 15,000 blue 2x4 bricks, the TBRR free play brick, and 4 venue tables covered with spaceships, mosaics, and other non-city items.  Steve provided all of the railroad tracks in our display and the Maersk train. Two newcomers, Mark and Noah, showed up with new MOC trains. I debuted the Minecraft corner on Gareth's 3x3 lowered table, and I think the crowd enjoyed it.

On Sunday we had some cub scouts show up to disassemble all of the blue brick sculptures. We distributed loose bags of brick around 3pm on Sunday, and teardown started at 6pm. We were gone by 7:30pm on Sunday. The 90-minute teardown was attributable to the many hands available, and the fact that the whole sets of Lego Event support were not distributed until after teardown was complete.

Tim's lighted Carousel and Gareth's lighted ferris wheel were very nice, and we had two other lighted buildings. We pondered an all-lighted Lego display in the Maker Faire dark room next year. We have tons of the Lego red LED parts, and I have my EL wire lighted monorail that could work too.

At the end of the show, Kami, the Executive Producer of Maker Faire, recognized TBRR as a 2017 "Maker of Merit.”

We believe we had 16 AFOLs, 2 TFOLs, and 4 KFOLs.

Pictures are at:

May 6-7, 2017
Taylor, TX (near Austin)

    Once again we broke our own record for table space – 19.5 tables of operating layout, plus Joe’s 4x8 multilevel display. This is probably about as big as we can get without more active members, even if more tables are built; some of us already have more display material than we can bring to any one show. Still, we had 11 AFOLs and one full-time KFOL, plus lots of support from absent spouses and the MOC Box.
    This was the first show for Tony’s huge Yellowstone (looked beautiful, ran fine) and Steve’s TransBlue Tower. We had a total of 7 loops of track – four on Joe’s multilevel layout, which drew lots of gasps, and three non-concentric wide-curve loops on the main layout. All were busy most of the time. There was only one R40 curve on the whole layout, and it was not on mainline.
    We had our grandest town layout ever, with buildings varying widely in size and height, but all well finished out and playing together. The final result was very organic. It looked like a town!
    We got compliments from the guests for the Seek and Find, and from other clubs for our table design.
    Attendance at the show was good enough that everyone was surprised and pleased. Lots of other nice train stuff on display: club layouts in HO, N, and O scale, and dozens of dealers. The venue was brand new, clean, and friendly, and show staff was always helpful.
    Breakdown took only about two hours. We had fun and will be invited back; maybe the show will be closer to Austin for 2018.
    Photos of the show:
    • Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157680500480733 with a particular favorite being https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/33735920903/

    (links to Ed and Joe to come - anybody else?)

February 18, 2017
Trains On A Train
Austin, TX

November 26-27, 2016
Houston Fall Model Railroad Tour
Orange, TX

Tony reports:

We had three FOLs: Tony, Ed, and AJ. The show went well.  Only one major train related incident - Ed's Berkshire decided to take an unplanned stroll from the outside track to the inside without the aid of a switch.  This was caused by an ME model R88 that separated from its connector.  I have decided that, at least for me, it is time I used MEK to fuse the ME Rails to their connector plates.  That will come in time.

The show itself was very quiet, probably the smallest number of public attendance ever at this show - which is especially disappointing after last year's highest number.  I have no insight as to why.  But our host club was nevertheless very happy with us and our layout.  We were given an honorarium of $120. 

We arrived a little before 7:30 am Saturday, and were able to unload, setup, and had a train running by about 10:15, fifteen minutes after the show started.  We continued to set up and finished with all details (figs, flowers, etc) by about 10:45 am.  Thanks to Ed, I was able to repair the Allegheny back to running status, and it was great to see the old girl rolling again.  At 5, the show was over for the day and we went to dinner.

Sunday morning AJ and I went and visited the Orange Depot, a train station that several members of our host club (among other community members) are working to refurbish.  It's closed, so we could only see the outside, but we took photos.  We also went on a journey to take some reference photos for Tim of some local locomotives, and luckily we were successful.  Photos of both are here:


The public attendance of Sunday was even lighter than Saturday, so our hosts suggested we begin tearing down at 3:30.  Two hours later we were packed and on the road.

New MOCs for this show:

Ed's fantastic Winter Village, including a custom Winter Train Station

Jurassic City Park (Tony's Diplodocus Skeleton modified from another AFOL's design plus Glen's dinosaur skeletons)

Thomas tied to a flatcar

The Thomas was quite popular with the kids, and will probably become a regular sight at shows.

We are, of course, invited back; the next show may be inside the Orange Depot.  In addition, we have been invited to participate in a Grand Opening show inside the Depot sometime this spring, dates to be determined. 



November 12-13, 2016
Houston Maker Faire
Houston, TX

Tim Howell reports:

AFOLs (and one TFOL): 17. Public attendance: 6 to 7,000,

    •    assorted MOCs, including Nathaen's USS Constitution, and (life-size?) BB-8 by Steve and Lili.
    •    Jeff's classic space monorail layout, now up to at least 6'x8'
    •    TJ's (almost life-size) crane
    •    TBRR layout, 10'x20' (13 TBRR tables)

Activities included Minecraft play brick and an Xmas ornament fundraiser. Minecraft play brick was popular.  Several of us decided that is a good collection and should be kept separate from the rest of our play brick.  TJ took some good photos that will be sent to Lego to fulfill the Minecraft activity obligation.  Thanks to Erin, Kevin, and Tim 2 for spending much of their time with this activity.

The ornament / charity activity had pretty steady business most of the weekend.  I do not have a final tally for the amount collected.  Many thanks to Steve and Lili for organizing that, designing the ornaments, and spending most of the weekend with it.

The TBRR layout had contributions from Tony, Ed, Mike N., Donna, Nate, Vincent, and Tim 1, and turned out very well.  Unusual for TBRR, over half of it was city, not rural.  Mike had a great-looking start to his elevated railway, and Tim's trolley had its own dedicated loop for the first time.  Ed's Princess Train was a big hit, as always.  There were a few derailments, mostly due to little fingers getting past the plastic stanchions.  No serious damage done, fortunately.  We did not do a seek and find, but it would have been popular.  Vincent had impressive lighting in his buildings - hopefully he will post info about that.  Another big round of thanks to Ed and Tony, as this was their 4th train show in 4 consecutive weekends.

Jeff's space layout and TJ's crane got their usual amount of admiration.  TJ rigged the crane to hold a TexLUG-Houston banner.

Closing time was 5:00 Sunday.  We started packing up a few minutes before that, and cleared the building about 6:45.  Many thanks to Mike C. and Tim 2 for staying until the end and helping!

My favorite quote of the weekend .. the youngster on Sunday afternoon, looking at the MOC's, and asking his dad, "How much allowance do I have?"

Sunday morning I talked a little bit with David Brunet, one of the main organizers of the Maker Faire.  He is really appreciative of our time and effort, and told us next year we can have as much space as we want.

Overall it seemed to be a good show.  No major disasters, plenty of AFOLs helping out, lots of other things to see.


November 5-6, 2016

Tony reports:

AJ and I arrived about 5:30 Friday evening, and once again our hosts came out in force to help us unload.  In less than 10 minutes my truck was completely unloaded, tables and all, in the display room.  Ed wasn't going to make it Friday, so AJ and I leveled and clamped the tables, and set up what we could without getting too cluttered.  We were out just after 8:00.

Saturday morning Ed arrived bright and early, beating me and AJ, and had already started setting up his stuff.  We ended up not using table skirting, but we utilized the two large horizontal banners, and that did quite a bit in the small room.

Just after 10:00, we had a a train running and were very close to finishing.

The layout was a traditional small one for this show - our assigned room limits our size, but that also keeps the details packed in.  Only two loops and a little sidings, but a nice city and farm.  We chose to focus on mostly using fall trees, given the time of year.

Those who were at the Austin NMRA show may remember the Allegheny making all sort of racket while moving.  It seems now that one of the motors has an internally chipped gear.  It will only spin in one direction, and only if given a push. After 6-7 years and all the work we've made it do, I guess it’s time for new motors.

Saturday had two events running in tandem - the model train festival as well as the "Touch A Truck" event outside.  Between the two events and the gorgeous weather, attendance was steady and relatively high.  The actual attendance figures are still outstanding.

Sunday the Touch a Truck was over, so the attendance was significantly less.  Tim Howell showed up to help man the display and help tear down.  Christina, AJ, and Katie showed up midday as well.

Jon, the event coordinator, came by to say at 3:30 we could start packing up, but to leave trains running till the show close at 4.  Again, the host club helped us carry boxes to the cars, and after all was said and done we were on the road by 5:30.

We heard several comments from the public that our layout was their favorite, and more than a few came back to see us a second time after seeing the whole event.

We are invited back next year, same time, same room.

Photos from Ed: https://flic.kr/s/aHskN9P7rN

Photos from Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157676248621415/

PS: One of the kids in attendance has seen us every year we've done the Texas City Show (Facebook says we started in 2013).

He said, quoting: "I've been seeing the LEGO layout as far back as I can remember."

He also could pick out all of the things we repeated from last year and everything new.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now a thing.  :)

October 29-30, 2016

    This was our second biggest display ever – 18.5 tables, second only to the last Brick Fiesta (22 tables). The footprint was 23 x 24 feet, and we were on the main floor.
    We did this with only 5 AFOLs putting up the display, though others brought or sent MOCs. Arguably we bit off almost more than we could chew. The final result was excellent, but tiring, after a very long drive for Ed and Tony.
    We had four operating loops and a lot of sidings (track 6 deep on one side of the layout). There were two motion features with Arduino control, one (Gareth’s Ferris wheel) with lights. We had two TFOLs – Noah Jarrett and his friend Griffin – visiting and running their Mikado engine. It ran just fine, too!
    MOCs on display for the first time: Tony’s crossing signals. Steve’s track fire. Ed’s wire bridge for the amusement park and floating one-track grade crossing.
    There were no track explosions or major wrecks.
    We had a lot of visitors and many appreciative comments.
    Tony’s photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157674601755231/

October 22, 2016
Austin NMRA Meet
Austin, TX

We had a great opportunity to demonstrate LEGO railroading to the local chapter of the National Model Railroad Association. Six AFOLs came, including Tony and Ed driving in from Houston. We got to talk to a lot of interested and friendly folks from the traditional model RR community. We had seven tables, two loops, a yard with custom switches, and one light/motion feature (Gareth's custom lighted Ferris wheel), as well as some lighted buildings. We had radio controlled engines with inertia, and Gareth's Mallard had a RC controlled sound card, all of which went over very well. It took us 2.5 hours to set up, and only about an hour to break down.

New at this show was Gareth's MOC signal box. Almost new was Tony's big blue Railroad Office.

Photos from Tony:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157675978879885/ - with his favorite being https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/30665247476/

September 17, 2016

TBRR set up an 8-table narrow layout for this one-day event. We went with a more urban theme this time, with a town occupying most of the layout. We used ME R72s for the first time, paired with R88s for 6-baseplate wide U-turns. The R72s fared well, with no significant problems during the show. They do suffer from the same warping issue as most of the other ME rails, but they had better clutch power and held together better than our R88s and R104. Battery drain was probably only slightly more than the R88s, but it's hard to tell. The garage at the museum has a tilted/cracked floor, so our layout had a downhill end and an uphill end. This and the temperature were probably the dominant factors affecting battery life on Saturday. Tony's Eneloop batteries got very hot.

Jeff Schroeder also displayed his NCS monorail layout, representing TexLUG-Houston. Jeff was able to use the PF Lipo+IR receiver to power his monorail train - this seemed to work very well.

In total there were 7 of us participating (including Christina who brought much needed sustenance, hydration, and ICE). It was very hot, and very muggy. That was pretty much the dominant experience for the weekend. Public attendance was officially over 1900.

Tony's photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157674404311231/

August 6, 2016
Carver Branch Library, Austin, TX

It was a fun meeting. We built Gareth's new, inexpensive design for compatible ballasted track. We had 9 AFOLs, a KFOL, and two supportive others. MOCs and WIPs were displayed.


July 7-10, 2016
Houston, Texas
Ed Chang reports -
Thanks to members of PortLUG who joined us - Rick, Steven, Grant, and JJ.
Our layout was 22 tables, 3 loops of 3 ME curves + 1 grand curve, reusing the "Big Cut" module from Brickworld, and a point-to-point monorail and static trolley line. This is about 40% more display area than our layout last year.
We had a greatly expanded town plus Brian's station/hotel "vacation destination." It seems we are slowly making in a dent in our ratio of set to MOC buildings.
It was our first time to integrate Tim's roundhouse into the working layout, and it won the Best Train award. We also displayed David's train shed on the layout for the first time...since GTE 2013 I think? JJ brought two of his UP diesels and Rick brought some Technic-based trains to make this a cross-LUG collaborative.
In terms of setup, or even pre-setup, the biggest thanks goes to Tim Howell for running to Austin/Bastrop for the tables at the last minute despite being essentially Brick Fiesta Co-chair #4. Also thanks to Gareth for lending his trailer and tables and helping with the move, and to Tony for taking the tables back to Austin. Also thanks to Joe for building the ramp for the hill climb. Unfortunately we were not able to bring the ramp part home, though we saved the vertical support - so perhaps another ramp can be built if we want to do the events again...more on that later.

Setup was leisurely compared to most weekend events. The only real problem we had was that perhaps the tables (or baseplates) were not set up exactly square, so there were a few places where the tracks/baseplates were slightly separated. No problems with running trains - just the table/tarp/tape showed through in a couple places. A thing for us (well, maybe mostly me?) to improve is to find a way for other people to help with setup.

We did run out of trees. We need more trees. Or random buildings or other features that don't need to be on roads. Doesn't have to be trees. 


The public days were . . .  well I only spent maybe 3 hours at the layout in total, so I don't really know. No major disasters. My trains did the usual-  Princess Train ran a lot, 765 ran a while until the valve gear started acting up. Tony's Daylight got lots of fan love from the public, the Dreyfuss looked great running at high speed, and the Allegheny made lots of use of our 3rd track. Brian's monorail was mostly problem-free, except that one time it tried to sabotage the princesses. =)
Also, Joe was set up on the end of the hall, so we couldn't really see how he was doing. Seemed like he had a good crowd, when I went by on Sunday. His setup has grown, and picked up a couple of nominations.
The train talk was on Saturday morning. I think it went reasonably well, but in retrospect, it should've been done on Friday. I gave a talk on general concepts of MOC trains, and a couple specific engineering points. There were several people there who were interested and had questions, so I'll take that as a good thing. I ended up spending a lot of time Friday and Saturday entertaining guests as well.
Sunday was the train events. The hill climb in the morning was attended by...  Tony, AJ, and me. But we had some fun. The maximum ramp level was about 15 degrees (4 ft tall, about ?16 ft long). The 9V trains gave out around maybe 10-12 degrees. My dual-PF diesel was able to get up the maximum slope, but in the pushing configuration only (can anyone explain the physics of that?? and maybe implications for train design outside the hill climb?) We didn't have enough straight 9V track so we put a little back and forth curve section in the middle for extra challenge. We also invented a second game of "controlled downhill descent" on the steep slope - with the challenges of not derailing on the curves and stopping without crashing at the bottom.
One interesting thing from this was the demonstration that when you press the stop button on the PF motor, the motor controller "shorts" the motor circuit, causing a the motor to exert a braking force for about 1 second, before going to "float." So you can control your descent just by repeatedly pressing the stop button. Practical application? I don't know. But that's why pressing stop on a heavy train at speed can cause derailments.
Train racing with the figure-8 track was...ok. Several kids including public spectators came by and participated. I think they had fun, but it really just turned into just randomly crashing trains. I'm not sure I'd support doing this again. First, there's very high risk to the train motors, because frequently kids will try to reset trains by holding them against the track with the motors stalled. And you know, crashes. Second, the 9V cross tracks aren't reliable to begin with. There are no check rails so the wheels frequently hit the middle sections of track. Third, I think the younger kids don't really understand what they're supposed to do. Simple oval track would be better. 
Teardown took about 3 hours, again with help from PortLUG, TexLUG, and some junior TexLUG-SA members. Here also I'd like to figure out ways to be able to involve more people if they are available to help. Packing took some tetris-ing, but besides the ramp, we were able to get everything to fit. We have transportation issues.
Photos from Tony Sava:

Eurobricks thread: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=138039






June 15-19, 2016
Schaumburg, IL

We cooperated again with PennLUG, and the combined PennTex layout was a marvel to behold, with three Grand Curve loops and the fantastic PennLUG yard and roundhouse.

Tony, AJ, and Steve road-tripped, pulling a U-Haul trailer. Ed Chang and Will Heron arrived by saner means.

Tony won Best Train for his New York Central Dreyfuss. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOl3SESVdbw

The forested Big Cut (new for this event) with the plate-built Sava Railways building rising behind it: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/27308828893/in/set-72157670181388476/

Tony's whole photo collection for the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/collections/72157669670781542/


Tony's Eurobricks thread for the Penn-Tex layout:


May 7-8, 2016
Austin Maker Faire
Austin, TX

"Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.  Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned."

Lasso reports:

Austin Maker Faire was May 7th and 8th in Austin, at the Palmer Events Center from 10am to 6pm.  This year we had an impressive display and a good crowd.  Maker Faire estimated 15k-22k people, though I suspect we were on the low end of those numbers, so I will say 18k.  We ran a 20' x 50' booth with a number of activities and displays:
   - TBRR City Display
   - TBRR Mosaic signs
   - TBRR Lego Free Play Area
   - TBRR Pull-back Race Car Track
   - TBRR Interactive Minecraft Display
   - Creative Brick Builders Technic Area
   - Creative Brick Builders Duplo Area
   - TexLUG monochrome Free Play (with only green 2x4 bricks)
Load-in on Friday:
Setup was 4pm - 8pm.  As they say, many hands make light work, so 7 people showing up for load-in was a real help, and we were mostly setup in 3 hours, but I think we left at 7:45pm or so after setting up some free play brick, and planting Steve trees around the layout, and doing other touch-up items.  Gareth's 3x3 river and train bridge MOC took a nose dive off of a table, so we made a last minute swapout, but beyond the one tragedy, everyone and everything that we expected to arrived and was setup.  Our city looked really good, but it would not have been possible without Steve donating his track and landscapes and without Gareth donating tables and his trailer to transport items.
Ben Rollman showed up with the last two missing MOCs before opening, and we setup the Minecraft Lego layout as well.  We lost two "Steve" Minecraft minifigures before the official opening of Maker Faire (We had 6-8 kids gather as soon as the Minecraft landscape was unveiled), so this did not bode well for the weekend.
We had lots of hands during the day, and things went vey well.  Our layout was well received, Ed managed to keep swapping train and Ferris wheel batteries as needed, and things went as expected.  There were some large crowds, and we were in a very good central location.  Many parents were struggling to remove their kids from our display.  At the end of the day on Saturday we had to break down the children's MOCs made from the monochrome brick, and the free play brick.  It is interesting how you get very tall creations from the box of 2x4 bricks.  I left a little before closing on Saturday, but the display was in good hands.  
Ed and others were there early, I arrived around lunch time on Sunday.  The Minecraft landscape was still mostly intact, so things were going well.  A TFOL named Noah arrived with a MOC train, but he could not get it to function well, so he left after a little bit.  I wish I could have convinced him to stay and leave it as a display piece.  The crowds were at least as big on Sunday afternoon as on Saturday afternoon, surprisingly, and did not really start to die down until after 5pm.
Tear-down on Sunday:
Maker Faire ended at 6pm, and I was in my car checking my watch at 7:15pm... Record time.  We had 9 people helping with teardown, and things went very fast.  So fast that most of my personal time was spent putting away the Minecraft activity box, putting away the monochrome brick, putting away the race track, and putting away the free play brick.  We broke down the Minecraft display completely into its component parts.  Ethan's son was most helpful in procuring us some dolly carts to whisk away our boxes.  So far as we could tell, everything got where it needed to go.
Mosaic signage:
I made some 48 x 96 stud mosaic Lego signs that mounted to speaker stands.  I think the effect was really nice, and I look forward to using them again in the future.
Pull-back Race Car Track:
Lego sent us 80-100 pull-back race car bodies, so I collected enough tires to create 30 functional race car blanks.  We created a racetrack near the free play brick, and allowed kids to try their hand at building race cars.  People liked it, and it was not very much effort to set up.  So I think this is a winner that we will do again.
Monochrome Brick Free Play:
Everyone loved making huge towers, I was surprised that we often ran low on brick so older MOCs had to be "recycled" about 1-2 times per day.  We even had one builder who made a tower, and then filled the tower with loose brick just to use all the brick he could find.  
Lego Minecraft Activity Box:
Minecraft Number of visitors:  18k to the event, at least 1,000 directly watched or played with the Minecraft activity.
Minecraft Number of RLUG members participating:  12  (We had more helping to build it who did not show at the display.)
Minecraft General comments/perception from the audience/visitors:
Far and away, I think people loved this the best, but we had to put a lot of work into making this happen.  At the TexLUG meeting before Maker Faire, we built a 96 x 144 stud Minecraft landscape using a Duplo foundation, the minecraft brick, and the copious quantity of green brick.  I even created a number of Minecraft trees.  The landscape did its job, and provided an imagination foundation for the kids to play with.
Josh and myself played "Micro Managers" about every 3-4 hours to the Minecraft display.  We removed cruft and distributed the minifigures and ore across the landscape.  Most kids were being constructive, but it was interesting in that the first things people did was collect all of the ore, and start building a house. They would also grab "Steve" or "Alex" and keep them nearby.  They did not play with the minifigures, they just kept them near as some sort of talisman as they did the job of "Steve" in playing and building.  While the event was successful, we lost a number of minifigures over the course of the weekend.  Lego provided us with 1 Steve, 1 Alex, 3 skeletons, 4 creepers, and 3 zombies.  I personally added another 20 creepers, 1 Alex, and 5 more Steves.  Over the course of the weekend we lost 8 creepers, 5 Steves, 1 Skeleton, 1 Zombie, and 1 Alex. While allowing kids to play with the display was great fun, and we think it is most in line with what Lego would like to see happen with their activity box . . . they need to provide a lot more minifigures to make a public display workable, as the Minecraft figures have a high tendency to walk away.
Lego should really take the loss of minifigures into account and send something on the order of 40 Steve minifigs, which would allow us to safely run 4-5 large events in the year with the box of brick.  Sending 1 Steve for a box of brick that large could make for a display, but not with interactive activities.

Volunteer hour listings:


Layout design and Maker Faire Information:





April 9-10, 2016

This Spring we were back on the stage at New Braunfels, with Santrak and Kids Run the Train.

Tony and Ed report:

This was one of the largest independent TBRR layouts yet, consisting of 20.5 club tables, two outer ME Models rail loops, and two inner standard curve loops.  Also featured were Gareth's custom big switches and triple switch.

Setup on Friday initially went quickly, with great help from Will, Gleen, and Ed Fr., but Tony's delayed arrival prevented progress until about an hour before the close of setup.  The show allowed us to set up an additional 45 minutes beyond the scheduled shutdown time, which by that time all the track had been laid out.

Saturday morning found us working early to finish our remaining features, including a return of the Cathedral, a large LEGO City, Gareth's animated and lighted Ferris wheel, two Will Heron MOC buildings that haven't been previously displayed (at least not with us), and Ed Frazee's cargo trains, which got lots of running time. Hopefully we were able to give him some ideas for mods. This was also a first outing for Tony's new lightweight tank cars and boxcar, which were successful enough to extend the life of Ed's Berkshire's batteries much longer than expected.

The show went well, though we had more accidents than usual.  Ed's Berkshire and Princess Train, Tony's Daylight and T1, and Gareth's commuter train all experienced heavy, but repairable, damage from some spectacular wrecks. The Princess Train's passenger carriage hit the floor prior to show opening on Sunday, but with no lasting damage. The Berkshire managed to bend a valve gear rod...will need some experimental repairs or replacement.

Saturday night those on hand gathered for a great German meal at Freisenhaus.  Afterward, Tony and Ed, on a whim, traveled to Landa Park to ride the mini train there.  We were even treated to evening fireflies.

Sunday brought more public and more wrecks, but was still successful. Throughout the weekend we were complimented on our layout and the obvious care we put into it. 

Just prior to teardown, the Allegheny was pulled out of its box.  Tony had decided to give it another strength test. On a ME models R88 loop, using extra weights and neodymium magnets, the Allegheny pulled a club record 41 railcars.  More could have possibly been pulled had we more magnets.

Video from Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/25759188424/

Photos from Tony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157667525627803

Photos from Ed Chang: https://flic.kr/s/aHsky4pzw4

March 5-6, 2016

Gareth Ellis, Steve Jackson, Tim Hutchings, and Joe and Lisa Herbert made the day-long trek to KC, at the invitation of the KC Brick Lab, to display at the World’s Greatest Hobby show. Also represented by sending MOCs were Will Heron, Ed Chang, Brian Lasseter, and Tim Howell.

From the show's website: "The World's Greatest Hobby on Tour showcases the hobby of model railroading. Sponsored by the Hobby Manufacturer's Association - Model Railroad Division and by the World's Greatest Hobby Program, the show is intended to introduce the general public to model railroading in an entertaining, lively and family-friendly atmosphere. The hobby of model railroading has a unique ability to bring the family together in activities that teach many skills. Model railroad skills span from carpentry to artistry, from electrical engineering to historical research. Model railroading is truly the World's Greatest Hobby."

It was a very busy two-day show. Joe and Lisa set up their multilevel display, the other TBRR people set up a large conventional display (5 tracks!), and the KC Brick Lab set up a large display with many big MOC buildings and a monorail. All told, we had up to a dozen trains running at a time, plus various motion features.

This was the first full outing for our new crowd barriers. They looked good and went up (and down) very well.

The KC folks were very hospitable and we all had a great time. We also worked in a couple of visits to the Overland Park Lego Store.

Post-show reports indicated that we had more than 30,000 viewers.

Gareth's blow-by-blow report with "lessons learned" and many photos: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topicsearchin/tbrr/greatest/tbrr/hU-eaNZ15ZA

Joe's timelapse movie of setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6adsHaUvW38


February 27, 2016
League City, TX
TBRR was invited to display at the Robot Jubilee at Clear Falls High School. The event featured variety of robotics and STEM activities for people of all ages, with all levels of robot competitions from elementary to university level.
Tim Howell reports:
  • Ed, Tony, AJ, and I set up Friday night, took 3-3.5 hours, finishing around 9:30pm.  We were in a relatively new school gym - floor surface was great, barely had to do any leveling.
  • Layout was the 9-table arrangement Ed posted here recently, with a few minor modifications on the fly.  One short end was near a wall (we left about a 1-foot space for maintenance purposes)
  • Doors opened Saturday morning at 7am, so we were back bright and early.
  • This gym was the location for robotics competition for elementary and middle school kids.  They were very very excited about the Lego train setup.
  • We did not have stanchions and really, really needed them.  Kids ran right up to the tables, hands on the edge, leaning over.  None that I saw wanted tried to take anything, but they definitely wanted to touch
  • Event organizers ran low on venue tables and took the one I tried to save for flyers.  Tony was able to have a small folding table dropped off from home, which helped.
  • We tried to block the 1-foot maintenance space with a chair and small folding table;  it was not completely effective.
  • Food and drink was allowed throughout the space, we had to keep any eye on soda cans and potato ships being dangled over the track.
  • One minor incident with trains on same channel, but no disaster.
  • A few minor derailments, but nothing went over the edge.  Princess Train lost its headlight for awhile, but it was eventually found.
  • Galveston Trolley made an incident-free public debut.
  • New plaza at Bluebonnet Station looks fantastic.
  • Handed out quite a few BF flyers, people sounded really interested when we mentioned it.
  • "How long did it take to build this?" easily the most popular question
  • Fairly steady crowd around us from soon after 7:00 until about 1:30pm.  Then the competition finals started and we were ignored.  Competition in our gym ended around 2:30.
  • We waited till most people had cleared out, started tear down about 3:15, were leaving soon after 5:00pm
  • Ed and I briefly discussed collaborative build for BrickFiesta LUG-theme build.  Maybe set aside a portion of the BF train layout for that?  Needs to be discussed separately.
Suggestions for next time:
  • Stanchions!!!!
  • Consider a dedicated "touching area" - have a designated locomotive and car and short stretch of track that kids can touch and push back and forth (could be a stock train, not a custom - they won't care as long as they get to touch).
  • We discussed the possibility of a long one-sided layout
  • We discussed a layout where track is not at the edge of the tables;  have a 1/2-baseplate (or more) of town or landscape between the table edge and outside track.  I think that has both aesthetic and practical benefits
  • We discussed a trolley line.  Maybe consider just a straight track along the town and figure out how to make it go back and forth on its own.
  • Need to eliminate controller channel issues.  Maybe make a chart for each event?  Or "permanently" assign channels?  i.e. Ed gets Red 1 and 2, Tony gets Blue 1 and 2, Tim gets Red 3 ...  and it's up to each person to avoid duplicating their own?
  • Set up Ghostbusters hunting Vitruvius.
  • Figure out how to make both sides of Bluebonnet visible.
  • Spare table for flyers.
  • Did I mention stanchions?


February 20, 2016
Trains On A Train
Austin, TX

November 28-29, 2015
National Model Railroad Open House
Orange, TX

Tony reports:

AJ and I arrived at the church to set up a little after 7 am Saturday morning.  The venue’s size meant unloading took little time, and AJ and I began setting up.  About 7:30, just as the last clamps were put in place on the tables, Ed arrived.  We quickly got him unloaded and got the skirting on the tables.  The track and buildings set up just as quick, and at 10:30, 3 hours after we really began setting up (and 30 minutes after the show opened) we were completely done, minifigs and all.  I’m not sure that’s a record, but it was close.  Texas City, which was almost the exact same layout, took over twice as long. We worked out the bugs, I guess.

Changes from the Texas City layout were mainly focused on the inclusion of a Winter area, using LEGO’s winter sets.  Ed did a great job setting that up, and it was extremely well liked by all.  Other minor changes included relocating the Rock Cut, change in the forested area, redesign of the yard, and the inclusion of the updated Mini Train Layout. 

Unlike previous years, the layouts were limited to the one room, and only three were present – ours and two HO layouts.  We were given more space than we really needed, which made public viewing very easy.

The show attendance was light, heavy for the Orange Show from several years ago, but lighter than last year.  The organizers used to have a month long event, which spread out the overall attendance, but last year condensed it into the one weekend.  Several members of the public said they came specifically to see the LEGO display, which was a great feeling.

Pre-show press:


Post-show press:


The layout was well received by all, and was one of our better efforts for a layout so small.  It was certainly the best layout we’ve presented at Orange.  It was, however, cursed.  We experienced more issues, crashes, and accidents at this one show than probably our last three combined. 

Out of the gate AJ dropped a box of my trains while unloading, which partially shattered my Texas State Railroad coaches and two diesels.  I left him to rebuild them, which he did quite well, I’m proud to say.

Ed’s ME model track curves seem to have a manufacturing defect that mine do not share – they rails aren’t flat, they’re slightly curved (upward, not in the direction intended).  This causes them to buckle and separate from the ballast and ties.  This caused two separate crashes with my T1, one catastrophic (those poor Ninja Turtles), and prevented the T1 from running the rest of the weekend.  Ed’s Berkshire also suffered at least one derailment from the same issue.

Our placement of an Inside facing switch right after the curve also caused issues, as the angle of the curve and the missing track of the switch caused Ed’s Berkshire to “coast” off the rails, continuing the arc it was traveling in the curve.  Future note – do not place a switch right after a curve.

We had a few trees fall onto the tracks thanks to the public, one of which took out all the poor children ready to ride the mini-trains.

A new, never before accident occurred that we should make note of as well – a young child obliterated a section of ME model track by grabbing it and lifting.  Obviously standard LEGO track can’t separate from its ties, so grabbing the rails and lifting, especially when the track is ballasted and connected to the rest of the layout, does nothing.  But the ME Model rails are, of course, built.  So as the child lifted the rail, some of the ties came with it, as if a small bomb had gone off.  We stopped the train in time, and repairs didn’t take TOO long, but it’s a danger we (or at least I) had not really thought of before.  Future note.

Saturday night Ed, AJ and I attempted to go to the KCS Holiday Express that was making a one-day stop in Beaumont.  It’s a free touring event, with holiday themed model train layouts and a Santa for the kids, all inside a specialty train which includes a custom flatcar with a tank car on top, modified to look a little like a steam engine out of Thomas the Tank Engine (including a face).  Unfortunately, it seemed the populations of both Beaumont and Port Arthur had the same idea, and created a huge line.  We opted not to stay, deciding to enjoy the event from pictures online.


Sunday came quickly, and with the late show time of Noon, the day went by quickly as well.  Just before 4 pm we began the process of tear down, and were done near about 5:15.  Thanks to the members of our host Club who stuck around to help, we were loaded out and ready to leave by 5:30. 

As always, the Southeast Texas Model Railroad Club folks were very pleased we could attend the event, and on more than one occasion over the weekend said as much.  They said we were the primary draw for a lot of folks, and we directly helped drive traffic their way.  This is a free event with no entrance fee, however we were generously given an honorarium of $120, which will be added to the general fund.

This is a hard show given the distance, time, and venue.  But it does give us a lot of good will with a lot of Model Railroaders that fully appreciate what we do and vehemently want to see LEGO given more respect within the NMRA.  And since it isn’t a huge show with thousands of people, it’s actually quite relaxing and gives us the ability to play with trains relatively stress-free.






November 7-8, 2015

Another excellent train event that invited us back. The Texas City Museum is the home of the Galveston County Model Railroad club, and always puts on a good show. Tony Sava and Ed Chang set up a very nice little seven-table layout with two loops. We learned that the museum has been fielding phone calls and emails asking "if the LEGO trains would be back this year."

Tony's video, with music from Silent Partner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xvxUE28Cfc

Comment from an organizer:

Tony - Thanks for participating in the 2015 Texas City Museum train festival.  Your LEGO layout was a star attraction, and you introduced a lot of people to LEGOs.  The total tickets sold for Saturday and Sunday was 1,525.  Attendance was higher than last year because Texas City combined its popular "Touch the Truck" event with the train show.  So we hope the city will combine the two next year, and if we have good weather, attendance could be even higher.  So please plan on join us next year.  The 2016 show will most likely be on the first weekend in November again, but I'll let you know once the dates are confirmed.  Thanks again for participating.  We hope to see you next year.
Jon Butcher
Galveston County Model Railroad Club







October 31-November 1, 2015

This was a very interesting show, yet we overcame. It started well. Not only were we offered a 16 x 24 space, right next to the dock, but a cancellation made it possible to give Joe's multilevel layout its own space.

Then the water came. The roads were so choked Friday that, after a lot of back & forth online, we decided to delay setup till Saturday. 

Nobody died. The show had good attendance in the morning, lighter in the afternoon, probably because parents were involved iwth Halloween plans.

I talked to some of the people from other clubs who did go up Friday, and yes indeed, they were in stop-and-start traffic for four hours or more. "Trapped between two rivers," one of them put it.

Joe had severe enough mud that he could not get out of his driveway for a while. I hope he still has a lawn. We discarded the lovely big plan and built a layout using the available tables: it's on 11 TBRR tables, with one in the middle for work. Four operating loops and - new to us - four moving carnival rides. It looked great..

Lasso contributed his time helping others set up, rather than building monorail, so we don't have that this time, but the audience doesn't know that it was in the plan :) There was one comment about "not as coherent as last time" but lots and lots and lots of ooh and awww and "Princess Train!" and "Look, all the rides move!" Yes, I can see the patchiness, but I'm very proud to be part of this setup, even if we overlook the circumstances. Considering the circumstances it is magnificent. All y'all done very good, and big thanks to those who could not make it but sent Stuff.

One of the things Lasso did was set up Sbrick on both my trains. He made it work! Thank you Lasso! Tomorrow I have to ask him to see if he can get the app to run on my phone :)

The fundraising table was a casualty of the schedule Saturday but ran Sunday and brought in a little money.

The new wood tables are marvelous - thanks, Gareth and Monica, for all the labor making those happen.

The Seek and Find was obsoleted by the layout change; a correted one was available Sunday.

The museum was very happy with us for soldiering on and getting there at all!

We had Steve, Will, Ed, Joe Herbert, Lasso, Gareth Ellis, Timothy Howell with exhibits in absentia, and Will Horner ditto. The Savas unfortunately could not make this one. Joe DID make it, and his multilevel setup was finished and delighted the kids on Sunday.

No stanchions, but very few little hands problems, and I know of no disasters. Batteries are stilll a limiting factor; we have lots, but we have lots of things that use them.

TexLUG-SA set up in their usual place and their display was the best I've ever seen - good for them, too. Lots of moving trains. Stefan has some new buildings. So does Marisa. You have to see ;)

- Steve Jackson


October 3-4, 2015

We had a much larger space, in a room of its own, for this year. And the museum promoted the LEGO trains explicitly, the first year they have done this.

It went AMAZINGLY. Once again, best layout ever. We had at least 8 AFOLs present and building, two more supporting remotely, and IIRC a couple more showed up to help with breakdown. We actually had three layouts in one room. Joe Herbert's was 10 x 17 baseplates, three levels, with brick-built monorail as the fouth level. The group layout was divided into 9.5x14 urban (mostly SJ and Tim Howell, with help from Will Heron and Tony) and 12x18 rural (mostly Tony and Ed, with a building under construction by Nathaen).

New constructions included Tony's old-timey water tower; Nathaen's building under construction; Tim's haunted dance party, complete with sound; and Steve's tile-topped roads, bus stops, and POSH frontage.

We ran four trains at once on the joint layout, three more plus monorail on Joe Herbert's individual layout, and constant motion from Tim's windmill and merry-go-round. The sides of the group layout were connectable if the switches were set right, and Joe's camera car ran all the way around. Pix expected soon.

We had Seek And Find for each part of the group layout, and we gave away a lot of TBRR and Brick Fiesta flyers. And Christina Sava brought pumpkin bread!

Saturday evening we hit the Baytown store and spent money, ate dinner at Zoes Kitchen, and sorted bricks on a nice big table in Tony's parents' living room. Thanks for that great hospitality!

The museum was very happy. The show was their biggest yet. It was the top story in the Sunday Galveston paper, and the Lego layouts were prominently mentioned. They mentioned Joe by name, and they got the club name right.

We have already been invited back; it's the first weekend in October 2016.

Tony's photos of the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/albums/72157657335152794

Local publicity: http://galvestonislandguide.com/galveston-railroad-museum-model-train-exhibit-and-santa/

Eurobricks comment thread: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=115756



July 23-26, 2015
Austin, TX

Brick Fiesta layout image created by Tony Sava

We had a 24 x 16 space and filled it magnificently, with five separate loops and up to six trains at once (sadly, no monorail). We had six AFOLs contributing to the layout and six others visiting and supporting!

Edward Chang's Princess Train won "Best Train," and Ed also won the Poly-MOCer award for excellence in multiple categories - as Tony put it, the Master Builder award.

Comments from Tony Sava:

It was, I believe, the largest TBRR layout we've ever done solo. We're pretty sure it was even larger than the joint layout with TexLUG at our first show.  If I count correctly, this year's BF layout was 12 x 36 baseplates (10'x30'), contained 5 interconnected loops, and we had a record 6 trains running at one time (albeit briefly due to technical difficulties).  We used all 10 TBRR tables plus five of Steve's 8' plastic tables.

The only TBRR layouts that have surpassed it in size would be the 6-club collaborative layout at NMRA in Atlanta (which was in a league of its own) and the two PennLUG-TBRR Brickworld layouts (where we were only responsible for one little corner). 

Three train guys from PortLUG in Portland, OR - Steven, Grant, and Chris - decided to attend Brick Fiesta, in part, because they wanted to see TBRR in action.  I'd like to think we didn't disappoint.  They also helped us set up, and took over running the layout at a time when we all needed a break,so a big thanks to them as well. 

Two of our loops contained no standard curves - we had three ME Models curves and a Grand Curve, and they performed awesomely.  We had a few accidents, but they seemed to be caused by a problem in one of Steve's standard curve modules - a couple of loose plates had found their way under the track, causing the curve to be humped in the middle.  Ed's Princess Train took a nose dive off the table - twice - before we discovered and fixed the issue. (Steve comment: *facepalm*)

We were in the middle of the large ballroom, very prominently featured.  A thank-you to the BF organizers for that.

We used all of our switches - we need more.

We used all of our tables - we need more.

We used all of our trees - and we need more.  Yup, we, TBRR, the tree-folk of the AFOL universe, the keepers of the forest, actually RAN OUT OF TREES.  I made more during the event that mostly filled in the gaps.  I also spread the flower patch out into "fingers" which helped out too.

My new MOC additions looked pretty good.  The warehouse facades performed a secondary purpose - we placed a work table behind them and it was very handy to hide the mess I made while I made more trees.  I want to thank Ed and Steve for putting up with my mess as I did so.

Steve's Posh Emporium was quite awesome, though it really needed a different placement so it could be seen from both sides - though I'm not sure how that would work.

All of the buildings looked great together.  I loved Tim's schoolhouse.

I had track left over from my area and did not actually need to borrow any of Steve's.  Steve had leftover track as well. Adding in the Cathedral, the Ravine, and other MOCs we didn't bring, we could have probably filled an additional 3-4 tables worth of stuff.  Maybe more.


Photos and Videos:

Tim Howell: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tdhowell/sets/72157656370291416

Tony Sava: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157656498420281

Eurobricks comment thread: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=112614&hl=tbrr







June 17-21, 2015
Schaumburg, IL

Once again TBRR joined forces with PennLUG to create a mighty town/train layout at Brickworld. Attending from TBRR were Tony Sava, Edward Chang, Will Heron, and Steve Jackson.

Ed's Princess Train won Best Train against some really tough (that is, beautiful and well-built) competition.

Tony's train MOC donation to the charity auction went for $550!










May 16-17, 2015
Austin Mini Maker Faire 2015
Austin, TX

Our third year at this show. This year it was back at the Palmer Event Center. Between TBRR, the Austin AFOLS, and the Austin brick businesses, we had a large area this year, with trains, pirates, town, and other awesome Lego THINGS. And we got a lot of traffic. A LOT of traffic. A wholly successful show.

Lasso organized the display and brought monorail, including a new pirate monorail station arrrrr.

New discovery: Chairs, with a banner-rope of Texas flags, make GREAT crowd control barriers. And the only thing we had to carry was the flags.






April 11-12, 2015

This event is sponsored by the New Braunfels RR Museum, and they appreciate us and always make a point of advertising the Lego trains. Overall, it went very well. This was our first year in a space separate from TexLUG-SA, and it was far enough away that we had to make a minor pilgrimage to visit them, and vice versa. We were on the main room stage, but we were at the back, behind two N-scale layouts . . . so if you didn't know we were there, and didn't read the banners, you might not see us. During breakdown, we met a couple of people who said "Oh, I didn't know you were back here!" On the other hand, we had a large space (and a bit more is promised for next show) and the two clubs in front of us had VERY nice stuff, so a lot of people came up just to see them, and then visited us. More than once our tables were completely surrounded by spectators.

We set up two completely separate islands - one of six TBRR tables, with Tony's stuff plus some buildings from Will, and one that used four of my (SJ's) 8-foot plastic tables, with my track and buildings from me, Will, Glenn, and Doc. The rationale for the two islands was that the plastic tables are way shorter than TexLUG tables and transitioning would have been painful. It worked quite well, and gave us extra perimeter, which we needed.

Max trains running at once: five, each on its own loop. Sadly, no monorail.

My tables are plastic 8-footers. I covered them with cardboard before we put down baseplates, to help even them out. As of Friday evening I thought it was a pathetic un-solid failure. At the end of the show, though, the squishiness had caused no serious problems. BUT - I would rather use TBRR tables, or even some of the very flat and solid venue skinny-tables at the convention center if those are available. The plastic tables would make fine dealer tables, kid building tables, or whatever, but they don't quite have the flatness that the TBRR tables do. The cardboard just didn't help much.

We had no stanchions but that was mostly okay. The biggest wreck was entirely caused by perverse trains, and the second biggest was a lady who was not paying attention to her huge purse when she turned around. And that wasn't entirely her fault because the aisle was narrow. Okay, it was mostly her fault  :) There were AFAIK no serious "tiny hands" incidents.

The big addition this show was Tony's pair of ME corners, one of which is a big, dramatic road cut. He covered the top corner with fall-colored trees and we put my crew of minifig railfans on the edge, risking life and limb to get the photo, just like real railfans. The top of the corner is high enough that the mini-fans were looking DOWN on the top of the Allegheny.

Other new things were my row of six brownstones - the three old ones plus the three bought from Lee, all spiffed up so they go together and use my best ideas PLUS Lee's. (I am going to miss Lee, if I have not made that clear.) We got lots of comments on that row. And I finally got my Alien Monster Jungle Gym onto the table. We put it behind Will's haunted house, of course! And one brownstone (brosnstone!) and the jungle gym had googly eyes. Thank you, Mixels. And Will's Classic Space train with the spaceman hanging on behind! WHEEEEEE!

We did separate "Seek and Find" slips for the two tables. They were very, very popular. Lots of people spent time, some more than an hour, hunting for things, and all the time they were hunting, they were finding new details on the layout, and making happy comments. Hardest to find item: the owl which is a part of the Market Square ironwork. It was a big win. But next time we do two separate S&Fs, the slips should be on different colors of paper.

Who participated: Tony. Me. Phil H, table-hauler par excellence. Will Heron, son Billy Heron, and two-N Glenn Copeland. Doc Geracci brought two buildings for the layout, and he gets specific props for proving to me that very small buildings have a legitimate place in a town display. They make a really nice transition between the big buildings and the weedy wilds of Baseplate County. Thanks also go to Mary from SA for coming up and making us eat :) Mary, you are a good person and a credit to the force.

The big need was just more people, especially for breakdown. Still, it may have been the club's best SOLO show yet.

Tony's photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157651492057917 . . . and his video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfwFsvCX69Q . . . and the Eurobricks comment thread is here.

Did we have a crowd there, or what?





March 7, 2015
New Braunfels, TX

"Kids Run The Train" is a regular event, every first and third Saturday, at the New Braunfels RR Museum. This was the first time TBRR has helped, but hopefully not the last! Steve Jackson took a three-loop layout. The kids liked it! And sadly, there are no pictures, because Steve is an idiot . . .

February 21, 2015
Trains On A Train 2015
Austin, TX
The first "Trains on a Train" event went so well that Lasso organized a repeat. This time it was even bigger. Thirteen fans of LEGO, of assorted ages, rode the Austin metro line and built trains. Four different sets were assembled, plus some Mixels, because, as we all know, those are really trains.
No, really. Mixels are totally trains.


January 24, 2015
Clear Creek High School, Clear Lake, TX

CreekCon was a one-day officially-sanctioned event at Clear Creek High School in League City. It is a ComicCon-style event open to the public ($10 admission) with cosplay, games, workshops, guest speakers, and so on. It's intended to become an annual event. The CCHS librarian and event director saw the last TexLUG display at the Children's Museum and invited us to display.
Edward Chang was Trainmaster. His summary:
- Make a note here. Huge success.
- 1380+ ticket sales.
- Would be a nice annual event.
- ME Model curves are awesome.
This was a joint display with TexLUG. The attendees were mostly students and families, many in costume and sometimes in charactor too. Despite this not being a train-themed event, the trains were still popular - our display has movement. The Princess Train has been renamed "Elsa Choo-Choo" (in toddler voice) with the addition of a new Frozen refrigerated boxcar. Some of our hidden references were definitely more recognized at this show (Dr. Who and Friend, Shakespeare in the park). New TBRR member Susan Earls and her family attended, and she was able to run her Emerald Night and coaches.
We did not use a grand curve, but ME Models delivered Tony's Kickstarter order of wide-radius curves in time for him to build a 4x4 corner with a ballasted 104/88 curve. See Tony's article on Railbricks. The curve performed wonderfully.  There was a big improvement with the larger trains - less overhang, more constant speed through the corner. The curve was easier to set up and handle, and integrated better into the city "grid."  Track alignment was not any worse than with stock track, and the transition between stock and ME track was no problem for any of the trains. Overall, the new rails seem to have great potential to become a staple in the LEGO train world (at least for the PF side of things).
We didn't request any support this year because we had no idea what to expect, but this event would clearly qualify for CEE support. It would be nice to have more theme-appropriate displays . . . our only Star Wars reference was Yoda standing in line for a mini-train ride. We were given much more room than we could use (we had 2 venue tables - folding cafeteria tables, possibly 15' long, that we did not need).
Pictures from this show: Tony Sava's Flickr album and his video. Eurobricks comment thread with some of Tony's images here.


November 29, 2014
Houston Fall Model Railroad Tour
Orange, TX

This is a one-day show that usually draws fewer than 50 people, and it's a long drive for even our closest members, but we are talking about 50 serious train enthusiasts who like what we do and consider it "real" train modeling, so we are happy to support them as much as we can.

This year we were represented by Tony Sava, ably assisted by AJ. They set a club record - unloading took a half hour, then setup was complete 3 hours after they finished unloading, including minifigs, farm, and trees - only 30 minutes after the show opened.

November 15-16, 2014
New Braunfels, TX

November 8-9, 2014

October 4-5, 2014

2014 was is our third successive year at this show. Tony Sava coordinated. Eight AFOLs displayed and/or came by to help. Our layout included Lasso's lighted monorail and one of his stations, though Lasso himself was at the AMRE show in San Antonio with more monorail! This makes him the first TBRR member to officially be in two places at once. Between Lasso and Superman, we had a monorail track that everyone enjoyed. This was also the first outing for Ed's miraculous People Gate, which WORKS, and a display/staging yard using Tony's modified switches. We actually performed operations in that yard, with very little evidence of the Giant Hand From The Sky - another first for the club.

This is an excellent show that always draws good layouts in various scales, and the museum has a fine display of rolling stock, AND there's Galveston tourism for after hours. All of which we enjoyed. As long as you accept "visited Fuddrucker's" as tourism.

We've been asked back for 2015, and their current plan is to give us a separate LEGO room with a lot more space. The idea of a lot more space is exciting . . . and to the extent that we can't fill it with amazing train stuff, the museum is delighted to have us invite AFOLs with neat non-train stuff, the better to show off the awesomeness that is LEGO. We'll have more specifics on that when we can announce the 2015 Galveston dates; that won't be for a while yet.

(Pretend there is a picture of Superman here, until image uploads are fixed. You can see it in your head. You know you can.)

While you're at it, pretend Steve has put in the links to the photosets. Real Soon Now. Gotta get back to less-fun work for a couple of hours.

September 6-7, 2014
Houston, TX

This was our first time at the Big Texas Train Show, organized by the Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. It was in downtown Houston, at the huge George Root Brown Convention Center. They gave a large space - though it turned out, not large by their standards, so if we go another year and have more tables, we could ask for more space! As it was, we used all of our new tables . . .

Oh, yes! This was the first outing for TBRR's new 3x6-baseplate tables built by David Hawkins! He finished all ten of the planned first wave. Pat Hough picked them up and brought them in, and they worked perfectly and looked great.

Edward Chang was our Trainmaster for this one. Also exhibiting: Tony Sava (with his new telephone poles), Pat Hough (with another new railway/monorail station), Mellichamp père et fils with Robert's harbor area, and Steve Jackson.

We had large crowds and lots of very enthusiastic kid builders. Matt Sailors' old stanchions worked, and they worked even better when taped down.

Eurobricks comment thread here.

July 5-6, 2014
San Antonio, TX

Brick Fiesta was in San Antonio this year. The organizers had no room for layouts, so there was no TBRR group exhibit. Next year's show will be in Austin, and the Austin organizers intend to have more room and want us to come. More on this as it happens . . .

June 11, 2014
Schaumberg, IL

Brickworld is one of the biggest LEGO conventions. Three of us went: Tony Sava, Steve Jackson, Edward Chang.

TBRR and PennLUG set up a joint layout, since, conveniently, we build our track to the PennLUG standard. We are unashamedly thrilled to share a layout with these master builders! And GFLUG was right next to us! We also invited other train-AFOLs who brought rolling stock to run it on the layout . . . so they got to see their stuff in motion, and we got more good trains. We really ought to make this a tradition.

Award nominations included:

• Best Building: Tony Sava's Cathedral of St. Francis of Asissi

• Best Train: Edward Chang's Berkshire (which won the Peer Choice Award from the trainhead contingent)

• Best Train: Tony Sava's Daylight

• Best Train: Robin W (GFLUG) for his Amtrak

Edward's photo set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42114068@N06/sets/72157645202391411/

Tony's photo set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/collections/72157644854180609

Video from Scott Miller of GFLUG: http://youtu.be/n3Glz9_QsyU

Edward's new builds stole the show. The trainheads voted him the Peer Choice award for his engine; the kids followed his Friends train around the track; his raised display track gave the whole layout a third dimension, and now we want to figure out how to do runups and make it live running track.













May 3, 2014

Maker Fair is a Saturday-only event. We had excellent participation, and enough minders for everyone to walk around and enjoy Maker Faire. Stefan Garcia, Steve Jackson, Ed Frazee, Ethan Balmer, Kurt Baty, and Brian Lasseter displayed MOCs. Josh Thomson, Jennifer Lasseter, Amy Meyer, Richard Meyer, Evelyn Meyer, Jacob Meyer, Deanna Frazee, Erin Frazee, Thomas Sitch, Devon Helms, Glenn Copeland helped with crowd wrangling. Kristena Bins-Turner, Denise Gall, Andrea Norman, and others managed the Bricks-4-Kidz tables.

We were worried about our upstairs position, but we seemed to have good flow all day, and we had good AC. We easily had double the crowd from last year, but it was easier to manage since we had lots more people and four times the area allocated to us.  As you can see from the pictures, fully half of our display area was just open play on tables. http://lasso-jenn.com/photos/2014-05-03%20%20Maker%20Faire/?d=c&img=7 You can also see the pretty bin of Friends brick that Lego sent with the event support.  Thanks Lego! Thanks also to San Antonio, who loaned their tables.
The fully stocked bar behind our display area helped to lubricate the day.  I enjoyed my cranberry and vodka.  
Cleanup went pretty quickly with the many hands, and I know I was out of there by 7pm, which was a mere one hour after the event closed at 6pm. (SJ adds: It's a bit difficult to get a whole floor of exhibits down the single elevator in reasonable time. We may need an Elevator Conductor next year to make sure it doesn't go down without a full load.)




March 22, 2014
Trains on the Train!
Austin, TX


Brian Lasseter is organizing this for all interested AFOLs, not just TBRR:

Come join us for a mobile meeting! The March 22nd Austin TexLUG meeting will be on the Capital Metro Red Line train! The goal is to build trains . . . on the train. So bring a set of your own, or some parts. We will attempt to sit at the tables on the SOUTH facing side of the train. There are 2 tables that seat 4 people each. I will get together one of my Futron Monorail 6990 sets. Can anyone volunteer to bring a Constitution Train Chase 79111?

Pics of the train tables: http://littleaustinite.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/tableseats.jpg from http://littleaustinite.com/2010/06/riding-the-capital-metrorail-for-fun/ They are small, but useable. The regular seats have tray tables, and there is spotty wifi on the train.

The train leaves from Kramer Station at 4:00pm sharp. So be at the station 15 min early to buy a ticket from the kiosk, or park at my house at 3:30p to carpool to the train station. There is some street parking on Brockton Drive near Kramer Station, which should be available early on a Saturday. I live less than a mile from Kramer station. People coming from the south could meet us at the Downtown station. Unfortunately, it would cost money to park in the Austin Convention Center decks near the Downtown station. People would also have the choice of joining us for 1hr 8min, or 2hr 16min. These are the times that a MetroRail train would leave a given station if you were riding one train back and forth:


3:30p - Lasso's house

 4:00p - Kramer Station (going Southbound)

 4:41p - Downtown Station (going Northbound)

 5:08p - Kramer Station (going Northbound)

 5:56p - Lakeline Station (going Southbound)

 6:16p - Kramer Station (going Southbound)

 6:30p - Culver’s (dinner)

 6:57p - Downtown Station - for those who joined us downtown at 4:41p, and do not want to go to Culver’s

Lasso's house: Pending permission to post address.

Kramer Station: 2427 ½ Kramer Lane, Austin, TX 78758

Downtown Station: Outside the Austin Convention Center on 4th St. between Neches & Trinity.

March 15-16, 2014

December 7-8, 2013
Rosenberg, TX

Christmas in Rosenberg is sponsored both by the Rosenberg RR Museum and the city. It closed down the entirety of downtown Rosenberg! Tony Sava and Robert Mellichamp started setup Friday in very cold weather – despite three propane heaters in the room, they could see their breath. By the time the show begain at noon Saturday, Tony, Robert, and Edward Chang had the whole layout set up. The propane heaters struggled with the cold all through the show!

Edward showed off his complete Polar Express coaches.  Robert displayed his now massively expanded container port.  Tony brought new "generic" passenger coaches, and displayed St. Francis' Cathedral with colored lights inside. The dimness of the room made the stained-glass effect dramatic.

The museum had not advertised the TBRR display for Sunday, but we kept it up for a 1:30 birthday party, much to the delight of the little boy and his family.  At about 2:30 we began teardown, and we were completely loaded up by 4. We did not have as much turnout as hoped, both because of the weather and because not everyone could find the outbuilding where we were set up (though the museum did try to direct visitors there). But the people who braved the cold had a good time.

Images: Tony Sava's video, Tony's photoset, and Edward Chang's videos here and here. Eurobricks comment thread here.

November 30, 2013

Tony, Edward, and Robert and Thomas Mellichamp, with help from KFOL A.J. Sava, did a one-day setup in Orange for around 150 visitors, an increase from last year when Tony did the show by himself. This was the first outing for Tony's Grand Curve/baseplate design, which proved easy to set up and take down and was judged a success. It was unloaded AND set up in only about a half-hour!

The Mellichamps set up an ocean freight terminal, Edward ran his Polar Express, and Tony once again gave in to the temptation to let a thousand plastic flowers bloom.

Images: Tony's Flickr set.

November 16-17, 2013
New Braunfels, TX

We did this show in cooperation with TexLUG-SA. SJ was supposed to be the coordinator, but when he was swept away by the Halloween flood, Stefan Garcia of TexLUG-SA stepped in and very ably pulled together a large layout with more than a dozen exhibitors.

Notable new MOCs included Doc's large RR car, Pat Hough with a 3x6 harbor area featuring a large  frigate (which has now been disassembled, so be sure to see the pictures), Lasso's suburban stations, and Kurt's beautiful new engine.

The very generous event-brick support from LEGO was parceled out, with each full-time participant getting a couple of gallons, and some leftover play brick returning to Austin with Lasso for local events.

Images: Stefan's photos.

November 9-10, 2013

This is a family-oriented train festival focused on displaying to people of all ages the world of model railroading and attracting more people to the Texas City Museum.  It was a quiet show in a huge venue.

Tony reports: "When my son and I arrived late Friday, Robert and his son were already there and set up.  They, and several members of the host train club, helped unload my truck in less than 5 minutes.  We then rearranged tables and started unpacking.  Robert had already been there for many hours, so he left shortly thereafter.  We set up till about 9:30 before we called it quits.

"I arrived back Saturday morning and continued setting up.  Ed came by and visited, helping to set up derail bits on my layout.  Robert and son arrived before public hours and added to their display. 

"Robert brought his civil war train diorama, his WWII rail gun diorama, and his holiday train.  He also had set up informational cards and a bucket of patent pending bricks which he generously gave to show attendees.

"My layout was pretty standard for those who regularly see me.  New for this show was Old MocFiller's farm which Christina set up.  It looked really quire awesome.  Also new was the fishin' hole, aka Old MocFiller's pond.

"The show was a quiet one; apparently there was some issue with public advertisement.  But the people who did attend seemed to enjoy themselves and our layout.  Several members of other clubs asked what company made the steam and engines I had on display.  The folks from Orange were there as well, which gave us an opportunity to plan in person a bit for that show

"The museum venue is huge, and sports a truly massive permanent model train layout upstairs. "

October 5-6, 2013

We had a great time at the Galveston show. Six AFOLs exhibited - Tony and Christina Sava, Pat Hough, Edward Chang, Steve Jackson, and Robert Mellichamp. Phil, Steff, and Kira were at the show, too. The layout covered ten 6' by 30" tables, and featured a double-mainline loop with a Grand Curve, a small 9V loop, and monorail track all the way around the perimeter - set up as two bounce lines so there were two monorails moving at once.

New at this show: Pat's large tan/trans-clear station which unites train and monorail lines; printed "Texas Brick Railroad" signs to go on the monorail; Tony and Christina's plaza for the Cathedral, with Edward's flowered wall; Edward's design for diagonal monorail supports; Steve's Texas flag billboard with sign painter. New to most of us were Robert's plane and rail gun builds.

Also memorable: There was no unballasted track on the 10-table layout. We had a 20-high monorail loop all the way around the layout, divided into halves so two trains could run at once. Most catastrophic loss of MOCs in memory: Daylight locomotive, giant bricks flatcar, two Texas State Railroad passenger coaches, and several ballasted track sections). The Allegheny was able to pull 32 heavyweight cars, mixed freight and passenger load, with the aid of rare earth magnets.  The tight turning radius of LEGO curves was a limiting factor because the longer cars began to tip over; Grand Curves would have allowed longer trains. The pulling power of the engine is limited by traction rather than pulling power; a 1-liter soda on the Allegheny tender increased its pull.

We got generous support from LEGO. We donated two door prizes to the museum, did a drawing for one, auctioned one among those present, and still had some left over for auctioning online or at later events. We discussed the tables and crowd control that this support will let us build; there were some very interesting examples on display.

We were only a few hours into the show when we were invited back for 2014!

July 19-21, 2013
Atlanta, GA

A number of LEGO clubs worked together to create a big layout for the National Train Show. This is the show held in conjunction with the national convention of the NMRA; for 2013, it was in Atlanta. Tony Sava and Steve Jackson drove to the show (in Tony's pickup, towing a trailer full of tables) to set up the TBRR part of the layout. Matt Sailors (now a Floridian and GFLUG member, but still with a Texas flag on his badge) and Edward Chang joined us there.

This year's layout was organized by Atlanta native Scott Lyttle, who also brought out the massive CUT (Cincinnati Union Terminal) building. This was a MOC originally created for the NTS in 2005, and now being revised and refurbished by Scott. Another central feature of the event was Matt Sailor's huge, working turntable.

Clubs in attendance were TBRR, the North Georgia LTC (NGLTC), the Greater Florida LUG (GFLUG), and the Mississippi Brick Railroad. The combined AFOLs had the second largest layout at the show and one of the most popular with visitors.

Photos can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157634775984468/ (Tony's trip blog), http://www.flickr.com/photos/savatheaggie/sets/72157634781621724/ (Tony's layout shots with his good camera), and http://www.flickr.com/photos/42114068@N06/ (Edward's photos).






July 4-7, 2013
Mesquite, TX

Brick Fiesta was put on by TexLUG, the umbrella organization for Texas fans of LEGO.  David rolled out more of his new 3x3 tabletop modules for their second major show, and they worked flawlessly. Tony's Allegheny successfully tested out her new wheels and was able to haul 18 freight cars. David's Steamwood Falls continued to impress and won the award for Best Train.

May 29-June 2, 2013

We had a one-day display at the Lone Star Express, setting up at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel in Irving. We started early in the morning of Saturday, June 1, and ran throughout the day. This is a milestone for Texas LEGO fans; it's the first time we have ever been invited to participate in a National Model Railroad Association event. We were one of the few actual layouts in the convention hotel, and they gave us 21 feet of space!

This event was organized by David Hawkins, who also exhibited brand new 30-inch square tabletops to allow for streams and other underworks, and switches trimmed to allow new train geometry. Tony Sava drove up from Houston with MOC buildings, MOC trains and trees. Kurt Baty and Chris MacDougal came by and helped. SJ couldn't be there, but sent trees. We got the usual ""Lego makes trains?" questions, but they will remember us next time!

This picture by Tony Sava shows the edge of a tabletop and the way it can be cut down to allow a brick-built river to flow under the bridge.

May 5, 2013
Austin, Texas

Texas Brick Railroad went to the Austin Mini Maker Faire on Sunday, May 5th. Brian Lasseter was the organizer; Brian and Steve J brought train and monorail, and drew a lot of interest, and got slashdotted! We also had a free-build area. Julie Rogers watched the table for a while, and Monica Stephens helped with the breakdown, but we could easily have used three or four more AFOLs to take care of the display and talk to the crowd. A couple more trains would also have been good. But it was a nice layout and, crowd-pleasing-wise, a big success.

April 6-7, 2013

We set up a big layout at the New Braunfels Train Show Jamboree. We had 11 AFOLs exhibiting and two more helping with table-sitting and breakdown. Our layout was a C shape 33 feet along the long side, 24 along the short sides, with lots of space in the middle. It looked excellent. Lee Rahe was our contact with the museum, with Joe O'Donnell planning the track.

Highlights of this show:

• We sometimes had seven trains running at once, with two of them monorail and a third monorail train on a "siding"! This was the best monorail show ever. The whole north side of the layout was covered with monorail, with a wiggly sightseeing line running halfway down the west side. Pat Hough brought his track/monorail union station, and Brian Lasseter debuted his brand-new monorail station, with finished interior and trans-blue canopy and accents.

• There was an excellent long "Main Street" line of buildings along the west side, with many of them Will's MOCs, and scattered buildings on the south side from Roscoe and SJ, plus Sharon's display of Friends sets.

• The whole west and south were a single long dogbone, almost all ballasted, with the wide curve in the middle and paired tracks running right through Lee's big station, so we tried a LONG train. We got a single Maersk engine to pull 20 units of Maersk and ATX container cars! Very slowly, and it stopped when it hit the flextrack, but it started the pull on its own and made it all the way through the wide curve. When we added Edward's two MOC engines on the front and another Maersk on the rear to push, the train moved out very nicely and made several loops.

• Thanks to fantastic LEGO event support, we had two Ninjago sets to give to the convention as door prizes, a Mini Modular set to give away in an AFOL drawing (Lasso won), a Spook Train to auction (another $50 for the fund), and 32 pounds of loose bricks, which were packed into grab bags and distributed. It was Christmas! Afterwards, there was a trading session, though it was more of a "generously giving our friends what they need from our bags" session than actual trading.

February 9-10, 2013
Great Train Expo Houston
Houston, Texas

This was the first show for the Texas Brick Railroad, and it was a big win. 13 AFOLs were present, and about 5,000 attendees. We operated eight trains (including a monorail!) at once. Old-timers agree this is a record for a LEGO show in Texas. We'll see how long it is before we break our own record. SJ was the organizer, with backup from TJ, who brought the tables and printed layouts.

Highlight MOCs of the display were T.J. Avery's Pennybacker Bridge, David Hawkins' railroad station, Tony Sava's Palestine (Texas State RR) layout, and (just created for this show) Pat Hough's monorail/train Union Station. We also did a presentation to introduce attendees to the world of LEGO trains. And we had a great dinner at Pappasito's!

April 14th, 2018 - December 31st, 2069
New Braunfels Railroad Museum Spring Train Show
New Braunfels, TX

Our Houston division will not be able to make this show, but the Austin contingent has mustered enough people to cover it. Coordinator is Steve Jackson - sj@sjgames.com.

We are up on the stage this time. Do we want to carry our own tables here and put them on the stage, or use the venue tables?

April 13th, 2019 - December 31st, 2069

All we have so far, officially, is dates. Setup always starts about noon the day before.