January 2009 - Website Review

We've started through a review of our website after getting conflicting feedback about our club standards. Since our Yahoo Group is our primary communications tool this website receives minimal attention. This website had a classic flaw where standards information was repeated (copied) not referenced from a single source in several locations. When CCN standards emerged they were integrated the website but missed pages replicating original standards information.

We have also discovered the website is providing links to the retro version N-Trak module construction and makes no mention of the advanced construction techniques developed at CCN. New members may certainly build modules in the retro style but may feel slighted when we start setting up the light weight folding leg units developed here.  

January Train Show

About a year ago, the Great American Train Show came to Cal Expo. Several members from the club attended as a group, and while there were some nice layouts on display, there was only one small (but incredibly detailed) N scale layout. It was decided that we would be running trains at the next show.

Well, the GATS is now known as the Great Train Expo and returned to Cal Expo last weekend and we were there.  After some initial electrical problems that haunted the layout on Saturday, Sunday went off almost without incident. Due to some great media coverage (in the Sac Bee and with channel 58 doing a live broadcast), Sunday was much busier than Saturday. All three lines on the layout had multiple trains running providing lots of action for the spectators. Even with the limited scenery done, there was an unending stream of positive comments. Even the venders and members from the other train groups came by and were excited to see what we had accomplished in such a short time. I know that the looks on some of the children's faces will stay with me forever. I also know that the money spent will be remembered for a long time too (I'll be eating cracker and catsup sandwiches for lunch for the next few months). In the end, the response was much better than I could have ever envisioned.

I can't thank David, Steve, Tom and (especially) Phil enough for all of their time and hard work. I don't want to speak for them, but just seeing the face on one child light up as they watched a train roll by was worth all of the time and effort. It was truly a wonderful experience.

I will be posting the pictures from the show in the next day or so...(Photos posted on the CCN Yahoo Group)