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March '00
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of March 2000, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
March 7

Ed Drozd has completed the doors for the truck loading docks on the Coca-Bubblie building and worked on the loading dock itself, which will be complete with bumpers for the trucks to bump against. A roof to shelter the loading/unloading personnel during rain storms (or sprinkler head failures) has also been constructed, but not yet installed. The fact that the building wall is curved poses substantial challenges.

John Purbrick continued work on the sidewalk that is near the "Fellow Traveler" mewspaper plant. (For people who did not grow up in Boston, I should add that there was once a paper here called the "Boston Traveler" and that during the Red scares of the McCarthy era, much ado was made of Communists and "fellow travelers". A stretch? Yes.)

Alvar Saenz-Otero led a discussion of layout Phase II, with the assistance of CadRail diagrams. There was considerable discussion about the proper method of constructing a switch within a helix (and whether it should be done at all).

John McNamara proposed a method for dealing with the notches in the roundhouse doorframes that were originally intended for the swinging doors. Now that the roundhouse uses roll-up doors, the notches are superfluous and somewhat ugly. Unfortunately, he did not have the necessary Plastruct pieces on hand to try out the idea. He and Ed Drozd made a trip to Star Market to buy $113 of Coca-Cola products on sale. Combined with a recent similar trip by Andy and Ed, the Club's liquid asset position has been greatly enhanced.


March 14

Stig-Lennart Sorensen, a university student from Norway, visited to take some video and do some interviews in conjunction with a paper he is writing on the origins of computer hacking. Alan Kotok, Andy Miller, and John McNamara assisted.

Andy Miller put the roof and windows on the Railway Express Agency / Amtrak Package Service building. He also joined Alvar Saenz-Otero in planning the Berkmannville and helix areas in Phase II of the layout. John McNamara began the process of making inserts for "hinge holes" in the roundhouse doors. John Purbrick did some more work on the siding that goes to the as-yet-unnamed warehouse by the Whattahack River. Ed Drozd painted the roof for Andy's REA building, painted the loading dock bumpers and loading dock roof for the Coca-Bubblie building, and painted the portals for a pedestrian underpass that John Purbrick is working on.


March 18

The room is a disaster... but a good disaster, because it is due to lots of progress in preparing the area for Phase 2. James and a visitor that came with him worked hard on taking down the lubmer pile walls. The Sawmill is no back on its side, the walls were carefully unscrewed from the floor, the plywood is on its side, and the lumber is all the way in the back of the room. We still need to clean up the masonite and random old layout pieces, to make sure we can start construction without hurting anything, but construction is likely to start soon!

Alvar began to test several paint colors in order to paint the Green Building parts, but was not able to match the 'yellowish concrete' with 'almond' color spray paint, so more tests will need to be done with other colors. He then worked on the new poster for the infinite corridor, which includes a building front, track, and even a locomotive and car --- this should definetely tell people what TMRC is about :-)

John Shriver led the discussion, planning, and actual tracing of building limits regarding the trolley turning loop on the west side of Gifford City. The two main ideas at this point are to have the trolley line go in an alley between buildings, or to have a fire station a-la Arlington style, where many streets meet around it (including the trolley line).

Andy continued the details of the ExpressRail building, which is very close to be done (in an impressive 3 weeks!). John McNamara worked on filling up the holes left by the doors on the front of the roundhouse; he is filling them up as if the hinges of the old doors were left there but painted the same color as the brick. The detail is quite impressive. John Purbrick continued detail work on the area between the 105th street bridge and 100th street. Bill put several windows in his vegetable oil facility. Ed worked on more details of the coca-bubblie plant, which is close to being finished.

During the meeting the club approved the investment into 100 50th Annyversary cars. Andy is going to place the order this week, so expect to see the 'TMRC Store' appear at our website quite soon (before April!). The cars are likely to arrive in late April, but we will be taking pre-orders.

Jeff and Alvar went to re-stock our supply of coke products, in order to keep our income steady. We should now have about one months worth of our 'liquid assets.'


March 21

After a careful design process, and with the great initiative of James, the construction of Phase II has started. By tonight enough area was completely clean from previous materials (most of this great work done by James and several of his friends he brought to TMRC over the past weekends!). Today James and Alvar installed the first 8 feet of walls that will extend the lower loop of the tower into the main staging area. We hope to have at least the plywood of staging ready by the Open House!

And, on the rest of club news...
Ed Drozd finished the CocaBubblie loading dock. The weathering is suitably grungy, especially the rusty metal roof. Andy Miller continued his work on the REA/Amtrak Express building by starting the construction of a roadway and parking lot adjacent to the building.John McNamara added some more hinge-hole-fillers to the roundhouse doorways. John Purbrick continued his work scenicing the almost-disused siding for the warehouse next to the river. He also took a recent MR article on modeling people to heart by painting a crewman about to board a diesel near the roundhouse. Alavr Saenz-Otero and James Knight began work on planning and placing supports for Phase II of the layout. All of this work will continue next week, when we will be joined by former TMRCie Jon Ferro. A dinner trip in his honor is likely.


March 28

John Purbrick continued his work on the siding next to the river-side warehouse. John McNamara made some more filler strips to insert in the roundhouse doorways. Ed Drozd added ventilators and A/C units to the Coca-Bubblie plant. Stefano and Erme Curtarolo did some painting and worked on a downtown Gifford City building. Andy Miller continued his work on the parking lots and roadways around the REA/Amtrak Express building. Visiting ex-TMRCie Jon Ferro supervised.



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

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