June 20, 2018

The Gainesville Mafia




New gooseneck lights soon to be available from Alkem Scale Models

Mat, Pete and John by Pete's engine terminal
 I took a trip west today to visit with Pete LaGuardia, Mat Thompson and John Swanson, the ringleaders of the  "Gainesville Mafia." Gainesville is a distant suburb of Washington, DC which has attracted a surprisedly large number of model railroaders in our region. The combination of more affordable new housing with large basements seem to be the key factors.

All three of them have large operating layouts.

New paper mill on Mat's layout
First stop was at Pete's house to see his layout and pick up some new products for Alkem Scale Models. These are gooseneck lights that will be available for sale on www.alkemscalemodels.com as soon as I can get some installed and an instruction sheet made up. (see photo above). Pete's layout is freelanced based loosely on a location in Missouri as he features NYC, UP, and ATSF passenger trains. I got to run a NYC 20th Century Limited passenger while there.

Then we stopped by Mat's Oregon Coast layout to see the new areas he has developed in the back room. I hadn't been to his layout in several years. Mat's layout is nearly finished, highly detailed and has several waterfront scenes (much to my delight).

John stands next to his layout command station
John's Pennsy layout is relatively new. He said he had been working on it for 18 months. His focus is electronics and operations. He has all kinds of cool gadgets running on his layout including tablets to DCC and locomotive control,  and operating uncoupling magnets.

After lunch, I drove to Blue Ridge Summit to pick up supplies for my latest module project. Both Bonnie and Brian were there and it was fun to catch up with them on news, as well as to shop in their well stocked store. It's probably one of the best in the US.

Unfortunately, I got stuck in a massive traffic jam on my way home due to a fatal accident on the Wilson Bridge. Although I did not have to cross that bridge, the spill over traffic caused congestion all over the Capital region. Fortunately, I made it home safe, although delayed by an hour and half. 








No comments:

Post a Comment