Northwest Pacific Z Scalers Monroe, WA 2005 Show Report

by Andy Hunting

April 4, 2005

The Northwest Pacific Z Scalers attended the annual Spring train show in Monroe, Washington this past weekend (April 30 and May 1). The show is put on by a local N scale group, the United Northwest Model Railroad Club, as a charity benefit. It's a popular show, and many of the most active regional model railroad clubs attend with their layouts.

This year we displayed about 18 feet of ZBend Track modules and two tables of Bring Your Own Z (BYOZ) layouts. Jim Glass headed up the BYOZ efforts, manning his preformed Noch layout. We were joined this year by Oregon Z scalers Loren Snyder and Steve Eichman. Loren brought his amazing Z layout in an antique silverware box, featuring Micro-Trains Z track compressed into almost impossibly tight 3-inch-radius curves. This is the second consecutive Northwest Pacific Z show Loren has participated in; and each visit means a thousand-mile round trip for him!

Steve brought along one of Märklin's solar-powered layouts, with which he entertained visitors out in the sunshine on the fairgrounds outside our pavilion. The solar-themed Märklin locomotive and freight set also spend considerable time out of the sun -- traversing the snowy landscape of Steve's three-foot layout.

Our five zBend Track modules included four veteran modules plus our new yard end-cap module. This new module is still unscenicked, but its storage, classification, and siding tracks gave us ample space for displaying and staging trains off the mainline.

Tonnage Report: A quick but reasonably accurate leveling job during module setup allowed us to run some nice long trains on the modules. Tom Gilchrist started things off with a variety of passenger and mixed freight trains. His rare set of Pennzee heavyweight passenger cars were a common sight over the weekend, generally led by a 5-pole Northern Pacific 4-6-2. Tom also brought out his kitbashed covered hoppers to add to consists. Bob Grant made an appearance on Sunday with a long string of his specialty Santa Fe passenger equipment, pulled effortlessly by a Micro-Trains F7 A-B lashup. Steve Eichmann and Andy Hunting joined forces to put a 36-car Pennzee coal drag on the rails behind one of Andy's Belmont Line 2-8-2 steamers. This grew into a 47-car drag with the addition of a second 2-8-2 as a midtrain helper. A power change put Steve's Pennsylvania F7 A-B-A set on the point, and a closely-matched Pennsylvania Alco PA-1 replaced the lead F unit for a while as a handful of Märklin hoppers extended the drag to 52 cars. Towards the end of the show, Steve put a motley assortment of Micro-Trains tankers on the rails, led by not one but two Micro-Trains 2-6-2 Moguls. We ran up to 4 trains simultaneously, with two trains on each main line.

A fun time was had by all. This show is more or less our last biggie of the season, as we look forward to smaller activities during the summer -- and the possibility of a trek eastward to the big Z scale happenings at the National Train Show in Cincinnati this July.

For more information about the Northwest Pacific Z Scalers, contact:

Jim Glass -- berjimgl@msn.com

Tom Gilchrist -- tomg@tomgtomg.com, photos at http://www.tomgtomg.com/z

Andy Hunting -- zscale@retrograde.net