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LCCA Module Committee Report - May 30, 2012

The LCCA Module Committee has met on a weekly basis to define standards for a module layout system. Our committee includes several club members and Lionel representatives. Through a continuous, thoughtful process, albeit with some trial and error inherent in any new venture, we have moved this project forward. Much of our work has been completed, and we are now very close to achieving our goal of defining specifications for a new module system. As a result, any Lionel enthusiast will be able to participate in this modular layout project.

Prototypes for the new system will be on display and in operation at our annual LCCA Convention in Norfolk, VA. In fact, a club member at that event will take home a completed module section via a raffle or silent auction. LCCA intends to make this transportable modular layout available for enjoyment at designated Special Events and other venues.

The committee will publish a set of standards as a guide to club members that want to build their own modules. We hope that Lionel will be able to offer a kit that would include pre-cut wood pieces, hardware, the correct electricals, and a template that would properly position the track and hardware for proper mating with other modules.

The ultimate goal for this modular layout system would be to encourage members all around the country to make a module according to specifications or assemble one from a kit. Members in the vicinity of designated Special Events or Train Meets could bring their modules along, gather at the site, and place them end-to-end along with others for an operating session. These ad hoc modular layouts would likely be an attraction to all event visitors. Initially, the club might have to send enough corners so that a layout could be completed as a square or rectangle.  Later, more exotic patterns could be created. By this method, LCCA would not transport one large club layout around the country and would avoid concerns for logistics and costs.

Both LCCA and Lionel are committed to this project. We believe it will offer Lionel fans a way to join fellow enthusiasts in operating a large and expandable O-gauge layout. This new system is being designed so that a module can be easily transported in the average-size car, yet quickly and easily assembled and mated to other modules to produce a variety of layout configurations that would fit the available space at future Convention and other sites. The post-convention October issue of TLR will contain details and photos.