Model Railroading Classes

The WPMRM will offer five model railroading classes early in 2017

  • #101 Introduction to Model Railroading (8 – Weeks)
    Thursday,  January 19st, 2017 7:00 p.m. — 9:30 p.m.

    • Week 1 – January 19th, 2017
      Introduction to both “full sized” railroading as well as “model” railroading…motive power, cars, and how they operate.   Understanding what you want to model and how this will be modeled.  Understanding who is needed and how to operate the layout.  Moving from an idea to a plan and where the layout will go. How to design a scale or tin-plate, and the condensation of both in terms of a layout.
    • Week 2 – January 26th, 2017
      Getting things ready in terms of the types of layouts and where they will go. Types of equipment needed and the way the layout will be built.   Room preparation and bench work such as supports for track and scenery.   Demos – of bench work.
    • Week 3 – February 2nd, 2017
      Understanding types of track, switches and all of the rail stuff.  Continuation of bench work, supports, “raw” scenery and roadbed demos.  Finally, laying that first piece of track
    • Week 4 – February 9th, 2017
      After laying the track, it’s time to make the trains go; wiring, both 110 and low voltage.  DC, DCC and all of the electrical stuff in between.
    • Week 5 – February 16th, 2017
      Let’s make trees, rocks, roads, water and grass.   Working with scenery materials.   Demos of ballasting, making water, trees and anything else found in nature.
    • Week 6 – February 23rd, 2017
      Making the scene come alive with buildings and anything man made – cars, streets, lights, people and lots of detail.
    • Week 7 – March 2nd, 2017
      Advanced topics:  A closer look at the terms such as ready-to-run, scale, kit and kit-bashed in regards to engines and cars.  An in depth look at various models, both motive power and rolling stock.  Demos on these issues.
    • Week 8 – March 9th, 2017
      Keep them on the tracks.  Maintenance and operation of both the layout and equipment.  Where does one go from here? Answering any remaining questions…

    Please note the classes are structured to allow time for questions and demonstrations.   You will be building a small module to take home.    Because of the nature of this class, classes may run short or long depending on the topic or demonstration.  Members of the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum and or guest lecturers will teach this class.  Actual classes may vary according to individual’s schedules.
    Cost: $60

  • #203 A Guide to DCC for Model Railroading
    Saturday,  March 18th, 2017 9:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
    This intense class on Digital Command Control (DCC) will give the model railroader all that they will need to install and program a controller, as well as how to wire the layout for best performance. Tips and techniques will be highlighted. A behind the scenes of how DCC works will be demonstrated. Also, a brief history of DDC will be included.
    Cost: $40
  • #422 An Advanced Guide to Scenery for Model Railroading
    Saturday,  February 11th, 2017 9:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
    Saturday,  February 18th, 2017 9:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
    (Two consecutive Saturdays)
    This class will get you from bare bench work to trees, grass and water in one day. About 20% of the class will be on preparation of everything below the top 1” of soil.  That is, plaster and foam etc. for making the mountains, stream beds and all supports the ground. The preparation of the group to accept everything above ground including ballasting of track will be covered.
    The second Saturday will build on what we’ve done, making dirt, water, rocks and roads etc. The main emphases will be on using various methods of making trees, grass and weeds. Demonstrations of electrostatic methods to apply of this green stuff will be highlighted. This will be a hands-on” (making trees and a small diorama) class.
    Cost: $50
  • #570 Developing the historical back story for a fictional railroad
    Saturday,  February 25th, 2017 9:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.
    Every railroad had a reason for being built, in this class students will learn how to bring their railroad to life by crafting a back story. We will examine the history of the Mon Valley System and the Patton and Punxsutawney as examples of how to create the story for your railroad. What was going on in the world, nation, state and even the county can have a large impact on your railroad. In addition, we will examine the influence of competition on your railroad. Many additional items items will be discussed, including the difference between a branch and a secondary line and how those lines are governed and operated.
    Cost: $40
  • #150 Boy Scout Merit Badge for Railroading
    Saturday,  March 4th, 2017 9:30 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
    Saturday,  March 11th, 2017 9:30 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
    This class will take a Scout through all of the requirements to receive his Merit Badge for Railroading in one 6 ½ hour Saturday. The day will be divided up so the boys will rotate through smaller groups to give them hands on in all areas. Our 4000 sq. ft. display, videos and hands on will cover areas like:
    1. How all trains and a railroad operate both full sized and model
    2. The engine and cars work
    3. How a railroad is built
    4. Operation Life Saver
    5. Hands on model building
    There will be ample time for interaction with actual railroad employees as well as Museum members. It should be noted there will be Boy Scout leaders present and teaching the class. While lunch is provided it will be a “working” lunch where a video will be shown and there will be a question and answer session.By earning this badge, Scouts can learn about the history of railroading, its place in modern society, careers in railroading, and hobbies related to railroading.  All boys should be in their seats and ready, and we will make every effort to finish on time.
    Cost: $15

Students must be 18 years of age or older for classes #101, #203, #422, #570