HO Division of the Pensacola Model Railroad Club
The HO Division of the Pensacola Model Railroad Club (PMRC) was started in April of 2003 with six founding members. As of October 2009 there were 16 active members. Each member may construct one or more 2 x 4 ft. tables to make a modular scene. Module building follows our HO Division track and wiring standards but scenery is planned by the builder. The four corner modules are owned by the Division and constructed by various members. Construction never really ends but building and running are the fun parts of modular model railroading.
The HO Division is organized as a fully participating component of the PMRC. An N gauge division was the initial group in the PMRC and additional divisions are anticipated. A Board composed of officers from each division handles Club activities. The PMRC maintains a web page (www.trainweb.org/pmrc) featuring both HO and N gauge division activities. Additionally, the HO Division maintains its own web at www.phomrc.com.
The HO Division meets every two weeks and runs at alternate meetings. The main objective is operating trains. We also run in-house demonstration sessions covering techniques in every facet of model railroading. Track laying, ballasting track, wiring, weathering and DCC control have been subjects of these sessions. Passing around information on any and all facets of the hobby is a great advantage of HO Division membership. It doesn’t hurt to have people of similar interests around to chat with.
Meetings of the HO Division are usually held at Trains by Johnson’s shop on Palafox Street in Pensacola. Some meetings are held in Cantonment in Ron Hartman’s air conditioned garage where a portion of the modules are often set up or worked on.
In 2004 a HO Division Standards Committee was established to organize a standard set of construction plans for module tables, wiring and track to further improve operation and set-up procedures. All modules pass an evaluation with the aim of bringing each module into compliance with the standard plans.
In 2005 the HO Division purchased a 12 ft enclosed trailer for storing and hauling modules to shows. The trailer was purchased outright with division dues and show income. Division graphics and lettering are being applied to the trailer.
In the six years since the HO Division was organized we have attended a total of 23 shows. Included were the Interstate Fair in Pensacola, the Fairhope Alabama Train Show , The Pensacola Train Show, the Dothan Georgia Train Show, the Miracle Strip Model Railroad show in Fort Walton Beach and others. We were able to run at our first show five months after starting construction. Of course we run at least once a month on our own.
In the last year we have added an inside “fiddle” yard which makes it possible to set-up trains while other members are running rather than stop, remove and then replace trains on the main tracks. We have also added a new set of member modules and a new lift bridge module that allows members to enter the control area without crawling under the layout. Another module set is under construction. We are continuing to improve and expand.
The primary Division objective will be continued improvement of our modular layout. At the same time a major aim will be to increase the popularity of model railroading by appearing at shows and other venues in Florida and neighboring states. But the real aim is to have fun with model railroading and run model trains.