HO Scale Trainmaster:
Assist HO Scale Trainmaster:
O Scale Trainmaster: Dick Stark
Assist O Scale Trainmaster:
The Alameda County Central Railroad Society (ACCRS) was formed in 1959 by a group of model Railroad enthusiasts who wanted to pool their time, talents, equipment and whatever money they could put together to build a layout. In the early days, the expenses were largely paid for out-of-pocket by the members. A relatively small layout was put together and the club first opened it’s doors to the public for the 1960 Alameda County Fair.
The club moved to a different building in 1967 and again in the early 80’s when membership growth dictated a need for a larger space.
Today, the club is funded primarily by donations from visitors.
We have HO, O and On3 gauges, but only O and HO scale. For reference, O scale is 1:48, or 1/4 inch = 1 foot. HO is nominally 1:87; strictly speaking, it's 3.5mm to the foot. Trivia note: O scale "standard gauge" measures 1-1/4 inches between the rails, making it a scale 5 foot gauge instead of a prototypical 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches.
The layouts are a permanent exhibit at the Fair, and as such, don't actually get "set up" for each show. However, we do spend a sizeable amount of time in the months before the fair checking all the trackwork and controls, in the hope of reducing unxepected downtime while we're open to the public. As you can see from the photo, there is quite a bit of wiring to keep an eye on. The photo presented here represents the wiring behind one of the at least nine control panels on the HO layout. There is also a considerable amount of track hidden from view, and as you can imagine, this trackage must be in especially good repair to ensure good running during a show. It has taken us close to 20 years to get to the stage you see when you visit, and work continues in fits and starts as someone comes up with a new idea to try and we build it. We also spend a significant amount of our time on maintenance and repair of the existing railroads.
No. The type of rail, the type of track and the type of power the "three-rail" or "tinplate" Lionel trains use are different and incompatible with ours. However, Lionel has produced lines of "two rail" models in HO and O scales that can be used on the club layouts. Unfortuanately, there are rumors circulating that Lionel has abandoned the HO market.
We are a free exhibit any time we're open. That said, we gladly accept donations. We use donations to pay for most of the material used in the construction and repair of the layouts. Club members are volunteers- none of us get paid for any of the time or effort that we put in. In fact, we each pay yearly dues to help support the club.
As most of the trains our members run are very fragile and expensive, we try to run them at a prototypical speed close to that of a real freight or passenger train.
Our lawyers have advised us not to answer this question, mostly because we do not know the answer...there are thousands of hours of work time plus many dollars of our dues and your donations for supplies and equipment.
Our exhibit is a permanent year-round setup and we are open most Friday evenings and during public events at the fairgrounds, such as the Goodguys car shows and of course the Alameda County Fair.
Our layouts do not have a third rail as the trains pick up the electricity to run through their wheels (trucks) from the two main rails.
We do occasionally have collisions and derailments, but we try to avoid that happening as again, our members' equipment is very fragile and very expensive (and depending on the parts damaged, somewhat difficult to repair). We have a dispatch panel on each layout where the train dispatcher can change switches on the mainline and instruct the train operators where to stop at to wait for other trains (some parts of the layouts, mostly the HO layout, are a single-track mainline, so trains have to stop and wait for each other).
We started working on these layouts in 1983 when we moved to this building.
No, it stays in this building and we work on it during our Friday night meetings.
The Fair owns the building, the club owns the layouts (track, buildings, scenery, etc.) but most of the rolling stock and locomotives are owned by the individual members.
The switches control the various tracks the trains run on. They allow us to go from a one track to a another track by throwing a turnout. The flashing lights tell us where the trains are and the colored lights tell us which track the train will use.