Thursday, May 12, 2016

Welcome to the Fremo-drome!

It has to be seen to be truly believed.
I'm home now after 2 wonderful weeks in Germany. Lots of things were seen and done, but the main event was the Fremo meet in Cloppenburg.
Imagine a hall the size of 3 basketball courts side by each. Fill it with some the finest modeling one can see under one roof and then run trains to a carefully designed timetable for 2.5 days and then take it all down and go home.
That's just scratching the surface of the Fremo experience. I have lots of blog fodder from this trip and over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing much of my trip with you.
But since I'm still a little bit on European time I will just cover the setup.
This was the hall at 9:30 am on the Thursday. As you can see a few modules are in the building. There are drawings of the full plan in a few strategic locations, telling the module owners where they setup. For now pay no attention to the surrounding mezzanine, we'll come back to that.
By noon about 60% of the modules are in the building and assembly is underway.
By 4:00 pm all modules are in place and are being electrically connected, as well as the LocoNet being connected. A small team is also going around and setting up the fast clocks and connecting them to the master controller, so operators can easily see the "time" from many locations.
All told there were over 227 individual modules, from about 50 different owners from Germany and Holland at this meet.
On the Friday operations began. A session would last about 3 hours with over 130 trains run from various staging yards and traveling through a number junctions and supplying many online industries.
There were 3 sessions on Friday and Saturday, with one session on Sunday then it was packup time.
All told there had to have been over 150 Fremo members taking part
Remember the mezzanine?
Well this space and the bit around the corner to the far right was filled with HO European narrow gauge and some standard gauge interchange. All told these guys had some 200+ meters of mainline to play with. I'd show more pictures but they've magically disappeared from my various devices. (Grumble)
I'll be sharing more as the weeks progress, for now, let me just say I had a great time, saw some great modeling and reconnected with some great people.
Thanks to all my Fremo friends!

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