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NTrak ‐ GRVS NTrak Show Task List

Prior to Show:

The following should be done in a timely manner to allow the show coordinator time to plan for our layout in their show.

  • Inform club members of the show.
  • Determine if it's going to be an NTrak and/or TTrak show.


Ask club members the following:

  • Do you want a module in this show?
  • Will you be there for setup and takedown? (these are mandatory if they have a module in the show)
  • What days will you attend?


A schedule with all pertinent show information is usually kept on the GRVS website.

  • Based on available modules, figure out a layout plan.
  • Make drawing of layout plan.
  • Contact the show coordinator and arrange a space for the proposed layout. This is usually in the form of registration paperwork.
  • Include the layout size and additional space needed for crowd control barrier
  • Request number of tables needed.
  • Before the show (usually at the meeting just before the show), remind people of the show Checklist. Repeat this request as needed.
  • Final Layout plan:Have a layout plan made up ahead of time. Copies should go to all participants. The first persons to get to the set up should know where the layout will be and the arrangement of the modules.
  • Bridge modules: 2ft and 4ft bridge modules can be useful in case some module doesn't show, or if the module lengths that are available don't come out even. The bridge makes a good 'duck under' entrance to the operating pit. If any of the modules are to be moved into the contest room for judging, then the builder should furnish a bridge while his module is out of the layout.

Show/Layout Setup:

Arrive early to allow 3 to 4 hours of setup time.

  • Contact the show coordinator and locate the space they have for the layout.
  • Measure the space yourself or have someone do it for you. The hotel or exhibit hall drawings are often quite optimistic. One room was about two feet smaller in both directions than advertised. While you are setting up is NOT the time to find out about this. Note locations of pillars that might interfere with the layout, visitor's entrance, the loading dock area, and parking.
  • Check the location of electrical outlets. Avoid having cords across an aisle if possible. In some exhibit halls they can place outlets overhead to suit. Locate circuit breakers and light switches.
  • As people start arriving, have them setup and start preparing their module(s).
  • Did they remember to bring the items outlined on the Checklist?
  • Adjust legs so that the module is level and the rail height is 40 inches. (It is easier to measure to the roadbed -- be sure everyone is measuring to the same height.)
  • Using the layout drawing, start arranging the modules into the general layout shape without clamping them together.


Once the layout shape has been defined, the following tasks can be started:

  • Pick a starting module and level (verify 40 inch height).
  • Working from the starting module, clamp and level the next module. An 'eyeball' check for dips, humps, zigs and zags is also helpful.
  • Keep working around the whole layout until the whole layout is clamped together.


Once the whole layout is clamped together, the following tasks need to done:

  • Mark block boundaries by placing Boundary Cards at each boundary if the layout is large enough to require multiple blocks
  • Install connecting track.
  • Connect all Red, Blue, and Yellow wire connectors at each module joint. Except at marked block boundaries.
  • If DCC is being used, install the loconet wires before hanging skirts.
  • Do not collect block boundary cards until track power has been tested on all three lines.


Module owner should provide the following to finish setting up their module.

  • Install (hang) curtain on module.
  • Install backboard
  • Power strip (6 foot cord or longer).
  • Crowd barrier pole. For public shows a barrier about two feet out from the layout is a necessity.
  • Throttle


Finish Setup: When the layout is all clamped together, the General layout tasks can be started:

  1. Power:
    • Determine where power is coming from.
    • Install GRVS GFCI pigtail extension cord at power source.
    • Run extension cord (if needed) and tape to floor.
    • Route power around layout using member supplied power strips.
  2. Crowd barrier:
    • Arrange crowd barrier poles around layout: usually 24 inches in front of modules. 36 inches if there are handicapped members present.
    • Feed rope through poles to form the fence.
  3. Throttles:
    • Connect throttles as per layout plan.
    • Verify Lines:
    • Clean all tracks.
    • Verify all throttles and tracks are functional (test run locomotive to verify).
    • Troubleshoot and fix any problems before show time.
  4. Clean / Organize layout area: make presentable to public.
  5. Store excess equipment under the modules


Show Winddown:

Be sure that everyone knows when layout tear down will start. One person can't pull his module out ahead of time and leave without advance warning and planning. The

The layout shouldn't be torn down while other exhibits are still open. DO NOT take down early if the show does not allow it. Take down is pretty much opposite of setup.

  • 15 minutes before show ends (or at the announced time) gather for a group picture.
  • 10 minutes (or more) before show ends start removing vehicles, etc from modules

Show Teardown  ‐ DO NOT UNCLAMP MODULES until designated to do so.

  • All trains moved to location where they can be taken off
  • Shut off AC power.
  • Remove skirts - either fold neatly and hang on sky board or put them away.
  • Remove joiner tracks.
  • Remove rope crowd barrier.
  • DCC team removes loconet wires, clamp on boxes and AC adapters. Bring them to designated location.
  • Remove Aristos.
  • Remove power cords and AC wiring.
  • Disconnect wiring connectors at each module junction. If you find borrowed CJ-PP adapters return them to their owner
  • Make sure equipment is returned to the proper owner.
  • Verify area is clean before leaving.
  • Loadup - Assist out of town guests as needed and then process GRVS modules.
  • Remove connector tracks before unclamping modules.
  • Remove stored things under modules.
  • UNCLAMP modules and prepare for transport.
  • Police the area to be sure nothing is left behind


At a following club meeting discuss likes and dislikes to help with the next show effort.

Additional GRVS information:
    Show Checklist
    Standards and Recommended Practices
    NTrak Home