The DGAS Committee

The DGAS Committee.

Oh my gosh, do I really need to explain this.

DGAS (Don’t Give A $#!+) or so goes the claim.   You did figure that out?    You did?   A+ for you.

Put another way the “Lazy Man or Slacker”   I’m sure the coiner of such  is ducking and running for cover.

I know you didn’t like that… as will others.   However, we need to recognize there are some folk in the hobby who truly are “DGAS Committee Members”.    “They don’t care.”

We often look at them in a less then state.   Disrespectfully referring to them as the Toy Train, Tom the Tank…. or Tinker Toy players.    “They are just playing trains. “     Well, don’t we all.

I have a grandson and grand daughter that are  pretty serious Tom The Tank Enthusiast.     So, Serious has no limitations as does the DGAS Committee.

The DGAS Committee is the easiest organization to belong to.    You won’t be turned down, there’s no dues, attendance requirements or meeting make-ups.   You can attend the weekly meetings at O.J.s Donuts,  Monthly Rallies at Denny’s and Yearly Conventions in Las Vegas, NV.     If you care enough to go to these things you aren’t likely to find anyone else present as they (and everyone said)  “Don’t Give a $#!+.”

What does the DGAS Committee have to do with toy trains or model railroads? 

Trains!   A member in good standing with the DGAS Committee said to me. , “They are just toys.”     So they are BUT we can all play or operate at different levels of realism.     Do I dare suggest without looking down our noses at each other.   You are so right, that can be hard not to do.

I saw in my own experience and growing expectations that I would graduate from one level of toy trains to another.   My experience demanded something different.   Especially, when I became dissatisfied with running my trains around in a circle.     Then a flat lander layout wasn’t good enough.   It was time for a mountain railroad.    Wait!   I can only operate one train at a time.    What fun is this?     So along came double track but that didn’t satisfy me for long.  How about?    Cab A and Cab B all hooked to a common.    BIG MISTAKE!    Darn green slider switches.

In comes my Mentor, Mr. Harry Hunter and we are off to the hardware store to buy DPDT Center Off electrical toggle switches.     Oh, was that nice.

A visit to a club in the San Jose Area (Sorry name escapes me) and when I got back home my train equipment…Gosh Darn… looked like TOYS!   Aarrgghh!

A  visit to John Allen’s layout in  Pacific Grove, Ca. and I knew it would be a long, long time before my layout would ever come close.

It’s going to cost me what to upgrade?   No way!   I have to earn my own train money.    No rich Daddy around to buy everything for me.    So, out to the ranch to buck hay, milk the cows and learn to ride a horse.    Ok, the horse thing didn’t work out so well but I did learn to drive a tractor.   You should of seen me ride my bull.    Had the announcers in the booth flipping out.   What we allow a first aide man to ride a bull and what does he do but tame it.   Old Hermie was my best-est friend.    He never did let any-other cowboy ride him.

With money in pocket and all my school supplies and new clothes paid for it’s back to trains.

Athearn, although not perfect, satisfied my equipment craving.  Price was right and performance was better then anything else out there at the time.   For a number of years  we were getting a new locomotive at the rate of one a year.     My fleet was looking pretty impressive.

My grandad, an engineer for the Santa Fe Railroad out of Barstow, Ca.   Took time out of his busy schedule to show me how the real guys, the 1:1 foot scale – “Rails”, made switching moves.   How they threw the switch and aligned the points.   How to think of the crew and where they are on the ground either throwing the switches,  setting or undoing the hand brakes (Brake wheels), what the rules required them to do… ALL when making a switch move.    Never once did I hear “Turnout” used.   A bone of contention between me and those toy train enthusiast,  to this day.    I’ll save that story for later.

Finally, upgrading to Bev-Bel, Mantua, ConCor and still keeping Athearn in the works.    Tyco, Rivarossi and Atlas provided some uniquely interesting train equipment and track.    Tru-Track came along but who could afford them.    Kadee, with their knuckle couplers and awesome wheels sets.   MRC got into the game and our power supplies improved, what with Momentum and Brake features.   Kato, turned the tables and set a new standard in engine and diesel performance and hit the hobby shops running.   Things were looking up.

I was sure there was some toy train manufacturers and model railroad providers who were and still are members of the  DGAS Committee.    Why?   Because they DGAS !!!!!!!!!!     Judging on the quality and durability of some of the stuff they were mass producing.   Gears that split open and/or broke, motors that wear out…fast, bad couplers, no replacement parts, oversized train equipment and warranties that either didn’t exist or they lacked the ability to back them up.    Who?    I can’t answer that here as anything I say  can and will be held against me by the DGAS Legal Committee.    I know, you thought they the DGAS Committee, didn’t care.    When it comes to suing someone else…they come crawling  out of the wood work.

Here on, there’s a story here about my HO scale layout and you can find it on another post by going to Categories to the left upper left hand  coroner (Oop’s to many years as a mortician)   uhh…err…corner of this page.  Look for Rick’s Lament and Lessons Learned.

Switching over to N scale.    I lost some detail but I couldn’t believe how well the train equipment ran over the then oversized  N scale track.

What?   You in the back seat.    I’m taking to long to tell this story.   Ok, your right.   You said I’m always long winded.    Yep!   That’s true.   What?    What did you say?    It is entertaining and  informative?    Didn’t see that coming.   Well, Thank-you!   Give that guy another slice of cold pizza.     LOL

I found with N scale, I could have the large radius curves I was frustrating for.    The long trains I wanted to run.    A fairly extensive layout in a small space.    DELIGHTED!    Abruptly making the turnout uhh…err switch from HO to N Scale!    Gosh darn “T” word but then who gives a $#!+?

Point is we all go through various levels of toy train and model railroad  interest.     Some go prototype and soon learn it’s just to much stress and besides no inexperienced youngster can come in and just play with the trains.    Some have gone back to three Rail O scale while others switched back to S Scale or American Flyer.

it’s all about choices and the choices you make.

Fun is what you and you only, define or make of it.     What is fun for me,  may or may not be fun for you.

Oh, and by the way the DGAS Committee.    They are looking for new members.  Recently published in a Big Bear Paper, a membership drive with a rally to be held at the airport.      It will cost you nothing, no dues, no certifications and no CEU’s.   You aren’t required to have merit badges or a pedigree.  You do not have to attend every meeting (Do they have meetings?).   No requirements to make every operations night (If they do) and you aren’t required to make-up any absences.

AND you can have a real bad attitude BUT only if you want to.   You can have fun…crashing their parties and when it comes to your own layout.   You can crash and  burn your OWN train equipment.    Have at it!

When it comes to operating trains on my layout.   Don’t expect to be able, to crash and burn my stuff.     You’ll be talking to a judge and explaining it to him or her.   Of course, unless if he or she is a member of the … you got it.    Nice you all responded in unison.

I stopped by the airport to check it out and I did find the unmanned booth.   The airport staff, just finished setting it up.     Nobody was around.   Not in the restaurant, the bar or even the restroom.   Why?    Because, (and everyone said) They Don’t Give A $#!+!!!!!!

I did find an application and picked it up to review the qualifications and rules.    Should have known better.   Took time to fill it out leaving it in a bin marked applications.

Oh and by the way, contrary to popular opinion, I was turned down by the DGAS Committee.   Application denied.   Why?    Because,…well…. I took the time to fill out the application.     Proving, “I Care.”


Well, that should just about cover it for now.

Remember, “Fun, is what you make  it.”


Does the advertising here suck or does it really suck.    I’d like to see Toy Train and Model Railroad Advertisements.     Instead I get… eat this to get rid of belly fat or Obama did something else to set up the economy for another crash and burn.   Date a Russian girl.   I tried that and there’s way to many differences in our cultural backgrounds.   Not worth the effort or time.   When it comes to advertising: The DGAS Committee at work here.     Sheeeezzz!!!


Plan or Design Your Layout

Designing your Toy Train or Model Railroad Layout can be a bit of a challenge.      Or said another way confusing and frustrating.    I mean where does one start?

A plan!   Every great idea needs a plan.    Okay, yes we need a plan. So where do we begin our research?    Books?    Well yes there is a herd of them out there.   How about a computer program, soft ware, giga bytes and hard to understand instructions on how to use them?  You can start with the library but I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed unless you have a hip librarian.     The Hobby Shop is always a great first place to start as is the internet.

It’s all cool!    The rewards are superb.

While some of us never seem to have a problem with designing our own layouts and building the substructure or  laying out  track.  Others do.    So if you happen to be one those first off don’t be embarrassed, help is here.

Mixy, on introduced us to the following: