1 - Who is your President? - In reality we don't need a president, we are non-organized (as opposed to disorganized). Our
only 'officer" is the person known as "cruise director" who coordinates our show appearances. This is a thankless voluntary
position that rotates every show.
2 - How do you join? - You don't, you either are or you aren't; it is voluntary and self regulating. While we do not put any
limits on who can join the collected assembly, it becomes readily apparent who is and who isn't member material. Our philosophy
is "If you do what we are doing you are probably already a member, if you have any doubts, you probably aren't".
3 - How may members do you have? - Well it depends on who shows up. We have successfully put on a show with a 48' x 40' layout
with only 2 people. The total number that could show up is 12 since that is all we have now. Current demographics have us
with 3 women and 9 men, but that could change as time goes on.
4 - Does the club own the modules? - NO!!!! The club owns nothing. Each module is individually owned and is fashioned to the
liking of its owner. There are limited requirements concerning the frontiers of each module so that they will mate with their
neighbors and mutually agreed upon minimum radius' (80"), but there is no overall "big brother" committee telling everyone
how to build their module. Each module owner makes a choice to attend a show and if they decide to go undertakes the financial
burden to get there with their equipment.
5 - What do you Sip? - Huh? oh, whatever, we do try to limit our liquid refreshment to non-intoxicating beverages. Mostly
Cheerwine, Sundrop, Hot Chocolate, etc.
6 - What is your name? Didn't your old website have a different name? - The name of the group was and still is the Sipping
and Switching Society of North Carolina. We did have our information on another site at one time. That site space
was graciously provided by an individual who has since moved on to pursue other avenues in model railroading.
7 - How may cars are on that train? - It varies but one of our claims to fame is consistently running long trains. We
have regularly run trains in the 100-110 car range for hours. We can do this by the precise engineering at
the frontiers using the template. Since the individual wheels never see a gap larger than that at a switch frog, the length
of train is limited by the motive power, drawbar strength, and curves; just like the real thing. 125 cars seems to be
an upper limit with unmatched unmodified cars due to coupler stresses and dynamics in the curves. Once we upgrade
more cars to metal wheelset and reduce rolling friction we should move past this temporary plateau.
8 - Are all those engines powered? - Actually all the boxcars are powered and the locomotives are dummies. Really, they are
all powered, running dummy locomotives does nothing and given the length of trains we run we need all the power we can get
(usually 3-5 powered units)
9 - How long did it take to set this up? - We usually set up any of our layouts within 1-1/2 hours. Our best record was a
48' x 48' L-shaped layout set up in under 45 minutes at Richmond VA about 3 years ago. Our Plug and Play technique allows us to join and align modules in
one step within seconds. We can go from unloading the truck to running trains in under an hour and 1/2 on a regular basis.
10 - Is that N-scale? - No, we have a large number of modules that have HOn3 or dual gauge track on the 21" secondary switching
district. About half of the group is in some way interested in narrow gauge (Usually ET&WNC operations). It always is
interesting watching the HOn3 equipment running next to the HO modern equipment.
Question - Why do you do this? - Isn't it obvious; this is the way we have fun and that's what model railroading is all about,
Charlie Brown. We are all refugees and outcasts from various clubs where there were more political operators than railroad
operators. By eliminating the organizational structure and concentrating on the trains we don't have the mechanics for the
politics that can culminate with in-fighting, hard feelings, and power plays.