Layout #5 is underway

On the evening of 26 Feb 2015, we broke ground on the first wing of our new X-shaped train layout. This will be one of the two “low” arms of the new layout, which will feature our new rail yard and will be built to fit an autumn theme. (Since we have four arms on this new layout, we decided to build each leg to focus on a different season of the year.) Over the next few weeks, we hope to fill in the ground, train track ballast and roads on this section of the new layout, then start to populate it with some new buildings and, hopefully, some new trains!

Here are a few pictures from our first few nights of building:

Building! - 26 Feb 2015 Building! - 26 Feb 2015 Building & Planning - 5 Mar 2015

As we start to thaw from Minnesota winter, we also need to finish building the new wooden tables that will occupy the center of the new layout, and then we can start to fill that table in with some bricks as well. If all goes well, we should be able to run a couple of trains on our new layout at our special Art-a-Whirl Open House, as well as continuing to run trains on what’s left of layout #4.

I’m going to try to keep an intermittent photoblog of our progress in my Flickr account (same username), which I will be sharing into the GMLTC Flickr pool (which you should see at right). This will help our club keep a historical archive of our progress, as well as give you a peek at what we’re up to while the doors are closed. Please keep watching this space for updates!

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As some of you may know, our club members usually get together on Thursday nights to work on projects. For the past few months, that has meant sorting, washing, sorting, more sorting, and even more sorting of bricks removed from four tables of Layout 4 back into the club collection.

Over the past few weeks, we have begun modifications to those four tables to accommodate the new layout arrangement.

Tonight, five very special visitors helped us break ground on the first leg of Layout 5, the new X-shaped layout that will eventually replace 14 year old rectangular Layout 4.

More news to come!

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Happy New Year, and big news from the Train Room

First, thanks to all who came out to see us in 2014, at Brickmania, at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, at the Weismann Art Museum, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts – we always enjoy seeing your reactions and talking to you.

January Open Houses!  Yes, the ‘First Thursday’ is New Year’s Day, and yes, we’ll be open.  We might even open a bit early (around 4pm), because why not?  Second Saturday is January 10th, we’ll be open the usual hours:  10am – 4pm.

And, the big, BIG news:  After the January 10th Open House, Brickmania will be stopping Open Houses for several months.  So we will be closed to the public, probably until “World War Brick” in June.  Why?  Well, our friends at Brickmania have some really big plans for the big display room in 2015, and quite frankly having that room open to the public every Saturday and Sunday is keeping those plans from happening.  Since Brickmania pays the lease, and we are there as their guests, when they ask us to do something our answer will always be “When would you like that done?”  They asked us to close, so we’re closing.  BUT, we will use the down time to start work on our brand new train layout, so when you come see us in June (or whenever we are open to the public again), you’ll see some new stuff and have a new place to run your Lego trains.

Stay tuned here, we’ll keep you updated as to what is happening in the train room, and fingers crossed when the weather starts getting nicer in the Spring we might open just our room some Saturday.

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Extra December Open Houses

(I should have posted this three weeks ago!)

The train room is open every Saturday in December, 10am – 4pm.  We like to do some extra Open Houses in December, because we know people have families visiting from out of town, kids are out of school, it’s just an especially good month to hang out at Brickmania.

So come on out and see us!  And our standard rule applies – bring your LEGO train to one of our Open Houses and we’ll pull one of ours off the tracks so you can run yours.

Also some good news for people heading to Brickmania – Central Ave is now open again between Broadway and 18th.  So no more detours, just head north on Central and left on 18th.  (Central Ave will be back to one lane each direction for a while in 2015 to finish up the railroad bridge replacement work, but it will still be open to traffic.)

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Special Events at Brickmania

Coming up this Saturday, November 22nd – come out and build LEGO mosaics of some Adam Turman prints.  This will be similar to some of the other group mosaic builds, like the ones at World War Brick or the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  It’s going to be a fun time, starting at 6pm and going until we’re done!  We’ll also be collecting food for a local food bank, so bring some goodies and help out those less fortunate.  (You’ll also earn a discount at the Brickmania store!)

In train news, the train room will be open five straight Saturdays, starting November 29th.  So the last Saturday in November, and all four Saturdays in December.  We know people like to come out and see us, so this will give more people a chance to do that.  When the kids are off of school and looking for something to do?  You know where to find us!

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November Open Houses

“First Thursday” (6th) and “Second Saturday” (8th) are both this week.  Weather forecast is for cool and blustery, but the Brickmania heat will be on so you can take off your coat and hang out with us for a while.

Trains will be running, the new layout from the Weisman will be on display, and of course if you bring your LEGO train we’ll pull one of ours off the tracks and let you run it on our layout.

We’re also trying to figure out what days we’ll be open between now and the end of the year, so stay tuned and we’ll let you know!

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October 24th at the Weisman Art Museum

The GMLTC and our friends of the TCLTC will be at the Weisman Art Museum tonight for an event called “Wanderlust” from 7pm – 10pm:

We will be displaying a new small train layout (that’s still a work in progress!) with some scenes inspired by the photographs of O. Winston Link – and some of those photographs are currently on display at the museum!

It’s a free event, come on out and see the layout, we’d love to see you there.

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Brickmania on WCCO TV

Matt Brickman (yes, that’s his real name!) from WCCO television stopped by Brickmania Tuesday morning, and did this story on Dan and Brickmania, with some nice shots of the train room as well:

Guest Pass: Brickmania

Thanks for stopping by, Matt!  We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Reminder, the train room will be open for the Second Saturday on October 11th, 10am – 4pm.  I’m sure we’ll be busy, but that just makes it more fun!

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October, already?

Is it really October, already?  Where did the Summer go?

“First Thursday” is tomorrow, October 2nd.  Many of the Brickmania folks will be on their way to Virginia for an event there this weekend (along with the Peleliu diorama), but the train clubs will be there, now with three different train layouts in various stages of work.  We’re combining our efforts into building a new traveling display for a special event at the Weisman Art Museum, and then will be on display at the Jackson Street Roundhouse.

“Second Saturday” is October 11th.  I believe the Brickmania folks will be back, so it should be an especially busy day with lots to see and do.

As always, bring your Lego train and you can run it on the GMLTC layout!

Also, we’ll have the train room open a few extra days in December, stay tuned and we’ll post the days when we have them all figured out.

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September Open Houses

First Thursday was, well, last week.  This is what happens when I was fighting a cold and not running at anywhere close to 100%.  Word is there was a good crowd, so that’s good!

Second Saturday is the 13th.  Weather forecast is for very nice, it should be a great day to come out to Brickmania.  I’m sure we’ll have the windows and doors wide open, no need for the A/C this weekend.

And as always, bring your LEGO train to one of our Open House events and we’ll pull our trains off the tracks and let you run yours!

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