JRM Displays T-trak & Unitram Layouts at Ekoji Buddhist Temple 2010 Summer Obon Festival

T-trak street car layout

On July 10, 2010 the Japan Rail Modelers displayed T-trak and Unitram modules at the Obon Summer Festival sponsored by Ekoji Buddhist Temple in Fairfax Station, VA. The weather was hot, and earlier in the day it had been stormy, but the sky cleared and the crowd was large so we had plenty of interested viewers. The festival included Japanese folk dancing, taiko drumming, temple and Japanese garden tours, and lots of good food (lesson learned - order your bento in advance as the best items sold out quickly!).

This was our first effort at a smaller scale format which did not include our large club layout. We were assigned an 8' X 8' tent strategically located near the food line, so the location as perfect to get attention as a new festival attraction. JRM members contributed their T-trak modules to construct an 8' long T-trak display loop. Setup was quick - Jeff's adjustable base allowed us to level all of the T-trak modules as one unit so everything was done and ready to go in 1 hour. Take-down as even faster, perhaps 30 minutes and we were finished.

Curt LeVan's Unitram layout

One side of our T-trak loop was largely made up of a city scene of large buildings, including the newest Kato buildings fresh from Japan. Godzilla was lurking in the background, about to consume a tanker truck. The other side of the loop was dedicated to more rural or suburban scenes. A yet smaller godzilla roamed the Unitram module, which was complete with figures on the sidewalks and finished building interiors. As night fell visitors were especially impressed with the lighted trams, and a few young visitors were even allowed to operate them. Our large Goji mascot was a focal point for visitor photos, especially given his custom-made JRM fan.

As a number of JRM members are experimenting with various T-trak formats, events like this one give us a good chance to showcase our modelling without involving a major layout transport and set-up operation or consuming an entire weekend. We also enjoyed the chance to participate in another Japanese cultural activity, and we hope to find more opportunities like this in the years ahead.




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