Thursday, February 27, 2014

Planning Commission Meeting Initial Report

This is the initial report from John Black following the Klamath County Planning Commission meeting held February 25, 2014. There will be more details to come
soon in the Gazette.


Tonight the Klamath County Planning Commission (5 out of 7 present) and the Klamath County Commissioners (2 out of 3 present) held a joint meeting to consider TM's request that a Train Park Zone be created to allow :
---- a 39 acre Train Park Support area
---- a 129 acre Track Connected Residential Community with 2+ acre lots.

About 60 TM members attended…. some neighbors… and some other interested parties.  The crowd spilled out into the hall and was standing room only.  The crowd clearly communicated that there was strong public support.  THANK YOU to everyone who attended.

Justin Throne and I spoke FOR the proposal.
Speaking AGAINST were 2 neighbors just south of the proposed residential community and 2 neighbors that lived west of Highway 62.
Speaking with no position were Sharon Breen and The Fire Dept.

There was a lot of discussion about DLCD's 13 page letter which had little support.  DLCD is the Dept of Land Conservation and Development… the Oregon State agency that oversees land use decisions.

Everyone expressed support for the 39 acre Train Park Support Area…. even DLCD.  The only reservations were about the Track Connected Residential Community.

There was a debate about whether the best way to do it was a New Zone or an Overlay of the Forestry Zone that allowed all the same things.   There was discussion about whether a zone could grant special privileges to a single property owner.  There are other examples of zoning for a single property in Oregon.

Finally a Planning Commissioner moved to disapprove the proposal. That was voted down 3 to 2.  Then the Planning Commission voted to recommend that the County Commissioners continue the hearing to March 25, 2014…. to give time to get clarifications of the law and DLCD's position.   Then both County Commissioners spoke in favor of the proposal and voted to Table the issue until March 25, 2014.

The majority want to be sure that the proposal is adopted in a form that is likely to withstand any appeal.  The next step is a meeting with DLCD to clarify their position.

It will not be necessary for people to travel from out of state to attend the hearing March 25.  We have delivered the message that there is Significant Support.   I would like people that live in Klamath County to come see the show on March 25.   We cannot have an empty room.

We need the Residential Community to attract and retain Long Term Volunteers.  We need the freedom to do what we need to do in the Train Park Support Area.   Stay tuned as the process continues.

It is Sunny and Warm.  Everyone had a great time at the Train Meet.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bonus Free Meet Added for 2014

Save the Date -- Feb 25
Train Mountain has applied to Klamath County to create a new Train Park Zone that
1)    allows TM to create about 50 lots of 2+ acres for a Train Connected     
Community on the west side of Railroad Ridge, and
2)    allows TM to conduct the Train Park Support activities it needs as permitted   
land uses as opposed to non-conforming or conditional land uses which have more limits.
“What can I do to help?”  - - -  SEND EMAILS!
Please send an email supporting the Train Mountain Application. The email
should go to Mark Gallagher, Planning Director...
Sample Text:
Dear Mr. Gallagher,
I am writing to support Train Mountain's application to allow a Train
Connected Residential Community for volunteer workers and to allow
the activities necessary to support the Train Park.
John Q. TrainNut
If you have volunteered at TM, talk about that. If you think about having a
place at TM and building a life that includes working on TM, talk about that.
And talk about why Train Mountain is important to you.
Oregon land use law allows a County to approve residential development on
Resource Lands (TM is Forestry) outside a designated Urban Growth Area
(like Chiloquin) to house Workers for an established Economic Activity. Here
we are creating housing for Volunteer Workers that will help Train Mountain.
“What else can I do?”  - - -  ATTEND THE HEARING!
The proposal will be heard by the Klamath County Planning Commission and
Klamath County Commissioners on Tuesday Feb 25th at 6:00pm in the
Klamath County Government Center, 305 Main Street, Klamath
Falls, Oregon.
For those who wish to help support the mission, Train Mountain is hosting a
Sat Feb 22 to Tuesday Feb 25
Members and non-members are invited to a Free Open House Meet. The Meet will end with the planning commission hearing at 6:00pm on Tuesday Feb 25.
In the Hearing we are asking Klamath County to:
1. Amend the Klamath County Comprehensive Plan
2. Amend the Land Development Code by adding a new Train Park Zone.
3. Allow Planned Unit Developments in the Train Park Zone.
4. Allow a 129.14 acre Track connected residential development.
5. Allow a 39.29 acre Train Park Support Area.
This is a first step. It will be followed by these steps:
1. Re-plat 2 deeded lots to create a 100.25 acre lot to be rezoned.
2. Rezone the 129.14 acres and 39.29 acres to the new Train Park Zone
3. Approve the Planned Unit Development. As part of this, Train Mountain
will contract with Klamath County to assure that 10 acres per approved
Dwelling Unit (with a minimum of 400 acres) will be protected forever from
development by a Conservation Easement... for 50 lots, 500 acres....
enough to protect Steiger Butte which is visible all over northern Klamath County.
The New Train Mountain Community
Please visit the Train Mountain Website for details to the planned community:
Train Mountain Thanks YOU!

Saturday, November 30, 2013


You Are invited to VISIT TRAIN MOUNTAIN for FREE! For those who have never experienced Train Mountain before, you are allowed to attend one Meet without paying any Meet or Membership Fees for FREE in 2014. Any meet of your choice from the Polar Bear through the Fall Colors. RUN YOUR EQUIPMENT FOR FREE! You will have a one-time opportunity to bring your 7.5" gauge equipment to run on any of Train Mountain's 35 miles oftrack. Your visit may last up to 10 days, including any of the Meets. Normally only Train Mountain members are allowed to run their equipment on Train Mountain Track. This is a special opportunity, indeed! Train Mountain is the Worlds Largest Ride-on Model Railroad with over 35 miles of track. Certificate expires Dec 31, 2014. Certificate has no Cash Value. Participants must sign a standard TM Liability Release. Not valid for anyone who has been a member previously. Train Mountain Membership $50 a year individuals, $75 a year for families. Train Mountain wants more people to see Train Mountain and become members. To get your certificate, visit:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Membership Made Easy!

Colder weather is on us, and I have been thinking about locomotive maintenance – taking care of all those things I need to get done before I start playing trains again. One of those things that needs to be done is renew my Train Mountain membership – using the new online membership system of course. By going on your computer (which I know you have because you are using it to read this!!), and using your computer to renew your membership, you save the office volunteers a lot of work, save yourself time, and everybody wins. It is an easy process to sign up as a new member, or renew your current membership. You need to grab your computer and credit card or PayPal account. It is safe, using the latest encryption methods, and your credit card information is never stored anywhere by Train Mountain. The transaction goes directly from you, thru an encrypted link, to the TM credit card processing service. The Train Mountain bank account gets credited, Train Mountain get notified you are renewed, and you get to come run trains! It is a good thing for everyone. Go to the Train Mountain web site (, click the “Join Train Mountain” menu option on the left of the screen, and then click the “Click on this link” to go to the online member portal. Enter your e-mail address as your user ID. You will need to initially ask for the password that was made up for you when the database was created (there is a link on the sign-in page to get it e-mailed to you), and then you are good to go. Dale.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why do you like trains?

Anyone who has liked (or loved) trains for any length of time has likely been asked "why do you like trains"? It just so happened that on a recent business flight, I sat next to a conversationalist who asked me just that. My response was in the form of a story about how my grandfather took me to a train show every year in Roseville, and how we spent Summers together alongside the famed "Donner Pass" route where we would watch the trains roll by. It was mandatory that I always waited for the caboose. While I am not sure the exact moment trains became important to me, I know the feeling of excitement I get seeing trains developed when I was a young boy. Somehow, 34 years later, it is still with me. Why do I like trains so much? I am not quite sure, but I suspect that relationships have a lot to do with it. First, with my grandfather. Later, with fellow train enthusiasts in the various clubs I associate with. Now, with my children and my wife. For me, I rarely go train watching or take my trains to the live steam club without a friend or family member involved. I don't take off from work to run my train by myself. For me, it is with those who also find joy in trains that I spend my train time with. This Coke commercial got me thinking. Many friends have shared that they love trains because of that Lionel train set they got for Christmas. There are many stories, and we would enjoy hearing about yours.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It is time to CELEBRATE!!!

It is with great jubilation that we announce that Train Mountain Railroad was able to discharge the IRS liens against Train Mountain effective today. That means that Train Mountain is here to stay! Ownership of Train Mountain has now been transferred to the Railroad Institute.

There is incredible detail (7 pages, in fact!) regarding the discharge and transfer of the assets and real estate that make up Train Mountain Railroad. John Black and the TMRR board will be working on a Gazette that will provide detail of the transaction and hopefully answer most of the questions about where Train Mountain will be going from here. It is time to CELEBRATE!!! 

Reminder: our Narrow Gauge Meet is May 10, 11 & 12th!
Also, this Saturday, May 11th is National Train Day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Rail Bike Tale

by Larry Da Broi
Having tried the hand cars that someone had built at Train Mountain, I found they were hard work and inadequate for the distances and hills of TM. Being a lifelong bicycle tourist, I was determined to build something that could be propelled using legs instead of arms (Photos 1 shows my first attempt.)
I used old bicycle parts, because I didn't know exactly what gearing would be required for the grades at Train Mountain. On the third bike I substituted a front truck for the front axle (Photo 2 shows my third bike.)
The design modification was made because, with a long wheelbase, there was a noticeable resistance when going around curves. For my fourth bike, I tried to make the frame lighter to help going up the hills. Unfortunately, the lighter bike tends to derail going through trailing switches. I also tried spring suspension on the rear wheels. The idea was to give a smoother ride, however it made the bike a little more tipsy (Photo 3.)
I just completed my fifth bike. I am trying two trucks in an effort to get a smoother ride, but I haven't had a chance to try it out (Photo 4.)

For me personally, unless I am operating a train to haul passengers or pine needles, I spend more time on the bike than on the train. These were built by the seat of my pants, with no plans. In the "second section" of this article, I will present plans and some specifications on rail bike construction.