Atlantic Coast S Gaugers - ACSG
"Promoting S Gauge along the East Coast"
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History of the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers by J. Wayne Beachy
In the winter of 1997, I was a member of the Virginia Train Collectors (VTC) and I was asked to start a group that would run a modular layout at local train shows. The idea was to build a modular layout to run both O gauge and S gauge trains. After several months, there was no interest in creating a dual gauge modular layout.
However, Mike Myers lobbied me to start a strictly S gauge modular layout. We spoke with a few of the members of the VTC who were S gaugers and in April 1997 the wheels were turning for the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers. We decided to use the module specifications from the Baltimore American Flyers Club (BAAFC), and also their form of organization, none.
Charter members were: Wayne Beachy, Dave Conyers, Mike Myers, Ernie Stinson, Stuart Gordon, and Joe Haenn. The first five members began constructing a modular layout in Wayne Beachy's back yard. Joe Haenn began constructing two straight modules at his home in Rougemont, NC. We mailed a request to Great American Trains Shows (GATS) and were accepted to do the August show at the Richmond Fair Grounds in August 1997.
For first show, we operated a 14' X 18' layout. We had lots of fun, and signed on several new members. Later that fall, several of us traveled to Raleigh, NC to operate trains with Joe Haenn at the Neuse River Train Club show at the Raleigh Fairgrounds. More fun, and more new members.
At this point, we realized how hard it would be to have an active club when members lived several hours apart. We decided to call our club the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers and create local divisions. This way members could be active in their smaller, local divisions, but still run with the other divisions if they wanted more opportunity to run trains. The original Richmond Group took the name Virginia Central Division, from the railroad predecessor to C&O, and the Raleigh group to the name Carolinas Division. The Carolinas Division consists of members from both North and South Carolina.
Within a couple of years the ACSG was growing quite fast. The third division was created in Northern Virginia, under the mentorship of Scott Brown and called itself the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Division after a fallen flag short line in the area. The fourth division was the Tidewater Division, in Tidewater Virginia, coordinated by Ken McNelly.
The Delaware Division was formed in late winter of 2002. Key organizers were Bill Mixon and John Beck of Seaside Hobbies.
In spring 2003, Joe Haenn, and the now huge Carolinas Division traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the Great American Train Show there, and recruited members for the Georgia Division.
The Carolinas, Georgia, and Tidewater Divisions met in Jacksonville, FL at the Great Train Expo in 2006. The ACSG layout there was an attempt to gauge if there was interest in the northern Florida area for an S gauge train club. Although there was little progress in organizing a division there initially, now the Northern Florida Division is doing very well. If you are in the northern Florida area, and interested in joining the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers, please contact Larry Shughart.
Mike Myers is now forming the Blue Ridge of Virginia Division which covers the Blue Ridge region in the western part of the state of Virginia. Please contact Michael Myers if you are in the area and would like to join the club.
The ACSG also informally affiliates with the Baltimore Area American Flyer Club (BAAFC) and the Potomac Valley S Gaugers, a S scale modular club. If you would like to start a new club, or have an existing club and would like to affiliate with us, contact Marvin Thiel of the ACSG.

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