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Welcome to the Big Train Operator Club
"Havin' Fun Runnin' Trains"
We hope you knew him; Ralph E. Wilcox,
Feb. 8, 1942 – Nov. 28, 2022.
He was the last Founding Member of our Club. Since 1977, Ralph epitomized the best in our Members. Serving in many capacities for almost 45 years, he was the keeper of the club spirit and memories.

His son Ralph writes:
I remember Dad setting up our first LGB train in the house - a starter set - in late 1977.  I was five and enjoyed watching the train go around and under our coffee table in the living room.  That was the beginning of an over forty-year love affair with G-scale trains that my Dad had.  He loved the LGBMRRC/BTOC, and it showed with all of the club offices he held and the activities he participated in.  He attended every club convention up through 2019, and always enjoyed renewing the many friendships he had with other club members.  The club was a second family to him.
My home in Little Rock is very close to the city’s train station.  When Mary, my stepmother, called me to let me know that Dad had passed away, it was just after 3:00 am.  While I was on the phone with her, Amtrak’s Texas Eagle, blew its whistle at the station - it was ready to leave and continue on its journey…  I can’t think about that without getting chills, and I also know that there’s a new G-scale layout in Heaven and Dad is Havin’ Fun Runnin’ Trains".

Our President, Charles Bartel writes:
I met Ralph at my first convention when I attended his clinic, a slide show of early club activity. 
I was new to the club, having joined at the urging of a local railroad club member.  I knew nothing about the BTO, it’s origins or early activities.  His presentation with his commentary was wonderful.  Others in the room were older members and it was obvious that Ralph was presenting slides that evoked good memories of past conventions. 
I enjoyed the Club and ran for Secretary. I learned that Ralph had put together what is referred to as the Red Book.  There are three copies, passed on from term to term, detailing the history of the club from it’s inception. 
It took a great effort to put this book together and will help current and possibly future officers to understand how the club has operated in the past and changes that have been made over time as necessary.
 Since my first clinic with Ralph, I have requsted other presentations on the club history.  He never failed to provide a different view with additional information. 
We will miss these presentations. 
Ralph has been an emeritus director serving on the Board of Directors and through this position has continued to provide valued support to the club. 

The club is a group of enthusiasts, hobbyists, and collectors who devote much of their time and energy to Large-Scale trains. The club was founded in 1978 (formerly the LGB Model Railroad Club or LGBMRRC) and now has members throughout the United States and in several countries. 
Rememberances of
Ralph E. Wilcox
Rememberances of
Bill Loubsky

Remembrances of
Lou Flammia

2023 Bird in Hand 45th Anniversary Convention

Havin' Fun, Runnin' Trains for 45 years

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