NEONS Layout Tear-Down Information
Updated 7/24/2014

Download complete Layout Tear-Down Information

General Information

  • For each show there will be someone assigned to the position of NEONS Layout Coordinator. This individual will be responsible to see that all the tasks identified in this document are completed and completed properly.
  • If you are assigned or volunteer for a specific task, let the coordinator know when you have completed it. If you don’t understand what you are supposed to do, ask for help. Don’t guess. It takes less time to explain how to do it right the first time than it does to indentify and fix a problem later. If for some reason you are unable to complete the task, it is important that you let the coordinator know that the task is incomplete and to identify what is done and what remains to be done.
  • Tools and Supplies. We have two tool boxes, Red and Black. They are stored in the blue cabinets on the shelf above the clamp box. All other tools and supplies are in the supply cabinet. Please return all tools and unused supplies to their proper storage place when you are through with them.
  • If you accidentally break or damage something or find something that is broken or damaged, inform the coordinator so it can be fixed before the show if it is critical or before the next show if it isn’t critical.
  • Fearless Leader and Razor each have a key to the supply cabinet. It will be locked when the layout is not operating.
  • All club members not currently running trains should remove their personal items from the area one hour before tear-down. Take them to your car, hotel room, etc.
  • Those running trains on the layout during the final hour of the show should begin to reduce their train size as the shut-down time approaches so than when the show is over, the train can be quickly removed and teardown can proceed. Power will be shut of immediately when the show is over.

Pre Tear-down Preparations - 30 Minutes Before the Show Ends

  2. Police the area.
    1. Gather all trash, water bottles, cans, food, etc. and put in a trash can.
    2. Return all equipment, tools, etc to their proper place in the supply cabinet or the blue cabinets.
    3. Retrieve the module cabinets from the pre-assigned temporary storage area and place them in an empty booth or along a wall near the layout.
  3. Remove and store begging jars, signs and NEONS info sheets from Red and Green modules and store them in the supply cabinet.
  4. Remove the NEONS/DIGITRAX signs from the back of the blue 4' cabinets and place in storage tube on skirting shelf of the supply cabinet. Screw in bolt on back of blue cabinets so they are flush or recessed.
  5. Remove the laminated block break signs on the back of the skyboards and the two sets of info signs (“Can you Find?”, “How long is the train?” and “How fast is the train going?”) from the front of the skyboards at various places around the layout and store in the top drawer of the supply cabinet. The binder clips go in the binder clip box in the top drawer of the supply cabinet.
  6. Turn off "Neuralizer" by flipping the slide switch on the back of Men in Black to the OFF position.
  7. Remove all diorama cars from the layout. Coal hoppers at Willya B. Mine, oil tankers at Cushing Hub, Texas Flyer at Union Depot, box cars at Frisco Freight House, etc. and place them in the diorama box which is located either in the top drawer of the supply cabinet or with Fearless Leader.
  8. Remove and store module sign boards and Trainboard frames.
  9. Remove skirting, folding each piece so as to minimize wrinkling. Store on top shelf of supply cabinet. Return push pins to push pin box in top drawer of supply cabinet.

Shut Down

  1. When the show is over, power to the layout will immediately be shut off. Turn all Digitrax CS/Boosters to sleep, switch off all four power supplies and all six Aristo-Craft receivers. Unplug main power cord, remove and discard duct tape, coil and store the cord in the bottom bin of the supply cabinet.
  2. Disconnect and stow the two power supplies under the junctions that operate the junction turnouts.
  3. Disconnect and remove the Radio Tower and Trainboard riser bracket. Stow all 5 Aristo-Craft throttles in throttle box.
  4. Remove all joiner tracks. RAIL JOINERS ARE TO REMAIN ON THE MODULE TRACKS, NOT ON THE JOINER TRACKS. Place all joiner tracks in the joiner track box. It is not necessary to place them in the correct bin. They will be sorted later. Track tools are in the red track tool box in the top drawer of the supply cabinet. Return them to the red box when you are through using them.
  5. Unplug all green and all orange LocoNet cables. Those LocoNet cables painted black are permanent and are not to be removed. Coil the cables. Secure each of them with a short tie wrap and place them in the LocoNet cable box. Tie wraps are in the bottom drawer of the supply cabinet. Be sure to get any LocoNet cables going to adjacent loops from our junction modules. (Ours have NEON green paint on them.) LocoNet cables under the Junctions, Gateway, Eddie Wye and each 4’ corner are permanent and should be left in place.
  6. Disconnect all green ground wires, coiling them on orange holders. Stow in bottom bin of supply cabinet. Be sure to get any ground wires that go to adjacent loops. (We have four 100’ coils and three 33’ coils of ground wire, each on an orange spool.)
  7. Unplug all bus wires, 110V AC electrical wires, unsecured wall warts etc.
  8. Disconnect the power stations, unplug and remove antennae, unclamp, store the wires and wall warts inside the box base, and stow the boxes in the supply cabinet. Store the power supply boxes along with their power cords, ground wires and pigtails in the supply cabinet.

Break Down

  1. Position all storage cabinets in a line along the ski rope with the openings facing the layout.
  2. Once all joiner tracks are removed, all skirting is off, trains and diorama cars are removed, all below-the-module wires are unplugged and/or removed from all modules in the loop, then and only then can actual teardown of the modules begin.
  3. Remove all clamp-on items including Purple and Blue yards, 2’ modules, Bridge module and clamp on shelves. THE 2' AND BRIDGE MODULES MAY STICK IN PLACE. BE SURE TO UN-STICK THEM AND SET THEM ON THE FLOOR!
  4. Unclamp all modules and store all clamps in the blue cabinets. Balance the load between the two cabinets.
  5. Prepare all modules for storage.
    1. Raise the skyboards on Beucher Farm and Skeet Shoot and bolt them into place with three bolts at the back of the skyboards.
    2. Clear off all tables and position them so that modules can be set on them. Lay each module on its back on a table. Tie up all hanging wires using the Velcro strip on each end of the module. It is important that these wires are secured so that they will not come loose and end up being pinched or damaged when stored. Pull the cinch pins, latch the leg braces in the angle iron brace, fold and latch the legs with the gate hook(s), and re-attach each cinch pin THROUGH the hole in the bolt. Screw in leg adjustment bolts so they extend 1” or less from the bottom of the leg. The Omega modules require special Velcro straps to secure the leg braces and to keep them from coming loose. Ask for help if you don’t know the routine.
    3. Once a module is "packaged", immediately stow it in the travel cabinets.
      1. Each module has an assigned place in an assigned cabinet. The module names are written on the right front of each cabinet slot and on the back of each skyboard at the lower right. Place each module in its assigned space.
      2. Be careful to see that all wires end up under the modules, not sticking out or pinched between the shelf and the module frame. Lower latching arms to lock the modules in place.
    4. Special handling for Junction Modules:
      1. Lay both modules on their side with the skyboard against the floor and the leg pairs folding in from each side.
      2. Attach the green bolt-on end cap to both junction modules and tighten, then attach the orange end cap to the two modules. Use 3” bolts on the thick side.
      3. Once the end caps are attached, tie up all hanging wires using the Velcro straps attached to the belly of the modules. It is important that these wires are secured so that they will not come loose and end up being pinched or damaged when stored.
      4. Pull the cinch pins, latch the leg braces in the angle iron brace, fold and latch the legs with the gate hook(s), and re-attach each cinch pin THROUGH the hole in the bolt. Screw in leg adjustment bolts so they extend 1” or less from the bottom of the leg.
      5. Attach the 4’ x 4’ Masonite shields to the bellies of both Football and Baseball, aligning the Velcro patches. Position the 4' stacker tray on top of the Junction stack.
    5. Lower gate on Gateway. Screw leveling bolts on bottom of Gateway up as far as possible so that the module will move freely on its wheels. Turn the signal switch to the off position. Place wall wart on left hand side shelf. Coil bus wires and secure with Velcro straps on both sides.


  1. Once all modules are broken down and stored, it is finally time to pull the stanchions.
  2. Coil rope on spool, allowing T-tops to slide down rope. Stow T-Tops in Blue cabinets.
  3. Unscrew stanchion poles from bases. Stow poles evenly in the two blue cabinets. Stow the bases in their bins, 7 to a bin. There are two base bins in each cabinet. Rope goes in the clamp bin.


  1. Load and latch the Bridge module before loading Gateway. Stow the creeper chair in the Gateway door slot.
  2. Stow all small items on empty shelves of the cabinets. Do not place any heavy items on unsupported shelves. Items to be stowed include tool boxes, Radio Tower, Trainboard bracket, Purple and Blue yards, clamp-on shelves, NEONS wooden sign, etc.
  3. Go over the Travel Check List to be sure all items are accounted for.
  4. Retrieve truck lock and key from supply cabinet and give to truck driver. Do not lock supply cabinet. Place supply cabinet lock in top drawer and flip U-bolt inside cabinet. Latch cabinet doors.
  5. Take all coolers outside and drain all water from them.
  6. Police the area, making sure nothing is left behind.


  1. Refer to truck loading diagram.
  2. Stage all items for loading in the order and direction by which they will go in the truck.
  3. Load all cabinets & stacks w/ skyboards to right side of truck unless specifically noted otherwise on loading diagram.
  4. Tie off load to keep cabinets from sliding to rear of truck and restricting overhead door from opening upon arrival.
  5. Do not stack items on cabinet roofs. They will not support any load.
  6. Police layout area one last time.
  7. Double check to confirm that the truck driver has the lock key, then lower, latch and lock truck door.