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Who knew? [04 Dec 2011|02:32pm]

That Bachmann mass-produced the St. Johnsbury & Lamoille Valley/County Railroad colors in a GE 70Tonner,


If I'd known this, I wouldn't have spent so many hours mixing paint trying to get the right colorings :P

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I've been experimenting with LED light strips [22 Oct 2011|09:03am]

I plan to use them for more lighting for my attic railroad space. There are pictures by me and others, discussion and details here: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=34474&whichpage=3
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Bowser 0-4-0 Docksides, with a decoder. [24 Apr 2011|10:17pm]


Our railroad club has some talented members. Lou will & can put a decoder into almost anything.

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Amherst Show, West Springfield MA [30 Jan 2011|10:17pm]

20,400 people, so Sunday was slower than Saturday. I enjoyed it; after a bunch of time spent fixing track and organizing dinner on Saturday, Sunday was more relaxed; I ran some trains, operated our ball signal while being the Diamond operator and talked to a lot of people. Although there wasn't room for crowd-control ropes on my Rowley (MA) modules they didn't take any damage. Some kids had a lot of fun, both members who were operating and visitors to the show.
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The Bridge Revisited. [06 Sep 2010|03:13pm]

[ mood | calm ]

Well, now that the fair is over and I've got a little more breathing room, I can share some more recent photos of the high bridge at the CIRC layout. When we last saw it back in May things were looking a bit bare... but oh what a difference a couple months can make...Collapse )

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3 more videos uploaded to the NWV RR club's Youtube page [18 Jul 2010|11:26pm]

These were shot back 3 months ago. I'll have an up-to-date layout tour soon enough. Reorganizing a few RL items in order to make more time for video shooting.

Link to videos here:




I would normally imbed the videos, but I believe that's still frowned upon.

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Bridging the Gap [15 May 2010|02:55am]

[ mood | excited ]

Years ago, on the Central Iowa Railroad Club layout, some temporary scenery was put in place in a location that was eventually going to play host to a large bridge. The structure would be modeled after the C&NW's crossing of the Des Moines River just west of Boone, IA, though it would have to be scaled down quite a bit to fit on the layout. On Thursday, the bridge was temporarily placed in its future permanent home... (lots of pictures)Collapse )

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NorthWestern Vermont Model RR Club videos [08 May 2010|07:31pm]

[ mood | accomplished ]

Hello all,

I've been put in charge of filming action on the railroad club I belong too as construction continues, & operations pop up.

Been using mostly my own equipment as we clean up the club's units & trains. Soon to have videos of the club equipment running as well.

Enjoy the videos at the link below :)


Thanks for your time,

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I am so looking forward to April 1... [29 Mar 2010|09:47am]

... even though I'm not at all sure how "healing tendon repair" will progress to exercising it. The knee immobilizer is uncomfortable enough that I really don't enjoy sitting on anything other than a bed or couch (long way) for more than 10 or 15 minutes. But this weekend that worked out well, as sitting in front of the computer or reading lost out to standing in the attic, leaning over my layout building track. Since mid-week I've gotten three of the staging yard tracks connected, with four switches laid and ready for wiring. I posted a couple of pictures on railroad-line: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=20091&whichpage=6

Sunday afternoon my eldest came over and worked on the wood pile - I couldn't help with the chainsaw but the crutches have boosted my upper body strength, so I split a lot of green oak and felt fine afterward.
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1.21 JIGGAWHATS [25 Feb 2010|02:39pm]


Okay, okay, it started life as a Vitesse toy. I've reworked it with rail wheels, some detail and paint, and soon it'll have full lighting, plus the tube box on the hood.
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Streetlights, anyone? [22 Feb 2010|04:09pm]

Here's what i was working on this weekend over at Cherry Valley:
We needed some functional streetlights for a section of the layout, but none of the commercially-available ones were all that great. So i built my own:

They're made up with 1206-package surface-mound LEDs, shown here soldered to .032 and .020 bronze wire for the upper and lower arms. Each of these little things is like 1mm square, so they're a bit fiddly.

Put a droplet of superglue on the end to represent the 'fixture housing', then paint the top and sides black when the glue dries.

This stolen image should show relative size.

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Penn Central E8 4300 [04 Feb 2010|11:28am]

Thought I'd share my latest project.

This is a Proto 2000 E8 that is being modified to represent Penn Central's E8 #4300. 4300, originally PRR 5700, was one of only two E8s to have dual headlights. PRR was experimenting with oscillating headlights on their Es. Unfortunately, the only E8 I could get my hands on...was a New York Central unit, which had a single headlight. (Originally, I was going to build the unit as NYC, but with PC worms on the nose.)

Another E unit, an E7, was purchased at a yard sale. This gave up its nose door and the Mars light circuitry. Originally, the plan was, to drop the E8 body shell onto the E7 frame and be done with it. Unfortunately, that's impossible--the indents cut into the weights interfere with the side doors. Swapping the weights over was a pain. But, that was child's play compared to swapping over the running gear!

But, with that done, tested, and put back together, it was time to start the body work. Removing the nose doors was easy--a little gentle pressure freed the E7's door. But, getting the E8's operating door out was harder. There's a clip which has to be removed first. A little gentle filing had it fitting perfectly.

While I was at it, I removed all of the grab irons, handrails, and roof lift rings. These will be replaced with more durable wire parts. Also removed, were the rings around the portholes. The real 4300 had its portholes removed by PC time. It shouldn't be too hard to plug up the portholes with the original window 'glass' and some putty.

But, one thing that's staying, is the Mars light. The real 4300 didn't have it--instead, it was covered, and the lower headlight used instead.

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Hey Moe, these pipes is fulla wires! [21 Jan 2010|02:44am]

Previous post here, for those following along at home.

I forgot to take pictures of how to build the wire subassemblies. I can do that later if there's interest; i'm going to need plenty more of them. But here's how to actually get the catenary installed.Collapse )
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Question about transformers [28 Dec 2009|11:53pm]

I'm hoping someone may be able to help, (or may know some resources to learn more about this):
How does one figure out the strength of transformer(s) needed for a given length/loop of track?

Reason for asking: I'm beginning work on a secondary train project. I'm designing a way for an O-gauge train to safely run along the upper walls of my apartment. I'm working on accommodating a simple (if very long) level loop of track, no switches or accessories to start with; ideally for running an engine & tender with maybe 3-5 cars.

I'm still in the early design stages- though I am aiming to have this up and working by next summer, fall at the latest. Even more fun; I'm trying to come up with a design that is apartment friendly (i.e. = stable, fairly fire-safe, able to be removed easily, and doesn't actually involve anchoring anything much to the walls or ceiling of the place.) What can I say- I like a challenge.

If anyone reading has done or considered something like this - I'd enjoy hearing about or seeing photos of what you came up with?

Thanks & Happy New Year!
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World's Smallest Working Model Train Layout [27 Oct 2009|12:59am]

A working Z scale (1:220) layout of an N scale (1:160) Layout.
The Equivalent of a (1:35,200) Scale layout.

My Mind is totally blown also!!

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Quick question - Wiring Issue [21 Oct 2009|09:29am]

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm slowly working on refurbishing my dad's 1948 Lionel Post-War Train Set.

I've started work on the Automatic Refrigerated Milk Car:
(like this one - http://www.postwarlionel.com/cgi-bin/postwar?ITEM=3462)
and upon disassembly for cleaning and relube,- I have found the wires are shot.
I've ran into a similar problem with the searchlight car (like this one:
(http://www.postwarlionel.com/cgi-bin/postwar?ITEM=6520) but mine has maroon housing and smooth gray finish on the light)
but in this cars case- the wire is just clean broken in two:

While I could just go out and buy another at a train show, that defeats the purpose of learning how to do this sort of re-wiring; and besides where's the fun of taking the easy way out? :)

I'm doing other research on this- but figured I'd also tap this group as a resource for information to see if anyone might have recommendations for what kind of available wire would be best to purchase for this usage?
3 comments|post comment

Help, please? Mid-1970s Lionels behind cut. [20 Oct 2009|10:45pm]

I can't find pricing information anywhere outside of purchasing a buying guide.Collapse )
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State of the Eight [13 Oct 2009|09:34pm]

[ mood | accomplished ]

I decided to do the fiddlier bits of the E8's detail assembly/installation first, which basically meant starting with the fuel tank- there were several detail parts there that still either needed to be modified, made from scratch, or otherwise messed with, and an annoying number of them were barely bigger than 1mm in one or more dimensions. Then again, that's actually where the real work in building this model started anyway, so I guess it's fitting. But speaking of fitting, let's see how everything fits togetherCollapse )

This is the part I like about building a model... after all the cutting and removing and filling and sanding, when the new parts start going on, the model looks more and more like it will when it's done, and that's always a gratifying sight. Now I just have to finish the rest of it... There are still several fiddly bits to go, but most of those are on the nose, which is probably where I'm going to be working next.

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Double-Slip installation. [28 Sep 2009|04:06pm]

I've spent about two days building, installing, and finishing this:

cut to save your pageCollapse )
13 comments|post comment

[15 Sep 2009|11:40pm]

So i was working on this modelCollapse )
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