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Tested: Walthers
low-nose GP9 p. 62
September 2019


Railroading after dark

• LED lighting on a backdrop p. 43
• Prepping for night operations p. 38
• Lighting for visibility
and safety p. 46

A modern-day
narrow gauge steam yard p. 52
Vol. 86 • Issue 9

Improve an N scale 2-6-0 p. 34 ONLINE

How to replace problem turnouts p. 24 CONTENT
Steam-to-diesel in the Upper Midwest p. 28
New Code 83 & 100 track coming soon!

Fully assembled with: - Fine profile molded spike & tie plate - Molded starter points on
- Ties in realistic dark brown details on each tie underside of ties for fasteners
with enhanced wood grain detail - Spike-mounting holes positioned - Custom formulated nickel silver
- Turnouts have solid rail points for next to the rail rail for outstanding electrical
better conductivity - Snap action switch points conductivity

Code 83 Code 100

36" Flex Track w/Wood Ties 5-Pack NEW DCC Friendly Curved Turnouts 36" Flex Track w/Wood Ties 5-Pack
October 2019 April 2020 January 2020
20" inner & 24" outer Radii Left & Right Hand
NEW Bridge Track Set - April 2020 24" inner & 28" outer Radii Left & Right Hand NEW DCC Friendly Turnouts - June 2020
NEW End Piece Set - April 2020 NEW DCC Friendly #6 Double Crossover #4 Left & Right Hand
April 2020 #5 Left & Right Hand
DCC Friendly Turnouts #6 Left & Right Hand
#4 Left & Right Hand - November 2019
#5 Left & Right Hand - November 2019 Code 83 or 100 Code 100 to Code 83 Transition Track
#6 Left & Right Hand - November 2019 Rail Joiners pkg(48) - November 2019 January 2020
NEW #8 Left & Right Hand - April 2020
Terminal Rail Joiners - November 2019
NEW #10 Left & Right Hand - April 2020
Insulated Rail Joiners pkg(24)
November 2019
Spacer Ties pkg(48) - November 2019

Code 83 #10 Turnout

Support your local hobby shop • visit walthers.com • call 1-800-4-TRAINS

Delivery dates, availability, prices and specifications shown were accurate at press time: for updates visit wathers.com. ©2019 Wm. K. Walthers, Inc.
In This Issue Online Content Code: MRR190 SEPTEMBER 2019
Enter this code at: www.ModelRailroader.com/code Volume 86, Number 9
to gain access to web-exclusive content

Features In every issue 60 LIGHT YOUR LOCOMOTIVES USING DCC p. 60


Tested: Walthers
low-nose GP9 p. 62
September 2019

6 Model Railroader Video Plus MRVP

Check out the latest videos SPECIAL ISSUE

43 Railroading after dark

• LED lighting on a backdrop p. 43
38 • Prepping for night operations p. 38

8 From the Editor 46

• Lighting for visibility
and safety p. 46

We’ve never been afraid of the dark

10 News & Products

28 Chasing trains on the Blueberry Hobby industry news 52 Modular
construction: Dave Abeles conducts
nighttime operating

Line 34
A modern-day
narrow gauge steam yard p. 52
sessions on his
Onondaga Cutoff
layout. See page 46.

20 Ask MR MRVP

The HO scale Rice Lake, Dallas & 24

Improve an N scale 2-6-0 p. 34
How to replace problem turnouts p. 24
Steam-to-diesel in the Upper Midwest p. 28
Menomonie Ry. models transition-era When did BNSF start patching out diesels? 28
scenes in the upper Midwest On the cover: Working lights
by Bob Wundrock 22 N Scale Insight on your locomotives are just
• Online bonus ModelRailroader.com Disassembling N scale diesels the start of readying your
layout for night operations.
34 Upgrading an N scale steam Dave Abeles photo
Converting Model Power’s N scale 2-6-0
Mogul into an 0-6-0 switcher that looks as
good as it runs
by Lance Mindheim
• Online bonus ModelRailroader.com
24 Step by Step
38 Nighttime operations on the Replacing dead turnouts
Virginia & Western
How to set up a model railroad for the 60 DCC Corner
third trick Light up the night with DCC
by Douglas Kirkpatrick • Online bonus ModelRailroader.com Next issue
43 How to illuminate low-relief
buildings In October, Bernard
Light-emitting-diode backlight modules Kempinski writes about
are a quick and economical solution the high tech behind his
by Mike Hardwick Civil War-era layout. Plus,
62 Product Reviews MREXTRA plans for a UP station in
46 Running on the dark side WalthersMainline chop-nose EMD GP9 in L.A., how to populate a
Room and layout lighting considerations HO, Rapido HO Santa Fe RDCs, and more passenger car, and more!
for nighttime operations
by Dave Abeles 70 On Operation
• Online bonus ModelRailroader.com Authority and protection MREXTRA
52 Chama Yard in Switzerland 72 Trackside Photos subscriber extra
A modeler from Europe builds a modular • Online bonus ModelRailroader.com
version of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR’s
yard in HOn3 81 Index of Advertisers
Video on
by Roland Kink and Cartoon www.MRVideoPlus.com

58 Making a socket for a signal 82 Trains of Thought

bridge Little things can mean a lot Model Railroader (USPS 529-810, ISSN
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With your subscription to MRVP, you’ll have access to Are you a fan of the other staff members answer
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• Behind-the-scenes access to MR staff and projects want to miss ASK MRVP! ing hobby. You’ll learn
• Authoritative advice from notable contributors Each month producer answers to questions about
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September 2019 7
From the Editor By Hal Miller

We’ve never been afraid of the dark

If there are two things that lit passenger-car windows, with it? I’d bet a dollar to a
have ever gone together, it’s whizzing by en route to some donut as soon as the sun went
darkness and railroading. By exotic destination. Even the down you were turning off
extension, also the night and simple glow of a lit block sig- the lights and watching the
model railroading. nal takes on deeper signifi- locomotive pass in the dark,
What’s more romantic cance in the dark. headlight beaming, just like
than a headlight in the dis- the smile on your face.
tance, accompanied by the When you received your first I remember doing this and
far-off note of a horn or a train set lo those many years simultaneously wishing I had
deep, mournful steam whis- ago, what was one of the first at least a little light to see
tle? Or the passing of brightly things you remember doing everything else, too. Later
I learned buildings could be
lit, signals could be added, also allow us, and others, to
and my wish for “moonlight” operate the railroad effec-
could be fulfilled. tively and safely in low light.

Currently there are several Just think, by adding night

hobby companies that make operations to your railroad,
easy-to-install buildings and you could double the amount
other accessories featuring of fun you’re having with
plug-and-play lighting. only “daytime” operations!
Room-lighting equipment There’s nothing wrong with a
at your local home improve- little railroading after dark.
ment store and the develop-
ment of light-emitting diodes
(LEDs) in many forms can
help us turn light into night
LEDs brought night to Tony Koester’s Nickel Plate layout in on our railroads at any time
this photo he took for a story in the October 2012 issue. of day. Additionally, it can

Contributing to Model Railroader

We welcome contributions from readers, including articles, photographs, and drawings. For more information
on submitting material, call us at 262-796-8776 and ask for an MR staff member or e-mail us at mrmag@mrmag.com.
Model Railroader assumes no responsibility for the safe return of unsolicited material. We assume unsolicited
material is intended for publication by Kalmbach Media unless otherwise noted. We assume letters, questions, news
Model railroading is fun! releases, and club news items are contributed gratis.

Founder A.C. Kalmbach 1910-1981 Advertising Department Kalmbach Media

Editor Hal Miller
Managing Editor Jeff Reich Ad Sales Manager Lori Schneider Chief Executive Officer Dan Hickey
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September 2019 9
News & Products
HO scale

Pennsylvania RR class P5a boxcab electric locomotive. This lettering, DGLE with Buff Yellow Futura lettering, and DGLE
Broadway Limited Imports HO scale model is offered in with Buff Yellow Roman lettering). The model ($399.99)
passenger (Dark Green Locomotive Enamel [DGLE] body with features die-cast metal construction and a dual-mode
brown roof and Gold Leaf Roman lettering) and freight Paragon3 sound decoder with Rolling Thunder. Broadway
versions (DGLE body with brown roof and Buff Yellow Roman Limited Imports, 386-673-8900, www.broadway-limited.com

HO scale locomotives handrail verticals and step edges painted

yellow); Illinois Terminal (green and
• Electro-Motive Division GP38-2 die- yellow); and Pittsburgh & Lake Erie
sel locomotive. Burlington Northern (two paint schemes, two numbers each).
(Pacific Pride II with predecessor road Factory-installed and painted wire
heralds in one road number, as-delivered grab irons, prototype-specific details,
scheme in three numbers, and 1990s and light-emitting-diode lighting.
scheme in one number); Conrail (as- Direct-current model with 21-pin NEM • Electro-Motive Division SD9 and
delivered scheme in three numbers, with connector, $199.98; with dual-mode SD7 diesel locomotives. SD9: Duluth,
white sill in two numbers, and “Quality” SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound decoder, Missabe & Iron Range (as-delivered
and Operation Lifesaver schemes in one $289.98. May 2020. Genesis series. maroon-and-gold scheme); BNSF Ry.
number each); Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Athearn Trains, 800-338-4639, (fictional Heritage III scheme); Denver &
(post-delivery in-service scheme with www.athearn.com Rio Grande Western (simplified scheme);
Great Northern (Empire Builder
scheme); PRR (Dark Green Locomotive
HO scale Sprecher Brewery. Menards has Enamel); and Southern Ry. (tuxedo
released this factory-painted and scheme). SD7: Chessie System (Baltimore
assembled model. The brewery has & Ohio reporting marks); CSX (fictional
an electronic Sprecher sign with dark blue and yellow scheme with box-
animated lighting pattern; an car herald); Chicago, Burlington &
illuminated loading dock with three Quincy (black and gray with “Way of the
workers, beverage cases and kegs, Zephyrs” slogan); Pennsylvania RR
two hand trucks, and Jack the (Dark Green Locomotive Enamel);
German shepherd; and a rooftop Southern Pacific (“black widow”
water tower. The lighting requires scheme); and Union Pacific (Armour
4.5V AC to DC power adapter (sold Yellow and Harbor Mist Gray). Two
separately). The HO scale structure road numbers per scheme. Plastic
measures 51 ⁄4" x 61 ⁄8" x 71 ⁄2" and body, die-cast metal chassis, and dual-
sells for $69.99 plus shipping (free mode Paragon3 sound decoder with
shipping to your local Menards store). Rolling Thunder. $329.99. Broadway
Menards, www.menards.com/trains Limited Imports, 386-673-8900,
10 www.ModelRailroader.com
MOBILE UPDATES Conducted by Cody Grivno
Scan the code to access Model
Railroader’s weekly News & Products
updates from your mobile device.

• Electro-Motive Division GP40-2 die-

sel locomotive. New paint schemes:
Canadian Pacific (red and white, two
road numbers), Burlington Northern
(nose stripes and American flag),
Conrail (“Quality” scheme [small in two
road numbers, large in one number]),
CSX (gray and blue, with and without
Operation Red Block slogan in two
numbers each), Florida East Coast (blue
and white), Norfolk Southern (Operation
Lifesaver, two numbers), and Union
Pacific (Armour Yellow and Harbor Mist
Gray). New road numbers: Boston & Decoder Buddy printed-circuit board. NixTrainz offers these replacement
Maine (blue and white). Three numbers boards for HO scale locomotives. The boards have a 21-pin decoder socket,
per scheme unless noted; also available two pairs of track input pads, one pair each of motor input pads and stay-alive
undecorated with curved or straight pads, and two pairs of speaker pads wired in parallel. The connector board has
anticlimber. Golden-white light- pads for eight pairs of lighting function connections and on-board resistors
emitting-diode headlights, die-cast sized for light-emitting diodes. Not for use on direct-current systems.
metal underframe, and Accumate cou- The board measures .67" x 2.20" x .35". One board, $16; two boards, $31; three
plers. Direct-current model with factory- boards, $45; four boards, $58; five boards, $70; or 10 boards, $130; plus $5
installed speaker, $189.95; with dual- shipping to U.S. addresses. NixTrainz, www.nixtrainz.com
mode ESU LokSound sound decoder,
$299.95. First quarter 2020. Master Line.
Atlas Model Railroad Co., 908-687-0880, Southern Pacific (gray and scarlet), included) or run two trains indepen-
www.atlasrr.com Southern Ry. (green and white), and dently from two devices. $299.98.
VIA Rail Canada (blue and yellow, October 2019. WalthersMainline.
ex-Canadian Pacific). Two to four road Wm. K. Walthers Inc., 414-527-0770,
numbers per scheme. Injection-molded www.walthers.com
plastic shell with prototype-specific
details, die-cast metal frame, and Proto- HO scale freight cars
• Rebuilt Electro-Motive Division FL9 Max couplers. Direct-current models
diesel locomotive. Amtrak (phase 3), with 21-pin plug for Digital Command
Connecticut Department of Trans- Control decoder: FP7, $189.98; FP7-
portation (McGinnis scheme), Maine F7B set, $369.98. With dual-mode
Eastern (green, white, and yellow LokSound 5 sound decoder: FP7,
scheme), and Metro-North Commuter $279.98; FP7-F7B set, $549.98. December • Assorted freight cars. Northwood
RR (red and blue, silver and blue, and 2020. WalthersProto. Wm. K. Walthers Co-op Elevator, Archer Daniels
New York Central “lightning stripe” Inc., 414-527-0770, www.walthers.com Midland, and General Chemical
schemes). Modernized body; head-end Pullman-Standard 4,750-cubic-foot-
power (HEP) rooftop details; HEP plugs HO scale train sets capacity three-bay covered hopper (sin-
on nose and rear; working headlights, gle car, $20.98; three-pack, $61.98).
class lights, and reverse lights; and work- • WalthersTrainline WiFlyer Express Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; Chicago,
ing ditch lights as appropriate. Direct- train set. BNSF Ry. (Heritage I), Burlington & Quincy; Great Northern;
current model, $249.95; with dual-mode Canadian Pacific (red with road name and Union Pacific 40-foot double-
ESU LokSound V5 sound decoder, only), and CSX (dark blue and yellow). sheathed boxcars, $18.98 each.
$349.95. Spring 2020. Rapido Trains, Set features Digital Command Control Milwaukee Road 40-foot single-sheathed
905-474-3314, www.rapidotrains.com and sound-equipped Electro-Motive boxcar with Dreadnaught ends, $18.98.
Division GP15-1 diesel locomotive, Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch 40-foot
Norfolk Southern 53-foot gondola, double-sheathed refrigerator car (“The
Conrail 50-foot insulated boxcar, Union Super Chief to California,” “The Grand
Pacific two-bay coal hopper, and match- Canyon Line,” “The Scout for Economy
ing wide-cupola caboose. Also includes Travel West,” and “El Capitan Coach
16 sections of improved Power-Loc track Streamliner West”; reverse side features
with nickel silver rail, brown ties, and system map), $19.98 each. Injection-
gray roadbed; World’s Greatest Hobby molded plastic kits with steel weight,
• Electro-Motive Division FP7 and “Building Your First Railroad” DVD; plastic wheelsets, and Accumate
F7B diesel locomotives. Amtrak and Walthers getting started guide for couplers. Accurail, 630-365-1173,
(phase 1 scheme, ex-Southern Pacific), new modelers. Run one or two trains www.accurail.com
Pennsylvania RR (Dark Green Loco- using most WiFi-enabled tablets, • 40-foot ballast hopper with exte-
motive Enamel), Soo Line (maroon), iPhones, or other devices (required, not rior posts. Alaska RR (Oxide Red),
September 2019 11
News & Products

O scale Club offerings

• Chicago & North Western

Pullman-Standard 50-foot PS-1 plug-door boxcar. New paint schemes on American Car & Foundry
this Atlas O Master Line model include New York Central, Bangor & Aroostook, 4,600-cubic-foot-capacity three-
and Canadian National. New road numbers are offered on models lettered for bay Center Flow covered hopper.
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and Great Northern. The boxcar ($97.95) is Accurail HO scale kit custom deco-
offered in two numbers per scheme and undecorated. The O scale model has a rated for the Chicago & North
plastic body; etched-metal running boards; and separately applied grab irons, Western Historical Society. $32 each;
ladders, and brake line details. Atlas O, 908-687-0880, www.atlasrr.com two-pack, $58 (both prices include
shipping). Illinois residents add 9.5
percent sales tax. C&NWHS, P.O.
Conrail (gray), CSX (orange), Herzog Railroads 50-foot standard two-bay hop- Box 1068, North Riverside, IL 60546;
(Oxide Red), Norfolk Southern (orange), per with lump-egg coal load (built 1949), www.cnwhs.org
RJ Corman (red), and Union Pacific $40.95. Injection-molded plastic models
(maintenance of way green). Nine road with metal wheels and Kadee couplers.
numbers (single car and two four-packs Kadee Quality Products Co., 541-826-
per scheme). Injection-molded plastic 3883, www.kadee.com
model with RP-25 contour machined
metal wheels, removable ballast load,
and body-mounted McHenry scale cou-
plers. $33.98; four-pack, $129.98. May • Elmhurst Model Railroad Club
2020. Ready-to-Roll. Athearn Trains, 50th anniversary 40-foot plug-
800-338-4639, www.athearn.com door steel refrigerator car.
• American Car & Foundry three-bay • Sinclair Oil single-dome tank car. Accurail HO scale kit custom deco-
cylindrical covered hoppers. New Metal frames, separately applied details, rated for the Elmhurst Model
paint schemes: Potacan (brown and vertical brake staff, metal wheels, and Railroad Club. One road number.
white), Cancarb (black, white, and blue), European-style couplers (can be replaced Plastic wheelsets and Accumate cou-
Conrail (gray with small herald), Rail with knuckle couplers). Three-pack, plers. $29 (shipping included).
Logistics (CSX patchout), and Westroc $159.99. Märklin Inc., 573-365-9522, Elmhurst Model Railroad Club, 111
(gray and black). New road numbers: www.marklin.com E. 1st St., Elmhurst, IL 60126;
Hooker Chemicals, Columbus, Miss. www.emrrc.net
Three road numbers per scheme; also
available undecorated. See-through run-
ning boards, 100-ton trucks with black-
ened metal wheels, and Accumate cou-
plers. $36.95 (undecorated, $28.95).
First quarter 2020. Master Line. Atlas
Model Railroad Co., 908-687-0880, • Bethlehem Steel Co. 52'-6" 70-ton
www.atlasrr.com riveted drop-end gondola. New paint
schemes: Western Maryland (original
February 1954 scheme in four numbers
and 1967 repaint in two numbers) and • Elmhurst Model Railroad Club
Wabash (original 1957 scheme, four road 50th anniversary 60-foot cylindri-
numbers). Prototype-specific details, cal covered hopper. Bowser N scale
wire grab irons and uncoupling levers, car custom decorated for the
and Kadee scale couplers. $38.95. Elmhurst Model Railroad Club. Two
• Assorted freight cars. Toledo, Peoria Tangent Scale Models, 828-279-6106, road numbers. Metal wheelsets and
& Western Pullman-Standard 40-foot www.tangentscalemodels.com truck-mounted couplers. $35 per
PS-1 boxcar with 7-foot, 5-panel • National Steel Car 5,150-cubic-foot- set (shipping included). Elmhurst
Superior doors (built 1953, repainted capacity three-bay covered hopper. Model Railroad Club, 111 E. 1st St.,
6/62), $39.95. Nashville, Chattanooga & Archer Daniels Midland (molecule logo), Elmhurst, IL 60126; www.emrrc.net
St. Louis Association of American BNSF Ry. (post-2005 scheme), Canadian
12 www.ModelRailroader.com
N scale


5228 Main Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Rustic Cabin. New from Woodland Scenics is this factory-assembled and
painted plastic structure. The N scale Rustic Cabin ($39.99) has board-and-
For 25 Years, Simply...
batten siding, a covered porch, and a shake shingle roof. The structure also
includes rocking chairs, a wood pile, a television antenna, an electric meter, The BEST!
and a light-emitting-diode porch light (compatible with the Just Plug Lighting
System). Woodland Scenics, 573-346-5555, www.woodlandscenics.com
Pacific (CP herald, “Canadian Pacific Measures roughly 21 ⁄2" x 31 ⁄2". $65. Switch
Railway” lettering, and Soo reporting Conowingo Models, 410-658-0853, Machine
marks), Illinois Cereal Mill (Cargill let- www.conowingomodels.com
tering), Chicago Freight Car Leasing MADE IN THE 800-6000 $ 22.95
(reporting marks only), and Union N scale locomotives USA 6006
6-PACK $132.00
12-PACK $250.00
Pacific (“We Will Deliver” slogan). Four
• Enclosed Gear Drive Mechanism
road numbers per scheme; also available (NOT a Screw-Drive Machine!)
undecorated. Detailed brake gear and • Simple Mounting - All Linkage Included!
discharge outlets; trough-style roof • 2 Sets SPDT Auxiliary Contacts
hatches with handles; and thin-profile AT YOUR LOCAL HOBBY SHOP OR DIRECT
running boards, stirrup steps, end lad- • United States Railroad Admini-
Send SSAE for more info or $8.00 for complete
ders, and platforms. $29.98. August 2019. stration heavy and light 2-8-2 Mikado 60 page Catalog & Application Book to:
WalthersMainline. Wm. K. Walthers steam locomotives. Heavy: Chicago, CIRCUITRON
Inc., 414-527-0770, www.walthers.com Burlington & Quincy; Atchison, Topeka 211 RocBaar Dr., Romeoville, IL 60446-1163
& Santa Fe; Erie; Great Northern;
HO scale passenger cars Milwaukee Road; and New York
Central/Pittsburgh & Lake Erie. Light:
Baltimore & Ohio, Canadian National, YANKEE DABBLER INC
New York Central/Indiana Harbor Belt,
Pennsylvania RR, Southern Ry. (one Check out our complete train store!
road number), and Union Pacific. Two
Repairs and decoders installed.
• Assorted Amtrak Budd Amfleet I numbers per scheme unless noted; both
passenger cars. Cafe car (Northeast versions available painted black but N, HO, S, O, G
Regional phase 6 scheme), Businessclass unlettered. Die-cast metal body and
Authorized Dealer:
coach (phase 6 scheme), and Coachclass chassis, golden-white light-emitting-
(phase 6 scheme, three road numbers). diode headlights, and dual-mode Digitrax, ESU-LokSound,
One number per scheme unless noted. Paragon3 sound decoder with NCE, Soundtraxx, TCS
All cars feature illuminated interior Rolling Thunder. $329.99. Broadway
and E-Z Mate Mark II couplers. $89. Limited Imports, 386-673-8900,
Bachmann Trains, 215-533-1600, www.broadway-limited.com

HO scale structures OPEN

• Bush’s Mill. Laser-cut wood kit with • Electro-Motive Division E8A diesel
real cedar shingles, rock paper, Tichy locomotive. Chicago & North Western. 101 W. Kings Hwy.,
(856) 312-8084 Bellmawr, NJ 08031
Train Group windows and door, 10 One road number. Body- and truck-
scale foot water wheel, two sluiceway mounted Kato couplers and directional
sections, and attached head wall. golden-white light-emitting-diode www.yankeedabbler.com
September 2019 13
News & Products

Kansas City Southern, Maryland &

HO scale Pennsylvania, Middletown & New
Jersey, Nevada Northern, Norfolk
Southern, Pickens RR, and Railbox (1995
scheme). Four road numbers per paint
scheme. Screw-mounted trucks and
McHenry couplers. $22.98. May 2020.
AthearnN. Athearn Trains, 800-338-
4639, www.athearn.com
• 53'-6" flatcar. Conrail (brown),
Illinois Central Gulf (orange),
Minneapolis & St. Louis (brown with
Assorted detail parts. A variety of cast-Hydrocal detail parts are available Chicago & North Western herald), Rock
from Produits M.P., including a four-pack of Dumpsters, a 12-pack of wood Island (brown), Southern Pacific
barrels, a four-pack of small Dumpsters, a 10-pack of modern fire hydrants, (brown), and Union Pacific (Armour
a nine-pack of recycle bins on wheels, and a 10-pack of old fire hydrants. Yellow). Two road numbers per scheme;
The packs retail for $4.88 each. Price may vary based on exchange rate. also available undecorated. Free-rolling
Produits M.P., www.produitsmp.com trucks, separate brake wheel, and
knuckle couplers. $29.95. First quarter
2020. Master Line. Atlas Model Railroad
headlights. Direct-current model, $110; N scale freight cars Co., 908-687-0880, www.atlasrr.com
with Digital Command Control (DCC)
motor and light decoder, $180; and • Berwick Forge & Fabricating N scale passenger cars
with ESU LokSound DCC sound 50-foot boxcar. BNSF Ry. (post-2005
decoder, $265. November-December herald), Burlington Northern, Chicago • Comet II commuter cars. Coach and
2019. Kato USA Inc., 847-781-9574, & North Western, General American cab car. Connecticut Department of
www.katousa.com Leasing (BKTY reporting marks), Transportation, Massachusetts Bay


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Transportation Authority, Metro North
Commuter RR, NJ Transit, Metropolitan N scale
Transportation Agency (Montreal), and
Southeastern Pennsylvania Trans-
portation Authority. One unnumbered
coach and cab car per paint scheme;
undecorated coach and cab car also
available. Controllable interior and cab
car lighting, full underbody and interior
detail, inside-bearing trucks with metal
wheelsets, tinted window glazing, con-
stant interior lighting in direct current
and Digital Command Control, and UPS hub with customer service center. This injection-molded plastic kit is the
metal grab irons. Coach, $59.95; cab car, latest addition to the Walthers Cornerstone Series. The N scale kit ($69.98)
$69.95. Summer 2020. Rapido Trains, includes parts for six trailer dock doors with weather bellows/seals and four
905-474-3314, www.rapidotrains.com drive-through dock doors, a free-standing entry sign, and building signs.
The walls have molded cut lines for customizing. The building measures
N scale details and accessories 12" x 61 ⁄2" x 33 ⁄16". Wm. K. Walthers Inc., 414-527-0770, www.walthers.com

• 48-foot smooth-side intermodal

container. Allied Van Lines; American Group”); Canadian National (Laser AthearnN. Athearn Trains, 800-338-
President Lines (white with red eagle and Intermodal scheme); Conrail (Mercury 4639, www.athearn.com
blue “APL” lettering on ends); Atchison, scheme); and Southern Pacific (white • T-Trak modules. Corner and straight
Topeka & Santa Fe (white with blue with red speed lettering on sides and versions. Kits feature Woodland Scenics
circle-cross herald); Burlington North- Southern Pacific Lines herald on ends). SubTerrain Lightweight Layout System
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September 2019 15
News & Products

N scale

53-foot high-cube intermodal containers. Jacksonville Terminal Co. offers

NICHOLAS SMITH TRAINS these injection-molded plastic models decorated for Pacer Stacktrain, STAX,
Model Railroading For All Seasons ® Canadian National, COFC Logistics, and CSX Intermodal. The containers
VISIT OUR WEBSITE, OR GIVE US A CALL (two-pack, $33.95) have prototype-specific details, inter-box connecting pins,
For orders only: 1-800-848-9119
Product Info (610) 353-8585 Ɣ Fax (610) 359-9846 and the JTC magnetic connecting system (magnets on bottom and metal plate
MINIMUM ORDER : $30.00 Ɣ 15% Restocking Fee on Returns
No P.O. Boxes Please; PA Residents Add 6% Sales Tax  on top). Jacksonville Terminal Co., 904-233-9526, www.jtcmodeltrains.com
Broadway Limited SUPER SALE!
All with Locos Paragon 2
Quantities limited. Most items are 2 pcs or less sculpting plaster), assembly tools, glue, paint scheme: Baltimore & Ohio (gray-
BRO2120 EL EMD NW2 Switcher #424 .................$120.00
BRO2176 PRR 2-8-2 LT Mikado.............................$175.00
BRO2270 AT&SF SD40-2 #5038 ............................$150.00
and Kato Unitrak. $49 each. Produced and-blue scheme). One road number.
BRO2284 UP SD40-2 #3137 ..................................$150.00 by Woodland Scenics, available Etched-metal stirrup steps, flush window
BRO2334 SF EMD E6B #15A ................................$150.00
BRO2359 NYC E8 A #4046 ....................................$175.00 from Kato USA Inc., 847-781-9574, glazing, AutoLatch couplers, and metal
BRO2380 UP EMD E7B #929B ..............................$165.00
BRO2441 Santa Fe C30-7 #8018...........................$150.00 www.katousa.com wheels. American Z Line, 614-764-1703,
BRO244X 4/5 Conrail C30-7 Asst. #’s ....................$150.00
BRO245X 0/1 NS C30-7 Asst. #’s ..........................$150.00 www.americanzline.com
BRO2454 UP GE C30-7 .........................................$150.00
BRO270X 6/7 BNSF SD40-2 Asst. #’s....................$165.00
Z scale locomotives
BRO271X 0/1 CN SD40-2 Asst. #’s ........................$165.00
BRO2713 CSX SD40-2 #2439 ...............................$165.00
BRO2844 BNSF SW1500 #3465............................$145.00
BRO2847 Conrail SW1500 #9532 ..........................$145.00
• General Electric P42 Genesis diesel
BRO2863 US Steel SW1500 #150 .........................$145.00
BRO292X 0/1 Santa Fe 4-6-2 Asst. #’s ..................$195.00
locomotive. New paint scheme: • WDMI-24 WiFi/Digital Command
BRO293X 3/7 NYC 4-6-2 Asst. #’s .........................$195.00 Connecticut Department of Trans- Control locomotive interface module
BRO332X 6/7 UP SW1500 Asst. #’s.......................$140.00
BRO406x 3/4 NYC BF-16 Sharknose AB Asst #’s ..$225.00 portation (New Haven McGinnis for large scales. For O and G scale
Operating Water Towers w. Sound .......................... $84.00 scheme). Two road numbers. Traction locomotives. Module provides DCC sig-
6090 Red Unlettered; 6091 Brown Unlettered; 6092 AT&SF
6093 NYC; 6094 PRR; 6095 UP; 6096 City of Abilene tires and directional light-emitting- nals to a decoder controlled via a WiFi-
MTH HO diode headlights. Accepts Digitrax and enabled tablet or smartphone running
MTH8023321 Ferrosur ES44AC w. PS3................ $149.99
MTH8023370 Central of Georgia ES44AC dcc rdy $104.99
MTH8023401 Monongahela ES44AC w. PS3 ....... $139.99
TCS drop-in Digital Command Control a WiFiTrax app. Direct-current power
MTH8023430 N&W ES44AC DCC Ready ............. $104.99 decoders. American Z Line, 614-764- required for track. $79. WiFiTrax
MTH8520160 BNSF GP38-2 DCC Ready ............... $79.99
MTH8520200 CSX GP38-2 DCC Ready ................. $79.99 1703, www.americanzline.com Model Science, +61 (0) 2 94564849,
MTH8520211 CSX GP38-2 w. PS3 ....................... $109.99
MTH8520231 Indiana Railroad GP38-2 w. PS3 .... $109.99 www.wifitrax.com
MTH8520270 Maryland Midland GP38-2 DC .......... $79.99
MTH8520310 NS GP38-2 DCC Ready ................... $79.99 Z scale freight cars
MTH8520321 NS GP38-2 w PS3 .......................... $109.99
MTH8520340 P&LE GP38-2 DCC Ready ............... $79.99
MTH8520351 P&LE GP38-2 w. PS3 ..................... $109.99
MTH8520370 UP GP38-2 DCC Ready.................... $79.99
MTH8520390 CN GP38-2 DCC Ready ................... $79.99
MTH8520401 CN GP38-2 w. PS3 ......................... $109.99
MTH8520430 Chessie/B&O GP38-2 DCC Ready ... $79.99
MTH8520460 Conrail GP38-2 DCC Ready ............. $79.99
MTH8520471 Conrail GP38-2 w. PS3 ................... $109.99
MTH8520520 Southern Pacific GP38-2 DCC Rdy .. $79.99
MTH8520521 Southern Pacific GP38-2 w. PS3 .... $109.99
**Other road numbers available for the GP38-2 above**

• 1937 Association of American
LOCOMTOIVES15%OFF Railroads 40-foot boxcar. New paint
scheme: Canadian National. Seven road
JOINUSFOROUROPENHOUSESALE numbers (single car, two-pack, and
four-pack). Murphy raised-panel roof,
prototype-specific doors, metal wheels, • Foam train service tray. For HO and
AutoLatch couplers, and 4-5 Dread- TT scales. Features V- and U-shaped
ALSOONLINE@ naught ends. American Z Line, 614-764- slots for locomotives or freight cars;
WWW.NICHOLASSMITHTRAINS.COM 1703, www.americanzline.com recesses for storing tools, parts, and
Hours: M,- TH 10-7 Ɣ Friday 10-9 Ɣ Sat 10-5 Ɣ paint bottles and brushes; and compart-
Sun 10-5 (Nov. 1st-Dec. 24th) Z scale passenger cars ment with magnetic disc. Measures
2343 West Chester Pike Ɣ Broomall, PA 19008
(610) 353-8585 Ɣ ESTABLISHED 1909
11.8" x 8.3" x 2.2". $119.99. Price may
www.nicholassmithtrains.com • 6-section, 6-roomette, 4-double- vary based on exchange rate. Noch
DŽĚĞůZĂŝůƌŽĂĚĞƌ^ĞƉƚĞŵďĞƌϮϬϭϵ bedroom lightweight sleeper. New GmbH & Co. KG, www.noch.com
16 www.ModelRailroader.com
Sprecher's™ Brewery
HO Scale (SKU# 279-5143) ... $69.99
O Scale (SKU# 279-4493) ..... $99.99
• Electronic "Sprecher" sign with
animated lighting pattern,
a value of over $30 included!
• Prelit interior with soft-glowing effect
• Roof with intricate parapet design
and additional details such as three
pipes and a water tower with blinking
red warning light, a value of over $30
• Lighted loading dock with three
workers, beverage cases and kegs,
two hand carts, and Jack the German
Shepherd, a value of over $25
• Simple Plug & Play lighting with two
convenient power connections
• Built-in train tunnel allows this
building to sit over existing train
tracks. Or, use the innovative "tunnel


Vetter Sash & Door Pepsi® Bottling Plant Morton® Salt Factory Gamer & Thrones American Materials American Materials #2
HO Scale (279-5018) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5014) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5012) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5141) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5043) .......... $59.99 Looks great on all O, S & HO
O Scale (279-4324) ........... $109.99 O Scale (279-3860) .............. $99.99 O Scale (279-3847) .............. $99.99 O Scale (279-4428) ........... $109.99 O Scale (279-4434) .............. $79.99 layouts! (279-4425) ..... $89.99

Menardsville Station Wally’s Service Station Farm Supply Building Fire-Damaged Engine House Starbucks® Coffee Shop Dakota™ Cabinet Factory
HO Scale (279-5041) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5017) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5005) .......... $49.99 HO Scale (279-5006) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5040) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5002) .......... $69.99
O Scale (279-4436) .............. $79.99 O Scale (279-4431) .............. $89.99 O Scale (279-3389) .............. $69.99 O Scale (279-3092) .............. $79.99 O Scale (279-4325) .............. $79.99 O Scale (279-2678) .......... SOLD OUT


Taco Bell® Restaurant Watkin’s City Block Menards® Hobby Shop Grandpa’s House Red Barn Multi-Sign/Purpose Bldg.
HO Scale (279-5042) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5013) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5001) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5007) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5016) .......... $59.99 HO Scale (279-5044) .......... $69.99
O Scale (279-4451) .............. $89.99 O Scale (279-3971) .............. $99.99 O Scale (279-2677) .......... SOLD OUT O Scale (279-3390) .......... SOLD OUT O Scale (279-4430) .............. $89.99 O Scale (279-4452) .............. $99.99

Red Owl® Store 30-Sign Maintenance Shed Fire Station No.12 Train Station Menards® Power & Light Sauerkraut Factory
HO Scale (279-5011) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5009) .......... $49.99 HO Scale (279-5015) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5010) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5004) .......... $69.99 HO Scale (279-5003) .......... $69.99
O Scale (279-3472) .............. $99.99 O Scale (279-3069) .......... SOLD OUT O Scale (279-3848) .............. $99.99 O Scale (279-3846) .......... SOLD OUT O Scale (279-3051) .......... SOLD OUT O Scale (279-3073) .............. $99.99


News & Products

Booster, DCC Twin, and Power Pro

Large scale Digital Command Control system.
Allows users to store full details of loco-
motives and accessory (turnout) decod-
ers and assists with decoder program-
ming. Runs on any Windows (XP, Vista,
7, 8, 8.1, and 10) desktop or notebook.
Free. A-Train Systems, +44 162 542 1324,

2-6-0 Mogul steam locomotive. Coming in September from PIKO America is Weathering supplies
an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 2-6-0 Mogul steam locomotive. The large scale
model, priced at $649.99, will feature directional light-emitting-diode lights, a
smoke unit, a PIKO SmartDecoder, and a full-featured dual-mode sound
decoder. PIKO America LLC, 619-280-2800, www.piko-america.com

Scratchbuilding supplies The N Scale Architect, 607-746-8416,

• Plastic building sheets. New styles. • Patina markers for models. Six-pack
American Bond brick with sixth row on Software contains Dark Brown, Leaf Green, Navy
end (N/Z), British Bond brick with alter- Blue, Stone, Yellow Ochre, and Warm
nate row on end (N/Z), cobblestone • A-TRACK version 4.4.206. Minor Gray. Use on wood, cardboard, plaster,
roadway (HO), and Flemish Bond brick update corrects bugs founds in version and plastic. Double-ended marker con-
(alternate brick on end (N/Z). Two-pack 4.4.196. Incorporates better-structured tains fine and broad tips. $42.99. Price
of 11" x 14" .020" white styrene sheets, tutorial. Complements and expands the may vary based on exchange rate. Noch
$24.95. Model Builder’s Supply Line. capabilities of NCE Power Cab, Smart GmbH & Co. KG, www.noch.com

18 www.ModelRailroader.com
Ask MR

Q I have five Digital Command

Control-equipped N scale engines on
my layout with about 20 meters of
main line. Most of the locomotives will
run for extended periods. But one
steam engine will only run for a couple
minutes before stopping for a minute
or so, then starting again for another
few minutes, then stopping, then
starting, and so on. I’ve had the engine
serviced by the manufacturer, and their
technicians have overhauled it a couple
of times. The second time, the guys
Burlington Northern and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe merged to form the called me to say they had all been over
BNSF Ry. in 1996. Shortly thereafter the railroad started patching out and the engine and run it continuously,
repainting diesel locomotives, like the three former BN and ATSF engines seen forward and reverse under load, for a
in this photo shot at Garretson, S.D., on July 31, 2004. Cody Grivno photo total of four hours without a problem.
But when the engine arrived home, it
was back to its usual misbehavior.
When did BNSF start patching out diesels? I don’t want to exile it to the round-
house. Any thoughts?

Q I’m about to start building my layout. Over the years I’ve collected
many Burlington Northern and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe loco-
motives. Around what date did BNSF start repainting its locomotives, and
Ross Jeffcoat, Chermside South,
Queensland, Australia

when did the BNSF stencil start showing up? My preference is to run as A Intermittent issues are always the
many locomotives as I can without the stencil, as I’m sure that in the early hardest to diagnose, since they’re hard to
’90s you could see both road names on the same trains. reproduce. But I can make some guesses
Manny Gamallo, Sand Springs, Okla. that might guide your own testing.
Whenever electronics stop and restart

A The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Burlington Northern merged
on Dec. 31, 1996, to form the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe. The
merged railroad experimented with several paint schemes derived from
intermittently, my first thought is over-
heating. When your locomotive stops,
does the tender feel warm to the touch?
its two predecessors, including Santa Fe “warbonnet” schemes and (I’m assuming the decoder is in the ten-
orange-and-green BN “heritage” schemes. The railroad officially changed der). If so, try removing the tender shell
its name to BNSF Ry. in January 2005, unveiling what railfans call the and seeing if allowing cooling airflow
“Swoosh” logo. around the decoder fixes the problem. If
Model Railroader’s resident BNSF aficionado, Group Technical Editor it does, try adding some ventilation to
Cody Grivno, fills us in on the details: the tender by drilling holes in the bot-
BNSF Ry. started repainting former Santa Fe and Burlington Northern tom. You might also allow heat to escape
units in 1996. Electro-Motive Division GP60Ms were some of the earliest by replacing the coal load with one made
Santa Fe units repainted, with more than a dozen completed between of black window screening topped with a
June and November 1996. thin layer of scale coal.
The renumbering process has been ongoing. The bulk of the renumber- Does it always happen in the same
ing took place between 1997 and 2000, though BNSF is still renumbering part of the layout? If so, get a multimeter
units (and bringing back predecessor reporting marks) to open up number and check for voltage drops in that area.
slots today. Locomotives with “BNSF” stencils in ATSF paint (both the It might be that this particular engine
blue-and-yellow and red-and-silver warbonnets) can still be found in 2019, needs more voltage than your others.
though the number of units is dwindling. Lessen voltage drops to the area by add-
To learn when a specific locomotive was renumbered, I’d recommend ing more feeders to your track bus.
getting a copy of Robert C. Del Grosso’s BNSF Railway Company Locomo- Does it happen mostly while other
tive Review (Great Northern Pacific Publications). The books, produced locomotives are also running elsewhere
from the late 1990s through 2011, list the date each locomotive was on the layout? Your DCC system might
renumbered and (if applicable) repainted, and in what scheme. Though not have enough amperage to run them
the books are out of print, you can find copies through used booksellers, all at once. Look into dividing your lay-
at railroad swap meets, and on internet auction websites. out into more power districts and adding
Microscale makes a couple of sets for modeling units that have been a booster to handle the current load.
renumbered but not repainted. Sets 87-1035 (HO) and 60-1035 (N) contains Good luck tracking down your elec-
“BNSF” stencils, circle-cross heralds, and numbers in a variety of sizes and trical gremlins.
colors. Sets MC-4254 (HO) and 60-4254 (N) contain patches in Cascade
Green and Santa Fe Yellow. Send questions and tips to associate editor
Steven Otte at AskMR@MRmag.com.

20 www.ModelRailroader.com
MORE For more questions and answers,
watch the video series “Ask MRVP” at By Steven Otte
Q&A www.ModelRailroaderVideoPlus.com.

Editor’s Note: After I sent the above

answer to the reader, he checked his track
voltage and determined the issue was, as
I suspected, overheating – caused by run-
ning a section of his layout on a 16V
power supply, rather than 12V. That’s why
the issue didn’t show up on the techs’ 12V
test track. While his other N scale engines
could take it, that one couldn’t. Don’t try
to run N scale on 16V, folks!

Q What horn, bell, and prime mover

were used on Amtrak 586?
Robert Cronan, South Portland, Maine

A Amtrak no. 586 was an Electro-

Motive Division SDP40F, a locomotive In a three-part series in 1975, our Student Fare column presented a series on
built for Amtrak in 1973-1974 and pow- building the Bantam & Cycloid RR, a very small N scale layout designed to store
ered by EMD’s 645E3 engine. After a under a bed when not in use.
series of inexplicable but disturbingly
similar derailments, they were traded problem, not the root issue. If your cou- “Track plan at a glance” box. We don’t
back to EMD in the late 1970s and plers are mounted on the locomotive label the individual turnout numbers or
scrapped. The first batch built were shell, it’s likely the shell is not seated cor- curve radii on track plans, in part
equipped with Leslie SL4T air horns, rectly. Take the shell off and check for because it would clutter up the plan, and
which were unique to these locomotives; wires, circuit boards, or other parts that in part because the plans are meant to be
the arrangement of the horns on the sec- may be preventing the shell from fitting inspiration, not instruction. We expect
ond order was rearranged, and that horn all the way down onto the frame. readers would choose turnouts and
was designated the S4T. As for the bell, But if your couplers are attached to curves to fit their own layout spaces.
those were standard; EMD didn’t desig- the body frame, it’s possible you
nate them any more specifically than mounted the trucks incorrectly (or used Q I’m looking for a track plan called
“12" bell with internal pneumatic ringer.” the wrong parts), and the entire locomo- the Bantam & Cycloid RR. I think it was
tive is riding higher than it used to. If in a 1975 issue of MR. Might you be
Q I’m building a layout using sectional that’s the case, re-installing those parts able to help me find it?
track. Will there be a problem with the (or replacing them, if they’re the wrong Chuck Perrucci, Perkasie, Pa.
dissimilar metals if I connect steel alloy ones) should allow you to get your loco-
track to nickel-silver track? motive riding at its proper height. A You had the right year. That three-
Dan Brink, Woodbine, Ga. installment series, part of our “Student
Q Regarding your published track Fare” column, ran in our April, May, and
A Although the two kinds of metal have plans, I assume the measurements June 1975 issues. Three variations of the
differing chemical, conduction, and ther- inside the tan squares – 0", 21 ⁄2", etc. track plan were presented, based on what
mal expansion properties, none of those – are the height of the grade from the brand of track the modeler favored;
should present much of a problem if you subroadbed. Sometimes those numbers above is the flextrack version. If those
use them with each other. are in the 45" to 60" range. Are these magazines aren’t in your back-issue
measurements up from the floor? Why stash, subscribe to our All-Time Archive
Q Years ago I dropped an HO scale the two different methods? Second, at www.modelrailroader.com/archive.
locomotive and just recently got around how do I determine turnout size and
to fixing it. I got the motor mounts curve radius from these track plans? Q The edge of my layout abuts a wall
and knuckle couplers from my local Jason Hunzinger, no city given with a sloped ceiling above. Do you
hobby shop and put it back together, have any tips for laying track, building
after which it ran well. The only A You’re correct. When we publish the scenery, and doing maintenance on
problem is that the couplers are now plan of a layout that’s been built, we give areas like this where you can’t get
too high. Is there a way to lower the elevations in distance from the floor. above it to see what you’re doing?
draft-gear box? However, when we publish a plan that’s Jack Berlien, Plano, Texas
Michael Esson, Bald Knob, Ark. only a plan and has never been built, we
give those elevations from an arbitrary A Sure. Build that part of your bench-
A Since draft gear boxes are generally zero point, because a reader who decides work as a removable section. Lay your
mounted underneath a locomotive, if the to build the layout could put it at what- track with rail joints at the edges of the
problem was with the couplers or their ever height works best for him. section so you can wheel it out and take
draft-gear boxes, they would be riding To your second question, you can find it to your workbench. Add your scenery
lower, not higher. So lowering the draft the minimum turnout and minimum and structures at the workbench, then
gear boxes would only solve the obvious curve radius in a plan’s accompanying reinstall it on the layout when done.
September 2019 21
N Scale Insight By Jim Kelly

Disassembling N scale diesels

In the 1990s, Kato pioneered decoder and the motor. One
its classic, vertically split-frame dead giveaway is that the
lights work but the motor Truck mounting points
design. Since then, probably
more than 80 percent of the doesn’t. To fix it, you’ll need
N scale locomotives made, to take the board out and
regardless of manufacturer, clean the contact pads.
have followed (in fact, down- I do this with the eraser on a
right copied) that approach, common, ordinary pencil.
meaning that if you’ve learned If the motor still won’t go,
how to work on one of them, you may have to bend the Plastic bushings
you can work on nearly all. motor leads a bit to get suffi-
cient pressure for good con-
Why take an engine apart? tact. Some decoders have arms
I never disassemble a locomo- on the sides that reach down
tive unless I have to, and then and embrace the motor con-
I go only as far as I must. The tacts from each side. You need
first step is removing the body to be certain that both motor Jim Kelly took apart this Atlas N scale SD26. Two plastic
shell, and sometimes this is a contacts are under the arms. bushings separate the halves electrically. Metal screws pass
considerable challenge. On I’ve found it’s not uncommon through these bushings and engage plastic nuts on the other
most, perhaps all, N scale for the contact extending up side to hold the halves together. Bill Zuback photo
engines, you remove the shell from the bottom of the motor
by spreading the sides to dis- to be tucked in improperly. thumping, it’s almost always I swish them around briskly
engage them from the nubs on Next would be to take the because a tiny bit of grit or and then begin brushing with
the frame that secure them. motor out and test it using other foreign material has a soft-bristle toothbrush, get-
I usually lay the model on DC power and test leads. gotten into the gears and has ting to the visible gear sur-
its back on a piece of foam or a (Actually, I’ve never had a to be cleared out. faces as best I can, turning
foam cradle and pull the sides motor fail, although I’ve To remove the trucks, the gears with a fingertip, and
apart with my thumbnails burned out several via short carefully loosen the screws brushing some more.
while lifting one truck with circuits that were entirely my that hold the frame halves Finally, I rinse the gear-
my fingers. (This is one of fault.) To pull the motor, together until the trucks boxes under running water
those rather simple things that you’ll have to push in the tabs come out. It doesn’t take and blast them with my air-
can’t help but sound difficult that interlock the plastic much, and you don’t want to brush to dry them out and
when you try to explain it.) motor saddle from one side. pull the frame halves com- hopefully knock out any
If that doesn’t work, then You should be able to test the pletely apart. The first thing debris that might still be in
I’ll usually insert round motor without removing it I do is push the trucks back there. I’ve never actually seen
wooden toothpicks to hold the from the saddle. and forth on the track to see if the culprit that caused the
sides apart while I try prying Should you remove a they turn freely. If one doesn’t thumping, but usually it’s
at one end of the frame with a motor from its saddle, say to roll, I disassemble the truck. been dislodged by this stage.
small screwdriver. replace brushes or To do this I insert a small To reassemble the trucks,
That works most solder DCC leads screwdriver in the slot at the place the drivers back in their
of the time. While to the brush caps, end of the gearbox. Work it slots, position the axle retain-
I’m at it, I usually study carefully in gently as far as it wants to ers, and hold them together
file those afore- how the motor fits go, then carefully pry the with your fingers while
mentioned nubs in. Trying to get gear box cover off. Remove inserting them into the truck
about halfway it back together the metal clips that retain the frame. It’s easiest to insert
down so the job correctly can lead axle ends (they’ve probably one end, then work your way
will be easier the to madness. already fallen off) and pull to the other.
next time. I’VE RANTED IN out the drivers. Another word of caution:
BEFORE ABOUT Cleaning trucks. A few words of caution. Don’t assume these axle
Motor contacts. HOW IMPOR- I’ve ranted in this Don’t even think about disas- retainers are symmetrical
Usually, when an TANT IT IS TO column before sembling the trucks on newer when it comes to six-axle
engine won’t go, KEEP AN N about how impor- version Kato SD40-2s. The trucks. On InterMountain
it’s due to poor SCALE LAYOUT tant it is to keep axle retainers are a unique SD40T-2 tunnel motors, I
electrical contact CLEAN, ESPE- an N scale layout design that’s nearly impossi- made that assumption, but I
between the light CIALLY IN clean, especially ble to get back together. was wrong. I learned I need
board or Digital CONSTRUCTION in construction I wash all the truck parts to measure.
Command ZONES. – JIM zones. When a in warm water flavored with Good luck, and keep ’em
Control (DCC) truck starts liquid dishwashing detergent. running.
22 www.ModelRailroader.com
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Step by Step

Replacing dead turnouts

Model railroaders are tinkerers, the locomotive comes to a screeching
and there’s satisfaction in making a halt, unless it has a stay-alive circuit. If
recalcitrant component operational it’s a sound-equipped locomotive, you
again. Other times, it’s best to yank a have to wait for the engine start-up
problem out by the roots. This was one sequence before you can get going again.
of those times. There are two other turnouts within
The Milwaukee, Racine & Troy has 3 feet of the dead one, also the same
been around for 30 years, and some of Shinohara no. 5, also 30 years old. With
the then-state-of-the-art Shinohara turn- most of the crew away at the National
outs have reached end-of-life. This partic- Train Show, it was the perfect time to
ular one is right on the main line, right in take the main line out of service and do
the middle of the layout. Every time some track work. In three days, the job
someone tries to run a train through it, was done.

Milwaukee, Racine & Troy no. 1175, the Andrew P. Sperandeo, passes a recently
replaced turnout. Sometimes, it’s just easier to replace a section of non-operational
track than to try to repair it. Bill Zuback photos
By Eric White


Spray bottle with water


Putty knife
Slip putty knife track nails
under track
Needlenose pliers
Dampened ballast

I gathered my tools at the work site I worked, I found spikes holding the
(the soldering iron is out of the frame rail down. I also used a soldering
to the right), then started by soaking iron to loosen soldered rail joints. It’s
the track with a spray bottle filled best to remove full sections of track
with water. I was fortunate the track up to the joints. All of the old compo-
wasn’t glued down with caulk – that nents were replaced with new. I also
would’ve meant more elbow grease heated and removed feeder wires Loosen soldered
to pull everything up. from the track and pulled them up joints
With the track and ballast and out of the way.
wetted, it was easy to slip the putty
knife under the track and pry it up
while scraping away the ballast. As


Clean up the
connection Filler pieces to match old turnout

Align switch rod with

original location

With the bad-order turnouts and the roadbed was made of cork. to make the Peco turnout fit the same
track out of the way, it was time to Homasote roadbed would’ve been space as the Walthers turnout.
bring in the replacements. The switch shredded by the soaking and attack As you can see, both no. 5 turnouts
rods on the new Peco turnouts were of the putty knife. I used spikes driven have the same geometry, but the
about the same distance from the end into the outside of the rails to hold Peco turnout is shorter after the frog
of the rails as the switch rods on the the track in place. To make spiking than the Walthers turnout. I cut short
old Walthers/Shinohara turnouts. easier, I drilled holes in the ties with a filler pieces of flextrack to make up
That meant I could place the switch no. 78 bit in a pin vise. The spikes are the gap.
rods over the slots cut in the roadbed about 6 inches apart. Once all of the track was in place,
for eventual switch motor installation One of the turnouts I replaced I replaced the feeder wires. I also
without having to cut any rail. led to a spur. The ballast had been added a few new feeders to the spur
After removing a few straggler detailed with weeds to simulate tracks to improve reliability.
ties, I was ready to lay new track. spillage in front of a grain silo, and
I was again fortunate, this time that I didn’t want to pull that up, so I had

September 2019 25
Step by Step


Masking tape covers points

Model Master
Railroad Tie Brown

Spoon ballast into the gauge of the track

Spoon ballast onto the

Spread it with a soft brush shoulder of the roadbed Groom with a soft brush

Soak with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol Soak with glue

After the track was in place and When the paint was dry, it was It’s important to be gentle applying
wired back into the Digital Command time for ballast. I used Scenic the alcohol so you don’t create cra-
Control (DCC) bus, I ran a test train Express Smith & Son 40-pound gray ters. With everything soaked, I used
through the area to make sure every- limestone ballast. I used a plastic another pipette to flow on Woodland
thing worked. Getting lucky on the spoon to fill the gauge of the track, Scenics Scenic Cement. It’s thinned to
first try, I moved on to painting. then spread the ballast with a soft- the correct consistency to hold the
To keep the electrons flowing, bristled paintbrush. Next, I added material in place and flow well into all
I masked the points of the turnouts. ballast to the shoulders of the road- the open spaces between the stones.
The points have to make contact bed, then smoothed that in place You could also use thinned white glue
with the stock rails for power continu- with the paintbrush. or matte medium.
ity. I used Model Master Railroad I left the old ballast on the shoul- I let the ballast dry overnight, then
Tie Brown to paint the rails and ties. ders of the roadbed so the new mate- cleaned the railheads with a Bright
That also blended the feeder wires rial would have something to grip. Boy abrasive track cleaner to remove
into the scene. As soon as I finished, I just had to be sure to cover all of the any lingering paint or glue. With the
I went over the railheads with a old ballast. rails shiny again, it was time to run
wood block to remove the paint. This Once everything was where trains across the newly laid track. Now
is easier to do before the paint has I wanted it, I carefully flowed 70 per- there’s one less area that needs the
time to cure. cent isopropyl alcohol on the ballast. 0-5-0 helper to get through!

26 www.ModelRailroader.com


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Start Your 7 Day Trial Today!


❶ A Soo Line 2-8-0 Consolidation
leads train No. 927 through Rice
Lake, Wis., on Bob Wundrock’s
HO scale Rice Lake, Dallas &
Menomonie Ry. Bob scratchbuilt
the depot from prototype plans.
Fellow modeler Mike McClune built
Jungers Stove & Range.

The HO scale Rice Lake, Dallas & Menomonie Ry.

models transition-era scenes in the upper Midwest

By Bob Wundrock • Photos by Dave Rickaby

28 www.ModelRailroader.com
❷ An Alco S-2 switches the Soo Line freight house while an Electro-Motive Division
F7 leads mail and express train ME-1 into West Minneapolis. Bob wrote about
adding this section to the layout in the February 2014 issue.

The multi-level layout occupies a book titled The Blueberry Line. The last
17 x 24-foot space with a 2 x 9-foot Soo Line train ran on the line in the
extension for an interchange yard. It also early 1960s. None of the prototype track-
features a 100-foot-long mainline run. age remains, but some of the old right-
It’s the most complete home layout that of-way has been preserved as a recre-
I’ve built, but it’s certainly not the first. ational trail.
Historical research led to an idea for a
A lifetime of trains model railroad, inspired by the Soo and
the RLD&M. While planning my layout,
For as long as I can remember, I’ve I used many of the prototype town
liked trains. I have a photo of myself names. The Ridgeland branch line on my
at my first birthday with a pull-along track plan is the most representative of
steam engine toy. When my older the prototype, modeling the branch that
brother’s interest in model trains waned, ran from Ridgeland to Barron.
I inherited first his American Flyer Following this theme, I kicked
and then his HO scale train layouts. around layout ideas for a few years after
I preferred the realism of the HO trains, we moved to a new home in Verona,
especially the fact that the locomotives Wis., in 1986. I also spent time finishing
had couplers on both ends for switching. the basement layout room and set up
With sports and other activities dur- some preliminary benchwork, but noth-
ing high school, I didn’t spend much ing permanent.
time with the hobby during my teenage By then I’d also become involved in
years. Then when I was in college, I told the South Central Wisconsin Division of
my steady girlfriend (now my wife) the National Model Railroad Association
about how much I missed the hobby and (NMRA). At a 1993 meeting, the divi-
My HO scale Rice Lake, Dallas & my dreams of a house where I could sion announced that we would host the
Menomonie Ry. (RLD&M) is named build a layout. That year, she bought me 1997 NMRA National Convention in
after a short line in northwestern a subscription to Model Railroader mag- Madison, Wis. That announcement
Wisconsin that was eventually absorbed azine, and I’ve been back in the hobby proved to be the great motivator for me
into the Soo Line around the turn of the ever since. to get to work. I really wanted my
20th century. The line was known for RLD&M to be up and running as one of
the blueberry bushes along its route, Planning the railroad the convention’s featured layout tours.
hence its Blueberry Line nickname. By the convention, I’d more than
However, my layout portrays the Back in the 1980s, I researched and reached my goal and had completed 90
RLD&M in a “what could have been” wrote a history of the RLD&M that percent of the layout. However, I made
theme. Instead of a sleepy short line, my appeared in an issue of The SOO maga- many modifications to the railroad over
RLD&M is a busy main on the Soo that zine, published by the Soo Line the next 20 years. These included,
connects the Twin Cities with Duluth, Historical & Technical Society. Several expanding the West Minneapolis staging
Minn. The time period is the steam-to- years ago, my friend Arlyn Colby yard, which I wrote about in the
diesel transition era in the early 1950s. expanded that research and published a February 2014 Model Railroader.
September 2019 29
❸ With the buildings of downtown Minneapolis looming in the background, the roundhouse at Shoreham Yard shows off its
motive power. The layout is set in transition era so the yard hosts both steam and diesel locomotives.

Benchwork and track various colors of ground foam. More printing store. I mounted the backdrops
recently, I’ve switched to using Wood- with 3M Super 77 spray adhesive.
The layout has two decks connected land Scenics and Scenery Express I also used some commercially avail-
by a helix and also features staging ground cover adhered with a 50/50 mix able photo backdrops, including prod-
tracks. The layout rises from 50" to 58" of white glue and isopropyl alcohol. ucts sold by Realistic Backdrops.
with a 2 percent maximum grade. I carved many of the exposed rock- The layout room is illuminated with
Almost all the benchwork is cantile- faces from Hydrocal plaster or 4-foot-long fluorescent shop lights. Part
vered off the walls. I used 2 x 4 vertical Sculptamold. Many of the retaining of the Duluth Yard is lit with smaller
wall plates connected by 1 x 4 stringers walls are also carved in plaster or cast under-cabinet style single-tube fluores-
attached to the plates with triangular using a silicone rubber master. cent lights. During recent years, as some
plywood gussets. The only support leg My early scenery efforts included of these smaller fixtures began failing,
that I needed to install was under the trees made from dried yarrow and I replaced them with light-emitting
helix. In a couple locations I also used sedum plants. I’ve since switched to diode (LED) string lights.
L-girder benchwork. using SuperTrees from Scenic Express.
The roadbed is ½" plywood topped Small shrubs are made of broken pieces Structures
with 1 ⁄2" homasote. I also taped and of SuperTrees armatures or Woodland
spackled the homasote joints. During the Scenics products. Many of my town structures are
layout’s lifetime I never had any issue I used Woodland Scenics Realistic made of Design Preservation Models
with the material swelling or shrinking. Water at Lakeside. (DPM) modular components. [Design
When I first started the railroad, I added depth to the scenery by Preservation Models is now owned by
I opted for the then readily available and installing a 1 ⁄8" tempered hardboard Woodland Scenics. – Ed.] It’s easy to use
economical Atlas code 100 flextrack. backdrop painted sky blue. After a few the DPM wall sections to make a struc-
I also used the many Atlas turnouts left years I thought the backdrops looked too ture that fits a specific location.
over from previous layouts in the yards. drab, so I started adding photos to them. I’ve also scratchbuilt some industries
I used Peco turnouts on the main line. I took many photos of prototype from .040" styrene. All the structures are
Initially I installed commercially trackside buildings and eventually well-braced, as I’ve learned that styrene
available track ballast. In later years, learned how to manipulate the images will eventually warp with age.
I began making my own ballast from using Adobe Photoshop software. At Barron, my scratchbuilt Purina
sifted play sand that I tinted with a wash I could stretch out images or even add Mill began as a project for a previous
of isopropyl alcohol and black shoe dye. doors and windows to make a building layout. Using a catalog photo of a
look completely different. The backdrop Walthers mill as a guide, I scratchbuilt
Scenery clouds and trees are also photos that the structure from Bristol board with
have been overlayed or reversed so the silos made from Pringles chip cans. For
The layout scenery base is plaster casual observer won’t notice when an this layout I rebuilt the mill from styrene
hardshell over cardboard strips. At first image repeats. with silos made from PVC pipes.
I covered the scenery base with dirt- I had my photo backdrops printed on There are also many kitbashed struc-
colored latex house paint followed by matte paper at a local office supply/ tures around the layout.
30 www.ModelRailroader.com
Cattle dealer Ehlert Hotel Red Cedar Mills Jungers Stove & Range Rice Lake Lumber
A 58"

Depot Yard tower LCL Transfer Rice Lake Depot Reserve branch
Chicago & Cameron Junction Rice Lake B
& Storage Ashland branch
North Western Brewing Frankfurth
1 Hardware
Upper level Two-turn helix

Cattle dealer Enginehouse Duluth

Barron Tower A
12-car Passenger terminal B
staging (inside helix)
St. Paul Freight house Duluth ore dock lead track
Railway Helix up to
51" St. Paul Bridgeworks Express Rice Lake
Water Lower level
Compressed Mfg.
Purina Mills Ore dock
Menomonie Gadaski Scrap Iron
Knapp, Stout & Co.
Shoreham Warehousing
Depot Water
Sanna Abandoned
Jerome Foods 6
Creamery right-of-way Rice Lake, Dallas Coal
Barron Storage
Seeds & Menomonie 50"
Knox HO scale (1:87.1)
The Hall Co. Doors Drain Layout size: 24 x 26 feet
Wheeler Scale of plan: 9⁄32" = 1'-0", 24" grid
57" Numbered arrows indicate photo locations
52" Illustration by Rick Johnson 3
55" Find more plans online Minneapolis
Backdrops in the ModelRailroader.com Depot
Mirror Track Plan Database.
Shoreham Yard
Mirrors Paulson & Company
Texaco Dallas Elevator Lakeside
Depot Highway overpass
Dallas Ava’s Lake
4 Mirror under bridge
Depot 5 (faces Shoreham Yard)
East Junction Double-sided
Freight house

Junction West
Yard Minneapolis

The layout at a glance

Name: Rice Lake, Dallas & Menomonie RR Maximum grade: 2 percent
Scale: HO (1:87.1) Benchwork: L-shaped supports cantilvered
Size: 17 x 24 feet with a 2 x 9-foot from walls, some L-girder
interchange yard Height: 50" to 58"
Prototype: Soo Line Roadbed: 1 ⁄2" homasote on 1 ⁄2" plywood
Locale: northwestern Wisconsin Track: Atlas code 100 flextrack with Atlas
Era: 1950 to 1955 and Peco turnouts
Style: walk-in Scenery: plaster hardshell
Mainline run: 100 feet Backdrop: painted 1 ⁄8" hardboard with
Minimum radius: 30" (main), 18" (branch) photos
Minimum turnout: no. 6 (main), Control: Digitrax Digital Command Control
no. 4 (yards)

September 2019 31
In 2010 I converted the layout to
Digital Command Control (DCC) using
a Digitrax system and the firm’s wireless
simplex-radio throttles. Other than
removing my large block control panel
and some wiring, the DCC conversion
was easier than I thought it would be.
I still use the C/MRI system without
any problems.
I’ve updated many of my locomotives
to DCC and sound. I also try to purchase
new locomotives with factory-installed
DCC sound decoders.

Locomotives and rolling stock

Because I model the early 1950s, I can
plausibly run both steam and diesel
locomotives. When I started the layout,
I would kitbash Roundhouse steam
❹ Mixed train No. 112 passes the Dallas grain elevator on the Ridgeland branch locomotive kits to better match Soo
line. Bob kitbashed Soo Line combine no. 300 by splicing two Roundhouse Overton prototypes. As the quality of locomotive
passenger cars together. models has improved, I’ve upgraded my
fleet to include engines from Athearn,
Atlas, Bachmann, Broadway Limited
Imports, and Walthers.
Since I limited train lengths to 10
cars, I don’t worry about double-heading
locomotives. Some of my most powerful
engines are my four Alco RS-1 diesels
built by Kato. A single Kato RS-1 can
pull 20 freight cars up a 2 percent grade.
I have about 150 pieces of rolling
stock on the layout. I try to keep my cars
consistent with the layout’s era. There are
kit-built and ready-to-run cars from a
variety of manufacturers. I also have
some cars designed by my friend Ken
Soroos for the Soo Line Historical &
Technical Society. I’ve also painted and
decaled cars for the RLD&M using cus-
tom decals that I designed and then had
printed by the late Don Manlick.
When I add a car to the layout, I fol-
❺ At Dallas, Consolidation no. 438 heads down the main line while 2-6-0 Mogul low a standard process. First I replace
no. 119 holds at the depot on the branch line. Computer Model Railroad Interface any plastic wheelsets with metal ones,
electronics control the scratchbuilt trackside signals. paint the wheel faces and car under-
frame, and add weight to the car until it
Wiring and control assembling my system. While I could matches NMRA RP-20.1 specifications.
have bought assembled C/MRI boards, Then, after gently washing the car to
I originally designed the layout for I instead used blank circuit boards and remove any leftover impurities, I apply a
direct-current (DC) block operation. soldered on the components myself. wash of charcoal-colored acrylic paint to
These blocks proved invaluable when I finished the task by 2002. weather the model.
I began installing a signal system using I scratchbuilt the searchlight signals For many years Nickel Plate Products
Bruce Chubb’s Computer Model using steel washers for the heads and made the only commercially available
Railroad Interface (C/MRI) electronics. brass parts for everything else. I origi- ready-to-run HO scale model of a Soo
Bruce Chubb designed the C/MRI nally used two-color 5mm light-emitting Line wood caboose. Back in the 1970s,
system more than 30 years ago. He diodes for the aspects but switched to I bought one for $35, and it remains the
wanted to use the logic processing power 3mm LEDs when they became available. only brass model I own. My other Soo
of a computer to do what previously I use an old Windows 95 computer to Line wood cabooses are built from
required lots of wires and relays. I’d fol- run the QuickBasic 4.5 C/MRI software. kits by LaBelle, Dennis Storzek, and
lowed Bruce’s signaling articles, includ- My friend Don Wood wrote the initial Centralia Car Shops. I’ve also kitbashed
ing his 16-part series on C/MRI in program, but I programmed the screen several cabooses from Roundhouse “Old
Model Railroader, and in 1999 began display and other subsequent changes. Timer” models.
32 www.ModelRailroader.com
Most of my passenger cars are kit-
bashed Athearn models. I also have a
few ready-to-run Soo Line cars made
by Walthers.

I’ve always been intrigued by proto-
typical model railroad operation. Even
as a little boy, I thought just running
trains around a loop was boring.
When I was older, I gained some
experience learning how a real railroad
worked. While in college, I spent two
summers working for the Soo Line as
a switchman and a yard clerk. I got to
see firsthand how a major railroad divi-
sion point operated. [You can read about
Bob’s experiences on the Soo in the July
and August 2017 issues of Trains maga-
zine. – Ed.]
As I planned my current layout, I read
Bruce Chubb’s How to Operate Your
Model Railroad (Kalmbach Publishing
Co., out of print). You can still find the
book on the secondary market, and
I recommend it to anyone looking to
incorporate prototype operating prac-
tices into their layout.
I’d tried car-card routing systems on
previous layouts, but had mixed results.
By the time I started building my cur-
rent RLD&M in the 1990s, personal
computers had become more common-
place, so I started searching for some ❻ A 4-6-2 Pacific type speeds train
model railroad operations software. train crews, but we usually have eight to No. 6 through the curve at Wheeler. The
I found and started using SHIPIT! by 10 operators. far background buildings are on the
Albion Software in 1998. The software is I don’t have a dispatcher. Instead I upper level in Barron, which is No. 6’s
very close to how I remember clerking rely on operators to follow the SHIPIT! next station stop.
on the Soo Line back in the 1970s. switchlists and trackside signals while
The SHIPIT! software also eliminated verbally communicating with each other
the need for writing out switch lists and when necessary. My job is to act as chief Meet Bob Wundrock
train orders. I wanted to spend my time troubleshooter (and sometimes referee).
running trains, not filling out a lot A National Model Railroad
of paperwork. There’s always room Association Master Model
I’ve made some modifications to the Railroader, Bob Wundrock has been
SHIPIT! software, including adding At the time of this writing, the an active member of the South
embedded messages at several locations. RLD&M will have been dismantled for Central Wisconsin Division of the
I also break up some trains into first and several months. Because of my health NMRA for more than 25 years. In
second sections. The first section carries issues, my wife and I needed to sell our addition to model railroading, Bob
through freight and the second section home and downsize to a condo. enjoys photography, videography,
handles any en route switching. This However, the condo has a basement with genealogy, and maintaining a
method has helped alleviate many traffic room for my wife’s craft projects and, Facebook page on the history of his
bottlenecks. During an operating ses- perhaps, a small model railroad. hometown of Grafton, Wis.
sion, my crews and I can usually run I’ve done some degree of model rail- A retired
nearly 30 trains. roading in every house, apartment, broadcast engi-
A typical operating session lasts condo, or trailer in which I’ve lived. neer, Bob lives in
3½ hours. Since the SHIPIT! software I never used lack of space as an excuse DeForest, Wis.,
requires a 24-hour day, we follow a 7.25:1 for not being active in the hobby. with his wife,
fast clock. My railroad may be gone, but it’s not Emily. They have
Jobs on the RLD&M include three forgotten. It lives on in video form. two adult chil-
yardmasters, one each at Minneapolis, I invite any readers to visit the layout dren and two
Duluth, and East Junction. The layout virtually by watching the many videos grandchildren.
could run with as few as two or three on my YouTube channel.
Find links to Bob’s videos of the Rice Lake, Dallas & Menomonie under Online Extras at www.ModelRailroader.com.
September 2019 33
Converting Model Power’s N scale Lance Mindheim’s N scale
layout needed a steam
2-6-0 Mogul into an 0-6-0 switcher locomotive that ran like a
top. Though he found that in
that looks as good as it runs a Model Power 2-6-0 Mogul,
it took some modifications to
make it suitable for dock
By Lance Mindheim • Photos by the author switching duties.
he layout I’m building shaving off and replacing details and by a tenderless 0-6-0 or 0-4-0 saddle
is an N scale, proto- then spending more time on repainting tanker. There are a few of those available
freelanced railroad wasn’t something I wanted to do. After in N scale, so why didn’t I go with one?
roughly based on spending some time thinking through Two reasons.
Brooklyn’s Bush and the issue and strategizing, I came up First, those on the market are rela-
Fulton terminals in with a plan to use color and weathering tively cheap models with old-style mech-
1944. Given that this as a visual sleight-of-hand to hide the anisms. The second reason is electrical
would be a slow- oversized details. pickup, a well-known cross to bear in
running switching rail- One of the long-standing tricks of the N scale, where the wheel-to-rail contact
road, I need a steam locomotive with a art and design world is the effective use area is so small. Small N scale steamers
particularly smooth mechanism, which of black. Dark colors, flat black in partic- generally don’t have the room for a stay-
isn’t easy to find in N scale. Given that ular, make the subject less alive capacitor. The Model
the road was freelanced, I wasn’t tied to noticeable or even invisible. Power unit is blessed with
prototypical accuracy, but I did want By painting oversized parts MORE ON ample wheel spread front-to-
something that looked plausible. flat black, I could downplay or THE WEB back. Both tender trucks have
To the rescue came Model Power’s even hide the fact that they Read MR senior pickup, as do four of the six
2-6-0 Mogul, which caught my eye when were out of scale. editor Dana Kawala’s drivers. Picking up power
review of the Model
it was reviewed in the November 2017 The other issue was how to Power N scale Mogul over such a long area makes
Model Railroader. This model had the one handle details in general. and watch a video at stalling a rarity.
feature that was a must-have, something There is an old modeler’s I did some research online
I couldn’t work around if it wasn’t there. adage that no detail is better and was able to find examples
Specifically, it has an absolutely outstand- than bad detail. Very wise where prototype roads
ing, smooth-running mechanism that advice. In other words, even if removed pilot trucks from
runs like the proverbial Swiss watch. a prototypical part is available, if it’s a road engines to convert them for use as
The detail work wasn’t bad, either. crudely cast “soap carving,” you’re better switchers. That meant taking a similar
However, it suffers from the same issues off omitting it. The eye won’t key on a approach with my model was plausible.
that tend to haunt many N scale models. missing part, but it will key on crude- By removing the pilot truck on the
Due to manufacturing limitations, the ness. In that vein I decided not to worry Model Power locomotive and shortening
details tended to be a bit oversized. This about replacing the Model Power parts, the pilot slightly, I was able to give it
is particularly noticeable when taking as they would be good enough with more of a “switcher” look.
close-up photography, which is some- effective color treatment and weathering. As far as keeping the tender, I have a
thing I enjoy. Before getting into the coloring photo of a Pennsylvania RR locomotive
The challenge became how to work sleight-of-hand, there was one other with tender switching the docks of
around the oversized parts so they didn’t issue I wanted to address: the wheel con- Philadelphia, so I know keeping it wasn’t
stand out so much in photos. I have a figuration. In the real world, this type of stretching things too far.
layout to build, so spending months switch job would most likely be handled On to the actual model upgrade.

Z scale coupler Cut off

and discard


mounting hole

New mounting
hole (.060" dia)

❶ Coupler and pilot modifications. I replaced the couplers ❷ Blackening the wheels. All eight tender wheels have
with Micro Trains Z scale couplers and trimmed off the trip electrical pickup, but the wheels and flanges are oversized.
pin. Next, I discarded the pilot wheels. I then removed the I tried swapping them out, but the new axles didn’t seat well
cow catcher and shortened the pilot by about 1 ⁄4". I then in the sideframes. So I kept the stock tender wheels but
drilled a new .060" (no. 53) screw mounting hole about .15" downplayed their dimensions by painting them flat black.
back from the original location and remounted it. The pilot I masked the wheel treads and the electrical pickup contacts
support rods were also discarded. but left the flanges exposed before painting.

September 2019 35
❸ Applying a paint wash. I started the weathering with ❹ Getting dusty. To capture the prototype’s dusty, flat black
the cab roof. I mixed up a weathering wash by adding 2 surface, I airbrushed on a wash of 50 percent Testor’s Dullcote,
teaspoons of black India ink to a pint of 70 percent isopropyl 50 percent Testor’s Brush Cleaner, and a few drops of Model
alcohol. Using a wide, flat, soft-bristled brush, I lightly applied Master U.S. Army Helo Drab (no. FS34031). After that dried,
the wash over the roof using horizontal strokes. I applied a layer of Bragdon Enterprises’ Soot Black
weathering powder and sealed it with Dullcote.

❺ Get the lead on. I gently ran a no. 2 pencil across the top of the molded-on pipes to highlight them. It’s easy to overdo this,
so I used the lightest touch I could with the pencil. You just want the hint of highlights.

❻ Better coal. To add texture, I applied a realistic coal load to the tender, using Arizona Rock & Mineral N scale coal dust.
36 www.ModelRailroader.com
❼ Disguising thick walls. To minimize the thickness of the molded window mullions, I painted their inside faces flat black
using a small, pointed brush.

❽ Dull the shine. The final step was knocking the shine off of the running gear. Given how fine these moving parts were,
I didn’t want to use paint. A friend suggested Neolube from Micro-Mark. Neolube is a lubricant that also serves as a blackening
agent. I applied it to the mechanism with a thin brush to achieve the look I wanted without risking gumming anything up.

By using a few simple color strategies, the Model

Power 2-6-0 Mogul can be easily made into a
model that looks as good as it runs.

How to set up a model railroad for the third trick Structure, train, and room
lighting all play a part in
realistic night operations.
By Douglas Kirkpatrick • Photos by the author except where noted Amy Port on the author’s HO
scale Virginia & Western
show how a layout can come
alive at night. Paul J. Dolkos photo
What do you do with a finished whether he or she is operating at I run the V&W with Digital
model railroad? My 25 x 37-foot HO 2 o’clock in the afternoon or in the Command Control (DCC), which also
scale Virginia & Western RR (V&W), wee hours of the morning. I thought provides a constant voltage for powering
most recently featured in Model Railroad about using this approach for the V&W rolling stock lights through contact
Planning 2017, has been complete for and actually darkening the train room between the rails and metal wheels.
several years. During that time, I’ve to simulate the third trick (night shift in However, flickering can occur from
focused on sharing the railroad through railroad jargon). I would also need to interruptions in wheel-to-rail contact.
regular operating sessions. My friend light the trains, structures, and other Electrical circuits are now available
Steve King guided the initial sessions details on the V&W. Follow along as that use supercapacitors to provide
with his introduction to timetable-train- I describe how I prepared my layout uninterrupted power to light-emitting
order operation (TTTO) and other sug- for nighttime operation. diodes (LEDs). [This technology has also
gestions. After a few bumpy starts, V&W been used in many recent locomotive
operating sessions evolved into an Train preparation models equipped with “stay-alive” cir-
enjoyable three to four hours of friends cuits. – Ed.] The circuits are small
running trains. For night running, it’s imperative to enough to fit into HO cabooses and pas-
However, being a builder at heart, know where the front and rear of each senger cars. These circuits reduce track
I had to find a new area to explore. I’ve train is. Most locomotive models have power to 2.5V or less, so that a small
operated on many model railroads that operating headlights to mark the front of capacitor (1 Farad or less) is all that’s
follow one of two approaches to model- the train, but few caboose or passenger needed for continuous power. I studied
ing the time of day. The first approach car models come equipped with operat- circuits used by a few model manufac-
uses the same time of day for every oper- ing marker lights to indicate the rear of turers, then made my own circuit boards.
ating session. The second approach uses the train. For my cars I installed warm [Ready-made, supercapacitor-equipped
a 24-hour, around-the-clock schedule white 3mm LEDs for interior lighting marker light boards are available, such
where a new session starts at the point and Tomar Industries light-emitting as those from Richmond Controls,
when the last session stopped. diode (LED) markers, as shown in photo www.richmondcontrols.com. – Ed.]
In this latter approach it’s incumbent ❶. The markers display red to the rear Next, I had to modify the car trucks
upon each crew member to remember and yellow to the sides. to pick up track power. Some of my

❶ Markers and interior lights. The Night Owl makes an evening stop at Falls
Church. Doug installed Tomar Industries markers on observation cars and cabooses
and used warm white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for car interiors. Paul J. Dolkos photo

bent into

Kadee power-pickup caboose trucks

❷ Caboose modifications. Doug ❸ Multi-room lighting. Doug installs

made supercapacitor boards to keep lights in individual rooms rather than
caboose lights from flickering. He used relying on a single light source. The LEDs
Kadee trucks equipped with track are wired in parallel so that if one fails,
power pickups on many of his models. the entire building doesn’t go dark.

September 2019 39
❺ Exterior lamps. A 4-8-2 Mountain
Sign type rolls through Wakefield, the
largest city on the V&W. The trackside
billboard is illuminated by 1.5V bulbs
with lampshades. These lamps also work
well above structure doorways or as
streetlights mounted on telephone
poles. Paul J. Dolkos photo

Room preparation
Since the layout backdrop covers the
Driver windows, my basement train room is
board devoid of outside light. A wall switch
next to the door controls the overhead
aisle lighting, and I have flashlights
handy in case of a power outage.
A master switch on the main control
panel turns layout overhead lighting on
or off. These lights are behind a valence
that I installed above the entire layout.
For my new operating scheme, my
goal was to slowly dim the lights as night
❹ Miller Engineering signs. The animated HOTEL sign from Miller Engineering approached. However, I’d converted the
includes its own driver board to program different effects. Doug modified the lights to compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)
board to work with his power bus instead of the included battery holder. The sign fixtures several years ago, and these
is also visible in the photo above. CFLs aren’t dimmable. I purchased 14
LED fixtures and an LED-compatible
cabooses have metal wheels and metal the wiper pressed against one of the dimmer switch to replace the CFLs. To
trucks, so it was easy to modify a truck metal axles. I could then solder the wire my chagrin, I failed to read the LED box
to pick up power from one rail. I drilled from the circuit board to the wiper. One labels and purchased non-dimmable
and tapped a hole for a 00-90 brass screw of my finished cabooses with modified LEDs, so I headed back to the hardware
in the sideframe. Then I soldered a wire plastic trucks is shown in photo ❷ on store to get LEDs that would work with
from the top of the screw that ran to the the previous page. the dimmer.
lighting circuit. Another ready-made option is avail- Once I turned off both the aisle lights
For plastic truck sideframes with able from Kadee Quality Products and the layout lights, it was too dark to
metal wheelsets, I fabricated a wiper (www.kadee.com), also shown in photo run trains, even with the hundreds of
from brass strip. Then I attached the ❷. The firm sells HO scale caboose structure and exterior lights on the rail-
wiper to the bolster, making sure that trucks pre-wired for track power pickup. road. Having 10 to 12 people moving
40 www.ModelRailroader.com
around in a totally dark room is also a
safety concern.
The solution was installing a second
circuit behind the valance to power
25-watt blue light bulbs. Selectively
placed above the layout, the blue bulbs Fluorescent painted
simulate the illumination level of a full headlights
moon at night. The lighting is also
enough for local operators to see their
control panels.

Lighting structure interiors

To get an idea for what an illuminated
building interior is supposed to look like,
I went outside my house one night and Blacklight LEDs
observed the light coming through the
windows. All my structure models have ❻ Blacklight LEDs. This daylight shot shows one of Doug’s blacklight LED
interiors divided into individual rooms, installations on a structure roof. The LEDs are aimed at fluorescent-painted
so no view blocks are needed. Rather headlights of the vehicles on the street below. When the room lights are off, the
than using one large bulb with light UV LEDs will cause the headlights to glow.
escaping everywhere in a structure, I use
miniature light fixtures in selected dark. I selectively light rooms through- in the layout photos, including the track-
rooms of a structure. out the structure, choosing rooms that side billboard in ❺. For each lamp,
When I first started building the lay- are easiest to access with wiring. My I first used CA to glue the two wire leads
out I used 12V and 1.5V miniature bulbs large six-story hotel features 10 individ- together to form a single shaft. After that
to light my structure interiors. I used ual LEDs. An example of wiring a multi- hardened, I bent it into a sharp goose-
separate power buses and power supplies story building is shown in ❸ on page 39. neck, then attached it to the top of the
for each type of lighting. In addition to Because I use three different types of billboard with CA. I concealed the wires
an 8A, 12V power supply, I have a 13A, lights, I keep the wiring well organized. along one of the billboard’s back sup-
5V power supply with resistors to step A single building may have 1.5V and ports. I also use 1.5V lamps to add
down the power to 1.5V. 12V bulbs and LEDs. I use a different streetlights to telephone poles.
The lighting power buses are divided color wire for each voltage and a As I described in the October 2016
into 5 power districts with on/off con- lighter color for the negative lead. issue of Model Railroader, I have several
trols at each local control panel. This I also keep a written record for the long passenger sheds that I lit with LEDs
makes troubleshooting so many lights a wiring colors and voltages for each attached to fine copper wire.
lot easier. building. This is especially important Other sources of light on the railroad
Over the past decade I’ve switched to because I often wire lights in several are active regardless of the time of day.
3 and 5mm LEDs for interior lighting. buildings at a time, then install them on These include color position train signals
They don’t require nearly as much power the layout all at once. I don’t want to be and grade-crossing signals as well as
as incandescent light bulbs and are rela- under the layout, scrambling to remem- working traffic lights in Wakefield, the
tively cheap when purchased in large ber if a set of wires went to a 1.5V bulb largest city on the V&W.
quantities. I use warm white LEDs for or an LED.
most buildings and cool white for indus- Auto vehicle lighting
trial buildings where I want to simulate Exterior lighting
fluorescent lighting. Automobile headlights and taillights
While there are less than 30 12V I find that using 1.5V bulbs with provided the last lighting challenge. Not
bulbs left on the layout, there are now lampshades over exterior doorways adds all vehicles needed their lights on,
hundreds of LEDs installed. The LEDs character to many buildings. I use com- because they were parked. Others
are also driven by the 12V power supply. bination bulb/lampshades from Micro- needed only their headlights or taillights
Each LED has an appropriate resistor in Scale Engineering. [Similar gooseneck- illuminated, depending on which end
line to drop its voltage to around 2V. style lamp fixtures are available with faced the aisle. The vehicles feature a
When using LEDs for interior light- LEDs from Evans Designs and variety of construction methods, includ-
ing, I bend the LED leads into a sharp Woodland Scenics. – Ed.] ing hollow plastic bodies, metal parts,
gooseneck, then I solder on wires from Two of my buildings, including the and solid epoxy resin castings.
the power bus, and install the building hotel ❹, have neon signs from Light For some of the hollow body plastic
over the LED. For multi-story buildings, Works by Miller Engineering. Each or metal cars, I drilled out the headlights
I first drill a hole in the floor above the includes its own driver module. I modi- and taillights and ran lengths of fiber
room I want to light and pass the LED fied my signs by removing the included optic cable from them to an appropriate
through it. battery holder, so I could wire each to its colored LED mounted under the layout.
When there are multiple light sources nearest power district. I used warm white LEDs for the head-
of the same voltage within a building, I selectively lit other rooftop and lights and red LEDs for the taillights.
I always wire them in parallel so that if roadside billboards with pairs of 1.5V This approach didn’t work for all my
one fails, the entire building doesn’t go bulb/lampshades. Examples are shown vehicles. My layout is set in the late
September 2019 41
❼ Headlights and taillights.
Illuminated passenger cars, a flashing these LED installations is shown in ❻
grade-crossing signal, and vehicle on the previous page.
headlights reflecting off the car sides Recently Woodland Scenics has
help bring this scene to life. Featuring released its Just Plug line of vehicles with
pre-wired headlights and taillights, the pre-wired headlights and taillights. I’ve
convertible is a Just Plug series model installed some of these on my layout,
from Woodland Scenics. including the convertible in ❼, and am
very pleased with the result.
1940s/early 1950s, so I have some cars
where the headlights are separate parts The test: A nighttime ops session
that don’t lend themselves to fiber optics.
For the epoxy resin cars, drilling out With several hundred lights installed ❽ Modified flashlights. During night
paths for the fiber optics through the around the layout, it was time to test my operating sessions, V&W crew members
solid castings is nearly impossible. efforts and run the railroad at night. carry small flashlights they can use to
For these problematic vehicles, I invited a crew that had operated the read waybills and other paperwork. A
I adapted a lighting approach pioneered V&W many times before so they would red filter on the flashlight lens helps
by John Allen on his Gorre & Daphetid be familiar with the locations of control eliminate glare.
model railroad. He painted the head- panels and turnouts and be comfortable
lights and taillights of his vehicles with with the general movement of trains “It’s coming! It’s coming!” with a certain
ultraviolet (UV) paint and lit the room over the railroad. degree of apprehension. However, once it
with black lights during night operation. I simplified this first night session by was fully dark, the crew quickly adjusted
For some of my vehicles I used small reducing the number of through trains and became at ease. They enjoyed seeing
amounts of fluorescent paint, dabbing and local car movements. I also slowed sights like a string of lit passenger cars
white on the headlights and red on the down the fast clock. winding its way through the mountains.
taillights. To test the effect, I installed a My Logicon fast clock has an option Some crew members suggested reduc-
25W UV black light bulb in one of fix- to automatically reduce the display ing the intensity of the LED flashlights,
tures behind the overhead valence. The brightness during nighttime hours. My because the glare off the white operating
results were mixed. The car’s headlights operating sessions are 12 fast clock paperwork was overwhelming for the
glowed, but so did every white surface hours, starting at either 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. eyes. I remedied this by covering the
on the layout, including some signs, This session would begin at 6 p.m., and flashlight lenses with translucent red
freight cars, every piece of white paper I set the month as late September when paper, which greatly reduced the glare,
used for operations, and even my light- darkness falls after 7 p.m. That way, the as you can see in ❽.
colored shirt. session would begin in full light, giving Having received positive feedback
My alternate plan proved more suc- the crews a chance to become familiar from my crew, I will host more night
cessful. I used 5mm UV blacklight LEDs with their assignments. I also gave each operating sessions. After that first ses-
inconspicuously mounted on some operator an LED flashlight. sion, the crew all left feeling like they’d
structure roofs. I placed a straw over At 7 p.m. fast clock time, I turned on truly worked all night on the V&W.
each LED to direct its light down to a the blue lights, which went unnoticed
particular vehicle’s UV-painted lights. It because of the well-lit layout room. Douglas Kirkpatrick is a frequent con-
was challenging to hide the LED yet pro- Between 7 and 7:30 p.m. I used the dim- tributor to Model Railroader and its spe-
vide the needed beam of light, but this mer switch to gradually darken the cial issues. Subscribers can find a V&W
method has worked out well. One of room. I heard crew members comment, track plan at www.ModelRailroader.com.
42 www.ModelRailroader.com

Mike Hardwick used light-emitting-

diode backlight modules to illuminate

How to
this low-relief structure on his N scale
model railroad. The backlights are
inexpensive and easy to install.

low-relief buildings
Light-emitting-diode backlight Searching for ideas
modules are a quick and I thought of several options for adding lights to my low-
relief structures. In the full buildings that already had lights,
economical solution I placed translucent parchment paper around the LEDs to dif-
fuse the light. Was there a way to do this on a backdrop flat?
Then I considered using an array of light-emitting diodes
By Mike Hardwick • Photos by the author (LEDs). However, that approach would result in uneven bright-
ness across the structure.
An electroluminescent panel, a small liquid-crystal display
I recently added interior lighting to several structures on my (LCD), or organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) behind the
N scale model railroad and found that it enhanced the realism windows were also considered, but proved too expensive.
of early morning and evening operations. A microcontroller Then I found a simple, less-expensive solution: LED back-
randomly and subtly changes the lights, turning them on and light modules. The light of a single LED is captured through
off and adjusting the brightness and color. My wife liked the the edge of a light guide plate, a thin sheet of clear acrylic
look of the structures and said it would be neat if some of the designed to uniformly spread the light. One side of the sheet is
backdrop buildings had lights, too. I agreed, but wondered how covered with a white translucent film. The other side and the
to light the windows of a structure that is only 3 ⁄4" deep. edges are covered with an opaque or reflective film.
September 2019 43
⁄ " square styrene strip


1" x 3" backlight 2" x 31⁄2" backlight

❶ Backlight examples. These two backlight modules are ❷ Styrene strip. With the window glazing in place,
sold by Adafruit (www.adafruit.com). The devices capture Mike added pieces of 1 ⁄8" square styrene strip. The styrene
light from a white light-emitting diode and uniformly spread strips serve as a frame, holding the LED backlights in
it throughout the thin acrylic sheet. place horizontally.

Bend leads at right angle ⁄ "-thick ABS plastic

3 16

Holes for
LED backlights LED leads

Gray construction paper

❸ Installation. Mike covered the unlit windows with gray ❹ Holding the backlights. Friction holds a 3 ⁄16"-thick piece of
construction paper. He then set the backlights in the structure ABS plastic between the walls. The LED leads pass through
and bent the LED leads at a right angle. small holes Mike drilled in the plastic.

Fortunately, small backlights are inexpensive, costing less need to be repaired or replaced). After drilling holes for the
than $3. The backlights shown in ❶ are about 1 ⁄8" thick. I pur- LED leads, I set the plastic into place ❹.
chased mine from Adafruit (www.adafruit.com).
Running the wires
Installing the backlights
I next soldered 2-foot lengths of stranded wire to the LEDs,
The building I illuminated is a four-story warehouse. After using red for the positive (longer) leads and black for the nega-
installing the clear window glazing, I cemented 1 ⁄8" square sty- tive leads. Note that I tied the negative leads together so I’d
rene strip along the inside of the windows ❷. have one fewer wire to route ❺, opposite. I kept the positive
I covered the windows that wouldn’t be illuminated with leads separate so I could control the upper and lower modules
gray construction paper. I then installed the backlights and independently. I covered the connections with heat-shrink tub-
bent the leads up at a right angle ❸. ing. Then I taped the wires to the ABS to hold them in place.
Next, I cut a piece of 3 ⁄16"-thick ABS plastic so it friction-fit Before putting the low-relief building back on the layout,
between the walls (don’t glue the plastic in case the backlights I drilled a 1 ⁄4" hole through the backdrop ❻. I threaded the
44 www.ModelRailroader.com
Negative leads connected
Heat-shrink tubing

⁄ " hole

Positive leads

Tape holds wires

to ABS

❺ Running the leads. Mike soldered 2-foot lengths of ❻ A hole through the backdrop. Mike drilled a 1 ⁄4" hole
stranded wire to the LED leads, using red wire for positive and through the backdrop for the LED leads. He routed the wires
black wire for negative. He covered the joints with heat-shrink under the layout and placed 460Ω resistors between a +5VDC
tubing and taped the wires to the ABS sheet. power supply and the positive lead wires.

leads from the lightboards through the hole and under the lay- Light-emitting-diode backlight modules proved an inex-
out, where I connected them to a 5VDC power supply. pensive and easy solution for illuminating low-relief structures.
To limit current through the LEDs, which have a forward I plan on adding them to the neighboring background build-
voltage drop of 3V, I placed 460Ω resistors between the +5V ing on my N scale model railroad.
supply and the red wires from the LEDs.
You can adjust the brightness of the LEDs by using different Mike Hardwick is an engineering manager in the San
resistors. However, too much current can damage the LEDs, so Francisco Bay area who currently models the N scale Western
don’t use less than 100Ω resistors. Pacific RR San Jose Branch in the early 1960s.

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September 2019 45

Running on the
Room and layout lighting considerations
for nighttime operations

By Dave Abeles • Photos by the author

Full-size railroads operate around the

clock, so why doesn’t your model
railroad? Dave Abeles shares ideas on
how to set up your model railroad for
nighttime operation.

46 www.ModelRailroader.com
❶ A smooth transition. In real life, the shift from day to night is gradual. Use dimmable lights and dimmer switches to
capture that effect on your model railroad. The photo backdrop depicts Syracuse, N.Y., on Dave’s layout.

ailroading is an industry that fluorescent tubes to track lighting and chosen prototype. Lighting on a model
operates 24 hours a day. The light-emitting diodes (LEDs). can reflect reality just as much as a well-
earliest railroads ran during Lighting, to many, is often more of an weathered locomotive or car.
daylight hours and would rest afterthought than a component of plan- Space the lighting around the layout
overnight. However, it wasn’t ning. With the on-off nature of fluores- to maximize an even spread of light ❷.
long before someone realized that trains cent bulbs, modelers opted for full light The sun outdoors lands evenly across
rolled just fine in the dark. All that was all the time. Dimmer switches for fluo- surfaces, and that’s the effect we try to
needed was a way for crews to see what rescent lights weren’t always easy to find, simulate. It’s important to understand
was ahead at night, and a way for others and installing a switch wasn’t a simple that the human eye does an incredible
to see a train coming out of the dark. swap. Running trains in the dark was job adjusting to different light levels and
A large light on the head end of the accomplished with the flick of a wall sources. Our goal is to create plausible
locomotive solved both these issues, and switch. While this is fine for display, the light, as well as a believable transition
a few red lanterns on the caboose or last sudden change from day to night is from modeled daylight to modeled night.
coach provided markers for the back of unrealistic, as it skips dawn and twilight. The fading from day to night and
the train. The industry quickly became Lighting technology continues to reverse is a key in the process of using
one that worked around the clock. advance, and economical dimmer night lighting during operations. Fading
Railroaders are at work as the sun rises, switches are commonly available today should be done as imperceptibly as pos-
while the sun sets, and throughout the ❶. Remote-control or computer-control sible. This can be done using a computer
day and the night. dimmers have become available. With interface, such as the DMX light control-
With off-the-shelf components, we these improvements, the decision to add ler (available from ADJ Products LLC
can reflect the 24-hour nature of rail- night lighting to a layout is becoming and Elation Lighting Inc.) or simple
roading on our model railroads. Below less cumbersome. manual dimmer switches. Every few
are some lessons I’ve learned from my minutes the dimmer can be adjusted to
HO scale model railroad. Creating atmosphere gradually reduce or increase the lighting.

Lighting your space Part of the adventure of model rail- Equipment and yard lighting
roading is creating an environment that
There are many methods for lighting helps us capture the spirit of our proto- As darkness sets in, lights become
a layout room. Modelers have used type. The atmosphere of the layout space central to activity that continues beyond
everything from incandescent bulbs to may be even more important than the dusk. Vehicle headlights turn on,

Safety first!
Adding or changing lighting in your home, whether for
your layout or for any other use, may be subject to local
building codes and inspection. Before adding a circuit or
installing a new series of lights, check with your local
building inspector to ensure you’re in compliance with
local ordinances.
Consult with an electrician regarding lighting and the
power it needs to work. Breakers in the panel must be
properly sized to ensure adequate power is available for
the fixtures. Before construction, check your controls,
switches, and dimmers against how much power will be
❷ Spacing lights. This roll-out table is illuminated by several traveling through them. – Dave Abeles
light-emitting diodes wired in parallel with the lights above.

48 www.ModelRailroader.com
streetlights illuminate, and room lights
glow. On railroads, headlights are
required at all times. During the day
they’re warning devices. At night, they’re
critical for crew visibility and a visible
warning a train is coming.
With smaller grain-of-wheat size
bulbs and surface-mount LEDs, model-
ers now can also add auxiliary lighting
to locomotives ❸. These add interest,
especially as the darkness sets in. Step
lights, instrument panel lights in the cab,
ground lights above the trucks on the
cab end of the locomotive, and various ❸ Prototypical lighting. Illuminated ground lights and number boxes add to the
warning lights will also add visual inter- realism of locomotives during nighttime operation.
est to your nighttime scene. Passenger
trains and cabooses also are great candi-
dates for interior lighting.
Appropriate lighting will also help to
accent towns and buildings along the
route, as well as shop facilities and yard
offices. This is a case where a little can go
a long way. Even major yard facilities
will have limited lighting. Critical areas
are those most likely to have personnel
on the ground, such as yard leads, crew
change points, and office locations ❹.
Pole- or tower-mounted lights are a
must for these locations ❺. I’ve found
it’s effective to use different types and ❹ A little goes a long way. Most yard facilities have limited lighting. Yard leads,
colors of bulbs and LEDs to simulate the offices, and crew change locations are key places to add lights.
variety found on the prototype ❻.
Within buildings, the time-tested
method of light block walls applies.
Black photo paper or dark cardboard
dividers keep walls from glowing. Open
doors or windows can provide extra light
as well as interest for operators and visi-
tors. Exterior lighting on buildings is
also a good way to illuminate a scene.

Lighting for operators

Onondaga Yard on my HO scale
model railroad has a full-time yardmas-
ter to handle constant classification of ❺ Lighting the way. Engine terminals look dramatic at night. Lights on towers
cars 24 hours a day. A roll-out table is lit shine down on power sitting outside the enginehouse on Dave’s layout.
by several LEDs wired in parallel with
the yard lighting. As the room lights fade
out, the Yardmaster flips an on-off
switch, wired in series, and the yard and
office lights illuminate (❼, next page).
What about operations? It’s hard
enough to read reporting marks when
the lights are on. Again, the prototype
lends guidance. One of the primary tools
for conductors and ground men on the
railroad is the lantern. Since the 1960s
these have been streamlined from the
days of kerosene or oil lamps to battery-
powered lanterns.
Members of your operating crew can
use a small handheld flashlight or LED ❻ Variety is key. Dave uses different types and colors of bulbs and LEDs to
keychain light. This makes it easier to simulate the different prototype lights.
See Dave’s Onondaga Cutoff track plan at www.ModelRailroader.com.
September 2019 49
Light-emitting-diode holiday lights illuminate a photo backdrop mounted on spacers attached to a piece of hardboard.
Dave cut holes in the photo to create the illusion of distant room and street lights (inset).

Backdrop-mounted lighting
Some of the magic of the night can be captured by install- inset photo at lower right. I cut small holes in the photo to
ing lighting on the backdrop. White light-emitting-diode allow light to shine through, simulating room and street
holiday lights are the perfect starting point for behind-the- lights, as seen in the main image. Areas on the photo with-
backdrop lighting. out black paper backing glow from residual light, which
First, I paint each LED a different shade of yellow or also bleeds onto the sky-painted part of the hardboard.
orange to suggest sodium-vapor or halogen street lights or I put a shield below the photo to prevent light leaks.
incandescent building lights. Then I drill holes through the When the room lighting is bright for daytime, the photo
tempered-hardboard backdrop and press the lights into looks like an ordinary backdrop. As the room lighting dims,
place from behind. the warmer tones of sunset darken and the horizon
Next, I mount the photo backdrop to 1 ⁄2" spacers becomes aglow with light from Syracuse off in the dis-
attached to the front of the backdrop, as shown in the tance. – Dave Abeles

see road numbers, couple cars, and

read paperwork.
Last, but not least, is lighting for visi-
tors, guests, and operators ❽. In a dark
layout room, it’s important to have string
or track lighting along the floor that
allows for people to see where they’re
stepping. These can be inexpensive holi-
day light strings that emit enough light
to allow visibility but aren’t distracting.
Finally, battery-backup safety lights are
important in the case of a power outage.
❼ A flip of the switch. As the room lights fade out, the Onondaga Yardmaster
uses a fascia-mounted switch to turn on the yard and office lights. Into the night
Running your railroad requires loco-
motives, cars, and a layout, and odds are
most of that is something you’ve thought
about a great deal. Consider lighting part
of your modeling, and watch your rail-
road spring to life. As day fades to night,
railroading changes. Now, you can
model that too.

Dave Abeles is a civil engineer and

general superintendent at New Jersey
Transit. His HO scale Conrail Onondaga
❽ Keeping trains rolling. Dave installed reflective lighting beneath the Island Cutoff layout was featured in Model
Yard to softly, but fully, illuminate the work space. Railroad Planning 2018.
50 www.ModelRailroader.com

Get on the
To w b
ny oo
Ko k fr
es om

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A modeler from Europe builds a modular
version of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR’s
yard in HOn3

By Roland Kink • Photos by Martin von Meyenburg

❶ Denver & Rio Grande Western class K-27 Mikado no. 463 arrives at
Chama Station. Kim Nipkow modeled Chama Yard on five HO scale
modules for display at train shows around his native Switzerland.
to find a local modeling
theme in the country with the
highest rail network density
in the world. Nonetheless,
some Swiss model railroaders
prefer American prototypes.
Huge trains under equally
huge Western skies; big cities,
big train stations, and big
yards; and the nostalgic
steamers of the Old West are
what Kim Nipkow fell for. His
first crush was Union Pacific’s
4-8-8-4 Big Boy.
When he visited Chama,
N.M., in 2013, he fell in love
with the Cumbres & Toltec
Scenic RR’s dual-gauge yard
there, with its mighty 2-8-2
Mikado locomotives and long
freights. Cumbres & Toltec is
a steam-powered tourist line
that runs on former Denver &
Rio Grande Western’s Ry.
narrow gauge rails, and
Chama is its primary yard.
I met Kim, at the time a
high school student, at a con-
vention of Swiss fans of
American railroads in the
Zurich area. This was in the
fall of 2012, when he was still
planning his trip. We imme-
diately started talking about
Big Boys and other steam
locomotives, especially the
Colorado narrow gauge pro-
totypes I know well.
We also talked about my
friend Soni Honegger, who
still occasionally works on the
prototype. Soni was general
manager of the Cumbres &
Toltec for a time and is well
known in the U.S. railroad
preservation scene. I told Kim
to let Soni know when he took
that trip to Chama.
When Kim got there, Soni
was out running a moonlight
excursion. Kim waited in the
rainy night for the train.
When it pulled into the sta-
tion, he asked the engineer if ❷ This view from the south end shows most of Chama Yard. A 2.5m (8'-2") section of parallel
he knew Soni. “That’s me,” tracks, beginning just past the south yard ladder, can be omitted for a shorter display layout.

54 www.ModelRailroader.com
Chama Yard
HOn3 scale (1:87.1 proportion, 3-foot track gauge)
Layout size: 1m x 10.5m (40" x 34'-5")
Scale of plan: 9⁄32" = 1'-0", 24" grid
Numbered arrows indicate photo locations
Illustration by Rick Johnson
Find more plans online in the
ModelRailroader.com Track Plan Database.

Oil loading dock


❸ The Silverton, behind D&RGW no. 346, a class C-19 2-8-0 Consolidation, pulls into Chama.
The oil loading track is in the foreground.
4 Sand
the reply came. “You must be The drawings that are tracks, so it can be omitted
Freight Kim. I was told you were available depicted the yard without significantly affecting
coming.” Kim spent the rest and its structures in different yard operations. Depending
of the evening in the cab until eras. Mike Blazek’s Chama on whether this section is
that night’s job was done. Set (www.blazeksplan.com) included, the yard can be put
Kim was hooked and turned out to be the most together in 8 meter (26'-3") or
decided to model Chama valuable source. Kim built the 10.5 meter (34'-5") versions.
Yard in HOn3 (1:87.1 propor- yard as it looks today. This The sections cover the area
Engine shops
tion, 3-foot narrow gauge). made it easier to answer ques- from the first turnout on the
Oil house Back in Switzerland, he tions like the color of the south end to its counterpart
looked for help. I gave him depot, the arrangements of on the north end. The stock
roughly 1,000 detailed photos tracks and switches, and pens and the wye on the
Station of the yard I took in late 2013. whether a full roundhouse south end had to be omitted.
The completion of the project should be modeled. However, choosing
was slated for a year later. As Kim’s Chama Yard is “today” as the model’s time
5 portable, the benchwork had frame caused a lettering
Planning to be of a light construction. problem for its engines and
Track scale Also, some track arrange- rolling stock, as Kim planned
Although Chama Yard is ments were shifted so no turn- to operate it with Blackstone’s
relatively well known, Kim outs fell at the breaks between line of Denver & Rio Grande
found it difficult to get accu- the five planned sections. Western models. Blackstone
rate plans of it. Satellite pho- Three of the sections mea- doesn’t offer its models in
tos viewed in Google Earth sure 2.5m long (8'-2") and two Cumbres & Toltec’s paint
6 yielded basic dimensions. In are 1.5m (4'-3"). One of the scheme, so Kim settled for
HOn3, the yard would be sections on the south end of models anachronistically
almost 341 ⁄2 feet long! the yard has just five parallel lettered for D&RGW.
2.5m module

The layout at a glance

Name: Chama Yard (approximately no. 5)
Scale: HOn3 (1:87.1, 30" gauge) Maximum grade: none
Size: 1m x 10.5m (40" x 34'-5") Benchwork: tabletop
Prototype: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR Height: 132cm (52")
1.5m module Locale: Chama, N.M. Roadbed: cork
Era: present day Track: Peco code 70
Style: modular Scenery: plywood
Mainline run: no main line Backdrop: none
Minimum radius: 55mm (21.6") Control: Lenz DCC
Minimum turnout: Peco medium radius

September 2019 55
❹ Consolidation no. 278
backs a string of loaded coal
gondolas up to the coaling
tower. Kim kitbashed the
tower to match prototype
plans, starting with a
Campbell Scale Models kit.

Benchwork and track Products’ owner Tom system and has three fascia ❺ Wearing a freelanced
Fitzgerald twice in Conifer, plugs for tethered cabs. paint job, D&RGW no. 480
There’s a group called Colo., to pick up Kim’s Close to two years after prepares to depart Chama
American Modular Rail- Chama depot kit with the building started, Kim had to with a reefer train. The
roaders in Switzerland serial number one the second speed up final construction. station is a laser-cut wood kit
(AMORS) with defined tech- time around. (Banta Model- Chama Yard had to be ready from Crystal River Products.
nical standards. That group’s works also has an HO scale for the 5th U.S. Model
standard lightweight plywood laser-cut wood Chama Depot Railroad Convention in
benchwork served as a base kit on the market.) Rodgau/Frankfurt, Germany,
for Kim’s Chama Yard. The landscaping was no in October 2015. He made the
Intensive testing of all problem for Kim. There were deadline. The 26'-3" version
known and available track no mountains, cliffs, gorges, was presented there in cooper-
brands uncovered some prob- or valleys, just a flat yard. ation with the AMORS group.
lems with older brass engines Techniques he learned from A small transition section
on the relatively new HOn3 Model Railroader contribut- was built to link Chama Yard
track by Peco. However, ing editor Pelle Søeborg made with the first AMORS mod- Meet Kim Nipkow
Blackstone engines operated it an easy task. He added a lot ule. Kim’s layout served as a
smoothly on the Peco track, of details based on the proto- fiddle yard for the modular
so Kim chose Peco code 70 type photos. main line. Engines had to be Kim Nipkow lives in
track and Unifrog turnouts. Worth mentioning are the turned at the south end. A Switzerland, where he
trees at the north end of the simple turntable on an unsce- models American proto-
Buildings and yard. They’re made from a nicked add-on section was type railroads in HO
landscaping plant called sea foam, which made for this purpose. The scale. He’s a member of
is marketed by Scenic Express Chama/AMORS combination the American Modular
Most of the buildings were under the name SuperTrees. garnered much appreciation Railroaders in
scratchbuilt referring to the The armatures are airbrushed from viewers at this show. Switzerland (AMORS)
many photos on hand. In in a brownish color and green Less than a year later, in modeling group. He has
some cases, Mike Blazek’s foliage applied. This forest the summer of 2016, Kim was written several articles
plans served as a reference. looks just right. living his Chama dream as a for Model Railroader, his
Kim used the proportions of volunteer intern firing mighty most recent being
things in the pictures like Finally in operation Mikados up Cumbres Pass “Weeds and Junk,”
barrels or ties to “measure” before starting his studies at about detailing Chama
the buildings to be built. Chama Yard is operated the Federal Institute of Yard, in the January
The depot has its own with a Lenz Digital Technology in Zurich that 2018 issue.
story. I visited Crystal River Command Control (DCC) autumn.
56 www.ModelRailroader.com
❻ The crowd admires Kim’s
Chama Yard modules at a
convention for European
modelers of American railroad
prototypes in Frankfurt,
Germany, in October 2015.

Maintaining the signals is a top priority for Union Pacific on Pelle Søeborg’s HO scale Midwestern layout. Pelle simplified
maintenance for himself by creating a plug to hold the signals while allowing them to be easily removed.

This simple system makes it easy to take the bridge out of the way
while working on the layout

By Pelle Søeborg • Photos by the author

hen I installed two four legs on the signal post with pieces of
BLMA cantilever sig- styrene tube.
nal bridges on my for- The socket is attached to the layout,
mer HO scale layout, and I plug the signal bridge into it. It’s a
I wanted them to be tight fit, so the signal is stable, but it can MORE ON
easy to remove if I later wanted to use easily be pulled up if needed. The system THE WEB
them elsewhere, or just wanted them out was pretty easy to make. I had to make Registered users
of the way while I was working on that some kind of base for the signal anyway, can take a cab ride
on Pelle Søeborg’s
part of the model railroad. because the BLMA signal comes without Daneburg Sub on
I devised a mounting system so the concrete foundation the prototype our website, www.
I could just plug them in without using is placed on. [Atlas Model Railroad
any glue to hold them. Basically, I made Co. Inc. purchased BLMA in January
a socket for each signal and extended the 2016. –Ed.]
58 www.ModelRailroader.com
Concrete foun- ⁄ " styrene tube,
7 32

dation blocks Evergreen 227


⁄ " styrene tube

5 32

.040" square styrene with

⁄ " styrene tube, Evergreen 225
5 32 four 7⁄32" diameter holes

1. Pelle made the sockets from styrene shapes and concrete 2. The inside diameter of the 5 ⁄32" tube was too tight to fit
foundation blocks from a Walthers conveyor kit. Each signal over the legs at the base of the signal tower, so Pelle enlarged
required four tubes to mount it. it with a reamer for a snug fit.

Signal heads
painted black Signal tower

Signal socket
Assembled base

⁄ " styrene tube

5 32

3. Besides making the mounting system, Pelle also painted 4. With the socket assembled and the support tubes added
the signal heads flat black to kill the plastic shine. He added a to the tower, Pelle test fit the socket before he mounted it to
few drops of light gray to the black to lighten it. the layout.

Paint concrete color


Drill four 7⁄32" holes Socket glued to tabletop

5. He painted the base a concrete color, and drilled four 7 ⁄32" 6. When the glue was dry, Pelle plugged the signal into the
holes in the plywood tabletop. Pelle placed the socket in socket. The tight fit holds the signal stable, and he can
them and secured it with glue. remove the signal before working on the scenery around it.

September 2019 59
DCC Corner

Light up the night with DCC

Prototype diesel locomo-
tives have a lot more lights
than just headlights. A diesel
locomotive might have a
rotary beacon or flasher on
the roof, a Mars or Gyralite
along with the headlight and
rear light, number board
lights, classification lights
on the four corners (cab
units would have only two),
step lights, truck lights, ditch
lights, cab interior lights, and
possibly marker lights.
The main problem you’ll
face in modeling all these
lights will be finding a
decoder with enough func-
tions to power them. Since The addition of lights can create a dramatic scene on a model railroad. However, this
most decoders max out at six inspirational scene is photographed on the prototype in 1969 by Ron Flanary at Andover, Va.,
functions, you’ll need to make on the old Interstate RR. Ron Flanary photo
compromises. Because class
lights would only be used on stay-alive and speaker as well to five light-emitting diodes to tabs on the board for the
extras and sections, they seem as a number of lights. To (LEDs) or appropriately rated track pickups, speaker, and a
expendable. I’d also eliminate meet these needs, I chose a bulbs on each. stay-alive.
the cab light and engine room TCS WOWSound 21MTC As I explained in the June I test fit both TCS KA1
light. Combining the number version 4 “prime” decoder ❶ DCC Corner, the 21MTC and KA2 Keep-Alives and
boards and headlights, as is with recently added diesel decoders are essentially plug- found the KA1 worked best
common on many models, is engine sounds (four Baldwins, and-play once a proper moth- in this space. TCS has rede-
another reasonable compro- Alco 539T, General Electric erboard is installed. For that signed its Keep-Alives using
mise. You could also combine “ES44CW” GEVO). I used a Decoder Buddy from smaller components, making
the truck and step lights on a Most importantly, it has NixTrainz (www.nixtrainz. them about half the size of
single function. So you can six functions in addition to com) ❶. This board is inter- their predecessors. The
easily get down to a manage- the front and rear headlight. esting in having a plug-in speaker is a 10mm x 15mm
able number of functions. Since the functions can sup- adapter with solder tabs for sugar cube from Streamlined
port up to 100 mA each, you six function wires in addition Backshop (www.sbs4dcc.
For this project, I wanted to should be able to operate four com) attached to the shell and
install a sound decoder with connected to the Decoder
21MTC TCS decoder
Buddy with a TCS 2-pin
Plug for lights, etc. mini-connector.

TCS 2-pin mini connector For lights you have a couple

options. Circuiton and
Miniatronics in particular
offer incandescent bulbs in a
range of sizes and colors suit-
able for locomotive lights.
Another option is small sur-
face mount device (SMD)
LEDs. These come in a range
of sizes, and at the small end
it can be very difficult to even
see them, much less solder on
Decoder Buddy a pair of wires.
Fortunately companies
❶ Fully functional. The Decoder Buddy from NixTrainz is an excellent motherboard for like Ngineering, Richmond
installing a 21MTC decoder like this WOWSound 4 Prime diesel sound decoder. The board also Controls, Streamlined
has solder tabs for track pickups, speakers, stay-alive, front and rear headlights, and up to six Backshop, and others offer
additional functions. A TCS 2-pin mini-connector was used to power the speaker. miniature LEDs with wires,
60 www.ModelRailroader.com
By Larry Puckett

and in some cases even drop-

ping resistors, already
attached. These can either be
glued to the backside of a
clear plastic insert for a head-
light, as I’ve shown in the
past, or glued directly to a
surface if other types of lights
are to be modeled. Keep in
mind that light bulbs typi- ❷ Fiber optics. When using multiple pieces of fiber optic tubing, the free ends can be
cally are rated at anywhere gathered and inserted into a piece of heat-shrink tubing, which is then fitted over a grain-of-
from 1.5 to 16 VDC and rice bulb, or an LED as shown here.
25-80 mA current, whereas
white LEDs only require
about 3VDC at 20 mA. Surface-mount LED
Beacon casting drilled for bulb

If a clear plastic casting or Bulb inside dome

insert isn’t available for a
light, then it’s possible to
make one out of plastic light
tubes. These rods of varying
diameter are often referred to
as fiber-optic tubing. By hold-
ing the end of the tubing over
a heat source such as a small
candle, it will melt and form a
rounded surface. ❸ Special effects. Beacon or strobe castings ❹ Truck lights. Truck and step lights can be
By experimenting with can be drilled out and a bulb, as Larry did on modeled by gluing SMD LEDs to the chassis
different sizes of tubing, I’ve this model, or LED inserted. Details West offers and then running the wires to the decoder.
made headlights and class several rotary beacons with lenses that are The LED is glued to a piece of Kapton tape
lights using fiber-optic tub- already cored to accept illumination. on the metal frame to prevent a short.
ing. If you need to illuminate
several lights at the same function lead and you’re Mars and Gyralites can be aftermarket detail kits for
time, such as class lights, step ready to go. You may be able modeled by gluing an SMD them that typically include
lights, or truck lights, fiber- to install fiber-optic tubing in LED to the rear of the plastic either a microbulb or LED are
optic tubing can be used and the same way after forming lens or drilling a small hole readily available. Just install
glued in position. Then the the end into a lens. for a light bulb or fiber-optic them and connect the wires
free ends can be gathered and Rotary beacons and flash- tubing. Most decoders also to the desired decoder func-
covered with heat-shrink tub- ers are relatively easy to have programming capability tion output.
ing and fitted over a grain of model, since many companies to make a headlight flash like Truck and step lights are
rice bulb or an LED ❷. make castings for these, some one of these. pretty easy using SMD LEDs
It’s an easy matter to drill with cored lenses to accept To light number boards or fiber-optic tubing. I glued
out the dimple or lights. I’ve also separately from the headlight, the LED and its wires to the
pimple on a plastic drilled a small you may have to cut the lens underside of the chassis using
shell and insert a hole in the dome and number board casting cyanoacrylate adhesive (CA)
bulb with the tip castings and apart using a razor saw. Then, ❹ and wired them all to a
serving as a lens inserted a small I would paint the casting single function.
for a class light. light bulb or LED exterior black, except for the
I typically use a from the bottom face, and drill a small hole in Lights can add life to your
drop of clear ❸. You could also which to insert a small bulb locomotives and a touch of
acrylic cement, BY EXPERI- try using a piece to light it. Alternatively you drama to your model rail-
such as Testor’s MENTING WITH of fiber-optic tub- could drill a small hole and road. While it may be overkill
Clear Parts DIFFERENT ing to light the insert fiber-optic tubing in all to outfit a whole fleet with
Cement or canopy SIZES OF fixture. Most the number boards and use a special lighting effects, having
glue, to stabilize it. TUBING, I’VE decoders provide single bulb or LED to light a few strategically placed
You can also drill MADE HEAD- for rotary and them simultaneously. Most models is definitely worth the
a hole in the back CLASS LIGHTS flashing beacons, number board decals will extra effort. For more infor-
of a clear plastic USING FIBER- and a single func- glow if they’re applied to the mation on the various materi-
lens and glue the OPTIC TUBING. tion would power number board lenses. als and methods used in this
bulb into it. Con- – LARRY the required bulb Ditch lights are common article, visit my website
nect the wires to a or LED. on many new models, and (www.dccguy.com).
September 2019 61
Product Reviews

WalthersMainline HO scale chop-nose GP9

A newly tooled chop-nose GP9 has was photographed still in service in stanchions are molded in engineering
been added to the WalthersMainline. June 2019. plastic; the vertical handrails are painted
The four-axle HO scale road switcher is white on our sample.
offered with or without dynamic brakes The model. The WalthersMainline GP9 The model is based on what railfans
as appropriate and features drill starter features a four-piece injection-molded refer to as a Phase II GP9, built between
points for grab irons and eye bolts and a plastic body, consisting of the long 1955 and October 1957. The model’s
ratchet-style handbrake (a detail kit is hood, cab, short hood, and sill unit. The dimensions closely follow prototype
sold separately, no. 910-258). rolled-style handrails and formed-metal drawings of a high short hood GP9

The prototype. Our sample is painted The GP9 (CNW sample shown)
as Milwaukee Road no. 970, one of 54 has drill-starter points for
Electro-Motive Division (EMD) GP9s grab irons. Walthers offers
rebuilt by the railroad between June a detail kit for the
1969 and October 1973. The rebuild model separately.
included installing a non-turbocharged
645E diesel engine; refurbishing the
frame; lowering the short hood; rebuild-
ing the cab with a split windshield, new
headlight, and number box housing; and
reclassifying the locomotive a GP20.
Milwaukee’s GP20s shouldn’t be con-
fused with stock EMD GP20s produced
between November 1959 and April 1962.
Those units had a turbocharger hatch on
top of the long hood. The low short hood
versions had a slanted hood.
Much to my surprise, GP20 no. 970
(now Georgia & Florida RR no. 5002)
62 www.ModelRailroader.com
At our website subscribers can
MORE read more than 1,000 previously Conducted by Dana Kawala
REVIEWS published reviews and watch
more than 150 exclusive
& VIDEOS product demo videos.

published in the April 1984 issue of PERFORMANCE CHARTS

Mainline Modeler magazine. DRAWBAR 4.3 ounces
PULL 60 HO freight cars
Facts & features
I compared our sample to photos of
the full-size GP20 no. 970. The model VOLTS SCALE MPH
Price: Direct current, $139.98; with ESU
should have split battery-box access 8 (start) 2.5 sound and Digital Command Control,
doors with louvers under the cab on both 9 11 $199.98
sides, and the number box/headlight 10 25 Manufacturer
11 41
housing should have a flat top that tapers 12 60
Wm. K. Walthers Inc.
into the rounded cab. The model is also 5601 W. Florist Ave.
missing its rooftop air-intake housing SPEED STEP SCALE MPH
Milwaukee, WI 53218
(Milwaukee Road used different types, 1 1.3 www.walthers.com
so refer to prototype photos). The first 7 13 Era: September 1972 to February 1985 (as
78" tall hood door behind the cab should 14 34 decorated)
21 58
be shorter to accommodate the housing. 28 67
Road names: Milwaukee Road, Burling-
In fairness, mass-producing shop ton Northern, Canadian Pacific, Chicago &
rebuilds is tricky, as there were often North Western, Norfolk Southern, and
many variations. the related free software don’t support Wisconsin & Southern. Four road numbers
I separated the shell from the chassis ESU Sound & DCC decoders. per scheme; also available undecorated
by removing the draft-gear boxes, fuel A list of supported programmable (DC only).
tank, and two washer-head screws above CVs is included in the model’s printed Features
the air tanks. A flywheel-equipped instruction sheet. Using our NCE • Molded drill starter points for grab irons
motor is seated in the center of the die- PowerCab, I changed the locomotive and lift rings (detail kit no. 910-258
cast metal chassis. Secured by two address to the cab number and added sold separately)
screws, a metal weight spans the motor. acceleration/deceleration momentum. • Proto-Max couplers, at correct height
The main printed-circuit (PC) board is I again turned to our workshop • Ratchet-style handbrake
screwed to the top of the weight, just PowerCab system for the locomotive’s • Rolled-style handrails
above the motor. The Digital Command DCC testing. At speed step 1, the loco- • Weight: 13.2 ounces
Control sound decoder sits atop the motive crawled along at 1.3 scale mph. • With or without dynamic brakes
PC board. At speed step 28, the model reached a
top speed of 67 scale mph.
On the test track. Our review sample The ESU decoder features typical up or down. Pressing F9 again returns
is equipped with a dual-mode ESU user-activated effects. Pressing F0 acti- the speed to the throttle setting.
Sound & DCC decoder, which features vates the directional light-emitting- The model has a drawbar pull of 4.3
the same excellent sound quality but not diode (LED) headlights. The bell and air ounces, which is equivalent to 60 HO
all the features of the firm’s LokSound horn are activated with F1 and F2, scale freight cars on straight and level
decoders. The various features are respectively. Diesel engine startup and track. I took the Geep to our staff layout,
outlined in a brochure included with shutdown are controlled with F8. Other the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy, for fur-
the model. effects include a coupler crash and com- ther testing. The road switcher ran well,
Adjustable features can be modified pressor. The CN&W sample also includes navigating the various turnouts and
using configuration variables (CVs). These a dynamic brake effect. crossings without incident in both direc-
can be programmed via a DCC system Function 9 triggers the Drive/Hold tions. The model was able to pull 10
or Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) effect. When engaged, the Geep remains 50-foot boxcars up a winding 3 percent
software. The ESU LokProgrammer at the set speed. I then used the throttle grade without stalling. The model’s back-
computer interface, sold separately, and knob to manually notch the engine rpm electromotive-force control also kept its
speed constant both ascending and
Main printed-circuit board
Decoder LED descending the grade.
LED For DC testing I ran the model with a
Bachmann power pack. The lights and
sounds came on at 6.5V. The locomotive
started moving smoothly at 2.5 scale
mph at 8V and accelerated to a top speed
of 60 scale mph at 12V.

Chop-nose GP9s continue to earn their

keep on shortline and regional railroads
Flywheel Motor
and at various industries. As a fan of
these units, I’m thrilled that Walthers
The layout of the components under the shell is pretty typical, with the printed- has added this HO scale model to its
circuit board and decoder located above the motor and flywheel. The chop-nose Mainline product lineup. – Cody Grivno,
GP9 is equipped with light-emitting-diode headlights. Group Technical Editor
September 2019 63
Product Reviews

DC-192 DC-191

Rapido Trains HO Santa Fe rebuilt RDC set

For the first time in plastic the The model. The Rapido RDC’s dimen- The tabs are located at each truck. Then
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry.’s rebuilt sions match those of a prototype RDC I carefully wiggled the shell at each end
pair of Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs) are drawing published in the September until I was able to lift it off. Don’t be
available in HO scale from Rapido 1953 Model Railroader. The molded tempted to pull on the trucks, as this can
Trains. The models aren’t merely deco- details match photos of the rebuilt proto- permanently damage the model.
rated in warbonnet paint but are super- types, including the end steps. The plated- The interior floor is a die-cast metal
detailed to match their unique proto- over windows and position of the bag- weight painted gray. The partitions are
types. We reviewed a DC-only version of gage door on DC-192 is also accurate. separately applied and painted plastic
a Rapido HO scale Budd RDC-1 in the Windshield wipers, horns, vestibule parts. The seats are especially well done;
July 2018 issue. Our ATSF review sample chains, and all grab irons are factory they’re painted blue with white antima-
includes a dual-mode ESU LokSound applied. The rooftop radiator and fan cassar detail. There are no figures, but
that provides sounds produced from screens are made of etched metal. they would be easy for a modeler to add.
prototype recordings on both Digital The underframe is completely Each truck is powered by a flywheel-
Command Control (DCC) and direct- detailed with every pipe, tank, and other equipped motor covered by a plastic
current (DC) layouts. component represented. The truck side- housing on the car floor. When the body
frames depict the upgraded versions shell is in place, the housings are con-
The prototype. The Budd Co. built 398 added after the 1956-57 rebuild. cealed from view.
RDCs between 1949 and 1962. Powered The body shell is smoothly painted to Attached to the interior partitions,
by a pair of diesel engines, the self- realistically simulate stainless steel. The the main printed-circuit (PC) board is
propelled cars were used primarily for trucks and most of the underframe are a concealed under the car ceiling. On our
urban commuter service and passenger different shade of silver that accurately DCC equipped sample, the ESU
service in low-traffic, rural areas. simulates silver-painted, rather than LokSound decoder is plugged into a
The ATSF received its only two stainless steel, parts. All lettering and 21-pin socket on top of the PC board, as
RDCs, RDC-1s DC-191 and 192, in 1952. striping matches prototype photos. is a flat, cell-phone-style speaker.
The cars operated as a paired set between Lighting is provided by light-emitting
Los Angeles and San Diego. After a 1956 Under the shell. After removing both diodes (LEDs). The interior lighting and
derailment, the RDCs were rebuilt and coupler boxes, I used a thin scrap of sty- side numberboards are controlled by a
returned to service in 1957. Both cars rene to disengage four locking tabs latching reed switch on the main PC
were upgraded and repainted with one between the body shell and car chassis. board. To turn these lights on or off,
end receiving a red-and-yellow scheme.
DC-191 remained a coach while Speaker Decoder Main printed-circuit board
DC-192 became a baggage/36-foot com-
bine. The rebuilt cars served the line
between Newton and Dodge City, Kan.,
until 1965. They were then transferred to
the El Pasoan, running between El Paso,
Texas, and Albuquerque, N.M., until
1968. The cars were then stored, and
Motor housing
eventually sold in 1970. DC-191 is cur-
rently being restored at the Orange The two motors are concealed by the housings between the painted seats.
Empire Museum in California. Overhead lighting is provided by LEDs on the printed circuit board.

64 www.ModelRailroader.com
RIGHT N, HO, S and
Building Kits
Miami, Florida
Facts & features
Price: $450 (DC no sound), $650 (DCC
8.5 (start) 4 sound)
9 27 Manufacturer
10 40 Rapido Trains
12 76
500 Alden Road, Unit 21 ANY SCALE FROM PHOTOS
Markham, ON L3R 5H5
1 2.2 Era: 1957 to 1968 (as detailed and
7 36 decorated for ATSF)
14 65 Features: Call TODAY to order! 1-800-466-3131
21 80
28 83 • 33" blackened metal wheels, in gauge
• All-wheel drive and electrical pickup
• Dual five-pole, skew-wound motors Storage
I simply waved the included Rapido • Kadee metal knuckle couplers mounted Boxes
Lighter (essentially a magnet on a plastic at correct height Foam Lined HO Scale
stick) over the front of the car. • Minimum radius: 18" Self Closing Holds 20 Cars - $29.95
• Optional user-applied details Fully Assembled N Scale
DCC operation. The performance chart • Simulated stainless-steel finish Holds 36 Cars - $29.95
Tote Bags
above is for a single car. Both 191 and • Weight: 10.8 ounces $35.95
192 achieved identical results and accel- AXIAN TECHNOLOGY Plus S&H

erated smoothly to scale 83 mph, which 623-580-0800 Patented U.S.A.

fax: 623-580-8008
is close to the prototype’s top speed. simulates the prototypical practice of the
21622 N. 14th Ave. • Phoenix, AZ 85027-2806
After programming both cars’ engineer putting the engine into notch 4
addresses to their specific locomotive (Budd cars had only 4 notches) so that it www.axiantech.com
number, I advanced consisted them to would accelerate quickly.
run back to back, just like their proto-
types. The models ran smoothly without DC operation. The instructions warn CUSTOM MODEL
any additional speed matching required. against running the sound-equipped RAILROADS
The consist speeds were identical to Budd car using older power packs that Construction of Fine Scale Model Railroads
those of the single-car tests. are prone to voltage spikes, as this could Private Layouts - Museum Exhibits - Custom Structures
Let us build the Model Railroad of your Dreams
The printed instruction manual destroy the model’s electronics. For our
included with the set lists some DCC DC tests, I ran the model with both an
programming tips. For a more extensive MRC Tech 4 and Bachmann power pack
decoder guide as well as links to free without any problems.
LokProgrammer software, visit the ESU As the charts above show, the model
website at www.esu.eu/en. accelerated smoothly on our DC test Quality built layouts since 1991
Note that there is no drawbar pull test track. The model has some built-in www.custommodelrailroads.com
data. The Rapido Budd car mechanism momentum, which I thought made oper-
isn’t designed to pull an unpowered car, ation more realistic. Railroad Headquarters
and doing so will void the manufactur- The Budd cars also ran well as a pair
er’s warranty. throughout the voltage range and were
perfectly speed matched out of the box.
DCC sound and light. Pressing F8 In DC, sound effects are limited to
started the diesel engine sounds. In addi- the diesel engine. Both the headlights
tion to the horn and bell, other user- and marker lights operate automatically
triggered sound effects include a slow according to the Budd car’s direction of
and fast grade crossing signal. The head- travel. Note that in paired operation
lights, marker lights, and door-mounted both cars’ markers will be illuminated,
Gyralight are controlled by individual which isn’t prototypical.
function buttons. As of this writing the Rapido Trains NEW N
The overall volume and the volume RDCs are sold out at the manufacturer, HO &LE
level of each sound effect can be adjusted but they are still available at online and SCA
via CVs. All the functions can also be brick-and-mortar retailers. Whether you
mapped to any available throttle key. model the Santa Fe or are looking for a
Two of my favorite features are the Budd Car in another road name, the
function button controlled brake (F4) Rapido Trains RDCs are definitely worth 410-889-0010
Visit our website to see these and more kits from CMR
and straight to 4 (F3). The latter seeking out. – Dana Kawala, senior editor www.custommodelrailroads.com
September 2019 65
Product Reviews

PS314 Power Supply

Digitrax Zephyr Express DCC starter set

Running a model railroad with Digital The built-in locomotive controls will active. Other tasks, including program-
Command Control is a simple task with be familiar to users of previous Zephyr ming configuration variables (CVs), are
the DCS-52 Zephyr Express from systems. The direction lever can be set achieved by navigating intuitive on-
Digitrax. Combing a DCC command for forward, reverse, or brake. The throt- screen menus.
station, booster, and stationary throttle tle knob is reminiscent of a direct- Along the bottom of the screen are
in one convenient package, the Zephyr current (DC) power pack. three soft keys marked A, B, and C that
Express is an updated version of the Compared to earlier Zephyr com- are used to navigate through the menus.
firm’s DCS-50 Zephyr and DCS-51 mand stations, the Zephyr Express fea- The purpose of each key is shown above
Zephyr Xtra (reviewed in the May 2011 tures simplified and more user-friendly it on the screen. For example, when
issue) systems. With its updated user controls, featuring 18 backlit keys vs. 24 running a locomotive, Fn+00 appears
interface, the Zephyr Express is a plug- buttons on the Zephyr Xtra. The Zephyr above button A. That means that the
and-play DCC solution that won’t intim- Express also features a large 2.4" color numeric keypad triggers functions 0-9.
idate novices. However, don’t let the sys- liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. If I pressed A again, the note changed to
tem’s simplified appearance fool you. It’s When running a train, the screen Fn+10, meaning the keypad triggers
also feature-rich enough to satisfy more shows the locomotive number, speed as a functions 10-19. One more press
experienced DCC users. percentage of the throttle, locomotive changed the note to Fn+20, to gain
direction, and which functions are access to functions 20-28.
Up and running. The Zephyr command
station measures 5" x 7¼". After plugging
in the included 3A power supply, I con-
nected the Rail A and Rail B screw ter-
minals to the mainline track leads. Once
the track status indicator lit up, I was
ready to run trains with the system.
I appreciated that the screw terminal
block on the back of the command sta-
tion also includes connections marked
Prog A and Prog B, making it easy to
set up an isolated programming track.
The Zephyr supports both service mode
programming and programming on the The screw terminal block on the back of the unit has connections for the main and
main (also called ops) programming. a programming track. Two LocoNet ports allow for easy expansion.

66 www.ModelRailroader.com
Following screen prompts, I easily supports the Digitrax LNWI WiFi inter-
changed locomotive addresses, pro- face, which allows users to run trains via Facts & features
grammed CVs, and consisted locomo- a smartphone app.
tives. For each step of the process, infor- When properly configured as out- Price: $235
mational text scrolled across the bottom lined in the instruction manual, two ter- Manufacturer
of the screen to help me remember what minals (Jump 1 and Jump 2) allow two Digitrax Inc.
I needed to do next. DC power packs to be connected to the 2443 Transmitter Rd.
The command station also includes command station to function as two Panama City, FL 32404
a Switch key used for activating acces- additional DCC throttles. www.digitrax.com
sory decoders or for changing option The built-in PR4 computer interface Features
switches (OpSw) on other LocoNet- is my favorite new feature. I plugged in a • Advanced, universal, and simple
supported devices. USB cable from my Mac to the port on consisting
the Zephyr Express, and then opened • Built-in USB computer interface
Expanding the system. There are two Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) • Firmware updates via free download
LocoNet ports on the back of the com- software. Available as a free download at • LocoNet ports for easy expansion
mand station, which makes it easy to www.jmri.org, this software includes • Maximum number of addresses: 9,000
expand the system with additional throt- DecoderPro, which is an intuitive tool plus (locomotive), 2,000 plus (accessory)
tles, boosters, wireless throttle receivers, for programming and testing DCC • Maximum number of throttles: 20
and other components. LocoNet is a decoders. Note that Windows PC users • Programming on the main or Service
command bus protocol developed by will have to download additional drivers, Mode programming with separate
Digitrax that the firm also licenses to but these are available as free downloads programming track outputs
other manufacturers. at the Digitrax website. • PS314 13.8V, 3A power supply
Digitrax infrared and radio receivers The Digitrax Zephyr was a solid DCC • Supports 29 functions
will work with the system for those who starter set when it debuted more than 15 • Two- and four-digit addressing
wish to add wireless walkaround control. years ago. With its updated user inter- • Two LocoNet ports for additional
Additional fascia plug ports are available face and added features, this latest ver- throttles and other components
for tethered throttles. The Zephyr also sion is better than ever. – Dana Kawala

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September 2019 67
Product Reviews
underbody; and
Fox Valley Models N press-fit, pin-
scale Pullman-Standard mounted trucks.
Our sample six- distance from the railhead to the top of
coal gondola pack contains gondolas decorated for the top chord (11'-6" instead of 12'-3").
Burlington Northern. The cars are cor- It appears the plastic underbody is also
Price: Single car, $27.95; six-pack, rectly numbered in the 575360 through recycled from the Southern car. On pro-
$159.95 575759 series, built by PS under lot 9770 totype PS gondolas, the outboard
Manufacturer in May and June 1975. wheels on each truck stick out past the
Fox Valley Models The hand brake, brake wheel, and end of the car.
P.O. Box 1970 brake wheel platform are separately The gondola weighs 1 ounce, which
Des Plaines, IL 60017 applied. The balance of the details are is correct per National Model Railroad
www.foxvalleymodels.com molded. There should be a horizontal Association Recommended Practice
Era: 1975 to present (as decorated) flange that runs along the sill between 20.1. The rigid-jaw couplers are body-
Road names: Burlington Northern the stirrups. This would be easy to add- mounted at the correct height. The 36"
(four six-packs), Cajon Electric Power ing using styrene strip. metal wheelsets are correctly gauged.
(three six-packs), and Fayette Power Modeler-installed interior bracing is I tested the gondolas on our
(three six-packs and one single car) included with the cars. The parts sprue Canadian Canyons project layout. The
is from Fox Valley’s Southern Ry. coal gondolas negotiated the 13" radius
Comments: Modeling unit coal trains gondola. The floor is notched for six curves and Peco code 55 medium turn-
of the 1970s through ‘90s in N scale is braces per side, but the PS cars only outs without incident.
easier than ever thanks to the latest used five per side. The PS 4000 gondola was a signa-
release from Fox Valley Models (FVM). Most of the PS 4000’s dimensions ture car on unit coal trains from the
The company has released a Pullman- are within scale inches of prototype 1970s through the 1990s. A solid train
Standard (PS) 4,000-cubic-foot-capacity drawings and data. Two notable dis- of FVM gondolas would look great
coal gondola. The plastic model fea- crepancies were the truck centers (a hauling black diamonds on an N scale
tures a one-piece body; separate scale 38'-3" instead of 40'-6") and the model railroad. – Cody Grivno

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68 www.ModelRailroader.com
Le s
s th
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nt h


It’s Great Fun ...

Time After Time
Model Railroader, July 1949

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On Operation By Jerry Dziedzic

Authority and protection

June’s “On Operation” control demands independent
described how Direct Traffic decision-making of a crew,
Control (DTC) emerged from sharing responsibility for
timetable-and-train-order authority and protection with
(TTTO) practices. It gave an DS. In strong contrast, the
example of a meet and offered other systems place the full
some ways to use DTC on a burden on DS.
model railroad. Further study
makes a good lesson in two The track schematic below
fundamental principles: illustrates the single-track
authority and protection. main I described in June.
Authority permits a train Signs like those in the
to move over a specified sec- Southern Pacific illustration
tion of main line. Protection mark the block limits. Note
keeps trains (and also people how each block extends from
and equipment) apart, the east siding switch (ESS) of
whether they’re moving in the previous block to the ESS
the same direction or in of the next. An eastbound
opposite directions. Each authorized to use the Anna
major traffic control system, and Bess blocks can “hold the
from TTTO and DTC to main” at Bess but go no far-
Track Warrant Control and ther than the sign marking
Centralized Traffic Control the end of the Bess block. Southern Pacific created this illustration for a booklet
(CTC), satisfies these criteria. Two trains are shown, familiarizing employees with new Direct Traffic Control
Imagine the danger if Extra 7859 West and Extra procedures. E.O. Gibson collection
trains entered a main track at 9288 East. The dispatcher had
will, without knowledge of already given the Anna and the main. The loudspeaker in they occurred enabled DS to
other trains using the same Bess blocks to Extra 9288 the dispatcher’s office issue authorities that didn’t
track or workers not knowing East and the Cloy block to boomed: “Extra 7859 West, overlap, protecting each train
of its approach. Authority Extra 7859 West. He then Engineer Jones, I am releas- from the other.
makes protection possible. radioed “Extra 7859 West ing the Cloy block, 5:01 p.m.,
When a train is authorized to with Engineer Jones, take sid- over.” DS answered, “Extra How are DTC procedures
proceed between two points, ing at Bess, over.” The engi- 7859 West, Engineer Jones, simpler than TTTO? It
it will enjoy protection if neer replied: “Extra 7859 West you are releasing the Cloy doesn’t appear so here. Direct
other trains are denied with Engineer Jones, I am to block, 5:01 p.m., over.” Then Traffic Control required a
authority to use that track. take siding at Bess, over.” DS Jones confirmed: “That is series of step-by-step instruc-
A TTTO dispatcher (DS) answers: “That is correct, correct, out.” This freed DS to tions where a single train
relies on timetable schedules out.” These transmissions fol- start a new movement, autho- order, Extra 9288 East
and train orders to inform low the instructions SP gave rizing Extra 9288 East to pro- meet Extra 7859 West at
crews of the movements of when it introduced DTC in ceed in the Cloy block. Bess, would have sufficed.
other trains. Miles away from New Mexico in 1984, still Had DS directed Extra However, TTTO is complex.
any station, a crew can decide found in today’s General 9288 East into the siding to I count 11 other train-order
when it’s safe to go and when Code of Operating Rules. set up the meet, its crew forms that might have applied
it’s not. Radio made DTC and would have released the block to the meet, with more varia-
TWC possible by giving DS Note that DS has not given as soon as the train cleared tions within themselves. The
almost instant communica- the Bess block to Extra 7859 the west siding switch, not rule of superiority further
tion with trains, authorizing West. Blocks include only the after it passed the End Bess complicates things with right,
their movements. Centralized main track, not sidings. After Block sign. class, and direction. Direct
Traffic Control uses wayside Extra 7859 West pulled into These actions satisfy the Traffic Control relieves a crew
signals, not radio, to give the siding, a member of its conditions of authority and of this decision-making,
trains movement authority. crew closed up the ESS, protection for both trains. instead having it act on a dis-
Timetable-and-train-order restoring it for movement on The specific order in which patcher’s explicit instructions.
Understanding authority
East Siding Switch (ESS) and protection makes it pos-
9288E sible to devise an easy-to-use
system for your own layout,
Anna Bess Cloy whether it adheres to proto-
type methods or not.
70 www.ModelRailroader.com
From Start
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Trackside Photos

Paul Brennecke’s
photo of his N scale
Grand Line is this
month’s wallpaper.
Download it free at
Conducted by Steven Otte

Oil-burning Union Pacific

Challenger no. 3977 pulls a special
train through the Rocky Mountains.
The action takes place on Paul
Brennecke’s N scale Grand Line. Paul,
of Golden, Colo., shot the photo and
used Helicon Focus photo-stacking
software to increase depth of field.
The locomotive and cars were
modeled by Dean Dickerhoof.
Twilight falls as the daily passenger
local snakes its way through the woods
at Melody Meadows. Ken Kirkwood of
Yucaipa, Calif., photographed the scene
Send us your photos
on his HO scale Ma & Pa K Ry., a
freelanced excursion line set in Trackside Photos is a showcase for the work of Model
Northern California. Railroader readers. Send your photos (digital images 5
megapixels or larger) to: Model Railroader, Trackside
Photos, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612; or
upload them to http://fileupload.kalmbach.com/contrib-
ute. For our photo submission guidelines, contact
associate editor Steven Otte at sotte@mrmag.com.

74 www.ModelRailroader.com
It’s busy on the factory floor as Erie
Lackawanna no. 1039 works industry
sidings outside. Lou Showers of
Washington, Ind., customized the
Walthers background structure kit by
adding 2 inches of depth, filling the
floors with worker figures and
equipment, and illuminating it with
light-emitting diodes. The Alco RS-3 is
an Atlas model.

A discarded couch sitting trackside

seems to invite railroadmen to take a
break, but there’s no rest for the crew
of New York & Atlantic Ry. no. 261 as
they pull a short freight out of Atlantic
Avenue Yard. Marc Pitanza of Old
Bridge, N.J., photographed the scene on
his HO scale NY&A layout. The
apartment buildings in the background
are Pola models; the Electro-Motive
Division GP38-2 is from Athearn.

September 2019 75
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AMERICAN MODELS ronsbooks@aol.com
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Whitmore Lake, MI 48189 ronsbooks.com

76 www.ModelRailroader.com

Modeler’s Marketplace
HO, O, S, N, and Large Scale Out of Production Models '3ULQWHG
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Specializing in HO Scale
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FL, BROOKSVILLE: Regal Railways presents Toy Trains MS, GULFPORT: 615 Pass Road, Zip: 39507. November
Classified Advertising & Hobby Show. Hernando Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St.
Saturday, September 14, 2019. 9:00am-2:00pm. Adults
9-10, 2019. Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 10:00am-
5:00pm. 2 Days with 20,000 sq. ft. Indoor Display Space,
$5.00. Vendors and operating layouts. Serving lunch items. 20,000 sq. ft. of Outdoor Trains. www.MCMRCM.org,
Schedule of Events Rate: $35 per issue (45 word maximum). Ads Contact: Joe at 727-244-1341 or visit: www.regalrailways.com 228-284-5731.
will contain the following information about the event: state, city, for more information.
sponsoring organization and name of event, meet, auction or show, NH, CONCORD: Concord Model Railroad Club Show
dates, location, times, admission fee, name and/or telephone number FL, ORLANDO: TCA-Southern Division Toy Train Meet. at the Everett Arena, Loudon Road, Concord, NH. Sunday
and/or email of person to contact for information. Name, daytime Lake Nona Middle School, 13700 Narcoossee Rd. Saturday August 18, 2019, 10:00am-3:30pm. Adults $5.00, children
telephone number and street address of the person providing the September 21, 2019, 10:00am-3:00pm. Admission, $5.00, under 12 free with an adult, $12.00 per family max. Dealers,
information is also required but need not be included in the ad. children under 12-free. All ScalesTrains, Z to G. Layouts- door prizes and operating layouts. For more information:
Unless otherwise requested, ads will be published in the issue month workshops. Free parking, refreshments on site for pur- http://www.trainweb.org/cmrc/index.html
that the event occurs in. Additional months are available at the $35 chase. Contact information: Mike Mills, Cell 612-382-0325 or
per issue fee. Please specify issue date(s). Flyermike1949@gmail.com OH, CLEVELAND: Great Berea Train Show, Cuyahoga
Word Ad Rates; per issue: 1 insertion — $2.03 per word, County Fairgrounds, 19201 E Bagley Rd. Middleburg
6 insertions — $1.89 per word, 12 insertions — $1.77 per word.
IA, ELKADER: 7th Annual Elkader Model Train Show-Swap Heights, OH 44130. NMRA MCR Div. 4. October 5-6,
Meet. Sunday August 18, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm. Johnson’s 2019, NEW SHOW TIMES 10:00am-4:00pm. This is an
$30.00 MINIMUM per ad. To receive the discount you must order and Reception Hall, 910 High Street and CJ Lanes at 821 High
prepay for all ads at one time. Count all initials, single numbers, all gauge Train Show with over 350 tables. 440-785-9907,
Street. Adults $4.00, children 6-12 $2.00, under 5 FREE. www.thegreatbereatrainshow.org
groups of numbers (i.e. 4-6-0 or K-27), names, address number, Free parking, lunch-stand and door prizes. Information: Larry
street number, street name, city, state, zip, phone numbers each as
one word. Example: John A. Jones, 2102 South Post St., Waukesha,
Lerch 563-880-2066 OH, FOSTORIA: 18th Fostoria Rail Festival, 1001
WI 53187 would count as 10 words. Park Avenue, Zip 44830. Saturday, September 28, 2019,
IL, DECATUR: Decatur Train Fair 2019. Decatur Civic 10:00am-4:00pm. Admission: $4.00, children 10 and
For MR’s private records, please furnish: a telephone number and, Center, 1 Gary K Anderson Plaza, Corner of Eldorado
when using a P.O. Box in your ad, a street address. Model under free w/adult. Information: Fostoria Rail Preservation
Street and Franklin Street. September 21-22, 2019. Saturday Society, 419-435-1781, EllenGatrell@gmail.com,
Railroader reserves the right to refuse listing. 10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm. Adults $5.00,
All Copy: Set in standard 6 point type. First several words only set in www.FostoriaIronTriangle.com, Fostoria Rail Park Facebook
under 12 free with adult. Steven Bricker, 217-864-4397,
bold face. If possible, ads should be sent typewritten and categorized sabricker@comcast.net OH, HOLMES COUNTY: Old Eli’s Train & Toy Show.
to ensure accuracy. Heritage Center, 3558 SR. 62, Millersburg, OH 44654,
Send your submissions to: Model Railroader — Classifieds IN, FORT WAYNE: Garrett Model Railroad Club & RxR between Berlin-Winesburg, Saturday, October 19, 2019,
Mania - Model Train & Toy Show and Sale at 2000 N. Wells
21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612 Waukesha, WI 53187-1612 Street, Zip 46808. (Old YWCA) Saturday October 19, 2019, 10:00am-3:00pm. Adults $5.00, under 12 free! $10.00/table,
Toll-free (888) 558-1544 Ext. 551 Fax: 1-262-796-0126 E-mail: 9:00am-3:00pm. Adults $5.00, under 12 free. $20.00 per no refund, 150+ tables. Contact: Galen Hoover, PO Box 45,
onlineclassads@kalmbach.com table, 5+ tables $15.00 each. Info: www.RxRMania.com or Mt. Hope, OH 44660, 330-763-1184.
All ads must be prepaid and pertain to the subject of model 260-715-2519.
OH, PAINESVILLE: Railroad Memorabilia Show,
IN, INDIANAPOLIS: The Indianapolis Model Railroad Painesville Railroad Museum (Painesville Depot), 475
Show and Open House. Manual High School Gymnasium, Railroad Street, Zip Code: 44077. Sunday, August 25,
Saturday, September 14, 2019, 10:00am-3:00pm. Admission 2019, 10:00am-5:00pm. 216-470-5780 Email: prrm@att.net:
Schedule of Events $5.00, children 12 & under free. Free parking. Naptown &
White River Model Railroad Club. Contact: Steven Handly,
OK, BIXBY: Greater Tulsa Area Train Show, Bixby
317-786-8627, E-mail: naptownmrr@gmail.com
AR, JACKSONVILLE: Train Show, Jacksonville Community Center, 211 N. Cabaniss Avenue, Bixby, OK.
Community Center, Municipal Drive. August 24-25, 10:00am MI, CLINTON TWP: St. Louis Men’s Club, Mount Saturday October 12, 2019, 9:00am-3:00pm. Admission:
- 4:00pm. Vendors, Layouts, Contests. Admission $7.00, 12 Clemens Michigan Train Show. St. Louis Church Comm. $5.00 adults, under 12 Free. For info: TTOS-Sooner.org
and under free w/adult. Contact RAIL & SPRUE Hobbies, Center, 39140 Ormsby Street. Saturday, September 28,
1200 John Harden Drive, Jacksonville, AR, 72076. 501-982- 2019. 10:00am-3:00pm. $3.00/person, $5.00/family, under PA, LANCASTER: Brass Expo & Customer Craftsman
12 free. $10/table. Contact Carl Hikade, 181 Riverside Models 2019. Wyndham Lancaster Resort & Convention
6836, or railandsprue@aol.com Center (Lancaster Host), 2300 Lincoln Hwy. E (Route 30),
Drive, Mt Clemens, MI 48043, 586-463-5184 or e-mail:
cdhikade@juno.com Lancaster, PA. November 23-24, 2019. www.brassexpo.com/
CT, GREENWICH: Southern Connecticut Model Train 724-285-3090
Show, Greenwich Civic Center September 22, 2019, MI, WYOMING (GRAND RAPIDS): Greater
9:00am-3:00pm. Adults $7.00, under 12 free. Valley HO-Trak Grand Rapids Fall Train Show. Saturday, October 12, VT, RUTLAND: Vermont Train Show & Swap Meet,
Layout & more. Clinics, 150 tables; trains, books, artwork, 2019. HSB Inc., 5625 Burlingame Avenue SW. 10:00am- September 21, 2019, Holiday Inn, South Main Street (Route
DVD’s. Door prizes, free parking, refreshments. Ron’s 3:00pm. Adults $5.00, under 12 free. 203 vendor tables of 7). 10:00am-3:30pm. Admission $6.00, children under
Books, PO Box 714, Harrison, NY 10528, 914-967-7541. Trains, and supplies. Contact Ken Skopp, 616-667-9680, 13 FREE. Info/dealer tables: Paul 802-259-2123 e-mail
ronsbooks@aol.com, www.southerncttrainshow.com, kwskopp@outlook.com. www.grvrrc.org p_a_r@vermontel.net or John 802-774-8412 phone/text.
Railroaders, 46th Great Train Swap Meet. Battle Ground Buying entire collections anywhere in Canada or the USA.
High School Gym, 300 W. Main St. September 28th, 9:30am- Brass, plastic, engines, cars, buildings, memorabilia - every- BUYING G SCALE: and Large Scale Train collection. Call
2:30pm. $10.00 Beat-the-Crowd (9:00am), Adults $5.00, Tom 630-443-9137.
thing! Call Don 403-585-2772. E-mail: modeltrains@shaw.ca
Students $3.00, under 6 free. Operating layouts. Come run
a train. Vendor tables $20.00. Contact Larry 360-619-8899,
larry.sprenkel@gmail.com Wanted-HO Scale Wanted - Miscellaneous
WA, CHEHALIS: Lewis County Model Railroad Club, ALL SLOT CARS WANTED. Any kind, any condi-
Annual Fall Model Railroad Swap Meet and Show. Southwest #1 A+ ESTATE BUYER OF ALL TRAIN ESTATES- Brass tion. Top dollar paid. PAUL at 586-752-3675. E-mail:
Washington Fair Grounds, Blue Pavilion Building, 2555 N. Pieces & Collections wants your material. Including all types of slotcarguy@slotcarguy.com
National Ave. October 12-13, 2019. Saturday, 10:00am-4:00pm Brass, old trains, kits, plastic, diecast, buildings, etc.- we buy
and Sunday, 10:00am-3:00pm. Admission $5.00. Free parking it all. Buildings and estates included. We seek better items for ALL TRAIN COLLECTORS & MODELERS- We need
Contact information: Ted 360-985-7788 or TedsTrains@Lewis personal collections. Call us before you sell for our offer as we more trains to supply our ever expanding group of inter-
County.com ested buyers. We buy HO & N Scale Trains - Brass, Marklin,
pay the highest prices. Call Don Black toll free 1-866-462-7277.
Rivarossi, Atlas, Kato, MicroTrains, etc. as well as better trains
WA, PORT ANGELES: North Olympic Peninsula Don Black, 119 Bernhurst Road, New Bern, NC 28560. E-mail in all scales. We also purchase store inventories. We also
Railroaders’ 20th Train Show & Swap Meet. Clallam County Fair don@donblack.com can auction your trains with rates starting as low as 15%. We
Grounds. September 21-22, 2019. Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, travel extensively all over the US and Canada. Send us your list
Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm. FREE Admission & Parking. Several $1,000,000 CASH AVAILABLE- For your collection! today or for more information see www.trainz.com/sell Trainz,
operating layouts. Scales Z to G & beyond welcome. Tables Brass, Plastic, Memorabilia, we buy it all. Call us 352-292-4116 2740 Faith Industrial Dr., Buford, GA 30518. 866-285-5840,
$20.00 Contact stevenstripp@juno.com or mail your list to: BRASSTRAINS.COM, 10515 SE 115th Ave., Scott@trainz.com Fax: 866-935-9504
WA, SPOKANE: River City Modelers Fall Train Show, Ocala, FL 34472. E-mail: collections@brasstrains.com
Spokane Fairgrounds, 404 North Havana. Sunday, October unbuilt or built, any size collection. Fred Sterns, 48 Standish,
13, 2019, from 9:30am-3:30pm. Adults $6.00, Free under 12. BRASS PASSENGER CARS; Craftsman’s kits; LIRR brass
Buffalo, NY 14216. 716-838-6797. email: fsterns@aol.com
200+tables of Railroad items for sale, operating layouts, Free- and plastic. Challenger Broadway Limited; Coach Yard PRR.
MO, Operation Lifesaver & more. Free parking. For information: Please call Bob 212-874-6569 or e-mail grandt7@yahoo.com
Shirley Sample, 509-991-2317 or email shirley@busnws.com Custom Painting & Building
BUYING HO train collections, large or small. Also brass. Call
Tom 630-443-9137. CUSTOM BUILDING & PAINTING, kit building, kit-bash-
ing & scratchbuilding. Locomotives, rolling stock, structures
& more. 12 Penny Lane, Newark, DE 19702, 302-229-6010,
Buying entire collections anywhere in Canada or the USA.
Wanted-N Scale Brass, plastic, engines, cars, buildings, memorabilia - every- CUSTOM LAYOUT BUILDING & LAYOUT DESIGN.
#1 ESTATE BUYER OF N SCALE COLLECTIONS! We thing! Call Don 403-585-2772. E-mail: modeltrains@shaw.ca Specializing in fine scale and prototype based projects. The
buy all makes and types - including Brass & European! Even Nn3! Shelf Layouts Company, Inc. www.shelflayouts.com 301-404-
Call us TOLL FREE: 1-866-462-7277. Don Black 119 Bernhurst 8164
Road, New Bern, NC 28560. E-mail: don@donblack.com Wanted-O Tinplate
BUYING N scale train collections, large or small. Call Tom BUYING O and Standard gauge collections. Lionel, Flyer and tures, rolling stock, quality work. Reasonable. 585-319-5530 or
630-443-9137. all others. Call Tom 630-443-9137 email: valhow4@aol.com


Exclusively trains. Craft kits, No sales tax at the Delaware seashore.

Retail Directory spaces are sold on a year’s basis at $654 per year (payable in advance) or at $60 per month detail parts, scratch supplies, books. Lionel new & used . . . . also Atlas, Bachmann,
(billed to established accounts for one year minimum); also for six months at $353 (payable in advance). Ads will Ride the trolley to Reed’s. MTH. We buy used trains. Auth. Lionel repairs.
Open Mon through Sat 10-6; Sun 12-4  Large inventory of used HO trains.
be set in standard listing typography. All insertions must be consecutive and may be invoiced if you have credit reeds@abac.com  www.reeds-hobbies.com Open Tues - Sat 11-4:30, Closed Sun & Mon
established with us. No mention of mail order business permitted. CLOSING DATES are listed in the “Schedule of REED’S HOBBY SHOP SEASIDE HOBBIES
Events” section. For more information call 1-888-558-1544, ext. 551. 8039 La Mesa Blvd. 619-464-1672 15 Daisey Ave. 302-539-1601
ALABAMA • Enterprise CALIFORNIA • Burbank CALIFORNIA • Santa Clara FLORIDA • Cape Canaveral
Southern Alabama’s largest train store. We carry All scales G through N, collectibles old & new. 100% trains. Discount prices. Super selection Lionel, American Flyer, MTH
most major manufacturers in N, HO, HOn3, O & G Authorized LGB, Lionel, MTH & Märklin dealer. Monday 9:30am-3:00pm on the internet.
scales. Tues - Fri 10am to 5pm and Sat-10am to 2pm.  One of the most complete train stores in Tuesday - Saturday 9:30am-6:00pm www.traincity.com
highcountryhobbies@gmail.com So. Calif. UPS worldwide shipper. Closed Sunday. Dennis Cole E-mail:  www.choochooauctions.com
www.highcountryhobbies.com Visit our website at www.trainshack.com dcole4449@att.net.
206 South Main St. 334-489-4558 1030 N. Hollywood Way 800-572-9929 1829 Pruneridge Ave. 95050 408-296-1050 387 Imperial Blvd., Ste. 2 321-799-4005
ARIZONA • Apache Junction CALIFORNIA • Concord CALIFORNIA • Westminster (Orange Co.) FLORIDA • Melbourne
New Store! Arizona’s premier hobby shop. Largest selection in the East Bay. 93 foot HO World Famous The Space Coast’s Model Train Shop.
Full scale, all service hobby shop. Trains, layout. Buy - sell - trade - consign - repairs - Model/Toy Trains Only Z thru G scales. N scale our specialty!
planes, cars, boats and R/C. Special orders. detail parts in all scales. Lionel. 7,000 sq. ft. Super Center Digitrax, Kato, Lionel & Walthers Dealer.
Open Mon - Sat Discount prices & friendly service. www.arniestrains.com Atlas, IM, BWL, Piko, LGB & Rokuhan.
Website: www.just-trains.com Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Email: trftrains@cfl.rr.com
2114 West Apache Trail #11 480-203-1796 5650 Imhoff Dr. 925-685-6566 6452 Industry Way 714-893-1015 2715 N. Harbor City Blvd., #10/11 321-241-4997

ARIZONA • Avondale CALIFORNIA • Costa Mesa CALIFORNIA • Yuba City FLORIDA • Miami
DCC Systems, Decoders, Layout Supplies Lionel, AF, LGB, HO, N, & Z Gauge. A full service model train store. Large Shop “Warehouse Style” for N to G.
Professional Installations G to Z scales New, used, & collectibles. inventory, HO, N, O & O27 Tinplate. MTH, Lionel, Kato, LGB, Broadway Ltd., Atlas,
Mon - Fri 8:00-5:00, Sat 8:00-Noon Buy, sell, trade & repair. Books, videos, collector & gift items. Walthers at discount prices. Open Mon - Sat
Online Store: LitchfieldStation.com Tue - Fri 12-7, Sat 9-5, Sun 11-3. Repair service. We buy old toy trains. 10am-5pm, Open Sunday Nov - Jan 10am-
E-mail: Sales@LitchfieldStation.com www.westerndepot.com 1pm.  Email us at rtrtrains@aol.com
1412 N. Central Ave., Ste. D 623-298-7355 1113 Baker Street, Ste. F 714-549-1596 1650 Sierra Ave. #203 530-673-6776 831 NW 143rd Street 305-688-8868
ARIZONA • Phoenix CALIFORNIA • Hemet COLORADO • Denver (Lakewood) FLORIDA • Ocala
Narrow gauge almost exclusively. We carry Lionel, MTH, HO, N, Atlas, Walthers, Caboose, sharing our passion for trains HO, N trains & accessories
On3 - Sn3 - HOn3 - On30. Ross switches, Gargraves & Peco. since 1938. North America’s largest full- Visa, MC, AX, Discover
Kits, parts, brass & books. 45’ long in-store layout. Open 7 days. service train store, and your go-to source for Open Mon - Fri 10-5:30, Sat 9-4
Mon-Fri 8-12, 1-5, Sat 8-12. www.dynamichobbies.net everything model railroading. Open Daily or at Call for Sunday hours.
1544 E. Cypress St. 602-254-9656 811 East Florida Avenue 951-925-9331 10800 W Alameda Avenue 303-777-6766 8585 SW Hwy. 200 352-854-2799
ARIZONA • Tempe CALIFORNIA • Hollister CONNECTICUT • Cos Cob FLORIDA • Pensacola
Family owned, full service. Special orders Model planes, car, ships & figures. Model train HO, N, Lionel. Lionel authorized dealer Competitive prices, friendly service.
welcomed. Athearn, Lionel, Bachmann, Digitrax scales: Z, N, HO, O & G. Paints, tools. R/C & & repair. Plastic, wood kits, rockets, All makes & models, trains & accessories. 
& Soundtraxx dealer. Plastic models, books, parts, incl. service. Craft & educational kits, tools, structural & diorama supplies. Tue-Sat. 9:00am-5:00pm. 
magazines, paints, building materials, scenery, supplies, products. ESU Lok Sound Dealer - Special orders welcome. www.trainsbyjohnson.com
& more. Free classes and clinics. clinics available. Tue - Sat 11-6; Sun 12-4 Old Palafox St. at 10 Mile Rd.
216 W. Southern Ave. 480-968-1880 201-C McCray St. 831-635-0537 405 E. Putnam Avenue 203-869-0969 10412 N. Palafox Hwy. 850-478-8584
ARKANSAS • Jacksonville CALIFORNIA • Lodi CONNECTICUT • Manchester FLORIDA • Pinellas Park
Headquarters for scale hobbies. Models; Z - N - HO - HOn3 - O27 - On30 All scales Z, N, HO, O, O-27, G, #1, MTH, Same Great Store, New Location!! Huge
N-HO-O trains; tools; paint, etc. Locos - Rolling Stock - Digital - Structures Lionel, Märklin, LGB, Walthers, Aristo, Trix,etc. inventory! Running Layouts! Your one-stop
Discounts & special orders. Landscaping Material & more. Digital Sales-Install. Large operating layouts. shop for trains, toys and other modeling
Open 10-6, closed Sundays and Wednesdays www.Rogersrailroadjunction.com Mon-Wed 10-6 Th-Fri 10-9 Sat-Sun 10-6 needs. Daily 10-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5.
See website for virtual tour. www.timemachinehobby.com www.hrtrains.com

1200 John Harden Dr. 501-982-6836 105 S. Sacramento St. 209-334-5623 71 Hilliard St. 860-646-0610/Fax-645-0504 7900 49th St. N 727-526-4682
CALIFORNIA • Atascadero CALIFORNIA • Pasadena CONNECTICUT • Winsted FLORIDA • Port Orange (Daytona Beach)
All scales G to Z. Special orders welcome. Model rail specialists since 1951. A hobby shop for modelers by modelers. Your Southern Connection for Quality Products!
Midway LA & SF. US 101-US 41, easy access. LGB, Lionel, O, S, On3, HO, HOn3, N, Z. From hard to find to latest & greatest. Featuring O, HO, N, Woodland Scenics. MTH
Open Tue - Sat: 10-5, Sun - Mon: By Appointment. Complete stock of brass imports, new & used. Free classes & clinics / multi scales. MegaStation & National Service Center. Breyer
E-mail Anita at: anita@cctrains.com Books, tools, structures, detail parts. Large store of quality products @ fair prices. Horses. Mon - Fri 9:30-5;
Web site: www.centralcoasttrains.com Open 7 days. www.thewhistlestop.com Friendly service: www.rrhobbysupply.com Sat 9:30-4. www.roundhousesouth.com
7600 El Camino Real # 3 805-466-1391 2490 E. Colorado Blvd. 626-796-7791 100 Whiting Street 860-379-3383 4611 S. Ridgewood Ave. 386-304-7003
CALIFORNIA • Bellflower CALIFORNIA • Roseville (Sacramento) CONNECTICUT • Wolcott FLORIDA • Tampa Bay - Pinellas Park
Friendly Hobby Store! We carry N, HO, HOn3, Exclusively model trains since 1989. Exclusively brass models. One of the 2600 sq. ft. Showroom. Lionel & MTH Dealer
S, Sn3. RailMaster, Athearn, Scaletrains.com Athearn, Kato, MDC, Lionel, Atlas, LGB, largest selections in the country. All scales. NEW, USED, BUY/SELL * All Gauges Z thru G
and more. DCC: Soundtraxx, LokSound, Märklin, Brass Imports, books, detail parts. Buy, consign, trade - entire collections bought. Over 6,000 Parts. Repair Services. Trains,
Digitrax dealer. Special Orders Welcomed! Everyday low prices. Open 7 days. Mon - Fri 9 - 4 Track, Sets, Scenic Supplies. Tues - Sat 10-6
www.railmasterhobbies.com www.rrhobbies.com www.thecaboose.com www.zitniktrains.com
9812 Belmont St. 562-867-5627 119 Vernon St. 916-782-6067 5 Mohawk Drive 203-879-9797 5193 73rd Ave. N. 727-201-9668

78 www.ModelRailroader.com
GEORGIA • Atlanta (Lilburn) MARYLAND • Annapolis NEW JERSEY • Kenvil PENNSYLVANIA • Bristol
HO, Atlas, Bachmann, MTH If we don’t have it, we’ll get it! LGB, Full service hobbies, a full line of We carry most major brands and accessories
Complete scenery supplies. Woodland Scenics, Walthers Dealer, Pola, HO, N, 3-Rail, military, cars, boats, for N - G gauge. SELL - BUY - REPAIR
Operating HO layout and 400 sq. ft. layout. Lionel, Bachmann, Spectrum, Piko and USA planes, dollhouses, scratchbuilding Hours change seasonally so please call
HUGE selection in a 11,000 sq. ft. store. Trains. Mon - Sat 10-6. Full line Kalmbach! supplies, plus details-details-details! or see website. www.trainpops.com
www.legacystation.com 800-964-8724 shopstarhobby.com trainpopsattic@gmail.com
4153 Lawrenceville Hwy., #12 770-339-7780 1564 Whitehall Rd. 410-349-4290/4291 590 Rt. 46 973-584-1188 400 Mill St. 215-788-2014
GEORGIA • Buford (Atlanta) MARYLAND • Baltimore/Cockeysville NEW JERSEY • Mountain Lakes PENNSYLVANIA • Broomall
Quality, Selection & Service. Model RR headquarters since 1913. Direct dealer for LIONEL and MTH. The Lionel, American Flyer, LGB, Atlas & MTH
Discount pricing in all scales. Huge selection HO & N Trains & accessories; largest train store in Northern NJ since 1974! HO, N, ON30, Standard, O & S gauges
Mon - Sat 11-6, Sun 1-6 Lionel & MTH O Gauge.   All at discount prices. 4 showrooms plus Operating Layout. WE BUY bought, sold & traded. Auth. service station.
Across from NS Mainline in Downtown Buford Mon - Fri 9:30-5; Sat 9-5. OLD TRAINS ~Lionel Service Station #556 Mon, Wed, Fri 10-9, Tue & Thu 10-7, Sat 10-5
Web store at: www.trainmastermodels.com www.modeltrainstuff.com www.TRAIN-STATION.COM www.nstrains.com
601 East Main St. 678-546-3600 243 Cockeysville Rd., Ste. A 410-229-9995 12 Romaine Road 973-263-1979 2343 West Chester Pike 610-353-8585
ILLINOIS • Des Plaines MASSACHUSETTS • Ashburnham NEW JERSEY • Piscataway PENNSYLVANIA • Hatboro
N, HO, S, O, G Std. & Narrow gauge too. Specializing in New England road names,HO/N Serving hobbyists since 1933. Lionel, American Flyer, LGB, MTH, Marklin,
Lots of scratchbuilding parts and stuff too. Scale. Micro-Trains, Walthers, Horizon.Special Large selection of HO, N, & O scale Bachmann, Williams. HO, N & Z. We buy, 
Brass, books & DVDs. Close to O’Hare. orders discounted. Tu & Th 10-4, Wed & Railroad books - complete repair service sell & repair. Mon-Fri 12-8; Sat 10-5
M, T, W, F 10-6; Th 10-8; Sat 9:30-5; Sun 11-5 Fri 11-6, Sat 10-6 www.halfpricehobby.com www.themodelrailroadshop.com www.JoesTrainStation.com
Web Store: www.desplaineshobbies.com service@halfpricehobby.com
1524 Lee St. (Mannheim Rd.) 847-297-2118 23 Westminster St. 978-537-2277 290 Vail Ave. 732-968-5696 283 E. County Line Rd. 215-322-5182
ILLINOIS • Downers Grove MICHIGAN • Flint NEW JERSEY • Point Pleasant Beach PENNSYLVANIA • Jeannette
HO and N Scale Model Trains and Accessories G (LGB & 1:20,3), O (Lionel & MTH), On30, HO, A Complete Model Railroad Store • Over 600 Trains exclusively. Lionel, MTH, HO & N.
Two Blocks South of Metra Station N, & Z. Locos,cars, figures, buildings, track, Engines in Stock N• HO • O DCC/DCS/TMCC Supplies and accessories at discount prices.
at Maple Ave. kits, scenery supplies, details, books & videos. Authorized MTH & LIONEL Dealer. Walthers • Open daily 9:30-5, Mon & Fri 9:30-7, Sat 9-4.
www.timberlinetrainshop.com Digitrax Dealer. Repair service. VISA/MC. Atlas • Atlas O. Open Daily 10-6. Closed Tue. Expanded hours Nov. and Dec.
Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5 www.thetrainroomnj.com www.needztrains.com
5228 Main St 630-324-6136 2061 S Linden Rd 810-720-2500 715 Arnold Ave. 732-892-5145 214 South 4th Street 724-523-8035
ILLINOIS • Elgin MICHIGAN • Fraser NEW JERSEY • Westmont PENNSYLVANIA • Landisville (Lancaster)
HO & N Scale Athearn, Atlas, Bowser, Walthers. Model Trains New & Used
Scratch building supplies, paints, tools and Full line hobby shop. Structures, books. Supplies, Paint, Tools
much more. We special order. Digitrax dealer. Open Mon - Fri 10 -8, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5 Exclusively trains since 1955. Rockets, Slot Cars, Lionel/MTH Trains
www.bgtrainworld.com www.pdhobbyshop.com HO and N. Tue, Thur & Fri 10-5, Wed & Sat 10-2.
We buy train collections large & small.
829 Walnut Ave. 847-888-2646 31280 Groesbeck Hwy. 586-296-6116 14 Haddon Ave. 856-854-7136 106 W. Main Street 717-898-7119
ILLINOIS • Geneseo MICHIGAN • Grand Rapids NEW YORK • Hurley PENNSYLVANIA • Montoursville
Scale Trains, Models & Hobby Supplies LGB, O (Lionel, MTH & Scale), HO, N & Z Trains- Z, N, HO, S, O, G scale, models, Mon - Fri 9-5:30, Sat 9-5 except
Specializing in Midwest Roads Locos, cars, figures, buildings, track, tools, rockets, hobby supplies. Lionel & MTH May thru Sept. 9-4.
Visit our website at GRHobbies.com kits, scenery supplies, details, books, videos. authorized dealer. 4 working layouts. Repairs, Extended weekday & Sun hours in Nov. & Dec.
or call for directions and hours. Digitrax Dealer. Repair service VISA/MC buy/sell. Open 7 days. An old fashioned E-mail: englishsmodel@gmail.com
Open Mon - Fri 10-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 12-5 general store. www.hurleycountrystore.biz www.englishsmodelrailroad.com
119 W. Exchange St. 309-944-2620 2055 28th Street SE 616-247-9933 2 Wamsley Pl. (Old Hurley) 845-338-4843 201 Streibeigh Lane 570-368-2516
ILLINOIS • Marion MICHIGAN • Traverse City NEW YORK • Wellsville PENNSYLVANIA • Strasburg
Full-Line Hobby Shop. Let your imagination run wild! HO, N &  O Accurail, Bowser, Atlas, Walthers, From trains to diecast to scenery, everything
HO & N scale locomotives, scenery, Z to G, Lionel, scenery, tools, Williams & Kadee. Scenery & modeling for the layout builder. Open 7 days a week.
plastic models, R/C, tools, paints, and more. structures, scratchbuilding supplies, supplies. Plastructs, magazines & building kits. N, HO, O, Lionel, LGB. Buy, sell, trade used
Open Tue - Fri 1:30-6:30pm, Sat 10am-4pm special orders, ships, armor, cars, more... Old local lines like WAG, Erie & EL.  trains. Located adjacent to the
Tues. - Fri. 12-5, Sat. 10-3 Choo Choo Barn. www.etrainshop.com
1913 W. Rendelman St. P/F 618-993-9179 210 East Front St. 231-947-1353 332 E. Dyke St.(Rt. 417E) 585-593-0005 226 Gap Road 717-687-0464
Large 60’ x 70’ customer operated DCC FORMERLY MERRI-SEVEN • NEW LOCATION HO, N, Model Trains and accessories. HO trains & acces., detail parts, plastic &
HO layout. Located 17 miles from St. Louis All scales Z thru G, new and used Broadway Limited, Kato, Walthers, craftsperson kits. Hobby supplies, tools.
near I-70/I-55 exit 15B. For shop hours/maps Complete selection of RR equipment/supplies Digitrax, Atlas, Athearn, and more.Mon - Fri Tue - Fri 12-6, Sat 10-5 Sun (Nov - Dec) 12-4
pictures, layout construction times, train BUY • SELL • REPAIR • PARTS 9:00am-5:00pm. Order by phone 24 hours. 1/2 mile west of airport
running see www.k-10smodeltrains.com Tues - Fri 11-7, Sat. 11-6 www.factorydirecttrains.com E-mail: aahobbies@gmail.com
19 Schiber Court 618-288-9720 3278 Rochester Rd. 248-680-6500 7 Glenn Bridge Rd. Ste. B 800-990-3381 655 Jefferson Blvd. 401-737-7111
ILLINOIS • Mundelein MICHIGAN • Wyoming NORTH CAROLINA • Spencer SOUTH CAROLINA • Greenville
Specializing in trains, HO, N, O, G, Lionel. HO, N and Marx bought and sold Across from NC Trans Museum. Big selection Model Trains Only - ALL AT DISCOUNT
Books and videos. Northern IL railfan American Flyer and Lionel also. of trains in all scales, Digitrax Dealer, RR PRICES! 130,000+ items in all scales available
headquarters. Closed Monday. Please call for Tuesday thru Friday 12-6, Saturday 10-5 videos/books & children’s toys Tue-Sat: online 24/7 at: www.BlueRidgeHobbies.com
other hours. Fax 847-949-8687. Other hours available by appt. Please call. 10-5:30. www.littlechoochooshop.com Retail Store features HO-N-O
ronhobby@aol.com or info@littlechoochooshop.com Wed-Thur-Fri 10am - 2pm. 
431 N. Lake St. (Rt. 45) 847-949-8680 2313 Lee St. SW 616-257-7155 500 S. Salisbury Av. 704-637-8717/800-334-2466 2327 N. Pleasantburg Dr., Ste. H 800-988-2125

ILLINOIS • Springfield MONTANA • Billings OHIO • Alliance SOUTH CAROLINA • West Columbia
HO / G / N. Model railroading headquarters for the HO & N scale trains. Athearn, Walthers, All scales, all major brands of
Special orders / discount prices. Northern Rockies. HO, HOn3 & N scale. Kits, & Kadee. Accessories, detail parts, scratch- model railroad equipment.
Display layouts / clinics / assistance. parts, tools, books. Tues-Fri 10-5:30; Sat 10-3. building supplies. Digitrax, TCS, & SoundTraxx We buy & sell used Lionel trains.
Call for hours. Closed Sun & Mon. trains28@jimsjunction.com dealer.  Tue, Thu, Fri: 12-8pm, Sat: 10-3pm. Open daily 10-6. Closed Sun.
www.jimsjunction.com www.robstrains.com
4782 Old Jacksonville Rd. 217-793-0407 811-B 16th St. West 406-259-5354 333 E. Main St. 330-823-7222 405 State Street 803-791-3958
INDIANA • Bremen NEBRASKA • Deshler OHIO • Columbus TENNESSEE • Knoxville
Small town, Large shop, O, HO & N scales. Largest HO/N scale inventory from Denver Exclusively trains. Located in Knoxville’s premier shopping
Discounts. Operating HO & N layouts. to Chicago. Stop in and say WOW! LGB, Lionel, O, HO, N scales. destination. We are the area’s most diverse
Large selection- since 1961. All major brands plus books, videos, Books, Thomas, videos. hobby store with a large selection of HO, N,
Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri 10-6; Sat 10-4. tools & scenery. Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 9-3. Mon - Thur 10-6, Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5 and O. Open 7 days a week.
www.springcreekmodeltrains.com www.trainstationohio.com Turkey Creek Area.
308 N. Bowen Ave., SR 331 574-546-3807 304 E. Bryson Ave. 402-365-7628 4430 Indianola Ave. 614-262-9056 11145 Turkey Dr. 865-675-1975
INDIANA • Indianapolis NEBRASKA • Omaha OREGON • Beaverton TEXAS • Athens
“An old fashion train shop.” HO, N, O27. Trains & supplies for all scales Z-G. We are Specializing in HO, HOn3 & Brass
Brass, books, magazines, detail parts, paints DCC ready & installation service available. Complete full line hobby shop. Blackstone• Tsunami • InterMountain • Kadee Digitrax
& accessories. Southeast corner 17th Street Service work, repairs, technical support. Family Z, N, HO, O, Lionel, and LGB. Dealer • Walthers • Coach Yard Decoder installs &
and Shadeland Avenue. Mon-Sat 10:30-6. owned since 1936. www.houseoftrains.com Open Mon - Fri 10-8, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5. custom painting.
www.waynestrains.biz jack@harrishobbies.com www.harrishobbies.com
1651 N SHADELAND AVE 317-375-0832 8106 Maple St. 402-934-RAIL (7245) 12024 SW Canyon Rd. 503-644-4535 9323 County Rd 1127 903-489-2646
IOWA • Urbandale NEVADA • Las Vegas OREGON • Portland TEXAS • Dallas
N, HO, & O While in Las Vegas, HO, N, Z, Lionel, DCC, brass Official Lionel Layout Builder Since 2001
Lionel, MTH, Atlas check out our train selection. Reservation discounts, new, used, Traingineer shop/showroom includes;
Exit #129 I-80/I-35, 2 miles south Close to the Las Vegas strip. Consignments, 16 minutes from Airport Custom Layouts, Modulars, Model Stations,
Iowa’s premier Model Railroad store Hours: Mon - Fri 10-7, Sat 10-6, Sun Noon-5. www.hobbysmith.com Bridge Kits...come see...there’s always
Open 7 days a week. something new!!! www.TrainWorxStore.com

2575 86th Street 515-276-8785 4590 W. Sahara Ave., #103 702-889-9554 1809 NE Cesar Chavez Blvd. 503-284-1912 2808 McGowan St. 877-881-4997
KANSAS • Overland Park (KC Area) NEVADA • Las Vegas OREGON • Portland TEXAS • Dallas (Addison)
O, S. HO, N, Z & G Scale Your complete model railroad store.
Lionel, MTH, A/F, Marklin, LGB & more! Big selection of HO, N and Lionel O Gauge Gauges Z through G. Great discounts on thousands of G to Z scale
New, Used & Vintage. Extensive scenery line. trains. Only 7 miles west of the Las Vegas strip. Mon - Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5, Closed Sunday items.
Repair, custom work & layouts. www.westsidetrainslv.com www.wsor.com Monday - Saturday 10-6
9322 W. 87th St. 913-383-3500 2960 S. Durango #117 702-254-9475 11724 SE Division St. 503-761-1822 4641 Ratliff Lane 972-931-8135
MAINE • Yarmouth NEW JERSEY • Bellmawr PENNSYLVANIA • Blue Ridge Summit TEXAS • Houston
Specializing in HO trains. Custom weathering, painting, A complete Train Store. Repairs & The Exclusive model railroad store. HO & N, Lionel trains.
DCC, scenery, diorama building, structure building. Decoders Installed, N, HO, S, O. DCC From N to G, we stock it all. Complete line of plastic kits, military and
Between Falmouth and Freeport on Route 1. Tues, Specialists Authorized Dealer. Digitrax OPEN 7 days a week. architecture supplies.
Thur, Fri 10-5, Wed. 10-7 Sat. 9-4 (Call ahead Mon) ESU-Loksound, NCE Soundtraxx, TCS. Only minutes from Frederick, MD. Open Mon - Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm
www.mainemodelworks.com www.yankeedabbler.com www.mainlinehobby.com www.gandgmodelshop.com
374 US Route One, Unit 2 207-781-8300 101 W KINGS HWY, 08031 856-312-8084 15066 Buchanan Trail E. 717-794-2860 2029 Southwest Fwy 713-529-7752

September 2019 79
TEXAS • Houston WASHINGTON • Burien (Seattle) WISCONSIN • Waukesha (Pewaukee) CANADA–ON • Mount Forest
All trains, all scales. Magazines, Books, Vid-eos, Repairs,
Close to SEA-TAC airport - short drive from Märklin • Lionel • MTH • AF • LGB • Z to G 45 Min North of Guelph. Fax# 519-323-3809.
Brass, Consignments. Discount program, will ship.
downtown Seattle. New & vintage electric • buildings • scenery • detail parts • books Authorized Lionel value added dealer. One
papabenstrains@gmail.com M,Tu,Th & F 10-6; W 10-7;
trains in all scales. Tues - Sat 11-6 • scratchbuilding supplies • special orders • of Canada’s largest Lionel retailers. Full line
Sat 10-5; Closed Sun. Open Sunday’s Oct, Nov, and
www.electrictrainshop.com NMRA discounts • Mon - Fri 11-8 • Sat 10-5 HO & N dealer. Closed Mon. Open Sun. 11-3.
Dec.  Major Credit Cards. www.papabens.com Sun 12-5. www.hiawathahobbies.com www.tctrainscanada.com
4007-E Bellaire Blvd. 713-523-5600 625 SW 152nd St. 206-244-7077 2026 Silvernail Rd. 262-544-4131 130 Main Street North 519-323-3935
TEXAS • San Antonio WASHINGTON • Kirkland CANADA–BC • Savona CANADA–ON • Paris
Model railroading our specialty. Lionel, American Flyer, LGB, HO, N. Model trains in G, O, S, HO, N, Z. Old toy Full line hobby shop. Large stock N, HO.
Märklin, G, HO, N, O, Z. Buy, sell, and repair. trains, railway antiques, art, books, DVDs, Special orders weekly, all scales.
Superdetailing parts galore. Supplying all your railroading needs. souvenirs and Thomas too. Canadian road All accessories, scenery and supplies.
Books, structures, figures and tools. Open Mon-Sat. names a specialty. 20 min. west of Kamloops. www.parisjunctionhobbies.com
Tuesday - Saturday 10am-6pm www.eastsidetrains.com www.kellyskaboose.ca
1029 Donaldson Ave. 210-735-7721 217 Central Way 425-828-4098 6648 Savona Access Rd. 250-377-8510 300 Grand River St. N. 519-442-5800
UTAH • Orem WEST VIRGINIA • Inwood CANADA–BC • Summerland CANADA–ON • Toronto (Markham)
Where it’s always cheaper than therapy. Trains Specializing in European Model Trains, North American Train Specialists since 1962
all scales, LGB, Broadway Limited, Atlas, One Stop Shop, In Tri-State Area. Märklin, Trix, Roco, LGB, Brawa, Fleischmann HO, N, O, G and DCC
Lionel, Micro-Trains, Athearn. Just north of the Trains-R/C - Models. & many more. Huge selection of trains, Railfanning beside CNR Mainline
other Arby’s by Maceys. Competitive Pricing. kits, & access. HO-N-Z-1-O-G Scales. Closed Mondays www.georgestrains.com
934 N State St #101 801-226-7947 357 Middleway Pike 304-229-8220 9901 Main St. 866-799-6098 550 Alden Rd., Unit 101 905-470-6200
VERMONT • Rutland WISCONSIN • Bay View (Milwaukee) CANADA–BC • Vancouver CANADA–ON • Windsor
Exclusively Model Railroading. Most major Specializing in HO, N, Books, DVD’s, DCC. Large selection of model RR supplies includ- Model Railroading since 1970.
lines. Brass, custom painted models. Special Orders Welcome. Discount Prices. ing Min. by Eric, Athearn/MDC, Atlas, Peco, Operational in-store layout.
Competitive prices. Personal service. Tue-Wed 11-5, Thur 11-6, Fri 11-5, Sat 9:30-3 Shinohara, Rapido, SoundTraxx, brass, etc. HO & N trains, bits & pieces.
Open by appt. Eves 6-10, Sat 10-10. www.southsidetrains.com Special orders. www.central-hobbies.com ”Simplified Wiring & Trackwork”
Open 11-6, Friday til 9. Closed Sundays. by Fred Stainer.
14 Engrem Avenue 802-775-2736 3979 S. Howell Ave. 414-482-1566 2825 Grandview Hwy. 604-431-0771 3895 Tecumseh Rd. East 519-945-5471
VIRGINIA • Ashland (Richmond) WISCONSIN • Green Bay CANADA–ON • Dundas GERMANY • Kaarst
Exclusively trains, specializing in DCC, N, Your full line hobby shop. Open 7 days a Europe’s best known address for US Railroads.
On CSX tracks, Open 7 Days. All Gauges, Spec G, & HO. DCC installation and award winning week. N, HO, AF, Lionel, LGB. Scenery and We carry N, HO & G scale for all road names,
Orders & Repairs. I-95, exit 92, west 1.2 miles. custom painting and building available. scratchbuilding supplies. Walthers dealer, Kato Atlas to Walthers.
WWW.ENGINEHOUSESERVICES.COM products. Special orders welcome! Mon - Fri 10-6:30, Sat 10-2
E-mail us at: sales@dundasvalleyhobby.ca Overseas orders with VS & MC

104 S. Railroad Ave. 804-368-0063 2737 N. Packerland Dr. 2H 920-490-4839 15 Cootes Dr. 905-628-9156 www.aat-net.de E-mail: info@aat-net.de
VIRGINIA • Roanoke WISCONSIN • Milwaukee CANADA–ON • London
Lionel, LGB, G, AF, HO, N & MTH Complete Canadian trains & more N, HO, G, Run your Retail Directory
Buy, sell, trade, repair. Exclusively Model Railroading since 1932. Athearn, Hornby, Peco, Walthers. Special
Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat 10-5 One-stop shopping from Z to G.
800-487-2467 walthers.com
orders, plastics, parts, supplies, books, DVD’s.
Mon - Fri 10-6, Sat 9-5. sales@rrhobby.ca
ad in the next issue of
Two minutes off Exit 146 on I-81. www.rrhobby.ca
Model Railroader!
7547 Williamson Rd. 540-362-1714 5619 W. Florist Avenue 414-461-1050 1444 Glenora Drive 519-434-0600
VIRGINIA/MARYLAND • Chantilly, VA WISCONSIN • Monroe CANADA–ON • Mississauga Call 888-558-1544, ext. 440
Full service storefront & online store. All makes N & HO scale trains & accessories, plastic kits. 6,000 sq. ft. All Trains!
& scales. New/used trains sales, service, repair Books, videos & tools. Summer hours: Tues - Fri 10-5 Premier Selection & Service! for more information.
& upgrades. Retail Store - www.traindepot.biz Sat 10-4, Sun 12-4 Winters only. In store clinics and layouts!
Authorized Lionel Service Station & Digitrax Always closed on Monday! Railfan Headquarters! Quick special orders!
dealer. Online Sales Visit www.JTTrains.com Call ahead to be sure we’re open! www.cvrco.com
13944 Willard Rd., Suite I 703-953-3767 835 17th St. 608-325-5107 2900 Argentia Rd. Unit #24 1-800-464-1730

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#12804 #12802

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80 www.ModelRailroader.com

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We believe that our readers are as important as our advertisers. If you do not receive your merchandise or a reply
from an advertiser within a reasonable period, please contact us. Provide details about what you ordered and the high-tech features
amount you paid. If no action is obtained after we forward your complaint to the advertiser, we will not accept further
advertising from them. Model Railroader magazine, 21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187 With few commercial options at
hand, a modeler used laser-cutting,
Atlas Model Railroad Company. . . . . . . . . .5 Modeler’s Market Place . . . . . . . . . . 76-77 3-D printing, battery-powered DCC,
Axian Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Nace’s Videography LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 and microprocessors to make his
Bachmann Industries Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 31 x 32-foot O scale United States
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Kato USA Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
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Lionel Trains LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 • Building a basic structure kit
Trainworld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
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Model Railroader All-Time Digital Archive 69
Model Railroader Books . . . . . . . .51, 71, 80
Wm. K. Walthers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Woodland Scenics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
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The magazine is not responsible for omissions or for typographical errors in names or page numbers.
September 2019 81
Trains of Thought By Tony Koester

Little things can mean a lot

I often write about the
potential of scale model rail-
roading from a point of view
that presumes good modeling
and realistic operation go
hand in hand. Not everyone
who builds great models
enjoys realistic operation, of
course, just as many serious
operators champion the cause
of the Plywood Pacific. But
the only way I can think of to
realize the full potential of
our hobby is to do both: build
accurate scale models and
operate them in an equally
realistic manner.
Thinking this way leads to
some interesting realizations.
We’ve all enjoyed seeing a
model scene detailed to the Grain doors are being nailed to the inside of this Chicago Great Western 40-foot boxcar.
nines; a backwoods engine- Additional three-plank “doors” are lying nearby. Sidney Wheeler photo, Ernie Valentine collection
house with full interior
detailing comes readily to reach almost to the roof on charges and credited when between 200 and 400-plus
mind. But there are some both sides, leaving just they were returned to the rail- grain doors in company box-
details that do more to “earn enough room for a skinny road’s materials department. cars. Each local agent, who
their keep” than others. That hammer wielder to slide out For those of you modeling had to keep a tally of doors
is, they play both scenic and over the top. the time before covered hop- used annually by each eleva-
operational roles. pers became the norm for tor, would have a section crew
What has this got to do grain shipments, this adds yet unload the appropriate num-
A photo that Clark Propst with operation? Until some- another task for the yardmas- ber of doors by the depot or
shared with me, above, makes one figures out how to motor- ter: switch a grain-door-filled team track. The elevator
my point. The freight car ize a small-scale tractor, that boxcar into today’s local. And could pick up what they were
folks will see opportunities to part of the action will remain for the local’s crew: spot the allocated there.
add details such as torn-off moot. And I doubt we’re boxcar at the depot or on a
instruction cards on the door going to fasten grain doors to team track for unloading. Thus, a simple scenic detail
tag boards and streaks of the inside of boxcar doors Professional yardmaster – stacks of three-board grain
weathering. The vehicle and during an operating session. and modeler Dan Holbrook doors – and maybe a well-
scenery folks will see an The question we need to has given talks detailed and
opportunity to detail a tractor ask is, where did those grain about grain load- weathered boxcar
with a front-end loader and doors come from? Were they ing at railroad with a door slid
to pile some scrap lumber on nailed together on site using prototype model- open to reveal a
the ground. boards from a local lumber- ing meets. He grain door,
From an operational per- yard? No, a closer look at notes that as of expand beyond
spective, however, everything the grain doors would show 1912, the standard modeling projects
in the scene comes together. signs of prior use. They’ve grain door was to become opera-
The boxcar is alongside a probably made quite a few 20" to 24" high tional assets.
grain elevator. That tractor is trips between elevators and and 7 feet long. In THERE ARE Our railroads
probably used to shove a mills where they were pried 1938, this was THAT DO MORE are small by any
loaded car out of the way to loose a few at a time to enable changed to 10" to TO ‘EARN THEIR measure. Making
make room for an empty. cars to be unloaded. 20" high and 7 to KEEP’ THAN scenic details do
And the piles of “scrap lum- Since the doors had value – 9 feet long. OTHERS. THAT double-duty as
ber” are actually grain doors, indeed, they were often sten- Owning railroad IS, THEY PLAY operational
each typically three boards ciled with the reporting marks initials were 1.5" BOTH SCENIC enhancements
high, several of which you of the owning railroad – the to 4" high. AND OPERA- is a good way to
can see already nailed to the railroads wanted them back. The material TIONAL ROLES. double the return
inside of the boxcar door If they went off line, their (stores) depart- – TONY on our invest-
opening. They’ll eventually costs were added to waybill ment shipped ment.
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