This is the latest addition to the roster. It is equipped with DCC and sound and I have put temporary logos on the cabs until I can get proper decals made up to represent Gramling Locomotive Works and the Flagg Coal Co, This unit will probably need a current Keeper added to it as it does stall going over the frogs of the turnouts on my layout.

The photo above is of the latest aquisition for the locomotive fleet. I picked this one because I have been watching a show on my streaming TV about a father and son team who own four of these little 0-4-0's and truck them around the country to railroad museums who want a taste of steam railroading. The little  loco is haulede around on a Lo-Boy trailer with the crew following in a motorhome. So far they have been to 26 different museums in 14 different states from Florida to Connecticut and as far west as Nebraska, I think. It is a great show and since Life-Like made a model of the so called "Saddle Tank Locomotive" I thought I should have one in the collection. I plan on decorating it to match the one in the show. I might even, down the road, get a Lo-Boy trailer and rig in HO scale and make it a complete thing. The work/fun continues.

This is an early Birthday present from my youngest daughter and her husband. Gabe has turned into quite the woodworker. I gave him a few measurements a few weeks ago and he came up with this. It even has slots cut in the shelves so that the wheels of the trains sit properly as though they were on tracks. I was overjoyed to recieve this wonderful gift. Of course this means there is more space on the layout for new stuff.

       Speaking of new stuff, The semi-tractor and trailer that I ordered from a hobby shop in the midwest has apparently been mislaid by the Post Office. Is it any wonder why Fedex and UPS are doing so well financially while the Post Office is always broke. I am sure it will arrive at some time in the future, lets just hope it is while I am still alive. UPDATE: After the dealer went to the Post Office and inquired about the missing package, wonder of wonders, it was suddenly found and as of Thursday morning, is now in Tampa on it's way to me. Waddyaknow!

      Well, The tractor/trailer arrived today. The cab unit is gorgeous, just what I expected. Unfortunately, the trailer "kit" arrived minus a couple of parts that were desperately needed. I contacted the company and they were very appologetic and promised to send the mising parts ASAP. In the meantime, I found a lo-boy trailer on Ebay that was not a Kit and ordered that and it should arrive about the same time the missing parts do. I did make an effort to test the kit parts that I had and the term "kit" is a bit of a misnomer in this case. The parts that I have will take a tremendous amount of filing and fitting before they are even ready to be painted. THe trailer I ordered today will arrive ready to roll. I am quickly losing my taste for "kits". From now on I will concentrate on units that are ready to run. 

        Today is Monday, the 19th of October and another locomotive has arrived on the layout. The latest addition is an 0-6-0 tank locomotive similar to the 0-4-0 loco I purchased recently. The big difference is that this one comes with DCC and sound already applied. The new loco will become part of the roster while the little 0-4-0 will be a static display mounted on a lo-boy trailer shown heading to it's next stop on the museum circuit. I will take the new arrival to the club on Tuesday to get it checked out and have it's address changed. I am still having  a devil of a time trying to create the proper decals to identify these locos with the TV program "Have Steam Engine-Will Travel" I may have to get a pro decal maker to assist with this effort.

         By the way, I almost missed the first anniversary of my layout. I started building it on October 4, 2019 so it passed it's first birthday a couple of weeks ago. For a layout that covers the circumference of an are a12.5 feet x 17 feet, having it fully scenicked and operational in around 1 year is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. 

          Today, Tuesday, I took the 0-6-0 locomotive to the club and used their programming track to change the address of the decoder to the number on the side of the loco. Then it was tested and while the sounds are a bit muffled because the speaker was installed upside down, everything worked well enough to satisfy me.

           According to the post office's tracking software my lo-boy trailer was delivered yesterday. According to my mailbox not so much. Nothing in my mailbox at all. I have registered a complaint with the post office and with ebay. I am getting really fed up with the USPS. This is not the first time they have screwed up my deliveries. 

This makes my third brass locomotive. The seller reduced the price so I bought it. It is the first diesel loco in brass but it still looks like a piece of jewelry to me. All of the super fine hand rails are like the valve gear on a steam loco. This is my Christmas present to myself for 2020. 

     As promised here is a photo of the overhead crane that I installed to provide a way to transfer heavy loads from the lo-boy trailer to the tracks around the restoration shop. It even covers the main line at the far right and both tracks of the museum lot. You can just see the motorhome peeking around the corner of the restoration shop behind the lo-boy with the locomotive on it.

       On Monday, my latest aquisition arrived, A CSX GP-9. It is DCC and Sound equipped and I will be taking it to the club tomorrow to get the address changed to the number on the cab. For some reason, although I have a proper programming track, I never seem to be able to get it to cooperate the way I want it to. I am also thaking my 0-6-0 tank engineto see if it is possible to put a keep-alive or current keeper in it. Because of the super short wheelbase of small locos, they tend to lose power going over unpowered frogs in the turnouts while the larger locos just ignore them because they can span the small dead spot easily. The current keeper only has to function for a second or two to get the loco past the dead spot. 

This is what is known in the railroad business as a "doodlebug". It is a combination coach, baggage car and locomotive all in one. This one I picked up at the RRclub today for $40. It will be a nice addition to the museum roster and when I get time I may add DCC to it. In the meantime I am building a "Pulse Width Modulation throttle which works on DC. When I add this to the layout there will be a switch to go between DCC and regular DC so I can run some of my DC locomotives once in a while.

My Model Railroad Page 20

         This is a red letter day!!! I have purchased my first brass locomotive, an 0-8-0 switcher that I found at the model railroad club that I belong to. As a locomotive it is probably not very special, but to me it is fantastic. Ever since my first foray into model railroading over 45 years ago, I have wanted to have a collection of unpainted brass locomotives. This one is the first one and the start of a whole new dimension in model railroading for me. 

          The above paragraph was written on Tuesday, November 17. This Saturday, the 21st, I took delivery of a second brass locomotive. The new locomotive is pictured below. The first was an 0-8-0, this one is a 2-8-0. These two came relatively quickly but from now on it will be one or less per month as I can afford them and as I find bargains. I am very pleased with my first two brass locomotives and I am enjoying this new aspect of the hobby to the max. I probably should explain that the first loco was purchased for cash at my local model railroad club at a very good price.

              There has not been much activity on the railroad the last couple of days. I have to wait until Saturday to take my latest loco to the Real Rail club so I can get the address changed to the number on the cab of the loco. When I try to do it on my programming track something always goes belly up. In the meantime I rediscovered a couple of people loading platforms that I had made for the excursion train, so I reinstalled those on the layout. I may yet move them again but for now they are not sitting in the Yard Office Parking Lot over by the car float area. I may do some detail work on the layout tomorrow but first I do have to go shopping for a few items that will not wait until Lisa, my daughter, does the shopping on Monday. She has been very helpful, I think it is me going through stuff faster than I should. 

              I am not sure what is going on with my NCE power cab. It is now only used with my programming track but for some reason, I have to take any new locomotive with DCC to the RealRail model railroad club to get the programming to work. The loco above is just the latest that required using the club's programmer to get it to operate properly. While it was in Dave's hands he also did a bit of lubrication on the gears which immediately quieted a rather noisy locomotive. No sound on that one but at least it is much much quieter than before. 

     TheLo-Boy trailer finally arrived a day late. Apparently the mailman picked up my package instead of someone else's and scanned it as delivered when it was not so. All is well now as the trailer finally arrived and as you can see, is now firmly ensconced on the layout. On Friday, I added sections of rails to the trailer and so the loco is now sitting properly on the trailer. I also switched out the cab unit for one that is the same color as the trailer. See below. I have an even bigger trailer and tractor coming next week which will hopefully be able to hold an even bigger locomotive as a display item. 

      This second loco was purchased on Ebay using PayPal  also at a very good price. The first was a lucky happenstance that I could not turn down, and since I had just sold a ham radio that was surplus to my needs I felt it was OK to splurge a little. The second was actually a planned purchase that I had been waiting for the right time to do.

N1GY- The simple Approach to Ham Radio

and My Model Railroad Hobby


       Because the layout has no tracks that just end without a bumper and enough space beyond the end of track for the Lo-Boy Tractor-trailer, I was forced to come up with an alternate method (in principle) of getting the locomotive off the trailer and onto the tracks. I surmised that a heavy duty travelling crane could do the job and also be appropriate for the "Restoration Shop on the layout. My first effort along those lines did not work out as planned, so another crane has been purchased and should be here in a while. In the meantime, there has been no sign of the missing parts for the original Lo-Boy kit. I am rapidly getting rather disappointed in the "so called customer service of some of these smaller purveyors in the model railroad hobby. If I were on the other end of the problem I would have a) made sure that all of the parts were included in the original package or b) gotten the replacement parts to the customer ASAP. I guess I am just a bit old-fashioned in that regard. 

         The second attempt at a travelling crane has been built and is temporarily positioned near the Restoration Shop on the layout. This is only temporary since the trackage for the crane has yet to be installed and the crane is not yet painted. I also have to add more railings and ladders to the crane before it is ready for viewing. It will actually cover 3 sets of tracks and a road. I am omitting the operator cab from the crane and decided that it will be "operated" as most heavy travelling cranes are, by a man with a wireless control box on the ground. I will modify an HO scale figure with just such a control box in the near future.

       My latest aquisition is a locomotive, no suprise there. It is a model of a GE 70 ton diesel switch engine and there are still plenty of the real ones around working at large industrial sites and steel plants and the like. Mine is currently lettered for Southern Pacific but that may change down the track. Here is a photo of the new arrival.