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Messages - CNE Runner

HO / Re: Pulling Fluff/Hair Off of Side Rods?
October 16, 2020, 02:12:18 PM
Hair, fur, and other 'fuzzies' are [unfortunately] very common on most layouts. I spend a lot of time cleaning the track area (track, roadbed, and about 1" to either side), have a good air cleaner in the train room and still get fuzzies. The Bachmann GE 45-ton locomotives have side rods...which love to pick up debris. I find I have to remove the connecting (side) rods on each side of the locomotive occasionally; and, using some of the tools shown above, remove the offending fuzz. This is a time-consuming project that is made easier with a magnifier. [Could it be that, at 75, I can't see as well as I used to? Nah.]

HO / Re: Irish Railway Set - More Detailed Man. Info?
February 23, 2020, 01:55:57 PM
You may have to change your scale to OO (assuming you model in HO). There are a limited number of listings in the U.K. for Irish Railway stock. I think I would purchase a copy of Railway Modeller magazine and check out the ads. E. Hatton's is an excellent source of European model trains (they willingly ship to the States). Good luck.

Hi Jonathan - Gosh you are so has been a very long time since I have posted on this forum. I was 'cleaning out' some old bookmarks and decided to see what was going on in the 'Bachman world'. So many of the old 'regulars' have gone on their final ride. I will make every effort to not be 'missing in action'.

The Monks Island Railway is now the Monks Island Railway & Navigation Co. You probably remember the original Monks Island was a 60" x 11" shunting plank (Phase I). With time, all things change and the M.I.Ry. is one of them. I now 'inhabit' our ex-guest room and Phase II of the M.I.Ry. grew to 144" x 15" (I added the other end of Monks Island: Sweethaven). The Island Commissioners decided to expand the layout by adding 2 - 48" x 24" extensions on either end (hence Phase III). The left-hand extension houses a complete harbor scene - featuring a small, two-car ferry (the railway's connection to the outside world). The right-hand extension houses a lighthouse and a row of houses (the Monks Island residents have to live somewhere). Switching (shunting) is still my modus operandi and the layout continues to keep me busy.

I send my best to all of you forum members. I still get outstanding service from my two Bachmann GE45 tonners. If you are still having your trains 'chase their tails'; why not give small, switching layouts a chance? On the original Monks Island Railway, I could keep you busy for at least an hour (and that would have been a relatively easy switching problem).

Keep em rolling,
[What little hair is left on my 'hill' is definitely white.]
Maletrain has given you some excellent suggestions. My wife and I have 'vendored' at numerous train shows for years (we now only do 1 show per year). Frankly, the sale of model trains is chancy at best. Old Lionel trains are almost not worth the table space they take up. Old "antique" N or HO-scale trains aren't much better. We have an "under $3" box that holds numerous 'treasures'...most of which we take back home. [BTW I will not sell broken items.] The problem with eBay is that the buyer has to pay shipping. Many times the shipping costs are more than the item! Do you see where I am going with this?

Each year (after the show) we donate some of our 'overstock' to a local thrift store (owned by our local Hospice). Good luck with your situation. Oh, another 'throw away' are the piles of brass (and old Lionel 3-rail) track one accumulates at garage sales.

The next time you are at a model railroad show, take a look at the attendees. In all likelihood they all have gray hair (or none at all). Younger modelers (if there is such a thing) are definitely in the minority. Those aforementioned 'gray hairs' (all male BTW) have the disposable income to afford the 'nicer stuff'. All the best to you.

MarklinofSweden has a number of excellent tutorials on YouTube. Definately check out his easy method for water surfaces. [Hint: He uses toilet paper, glue, and high-gloss polyurethane. Another plus to his videos is his enthusiasm.

HO / Re: 45 tonner
April 21, 2017, 10:18:04 AM
We run two GE 45-tonners on the Monks Island Railway (#4 & #5). I chose this particular locomotive because of its short length (slightly shorter than the 44-ton models). My Bachmann 45-ton locos run virtually everyday and have never given me a moment of trouble. If you have a short, switching layout the 45-ton locomotive is just the the moving connecting rods add a measure of interest to the loco's motion.

General Discussion / Re: modeling question
September 24, 2016, 12:48:52 PM
Crash - I used a small drill bit to make pilot holes and inserted the sign brackets within (after first putting a small amount of CA on the brackets). In place of CA, you could use some styrene-compatible glue. It has been years and the signs are still in place. Any glue should be applied to the BACK of the structure walls - so it isn't seen. I hope this helps.

Sedfred - I think your track plan has merit...with some changes. You could vastly 'uncomplicate' things a lot by eliminating most of those run-around crossovers. May I suggest that you label (or number) all the tracks on our plan so we, the peanut gallery, can efficiently add our comments to specific areas of your layout plan?

Simply put, turnouts equal money...more turnouts equals more money. Additionally, turnouts are (many times) the source of electrical woes (therefore: less turnouts = less woes). Assuming you are having rolling stock enter/leave the layout via cassettes; where would said cassettes be located? Is it possible to eliminate some of the trackage with sector plates (or a traverser)? The plan leaves little space for structures - leading to the question: what is the purpose of this section of railway?

If you do a search of this website (Bachmann Forum) for the Monks Island Railway, you will see that I am a 'switching operation fan' (especially on very small to micro plans. With this in mind, I strongly suggest that you visit Carl Arendt's excellent website...and especially go through the extensive "Scrapbook" pages. Carl's website is owned by another person (Carl has passed away); but the flavor of the project remains intact. [BTW: Is the Monks Island Railway perfect? No. Are there problems with some of the plan? Yes. That is why I am currently rebuilding the layout to eliminate most (all?) of said problems. Remember, a model railroad layout is never completely finished.]

In summary: More track does not necessarily make a better model railroad experience. Your plan has some similarities of the old "Switchman's Nightmare" plan of yore. I suggest:

  • Have a definite theme to your railway

    • Make a full-sized mock up of your track plan and place some actual model rolling stock upon it...does the plan still work?
    • Determine what the main purpose of your 'section' of said railway is (does it serve one industry, several industries, a harbor, etc.)
    • Carefully look at the length of your sidings (how many cars will each that enough for operation?)
    • Can your track plan be made simplier (and, therefore, more fun to operate)?

    The hardest step in building a railroad 'empire' is in the planning stage. No track plan is perfect (that is why those of us who have been in the hobby for many years have built several [many?] layouts...after 50+ years in model railroading I have built my share). Try to get whatever track plan you like to be as close to YOUR preception of perfection as possible. [DISCLAIMER: Your perception of perfection will change over me.]

    All in all this is a good first attempt. May I suggest you join other forums and elicit their suggestions. An excellent, non-threatening, forum is Free Rails. There is a lot of help available on that website (among others).

    Best wishes,
HO / Re: Any suggestions for Bachmann's future models?
September 03, 2015, 04:28:29 PM
OK, I'll jump in here. I'd like to see Bachmann make their On30 Plymouth switcher in HO scale. A well-running 0-6-0 tank engine would also work for me (although Mantua and Rivarossi already make such a model). With the proliferation of small, mini-layouts today - smaller industrial/dockside locomotives should generate considerable interest in the hobby...whether or not that justifies the expense of tooling, etc. remains to be seen.

I use a Sharper Image Ionic Pro unit in my train room with great results. This unit, coupled with our HVAC's static percipitator keeps the room dust-free at all times. Approximately once a year the room requires some light dusting. Unfortunately even rebuilt Image Pro units are expensive (~$200+)...but are well worth the expense.

If you are anticipating working with plaster, or drywall compound, do not sand. Use a wet sponge instead for dust-free leveling. [Incidentally most household dust is a mixture - the majority of which is human skin cells.]

HO / Re: Branchline and short line track
August 01, 2015, 10:51:24 AM
Hi again has been awhile. I was interested in the 'look' that Trainman203 is trying to achieve. I, too, would like to make the ROA of the Monks Island Railway a bit more 'un-kept'. I especially liked your photos (...and my 'weathering hand' is quivering as well RogerTRA).

Regarding the New Haven RR, I still am annoyed that the 'powers to be' of the New Haven chose to eliminate all rail lines north of Hopewell Junction, NY. After their subsidiary (the Central New England Railway) absorbed my beloved Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut RR in the 1920s, it was finally torn up on 1938. All scrap steel was then sent to Japan (and you know the rest).

The New Haven went through several periods of, what I call, 'railroad financial intrigue'. I highly recommend reading the book The New Haven Railroad: Its Rise and Fall by John L. Weller [Hastings House Publishers, 1969]. The author navigates the reader through this complicated (and often illegal) series of events.

All in all an interesting set of topics. I look forward to my next visit to the forum.

You have asked a very complex question - one that has no definitive answer. When I was in the Lionel collecting phase of the hobby, I routinely ran locomotives that dated back to Lionel's standard gauge era (1920s). While some of these 'toys' had been cared for, or restored, most were 'finds' at numerous train shows and garage sales. With a little 'tweaking' all of them ran just fine.

All of the aforementioned posts are germane to the answer to your original question. Of all of these conditions, I would have to put lubrication at the head of the list. Model railroad locomotives (no matter the scale) are rather complex machines. Machines, by their very nature, have parts that will come into contact with each other...said contact will result in wear. Keeping your locomotive fleet properly lubricated (notice the word "properly") will go a long way in extending their longevity. [In physics input work never equals output work because of friction (which is always present). For that reason there has never been - nor will there ever be - a 'perpetual motion' machine as friction is an unescapable contradictory (or opposing) force in nature.]

The best thing you can do with your locomotives (in additiion to lubrication) is to run them. No machine will react well to inactivity. I have a Tyco/AHM/Rivarossi HO American 4-4-0 from the late 1950s/early 1960s that still performs...even with the motor in tender, AND that ridiculous drive shaft arrangement. How? By lubricating, cleaning and running the locomotive on a regular basis. [Now for the truth: I haven't run it, nor my meager brass collection in years. The Tyco is still capable of 'turning a wheel' whilst the brass will not...they have all succumbed to the 'siren call' of DCC.]

Unless you spent an inordinate amount of money on a particular locomotive, getting 8 or 9 years of good running out of one is excellent performance. One needs to keep in mind that these models are toys; and are not expected to last for eons.

HO / Re: Power Supply for Accessories
April 23, 2015, 10:27:39 AM
I make it a habit to never thow out any of those 'wall wart' transformers. As the years have gone by, I have accumulated (my wife would say 'horded') quite a number of these. On the side of each, I indicate the output voltage and amperage (use white correction fluid on the black ones for visibility).

The main thing to remember is that the voltage requirement of the accessory must match the 'wall wart's' voltage output. The current requirement of the accessory (amperage) must be be equal to, or less than, the output amperage of the 'wall wart' (I always opt for "less than"). If that is so, the accessory will work just fine. As an example: I have a single Tortoise turnout controller on my layout. The Tortoise machine requires a voltage of 9 - 12 volts (the less the voltage, the slower and quieter the Tortoise runs). The controller's current requirements are 15 - 16 ma. This means that any 'wall wart', with an output rating of 9 - 12v  and ~ 20 ma or greater will operate one Tortoise controller. [I run my Tortoise from a 'wall wart' of 9 volts/500 ma.] Remember, the voltage must match the accessories' requirement...but the amperage can be anything greater than the accessories maximum requirement. Carrying that a bit further, a 9 - 12 volt/500 ma 'wall wart' will safely power 30 Tortoise turnout controllers.

Save those 'wall warts' as you never know when they will come in handy.

I, also, have used the RIX rerailer for years...a godsend for those of us with mini-layouts (lots of car swapping). It helps to have a couple of these devices hanging at vairous points on the fascia (with a 12' layout, you don't need more than two).

Someone mentioned the rerailing of locomotives? I have found the Peco Loco-Lift to be an excellent choice for this purpose. [As a bonus, the Loco-Lift can be used as a cassette, by itself, or by permanently attaching more than one Loco-Lift together for longer applications. Some years ago I cut a Loco-Lift in half to turn my BWL Trackmobile easily.]

HO / Re: Dullcote Over Windows
December 22, 2014, 12:16:29 PM
Jonathan - The Dullcote seems to have turned out fine...I'll put that one into the 'files' as it beats using translucent tape (...only on smaller windows). For more realistic lighting, you may want to consider LEDs. With the Christmas holidays upon us, many stores have warm-white LED Christmas lights attractive prices (I got mine from Big Lots). I have procurred several strings of both warm white, and blue (to be used for nighttime running) for use on my Monks Island Railway. Just a thought Jon.

Happy Holidays everyone,