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Topics - Len

General Discussion / Happy New Year!
January 01, 2024, 12:26:47 PM
Happy New Year everyone! And may this be the year the #6 crossover comes with jumpers to make it easy to use with DC only layouts.

I've lost count of the number of posts regarding the wiring between Bachmann locos and tenders when a wire pulls loose from a connector, or someone is trying to install a decoder in a 'not-DCC Ready' steamer and discovering the connector wires aren't color coded.

There aren't that many variations to the wiring harnesses used between the loco and tender. So how hard would it be for someone to find the original wiring schematics and make simplified diagrams, with the wires labeled by function, to post with the exploded diagrams in the "Reference" area?

This would be a great help to many, and hopefully cut down on the multiple posts a week asking for this wiring information.

General Discussion / Walthers Off LIne??
June 18, 2021, 05:52:28 PM
I've been getting a 'server not found' error all day when trying to access the Walthers site. Is anyone else having trouble getting to their site?

As one commentor put it, "A pandemic, a lock-down and you're trapped inside the world's largest model railway. You go slightly mad [but do end up in the Guinness Book of Records]". Enjoy!

General Discussion / Clocks
March 14, 2021, 08:43:46 AM
Just a quick reminder for those who live in areas that have to put up with the nonsense. You clocks should now be set 1 hour ahead of where it was yesterday at this time. Otherwise you'll be late for your train.

It's official:

Special Announcement!

Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. is proud to announce that we have purchased Chooch Enterprises and that Chooch is now a member of the Walthers family of products!

The product line has found a great home with Walthers; as a significant distributor of the Chooch line, Walthers is uniquely poised to take on ownership of the portfolio and put the energy of the Walthers brand behind it bringing these exceptional products forward. We appreciate and value the creativity of Mike O'Connell and wish him well in retirement. Walthers will continue to market and sell product under the Chooch name.

Additional details will be coming in the days and weeks ahead.

General Discussion / Postwar New Haven Video
April 22, 2020, 06:28:07 PM
Found an interesting video of postwar New Haven operations. It's put together from 16mm silent film clips and has some interesting operational scenes, especially running in the street to switch an industry near Providence, RI. It starts with some B&M footage, then moves the the New Haven, primarily around Providence. Lots of Alco action, including DL-109's, FT's and PA's. If you look quick there's even a C-Liner in one shot. Also lots of RDC shots, including a shot of an RDC-3. Right around the 33 min mark there's a little bit of the electrified area down in SE Connecticut.

Be ready to hit the 'Pause' button, because there are a lot of ideas for layouts in there...

General Discussion / "Brewster" Visits the Mountains
January 15, 2020, 01:28:56 PM
I was looking for some replacement locos for the display layout I maintain for a local shopping center, and stumbled on a deal for "Brewster" from Chugginton. Here are a couple of shots of him hauling visitors to the local ski resort:

Coming off the 'high bridge':

Stopped at the ski town station:

Ignore the boxes in the foreground. Those are trees for a 'reforestation' project on the other side of the layout.

On30 / "Bumblebee" Express
January 15, 2020, 01:20:28 PM
I finally got the inner loop finished on the display layout I maintain at a local shopping center. To fit in with the other O-gauge equipment in a limited space, I decided to go with On30. Here are a couple of shots of the daily "Bumblebee", with a Mogul hauling a combine and coach along the 'Barnyard' branch line:

The loco and cars are Bachmann, the track is Trix so I don't have to depend on rail joiners for electrical connectivity.

And yes, that's "Brewster" getting ready to cross the bridge in the background with a couple of passenger cars.

General Discussion / Street Scene (1:1 Scale)
December 31, 2019, 12:28:01 AM
This is a street scene of an older part of Wentzville MO, where I grew up near the Wabash tracks (now NS), back in the 50's:

You'd almost think these were prototypes for the DPM and Small Town USA modular building pieces. At any rate, I thought it might give some ideas for anyone looking to "kit bash" their own buildings using such modular wall and building entrance pieces.

Five of the six WBB GP-9's I use on the display layout I maintain are now down due to worn out brass worm gears. The replacement 4-Wheel Geared Trucks, 203-GEARED-C, have been out of stock for quite a while now, so I'm looking at alternatives.

Does anyone know if the 2328-80 worm gear from Post War Lionel GP-9's will fit the gear shaft of the WBB GP-9's?

Part of me is thinking of ordering a couple and giving it a try, but if the hole in the PW gear is larger than the WBB shaft I don't want to waste time pulling the WBB truck apart.

General Discussion / My Photobucket Pics Issue
December 12, 2019, 06:21:44 AM
Received a few complaints about pics I linked to here from my free Photobucket account were showing up blurry, as well as "watermarked". I had not checked my account in a while and discovered my pics were more popular than I thought, particularly some of the track diagrams. To the point where they were being accessed at almost three times the allowable monthly limit for a free account. Moving them somewhere else and redoing all the links here would have been a major hassle. So I 'bit the bullet' and signed up for a paid account.

So anyone accessing those track diagrams, or other stuff I've posted pics of, should now be able to view clear pics without the watermarks. Consider it my Christmas present to the forums.

General Discussion / Barn Red Paint
December 07, 2019, 11:52:29 AM
Just an FYI for anyone doing a farm scene. Poly-S 'Signal Red' (F404091) is an excellant substitute for 'Barn Red'.

General Discussion / Morningtown Ride
November 08, 2019, 11:15:44 AM
Stumbled across this while searching for something else. Who would have thought there was a railroad themed lullaby?

Williams by Bachmann / 4-Wheel Truck Availability
August 15, 2019, 11:30:41 PM
Any idea when the 4-wheel geared truck with coupler will be available again?

Several of the GP-9's used on the display layout I maintain at the shopping center are down due to worn out brass drive gears. So they are out of service until I can replace the trucks, which means even more wear on the locos that can't be rotated out for routine service.

General Discussion / Sectional Track Prototype
April 16, 2019, 08:58:15 AM
Sectional track seen west end of UP's W. Colton yard. There's no roadbed attached, so do you suppose it's Atlas, Peco, or Micro-Engineering??

General Discussion / Web Site Certificate Expired
March 19, 2019, 12:31:01 PM
Firefox just popped this warning up when I tried to change pages: uses an invalid security certificate. The certificate expired on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 12:26:28 PM. The current time is March 19, 2019, 12:27 PM.

Might want to let your web master know.

HO / Minimum Radius Question Answers
January 17, 2019, 10:53:14 PM
It seems like, "What's the minimum radius curve for loco XYZ?", gets asked a lot around here. So I went through the current 'On-Line Store' offerings and made a list to put in one spot. Admins, feel free to move to the FAQ area if you think it's appropriate.

Minimum Recommended Curve List for Bachmann Locomotives
Note: Few of these locomotives look good operating on the 'Minimum Recommended Curve'. In some cases the overhang looks completely rediculous, and can result in collisions with scenary. Locomotives look better on curves larger than the 'Minimum Recommended', and will generally operate better due to less side forces on the mechanism.

0-6-0 USRA - 18" Radius
0-6-0T Porter - 18" Radius
2-6-0 Mogul - 18" Radius
2-6-2 Prairie - 18" Radius
2-8-0 Consolidation - 18" Radius
2-8-2 Light Mikado - 18" Radius
2-8-4 Berkshire - 22" Radius
4-4-0 American - 18" Radius
4-6-0 Ten Wheeler - 18" Radius
4-6-2 USRA Light Pacific - 18" Radius
4-6-2 K4 Pacific - 22" Radius
4-8-4 Northern/GS4/J Class - 22" Radius (a.k.a. Niagra/Santa Fe/Greenbrier/Western/Dixies/etc., etc.)
50-Ton 2-Truck Climax - 15" Radius

ALCO FA/FB-2 - 18" Radius
ALCO RS-3 - 18" Radius
ALCO S-4 - 18" Radius
EMD DD40AX - 22" Radius
EMD E7A - 22" Radius
EMD F7A/B - 18" Radius
EMD GP7 - 18" Radius
EMD GP9 - 18" Radius
EMD GP30 - 18" Radius
EMD GP38-2 - 18" Radius
EMD GP40 - 18" Radius
EMD GP50 - 18" Radius
EMD SD40-2 - 18" Radius
EMD SD70ACe - 22" Radius
GE 44-Ton - 15" Radius
GE 70-Ton - 18" Radius
GE ES44AC - 22" Radius

ACS-64 - 22" Radius
GG-1 - 22" Radius

PCC Streetcar - 15" Radius
Cable Car - 15" Radius

General Discussion / Printable OO/HO/N Scale Rulers
October 16, 2018, 10:38:03 AM
As a courtesy, Metcalfe Models provides a sheet with OO, HO, and N scale rulers that can be glued to cardstock, or thin styrene, for use when model building on their web site:

They are intended for printing on A4 size paper (210×297mm/8.27×11.69in), which is available on Amazon if you can't find it locally. In a pinch you can print them on regular 8.50x11.0in letter size paper. Just be sure your PDF viewer and printer are set to 100%, not "Scale to Fit".

What I like about these is it's very easy to make multiple rulers so you can make measurement notes about specific buildings and structures directly on the ruler itself, e.g., tick marks a certain distance apart with a note "Window spacing" for a factory wall. I have one set I rubber cemented to some old steel rules for drawing straight lines and as cutting guides.

Almost forgot to mention, if you reduce the print size to 73% the HO ruler will become a TT scale (1:120) ruler, and the N ruler will become a Z scale (1:220) ruler. Just be sure to mark them so you know what they are.

I hope you find them useful.

Part 1:

As I mentioned in the 'Small Sodor Display' thread, our Brendam Warehouse will be visible from all sides. Which presents a problem.

As can be seen here, the track side loading dock looks good, but you can see the inside floor is not complete:

It's even worse when viewed from the rear. What kind of transhipment warehouse doesn't have a loading dock for trucks?:

So I decided to do something about it, and made the template for an expanded floor seen in the 'Small Sodor Display' thread. Only there was a slight snag. I had to splice two pieces of card together to make it, since the warehouse is over 13" long, and the splice turned out to be crooked. So I decided to start over with a larger piece of card from the back of a 13-column bookkeeping pad that would let me do the template in one piece:

The trackside dock is roughly 76mm deep, almost 19ft in OO scale, which is much deeper than normally found for trucks. So I decided to make the truck dock 20mm, 5 ft in OO, deep, and include the rest of the interior floor with it. Here you can see where I marked out the dock, side walls, and the wall locations between the loading bays. The side walls are 5mm thick, so I measured in 6mm from the outside edge to allow some clearance. The bay side walls are 7mm thick, so I came in 8mm for the same reason:

The building and track side loading dock were placed on the template so I could determine the location of the inside edges of the trackside loading dock and mark them.

After moving the trackside loading dock out of the way, I connected the marks made in the previous step with black ink. The areas marked with red X's and slash marks will be removed, leaving the template for laying out the new loading dock and floor on heavier cardstock.

One thing I've found is a punch, like this, that can make square or rectangular holes is a handy tool for getting square corners when making templates like this. I prefer the rectangular punch, as it has a bit more versatility than a square punch.

Now I just have to dig out my cutting mat and free the template from the rest of the card. Part 2 will cover actually building the additional dock using heavier cardstock for the deck and supporting walls.