Oct 31, 2016

Riding in style!

Several weeks ago we had a visitor in town called the "You got to be a Big Shot to own one of these" privately owned passenger car train tour of the Northwest!
I think there were 23 cars in all with 2 Amtrak locos in charge of the tour.  We saw them in Missoula out could not get close enough for photos. Now they came
available to me by one of my e-mail buddies on the list where he and another mystery man drove in before being told to leave. Good thing they didn't mention my name!
Here are a few of the cars as the e-mail may not deliver if I loaded it up with all 23 of them.
This one is a Canadian railroad enthusiast with the classic CN colors.
A pretty one with Northern Rwy Charters on the board.  The question is...how much to ride in a dome car...again?
Iowa Pacific is a new name for me in the railroad world but it looks a lot like Illinois Central colors?
The famous Milwaukee Road colors in all their splendor that used to stop in Spokane until 1962.
The winner in my mind is the Great Northern " Spokane" observation car that is based here in Spokane
even though GN never had this name in their consist. I would still take a ride if offered in any of them!

Oct 30, 2016

Once upon a time there was no Evergreen Railroad.

One thing I learned in the 50 years of model railroading that things don't happen on their own.
Three things are needed to accomplish anything and that is time, money and energy. If you have only two
of these things....it does not happen.
Here we have Burt Whitney and Tommy Frank working on Beaver Canyon before trackwork or scenery
can be attempted to be installed. The date is Thursday, Oct. 21, 2008, 51 days ago the doors opened.
This is the front of the club's layout that you have seen many times but I think many of us would not comprehend the work put into this final effort to make it look as
real as we can. This is 8 years after the above photo was taken and many current members were not around to remember where it started. Most guys want to
run trains but construction is the end result of how we got here and that took the creative efforts of more than 2 dozen members to get to this place.

Oct 28, 2016

Meet Mr. Funnyface

This General Electric U50 diesel looked like no other locomotive in the land. Its flat face was as distinctive as it could be giving the
engineer a clear view of the track ahead. It also put them in a somewhat dangerous spot if something was on the tracks....like a gas truck!
But this is only a model that has been enhanced by Scotty Smith with working lights that make it seem alive!  Please, no one tell Scotty that I called
his loco Mr. Funnyface, after all I sold it to him!
Did I mention that it is also very large only to be outdone by the other Union Pacific double engined EMD DD-40
Centennials following the double engined U-50. Compare them to the SD40-2s in trail for size.
Northern Pacific was also in attendance with 4 SD45s pulling a freight with a set of first generation
F units going the other way.  It feels like 1967 all over again!
Here we have first generation Rock Island Rocket passenger train stopping to pick up a few strays at the
Bakersville station while 2nd generation SP&S Alco 424s wait for the call to duty while a fast moving 3rd
generation BNSF 4000 hp monsters pass all of them by at track speed.
The Rio Grande may be long gone out there in the real world but Union Pacific created Heritage paint
schemes on some of their absorbed railroads for legal reasons such as this model that remembers the
graphic that it used when it ran into the Rocky Mountains in the good, old days.

Oct 24, 2016

Are you open for businees yet in Hoboken?


Hello Uncle Jerry,


Yeah we re open, minus two depot tracks.     This place is a mess.   


I added a few more pics. not sure if I sent these.








Massive Unon Pacific layout in HO scale




We are still at the NMRA South West convention, this week visiting Verryl Fosnight's HO scale Wyoming Division of the Union Pacific. With over 1000 feet of double ...

Oct 22, 2016

I was driving down the road when all these trains got in my way!

While waiting for my wife to be done with a doctor's appointment I went down to the BNSF tracks
in downtown Spokane and caught this Herzog maintainance unit pasing by at a slow speed.
I saw these 4 Boeing planes passing at a very low altitude westbound but the lighting was poor but it
was so tempting me to shoot it with my camera. Where's Greg when you need him?
The sun came out and shot it again with my 200mm from the crossing road ( I guess they weren't going very
fast after all? )
The next day I saw a Union Pacific train going east and got in front of it at Millwood where they go
under the BNSF ( ex-NP ) double main line in the Spokane Valley. The red Canadian Pacific loco is a shared
power thing with the UP.
Three minutes later this BNSF train had a leased CITIRAIL in charge of an eastbound. All these engines
are in the 4000 horsepower range which is like 4 times more powerful than the first gen. diesels.
In an earlier e-mail I showed this train as a Loram tie train and here's why. Those fingers on the orange thing
is a tie adjuster and you can see where the operator sits just to the left of the finger thing. It's quite
amazing how this thing works to align ties, concrete or wood, to the correct measurements. No 40 man
tie crew either. I'm shooting through a tight chain link fence that distorts the photo.

Railranning for 22 minutes off the Havana St. Bridge

On my way home today from the office today I noticed a rare sight in the form of Kansas City Southern locomotives waiting to go west in sunny
downtown Yardley.  I called Keith who was at the yard office but not on duty yet and he answered his phone to find out if this train was going to leave soon.
He wasn't sure as it as due out some 4 hours ago when it arrived.
No matter, there was the yard power tuning up and moved off to find something other than this side
dump work cars in front of the yard office.
Next thing I noticed was a headlight coming west and it turned out to be one of those evil oil trains
with the sweetness from the North Dakota earth.
Pretty soon after that this eastbound showed up with a container train loaded with the goodies we all
want at Best Buy and Walmart.
This lonesome Dash 9 has a Loram tie machine in tow coming out of the Parkwater yard in the background.
At minute 22 ( looked it up on the properties column ) another container train came into the yard.
It was time for me to get home. It's a nice place to visit...but I wouldn't want to work here.

Oct 21, 2016

Grain trains dominate the Evergreen Railroad!

You can tell it's fall by the amount of grain trains passing through Spokane every day and now the Evergreen Railroad has the same experience.
Here is a collective photo of 3 big grain trains passing each other on the way to and from the coast  It wasn't planned but that's how it ended up
with Mike Baker, Marvin and Steve Weso adding the fleet to the scene.
They meet again on another portion of the layout. The real product will turn into breads and pastas
around the world. Thank you farmers...and the railroads as well.
John Schwarze did not get the e-mail as to bringing a grain train, then again no one told him to bring
his favorite train from sunny California. Nice headlight John!
Marvin's train was 70 cars long and as you can see the locos to the left but the caboose is still out of the
Nicely weathered U-boats depart the yard that belong to Mike Baker, the Mayor of Bakersville.

Oct 19, 2016

Mommy, where do all the automobiles come from?

They come from the BNSF dear, the BNSF brings them to us! Mr. Weso said so!
Say it ain't so! Don't they come from a factory or Detroit? Maybe a large cargo ship?
No dear, they come from the BNSF in large numbers. Can you see the end of the train?
They come in large boxes.....with wheels on them as well.
Do you see the end of the train? I still don't!  Mr. Weso, do you see the end of the train?

Mommy, where do all the automobiles come from?

They come from the BNSF dear, the BNSF brings them to us! Mr. Weso said so!
Say it ain't so! Don't they come from a factory or Detroit? Maybe a large cargo ship?
No dear, they come from the BNSF in large numbers. Can you see the end of the train?
They come in large boxes.....with wheels on them as well.
Do you see the end of the train? I still don't!  Mr. Weso, do you see the end of the train?

Still making rocks!

Maybe you remember the 2' by 4' display I made last week? Jim Bowden was so impressed with it that
he asked if I would do one for him. This one was made from leftover materials from the big one which
included a piece of blue foam 24" by 12"  base with a similar piece for the back to hold the rock castings.
The rock debris was created by putting the junk castings in a plastic bag and bashing it with a hammer.
Use latex glue as regular Liquid Nails will eat the blue foam. The cork roadbed is in place as well. Connect
the rock castings with spackle and use a wet brush to force the spackle into the seams.
Now the fun begins! Get your water base colors dabbed on a scrap piece of wood and have a pan of water
handy. Use small dabs of color ( Black, tan, brown, red? earth colors ) and use plenty of water on the brush
and start lightly as you don't want 100 percent colors. Keep adding color as you desire. Mix over the
base colors so it blends middle tones of those colors. Add Sculptamold for ground cover with sprinkles
of green stuff or better yet trees on top! Add the track and rust it!
The purpose of this display is to use it as a background for Ebay model sales and it is a good idea.
It should make the model look more special in such a setting.  How about you?

Oct 18, 2016

Trolley line gets a going over.

A week or so has gone by when the guys decided to work on the trolley line that normally gets ignored by the track crew. Over the years the
black underlayment that represents the road decided to lift up which made the trolley operation questionable.
John Schwarze carefully climbed up on the layout to fix the problem but John being 87 times larger than
the layout makes him look out of scale.
This fella is looking for enemy planes or something that was not explained to me but I assume it has
something to do with looking at models. A complete investigation is under way.
Last week we had a Spokane Train Show or Swap Meet where an HO layout called FREEMO was on display.
The most impressive section on the system was this one with this massive double track wood trestle
built by one of our ex-members Allan Cunningham shown on the right.
THe larger G scale was also there with a set of Santa Fe F units in charge as this kid was following it around
the layout. This is the stuff that make outdoor railroading possible.
Finally the photo of the BN caboose that was done up in red, white and blue just like the Desert Storm
diesel was to support our troops who were in danger back in 1992.