Our mission is to promote education and fellowship through the sharing of information and the promotion of the world's greatest hobby. - Model Railroading.
In the November 1906 Electric Railway Review (an industry trade magazine), the following is reported: "Observation Car for Toledo.- The Toledo Railway & Light Company has recently built an observation car which will be put on a regular schedule next summer for the accommodation of sight-seers. The new car, which is named "Toledo," is 47 feet long, and besides the passenger compartments contains a kitchen and a lavatory. The interior is finished in light mahogany and is handsomely furnished. The windows are 4 feet wide, with a narrow framework so as to interfere with the view as little as possible. During the winter, the car will be used by the officials for inspection trips. The car was built in the company's shops under the supervision of Mr. C.A. Brown master mechanic, according to designs furnished by General Manager L.E. Beilstein."
The car was used in Toledo as specified above. One notable occasion was in 1908, when it transported dignitaries from Toledo to Detroit for the World Series. In the series, the Detroit Tigers took on the Chicago Cubs. This game was notably the last time the Cubs were national champs until their win over the Cleveland Indians in 2016. The photos here show the luxurious appointment inside the car and its as-built outside appearance.
This car is currently located at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Washington Pennsylvania.
One of my favorite model railroading activities is visiting layouts. Whenever I go to a convention, the layout tour schedule is one of the first places I go to plan my activities. Locally, I like to visit my friends' layouts regularly to see their progress and learn something new. On Saturday, October 20, members of the Black Swamp Division will have an opportunity to do just that. John Roth, Norm Cattell, and I invite you to visit us from 11 AM until 3 PM. John and Norm are in Maumee, not too far apart, and I'm just 15 minutes from them down Route 24 in Waterville. Keep reading this Train Order for a page with more info on each layout along with addresses.
By the time you read this, the 2018 NCR convention in Lansing will be history, but I'm writing this the day before the convention begins. I've got a printout of the layout schedule beside me and it's all scribbled up and highlighted. There are six priority layouts marked, along with three other hopefuls if time allows. Of the six, I have been to four of them multiple times before. So why am I working so hard to go back? Well, they are excellent and I never get tired of that. Some of them are still under construction, so I can see some new things and get ideas. But perhaps there is something equally important as their changes: MY changes. You see, my layout still has a lot of unanswered questions. I can visualize some scenes vaguely, but they are not clear and complete. I've got some tricky view situations that look doable on paper, but again, I don't have all the pieces in place. I've got industries to model but no decision yet on a kit to use or good design to scratchbuild. In summary, I have a LOT of questions I did not have the last time I visited Lansing layouts. So this weekend, I'll be looking for all new things, taking lots of photos, and asking questions.
Sometimes it is tempting to look for layouts that are "complete", whatever that means, or at least highly sceniced and detailed. Yet every layout at any stage has lessons to teach us, and the important phases of infrastructure (benchwork, wiring, lighting, backdrops, etc.) are best viewed early in layout life. In fact, the three of us who are open on October 20 are not far along on scenery, yet I challenge you to look deeper beyond the layout surface and notice what's making it all work. Every time I have visitors, people notice different and unique things that lead to questions. Sometimes they see something I've done and give me a better way to approach it. So it's a two-way learning process. A layout visit is not just looking, it's a dialogue and everybody wins. That's what I want the Black Swamp Division to represent to every member, a network that feeds us all knowledge and skills to become better modelers and share the fun as we go. So please be a part of that process and come see us October 20!
I've got a couple of reminders for you. First, the date for our Christmas Party is Friday, December 14. Location and full details will be revealed at the October 26 meeting. It's always a fun event with the Chinese Auction, and this year will have some new twists. Second, we've got some good things planned for this month's meeting, which Norm will tell you about in his column. Third, did I mention layout tours? Oh. OK. So be there.
See ya on down the line,
I hope you liked the new format of the Train Order. I just had positive comments in the meeting about it.
While writing my bits for the Train Order, I found it interesting last month, and again this month, with me coming from England, that I have to think am I using the right word for the right situation! I did a little research on terminology that is used in America relating to railways/railroads, and what it is called in England. It is amazed me, how many American names/terms I found, that the English have a completely different word/phrase for. Shown below is part of the list that I found. I think you should put it somewhere safe, in case I use the wrong word in the future, you can at least work out what I am talking about.
To highlight my issues, I remember going to a tram museum just south of Pittsburgh about 9 years ago,and was interested in going back. I tried searching for it on the web, and i had no luck finding any reference for it. I told my wife of my disappointment of not been able to find it, 30 seconds later, she had the web site open. I guess I should have used the right word in my searches, trolley, instead of tram, and hey, presto, lots of hits.
|US Term||UK Term|
|Brake stand||Brake controller|
|Bump stop||Buffer Stop|
|Car Barn||Carriage Shed|
|Check Valve||Clack Valve|
|Consist||Rake or Formation|
|Dark territory||Unsignalled line|
|Deadhead||Empty stock or light engine|
|Freight car||Goods wagon|
|Grade Crossing||Level Crossing|
|Head end||Front of train|
|Helper||Pilot (at front), Banker (at rear)|
|US Term||UK Term|
|Maintenance of way||Permanent Way Maintenance|
|Power rail||Conductor Rail|
|Stubbing post||Buffer Stop|
|Track pan||Water Trough|
|Train line||Brake Pipe|
|Train station||Railway Station|
|Trolley or streetcar||Tram|
|Water plug||Water Column|
We had a really nice September meeting and I continue to be impressed by the modeling skills of our members. John's 7 steam locomotive rebuilds, Dave's potato truck, and Jim's scratch built mine were all very impressive as were the other presentations. We have a wealth of knowledge in our division group and I look forward to tapping into it.
The October meeting will feature clinics on kit bashing vehicles, including a potato truck kit bash, how to model prototype diesel rebuilds that railroads actual did (such as re-powering Baldwin locomotives with EMD engines, and a really nice layout tour. Please remember to bring your Show and Tell to the meeting.
The upcoming Division One layout tour will also be an extension of our clinics this year as you will able to see and ask questions about several clinic themes that are on some of the layouts that will be open. I am working diligently to get the city of New London up and running so I have something running for the open house. It is so much easier to explain things on an actual layout so I hope you take the time to check the layouts out.
My layout is based on the Toledo Terminal Railroad in 1955. It is in my basement, which is approximately 27' x 37'. Currently, the area modeled represents the Terminal's Boulevard Yard and the Ann Arbor's Ottawa Yard. On a center peninsula is a compressed version of both railroads Cherry Street spurs. On a shelf over the workbench are the three industries on the Stock Yard spur. I have currently added the bench work for the Terminal's lower river bridge. My edition of the Toledo Terminal will cover the section from Hallet Tower through East Toledo over to the Wheeling Belt line/ Bay Terminal Railroad connections. There will be a shelf along the stairway including the Bay Terminal/Shell Oil refinery. On separate peninsulas, I plan to have versions of the Interlake Iron Company Toledo furnace and coke over, the Nabisco flour mill, the LOF Plant No. 9, and the old Toledo Marine Terminal. On a lower deck, I will have staging for the various railroads that ran over the Terminal and a small section of the old Toledo & Eastern freight interurban line. Finally, I also hope to have a short section including Ray Huber's Toledo & Maumee Valley. I use digitrax command control currently, but am considering other systems. I eventually plan to have operations for 6-8operators. I can currently run limited ops on the Terminal/Ann Arbor section. The emphasis on my layout will be on heavy industry and switching plus some representation of the train traffic between other Toledo railroads that used Terminal Railroad trackage to make their interchanges.For an inactive map please click here
My current layout is modeling the area of Wisconsin from Manitowoc on Lake Michigan to New London and the 4 railroads that served that area in 1962-64 - the Chicago & North Western, Soo Line, Green Bay and Western, and the Milwaukee Road. I will include the CNW car ferry operations in Manitowoc including a car ferry. The layout is in a 34 by 29 foot basement and is mainly in a 24 by 29 foot area with some staging in a separate room. The mainline will be about 200 feet long on a single level. The layout will have 5 staging yards and will include the cities and towns of Manitowoc, Appleton, Appleton Jct., and New London. There will be a large paper mill (about 11 feet long) and a smaller paper mill. The layout will have several diamonds and working interchanges. Layout construction includes both foam board and homasote on plywood. I am in the early stages of construction with about 100 feet of bench work up. I use Easy DCC command control. I am currently working on having all of the trackage complete and running in New London. I really enjoy prototype operation and have designed everything with that in mind. I will be able to operate with anywhere from 1 to 8 people using single person crews. Please use the side entrance on the left side of the garage. I hope to see you on October 20th.For an inactive map please click here Norm Cattell
My layout is a "freelance-prototype" style. I model the class 1 railroads of Maine around 1950: Boston & Maine, Maine Central, and Bangor & Aroostook. Although I take some artistic license with the design of my structures and scenes, I try to remain true to the equipment and operations of those railroads and capture the atmosphere of mid-century New England. The layout room is 22 x 40 plus a staging/classification yard in a side storage room. I painted a cloud-on-sky seamless backdrop with curved corners. Steam and first-gen diesels use Tsunami sound decoders. Trackwork is Micro Engineering code 83 with 36" minimum radius. Scenes will range from rural northern Maine potato country to urban Portland and eventually a busy coastal area featuring a 6' rail loading pier and scratchbuilt 5' ocean freighter alongside. I am developing a home-built signaling system that will provide two-directional ABS signaling that can easily be switched to CTC control. Electronics include NCE DCC system with three 5 amp boosters, DCC Specialties circuit breakers and reversers, Chubb's DCCOD block detectors, and Tortoise switch controls. I love operations so the layout is being adapted as my ops plan is evolving. One request for visitors: please avoid driving or parking on the grass (there are in-ground sprinklers along the edge of the pavement). Thank you!For an inactive map please click here
I saw this switch, and I thought it would fill a need that I had. I did not realize I would need a degree in Electronics to wire it, and then another degree in graphic design to produce a way to make it obvious what switches need to be flipped to make the power go to the right rails, with the right polarity. Anyone got experience/advice on a 3 way turnout? Email email@example.com with your feedback.
Thanks Gary Chudzinski for your response I built and wired two 3 Way Turnouts this summer. Not that difficult even though there are two frogs and two throwbars per turnout! Are you using a DC or DCC system? From the looks of your photo, if the routing is currently straight through, the right route needs only one throw bar (the one farthest from the frogs) to be operated. The left route needs both throw bars to be operated. For straight through routing, depending on the current routing, one or both throw bars needs to be operated. If you plan to use Tortise machines, there are two switches internally that makes setting frog polarity easier. Other wise, you need some other form of external mechanical/electrical connections to keep the frog from being shorted when the wrong route is entered
Anyone else have an issue that they want to throw out there? Let me know