May 2020 Newsletter

You’ve probably seen the suggestions and methods to stay busy by staying home over the last few weeks.  It seems everybody and his brother offers up something to kill the boredom associated with the quarantine.  Indoor gardening, reading, special baking or cooking, games, craft projects, online classes to name only a few.  Too bad folks aren’t model railroaders since we simply don’t have that problem.  And we’re even used to wearing masks because we spray paint and use airbrushes.  Nope, there’s no need to ask us to stay at home to “flattening the curve”.  Before we delve into this month’s hopper-load of “quarantine creations”, here are a few updates on club members and club projects. 

Club President, Al Thorne, has been wrestling with prostate difficulties since March.  This past Tuesday, he filled us in on his situation.  “I am not seeking any kind of sympathy.  This is just an FYI.  On March 20th I was in the hospital for prostate (TURP) surgery. I was only there for about 24 hrs.  Fortunately, there wasn't a sign cancer.  My prostate was blocking the urethra so went in and hollowed it out.  My difficulty is because my bladder got a wild infection that I haven't been able to clean up.  It has caused a lot of pain beyond my idea of tolerance.  I think with getting the urologist and the SW Spine on the same page we will get on top of this problem.  So that is what I've been doing.  Hope you are all doing well.  Anxious to have a get together.” We all wish Al a very speedy recovery!!

Long-time club member and Lionel modeler/collector Chance Haworth has reached his personal goal within the ranks at UPS.  It’s taken him four years but he’s finally been accepted to the UPS training school in Salt Lake City for freight truck drivers.  This is GREAT news for Chance and his bride Teidra but sad news for us since he’ll be moving to SLC.  Let’s all stay in touch as he “climbs the corporate ladder” (by sitting on his can turning a steering wheel).  GOOD LUCK CHANCE.

The G scale railroad at the DRMC Pediatrics Playroom was completed mid-February.  After Desert Star Glass installed the polycarbonate support brackets shelf, and “tumble” guards, DRMC maintenance staff installed the 110V power panel and routed low voltage wiring inside the wall from the panel up to the track.  At the same time (with track prepared and tested by Werner Balsterholt), Larry Schneider, Evelyn and Dick Wilson, Tim Fitch, and Keith Johnson laid the track and insured flawless train operation.

Shortly after the railroad was completed on February 25th, the DRMC closed their facility to visitors, delaying the dedication ceremony and driving the CCMRRC Golden Spike designed and crafted by Larry Schneider.  When the hospital reopens to visitors, we will be notified of the new date for the dedication ceremony.  Click HERE to see construction photos and a short video. 

Since its debut at the Kanab Train Show, Bob Mallory and Dan Mangiarcina have continued working on the LIONEL GROUP PROJECT RAILROAD.  See the latest photos of boards 2 and 3 toward the bottom of page.  (Note the operating Lionel Drawbridge video.)

G Scale Members

  • Bryan Enarson describes his latest activities.  Actually, I just finished painting the base coat on my board. I completely removed trains, track, scenery and buildings a week ago. Today I start laying out a new track design.”  Click HERE and scroll down to see his progress pictures near the bottom.

  • Tim Fitch has been quite busy constructing new additions to his railroad empire.  Here is his description.  “In the process of building a new waterfall feature and tunnel (in the corner of the side yard above the large pond and Hellgate bridge).  Lots of pipe, bricks and concrete so far with nothing finished.  The pictures are “WIP” so may be a bit unclear as to the end goal.  The Crystal Mountain Mesa is in the back corner near the larger pond and double track suspension bridge. The waterfall will flow into the same pond. Also, the three side tunnels are not functional, they will just provide an area to create an internal “diorama” of the mine workings. There will be some mining equipment and miners along with ore and some basic tools, etc.  I hope to create a live feed video stream (like Larry created) with a camera in a work caboose in order to observe the inner workings of the tunnel and mine. The track is mounted on a removable section if it ever needs service or rework. Not sure how it will work out... it is all experimental!”  Click HERE and scroll down to see the latest photos.

  • Keith Johnson has expanded his current layout.  “Last October I picked up all the track and buildings from my old house in San Jose and added it to my current layout which has now grown to about 500 feet of track, double the original size.  I have been spending my stay-at-home time laying the road bed.  One loop is raised off the ground about 5 inches with an additional loop raised about 15 inches.  This includes the addition of 7 bridges, some wood and some steel made by a friend of ours.  Not all the roadbed is complete yet but I am able to run trains with minimal issues.  It's a little difficult to get some good photos of the overall layout.  I wish I had a drone to get an overall high-level photo.”  Click HERE and scroll down to the newest photos.

  • Ron Smith debuted his outdoor Lionel layout on the Club tour last November.  Since then, he’s added a G scale loop to his backyard.  See the photos HERE

  • Werner Balsterholt added a body shop and augmented his street scene.  The photos can be found HERE near the bottom of his page.

  • Larry Schneider describes his activities.  “To date I have completed three projects for the RR and am working on a few more.  I have a set of signal gates that I purchased about 6 to 7 years ago that have never quite worked the way I would like. I have modified them several times over the years but still have issues. I have once again rebuilt them this time I am trying light sensing devices to see if they are the answer. The project is 90% complete, wiring and gates are back in place with rebuilt road crossing. I now have to put a train out and set the sensor and see if it will work as I have designed it.  Several years ago, I built a log cabin from "Lincoln logs" [and] it looked nice for a couple of years. Over time it deteriorated, especially the roof and I rebuilt it.  Finally, a few years ago I just quit. "New owners came in bought the property" and completed renovated it now with a new rebuilt building, wood shingled roof, new chimneys, and also developed a small Campground complete with full RV hookups.  I also completed the Coal Mine Scene. Several years ago, before Doug moved, he rebuilt his front porch and had several pieces of cedar left over that he gave away for the taking.  Last month a friend of mine ripped them into ½” and ¼” strips and from there, using a picture I found, I built a small cover over the front of the mine.  I also went rock hunting and found what I was looking for and redid the mine with a more rock-based hill and then covered the mine tunnel with rocky dirt. I have a few more ideas for it but for now it's complete.  Next project is to replace signage on various buildings on the RR. Another friend of mine who does professional photography has a printer that he claims will print things that indoor could last 100 years and out maybe 5-10 or more. So, he has reprinted many of the custom signs I have made for buildings over the years that I have to replace about every 6-8 months as they go bad. I'll be working that this week. I also have some road bed that needs work and some building lighting maintenance so things still to do and I am also working how to motorize the gondola car.”  Click HERE and scroll to the bottom of his page to see the updated Coal Mine.

Lionel Members

  • Bryan Osborn has finalized his track plan, added buildings, LEDs around the layout’s perimeter, and organized his storage closet.  Click HERE and scroll down to see photos.

Proto48 Member

  • Jim Harper says “I have a little more scenery added in the Colfax area but have been installing the Blue Point switch machines for the 8 new turnouts.”

HO Scale Members

  • Professor Dave Merrill shares photos of the tree line above Craig’s Camp and the little town of Clear Lake.  Click HERE and scroll down to see them.

All Scales Modeler

  • Our outgoing President Dave Merrill has kept busy helping other model railroaders he knows.  He describes his activities this way.  “Actually, there has been no progress on my layout since the Kanab Train Show.  I spent some time working on automation and had reasonable success with 3 locos running for extended periods of time.  You may remember Mack Smith and his cousin Scott Goodfellow who during the CCMRC tour asked about HO trains.  They have been working towards a layout patterned after Charlie Job’s multi-tier roundy-round.  I fixed them up with 4 locos and installed two sound decoders for them.  Spent a fair amount of time teaching model railroading and explaining electronics for detection and automation.  An old neighbor from Santa Clara has a 4x6 layout that they received from an uncle 45 years ago and has been sitting in their home covered with dust.  It has brass tracks with fiber ties and some interesting turnouts.  I fixed them up with a couple of DC locos, some rolling stock and an MRC dual controller.  It is on a rotisserie in the train room with new Caboose Ind. ground throws, new bus wires, and started on adding feeders.  Most of the “stay-at-home” time has been spent doing yard work, ripping out bushes, moving irrigation lines, and removed most of the gravel from front yard, or at least the first layer.  Hope it looks different by summer.  Neighbor is coming over tomorrow with his skid loader and dump truck to remove the broken and settled sidewalks in the front yard.  Told Lynda this is to reinforce ‘social distancing’, no sidewalks, no visitors.”

N Scale Members

  • Werner Balsterholt added details as you can see from THESE PHOTOS and descriptions near the bottom of his page.

Railroad-themed Puzzles (click Jim Clark, Bob Mallory, and Bryan Osborn to see the puzzles.)

  • Jim Clark –           Glow-in-the-Dark Antique Train

Whistle Stop Dreams

Robotime Train Model – 3D Wooden Puzzle

  • Bob Mallory -         Lionel Train Edition Well Stocked Shelves

          What Comes Around Goes Around

                                         Whistle Stop Dreams

Lists of YouTube Videos to Watch

Werner Balsterholt shares his favorites below.

  • Pete Walton's HO Scale Railroad

  • Sports

  • Lou Costabile (Classic Cars)

  • Train Layout Tour - Roundhouse in Ogden with Animated Features (Toy Man TV)

  • Train Show at Thanksgiving Point, January 2020 - 30TH Anniversary (Toy Man TV)

  • Manned Helper Operations - LIVE Coal Loads in HO Scale

  • World’s Largest Model RC Airplane

  • Strasburg Railroad: Plowing the Line

  • Amazing RC Truck & Construction

  • London Bridge to Brighton - Driver's Eye View

  • New York Central Water Level Route

  • Loading and Moving the World's Largest Hydrostatic Bulldozer

  • 2-Mile-long Train Stuck in Snow

Thomas and Irene Eckhardt and friend Scott Duncan share their YouTube favorites.

  • Scott Duncan is a modeler who travels extensively across the country. “Finally, model railroading has been recognized as acceptable “social distancing”!   If there was ever a time one could watch endless model railroad YouTube videos, now is that time! Here are some of my favorite channels from around the world. Proof that model railroading is truly an international hobby.”

Starting from the land down under we have one of the very best, Luke Towan.  This guy has over 980,000 subscribers!

  • From Australia we head to India with two channels. First is Vikas Chandler. Most of his videos are not about his layout but the one on computer control is worth checking out. 

  • Also, from India is Trains and Dioramas.

  • Next, we have a couple from Germany, Miniatur Wunderland and BBM1930s.

  • From Germany to France. Renaud Yver's channel is in French without subtitles.

  • Mention Sweden and I think of two things, ABBA and marklinofsweden.

  • Next, we have a bunch of channels from the UK. These folks are really into making videos. McKinley Railway, a large home layout, especially by UK standards, with plans to model multiple eras. Talk about staging!

  • NMRA Master Model Railroader Kathy Millatt's channel has almost 35,000 subscribers. She deserves even more.

  • Finally, we have a whole slew of OO scale modelers, Dean Park Station, Everard Junction, Gowerton Parkway, New Junction and more. Everard Junction is the best of the bunch and has an impressive 60,000 subscribers. Gowerton Parkway is not nearly as popular but there is a good video on making a concrete engine terminal using real concrete.

Lastly, Union Pacific announced on Wednesday the cancellation of their 2020 Heritage activities with 4014 and 844.  Here’s the YouTube video from Sr. Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Scott Moore and UP Steam Team's Ed Dickens.

Until next month, stay safe and healthy.

All Aboard ! !