October 2021 Newsletter

The thermometer confirms autumn has finally arrived with summer’s heat slowly retreating until next year.  Halloween decorations are already going up in our neighborhood complete with spooks, goblins, spiders, and coffins poking from assorted graves.  Families demonstrate exceptional talent with their creations.  With each added item, the scene is enhanced until finally the stage is set for some scary fun.  To me, this all sounds very familiar knowing how much effort our club members expend building their model railroad empires piece by piece and detail by detail.  

Club Business

Details Annual Layout Tour – November 12-15, 2021

For a printable list of times and dates of Layouts on display, click HERE.  A map to the individual SunRiver locations can be found HERE.

As a special surprise this year, the CCMRRC Lionel project railroad will be on display Saturday only (November 13th) from 11:00AM to 2:00PM.  Click HERE for a map to the location.  Lionel modeler Jim Clark offers a sneak preview of the railroad in his video found HERE.  (Large file.)

If your layout is on display, you might need a club T-shirt to wear.  Contact Larry Schneider (lsandsrr@gmail.com) for either Red or Black in sizes XL and larger at $15 each.  Of course, shirt sales are open to all members at any time.

To promote our event, 4’x8’ banners will be hung at various locations around town in high traffic areas such as McDonalds (Bluff & Main), Costco, Zions Bank (Sunset), Golden West Financial (Riverside and Mall) among others.  If CCMRRC members would care to further promote the event, letter-size flyers are available HERE to print and distribute locally. 


Al Thorne announcement:  Executive Decision supported by the regular attendees.  Effective today, 10/1/21 we will hold the club luncheon on the FIRST and THIRD Fridays of each month.  Same time, same place.  So put it on your calendar.   This is an attempt to increase the fellowship and camaraderie in the CCMRRC.


Member Layout Updates

Tom Lantry updates us on his latest progress.  "As of Sept 18, I have 22’ of HO track laid w 8’ to go which is half of my intended second test layout designed to learn and develop skills needed to eventually build a more involved scenic layout. I’m gluing about one 3’ section of Atlas concrete tie flex track per day with an overnight to set caulk so I will have the 30’ or so wired and ready to run trains by mid- September.

I have a rise of 12” over 24’ at 4%, and some extra room with dead ends on both ends. I will test how locos and different consists handle the grades, up and down, whether couplers are robust, and see how my track laying “skills” such as they are, pan out.

Glad I spent the bucks on a 22” minimum radius autorack car to serve as a curve tester. By rolling the car along I am confident my curves are no tighter than 22”.

I’m using Woodland Scenics Subterrain and foam roadbed under the flex track. Already I am so challenged w connecting track around turns that I’ve resorted to using an OTC, out of the blister pack, plain old, 22” radius curve in two locations.

The Subterrain Incline/Decline Starter Sets at 2% grade are useful. I glue them together to make 4% grade, 1 inch rise over 2 feet and have the option of experimenting with going more or less steep.

When the other half of my bent dogleg test layout is finished in a few more weeks I will have a continuous loop with two 12” elevation changes and will hook up a block system consisting of 6’ to 12’ long blocks managed by DigiTrax BDL168 Occupancy Detector and see how JMRI Dispatcher handles keeping multi car trains separated. 

I thank Dave Merrill for guiding me through the rusted, overgrown, disused and abandoned rail line that was my JMRI and DigiTrax SE8C Signal Decoder learning curve. My head screeched, threw sparks, jolted, and almost derailed at several points negotiating JMRI’s confusing instruction manuals. Fortunately, Dave was there at the crossing waving a flag to, of course, keep me on track. Seriously there is no way I could have figured that stuff out without his kind and generous help.

This video is my first test layout to learn how JMRI controls turnouts and 8 electrically isolated blocks to control the motion of locomotives, and light DigiTrax SH2AB Main Line signal masts in each direction."

For photos and a video of Tom’s efforts so far, click HERE and scroll down to the October 2021 Update.

Modeling News

Wiring tip from Tom Lantry:My dad was an electrician and taught me basic wiring. For this layout I assumed I’d be gouging my thumbs with twisting sharp wires together and covering with wire nuts then unscrewing and re-screwing every time I made a mistake. Either that or tightening and loosening screws on terminal strips until my wrists gave out.

One of the railroad guys on YouTube recommended these connectors.


There are other types of lever connectors but the 2 and 3 connector Wagos are the ones I use and have made this whole endeavor infinitely easier.  I’ve used dozens of these connectors for months. They are reliable and they do not damage the wires so I can make and break connections with no problem.


Prototype News

Diesel-Killing locomotive of the future runs on solar power.


ARCI: 2Q21 Railcar Orders, Deliveries, Backlog Grow


Rising from the Ashes: UP Rebuilds Dry Canyon Bridge in One Month


UP and Progress Rail to use biodiesel fuel to cut GHG emissions


Managing Technology: Nine Misconceptions


Amtrak 301: Day One Siemens ALC-42 Locomotive Debut



From Thomas Eckhardt:Here are the latest highlights from our recent trip to Seattle and back. Plenty of trains, but very few opportunities to take a video. Travelling with a camper somehow impedes sudden changes of direction…I included some full train shots for nostalgic reasons, unfortunately graffiti seem to be rampant… Hope to get some more shots on our next trip to Seattle in two weeks, schedule is a bit more relaxed!”  https://youtu.be/ZK9TatIg1AI

“I have posted a new video on YouTube with railroad scenes from our last trip to Seattle. Fortunately, we planned and additional day in Baker City OR, that allowed some morning and evening railfanning without a trailer. So, I followed a west bound double stacker in the morning and an east bound one in the evening, the only trains in daylight, because of track maintenance.  I included some maps with location and also elevations to give a better feel of the various location, let me know if that works for you. I also included some full length trains (with DPU), so the movie is somewhat longer than usual. There was plenty train activity at night. As we departed Baker City on Friday morning, I saw my favored train, a 13,000 ton potash train with nine units in the siding south of the city . No lights indicated that the train unfortunately would be sitting all day there. I however got the east bound empty, with all the power up front.  Even Nevada Northern provided a fleeting glance of their steamer, on a trip with an engineer for a day trip. No time to wait for its return.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUESHjKae4I

How UP Added PTC to the ‘Big Boy’


Then and Now: Keeping the (San Francisco) Cable Cars on the Move


Behold 100 years of rail history at the National Railroad Museum


Walt Disney talks about Foamers (Train Enthusiasts)


8 Spectacular Fall Foliage Train Rides in the U.S.



Until November,

All Aboard !!