Archive for March, 2010

New Haven Osgood Bradley coaches

March 22, 2010

Jason Shron of Rapido Trains posted a link to this video in a Yahoo group, passenger car list. While the New Haven coaches are great models, what’s really impressive is the layout they’re running on, the NYO&W built by Bill Schneider. The scenery and structure models are first rate and well worth the five minutes of viewing time. During the year and a half my family lived near Boston while I was in high school, I always enjoyed the many trips back to Pennsylvania as we traveled along Interstate 95 parallel to the New Haven main line. It was enough to make the NHRR my second favorite after the Pennsy.



March 10, 2010

Another modeling dilemma for me and, I bet, for many others. Athearn has posted photos of test shots on the company’s Facebook page. What do I do with my Life-Like versions still in their boxes awaiting modifications for DCC? It’s great that models keep getting better, more detailed, more accurate for each railroad’s version. But it grandfathers a lot of money invested in earlier versions if you want to keep up and get the best.


March 9, 2010

How would we build our model railroads without Homasote? I have a supply purchased from The Home Depot but I’m down to one panel. I’ve checked every Home Depot store in my area and it is no longer in stock anywhere. One unhelpful clerk said he never heard of it.

So, today I went to the Web to find out how to get it. That led me to the Homasote site. How many of us devoted Homasote fans have ever learned anything about it? The site is rich with information. Homasote has been used to build passenger cars, as roofs on automobiles and as shelter for Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedition. There’s a nice video that explains the manufacturing process. And the company brags that it’s a green technology. It is. And it’s been around for a hundred years.

A New Model Railroad Magazine

March 3, 2010

Here’s more trouble for the USPS, a magazine that doesn’t circulate as paper but as digits. The current issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine is online. I knew nothing about this until I saw a link in a Yahoo group, meaning this magazine builds its circulation virally. Judging by the number of advertisers, it looks like it can be a profitable way to publish. It has features that no print magazine can offer. Instant access to online videos, reader feedback published serially, and direct links to advertisers Web sites make reading an interactive experience. I wonder if those railroad publishers in Wisconsin are paying attention?

Budd RDCs

March 3, 2010

Here’s a documentary film from 1952 about Budd’s Rail Diesel Cars. I remember seeing the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines RDCs at Wildwood, New Jersey, when I was a child on vacation with my family. Later, during high school, when I lived in Newton, Massachusetts, I rode the Boston & Albany (as the locals insisted on calling the New York Central) from the Newtonville station into Boston to explore the city. The RDCs had a distinctive “voice,” a sound I still hear clearly in my auditory memory. They were also very comfortable to ride compared to most of the commuter coaches of the era. The suburban trains on the B & A were old coaches and the RDCs held the off rush hour timetables. This movie, like many industrial documentaries of the 50s, doesn’t get around to its subject until three and a half minutes into the film but it’s worth the wait. You’ll see the RDCs in operation on every railroad that owned them, I think.

Date Mystery

March 3, 2010

It’s great that there are old PRR documentary films available on YouTube. However, one of the best (aside from the hokey beginning) is “Clear Track Ahead.” It is labelled as a 1956 newsreel. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The star locomotive is a T1. In fact, there are scenes from Altoona’s erecting shops of a T1 under construction and in the test plant. By 1956 all the T1s were in storage or cut up. Many of the featured passenger trains sport the Raymond Lowey “Fleet of Modernism” paint scheme. The only indication that the film was post WWII is the presence of a passenger train led by E7s passing what may be Banks tower on the Middle Division. It looks like the copyright date is 1946. Does anyone know any information about the release date associated with this production? You can see the movie here.

Altoona Area in HO

March 2, 2010

I am, as my friend Riley says regularly, “a slobbering Pennsy fan.” Imagine how pleased I am to discover a layout I admired in the December, 2005, edition of RailModel Journal is on the Web. This is admirable work by Larry Reynolds and is worth a visit to his site, whether or not you have the class to love the Pennsy!

On Horseshoe Curve