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  1. J

    B&M Local Caboose Kitbash

    The Boston & Maine had some very short, cupolaless cabooses that a crew told me were called "local cabooses". I opened one of those boxes I'd forgotten about and discovered pieces of 3 wide-vision cabooses. They were enough to cobble together something close: Nothing fancy, but it used up...
  2. J

    JD Lumber Load

    I look for loads for my open cars all the time. Now and then I've heard references to JD Lumber loads, which are sold on the auction site. You can find them if you search for "JD Lumber Loads" in Toys and Hobbies. I decided to try one out. It's inexpensive and does the job. It is printed paper...
  3. J

    Bachmann Hi Rail Truck

    Here is my Bachmann hi-rail truck with a traffic cone on the front bumper and Showcase Miniatures side view mirrors: The stuff that's available is making it more possible to have scenes like this:
  4. J

    Advanced Consists, Digitrax, and How To Find Info

    I was having some problems with a couple of Digitrax equipped locos in advanced consist mode. Out of desperation, I e-mailed Digitrax tech support and got the following: "For a Digitrax decoder to work in Advanced Consist you must set CV57 to 102." I'm glad I got an answer (haven't had a chance...
  5. J

    Springfield a Damp Squib?

    I've looked on all the usual suspect forums, and seems like there ain't much from Springfield. "Sorry, forgot to take photos" seems to be a typical post. Other than a very few new products from Tangent and Rapido, any other news?
  6. J

    3-pole motor with DCC?

    I have an Athearn 0-4-2T from about 1960 (got it secondhand in the 1970s). I've pulled it out now and then and have improved the pickup. Now I think it would be fairly easy to isolate the motor from the frame, and there's plenty of room inside the shell for a decoder. However, I'm not sure what...
  7. J

    Some Recent DCC Conversions

    After starting the switch to DCC a couple of years ago, I've been working my way through some older models. They involve extra work, but they're good layout models, and I really like the improved headlight options, which are very visible improvements when you get right down to it. Here are two...
  8. J

    Bachmann B&M GP7

    I like the Bachmann GP7s --= they actually have slightly better detail than the GP9s. I like the B&M blue version, since it is in the 1960s color scheme that was current when I was in B&M territory. However, most of the B&M GP7s had hood extensions for passenger train lighting generators, a...
  9. J

    More Tyco Freight Car Upgrades

    Charles Smiley has posted about upgrading Tyco flat cars following Bruce Petty's ideas. (Steve Priest had an article in MR in the 1990s doing something very similar with Tyco flats.) The Tyco plastic reefers are also very good candidates for upgrade. I've filled out a PFE reefer block with...
  10. J

    The LF&NW Layout Thread

    There are some really good layout threads on this forum. I've been wondering where to post since The Whistle Post went down, and I figure it might be worthwhile to start a layout thread here. This is a not-to-scale track plan, as of several years ago. (I found a more recent version this morning...
  11. J

    Some More Vintage Cars

    Here are two Walthers head end cars I found at a swap meet: The baggage looks to be in fairly good shape. I will need to get rid of the decals before I repaint it, but I will probably do it in Northwestern Pacific 2-tone gray (I'm sure Charles Smiley will second this choice!) The RPO needs...
  12. J

    Another Vintage Piece of Rolling Stock

    Again in the spirit of some of Charles Smiley's posts, here's a Lambert (I think) brass Santa Fe Palm series sleeper from the 1970s: Not really up to the standard of current Walthers cars. However, I think it can be improved with interior partitions, window shades, and better trucks.
  13. J

    Some More Vintage Kits

    Charles Smiley's posts about the great vintage kit rebuilds he's done inspired me to pull out some of my own, both finished and in progress. When I started seriously in the hobby in the early 1960s, the hobby shops mostly were just carrying Athearn, AHM, Tyco, and so forth, but now and then I'd...
  14. J

    Bachmann Sound Value Diesel Bell and Horn

    It's gradually come out on various forums that the set of sounds available on the Tsunami reduced-function sound decoders that come with Bachmann Sound Value diesels isn't as large as the documentation shows -- it doesn't look like Bachmann/Soundtraxx edited the CV guide to reflect what you...
  15. J

    Athearn and MTH SP Mars Lights With DCC Decoders?

    I have several Athearn Genesis SP GP9s and an MTH SP GP35, all with DCC plugs but without sound or decoders in them. Has anyone installed a multi-function decoder in any of these to get Mars light effects? Was rewiring necessary? Any other tips? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.