Running Bear's Coffee Shop LXXI

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Good evening. 44° and cloudy, with 48hours of rain beginning any time.

Terry: I hear ya on the Insurance dilemma. it's really the carriers, they want to take in the Premiums, and have you, their client cover the first chunk of expense, in addition to paying premiums. When it's their turn to pay, they try and renege. Noticed this with my MIL's Medicare Advantage Plan. Don't know how you can afford it.

Curt: Nice work on the pump house.

Jesse: That's good advice from KenVA and Terry. Everything in small steps.

Speaking of small steps, here's a photo of my new Atlas S-2, idling next to my finally (almost) completed freight house. All that remains is to drill the hole and fish the wires for the lighting. That's a DCC/Sound loco, currently running on DC.

S-2 PC 9779.jpg
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Well-Known Member
And Terry, the 'Forced Perspective' is a valuable lesson to remember...Just like Disneyland where each step up in height takes
a step down in scale to force the appearance of greater height than really exists...Trig
Trig ..... Speaking of "forced perspective", I have a lot of that on my "around the wall" layout. Much of my layout is only about two feet wide, and forced perspective helps improve appearance. ... Examples below ...

The highway crosses over a bridge in which the two trusses are closer together on the far side than in the foreground. The edges of the road beyond the bridge continue getting closer to give an illusion of distance.

In this scene, I used under-sized houses to force the perspective....

The cows in the distance are N scale cows on my HO layout.

Garry...You could teach a course on the subject...And as I mentioned the other day the almost 'Seamless' transitions you
make from layout to background are very well done...More than once I've caught myself having to take a second look to be
sure if something was on the 'Board' or on the 'Wall' !!!...And those 'Cows' are a good example of both...Trig
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Good morning y'all. Woke up to 64° this morning. High is 68° with a 30% chance of rain showers.

BNSF971 - the forced perspective is a good idea. Have not considered that. I think once I get the basic plan laid out in full scale I'll see what kind of space I have. Looking at it on the computer screen is one thing, but actually seeing it take shape is another.

Trig - I am there with you on compromises. I want to just build and build and build. Lol. But lack of space, money, and time have limited me.

WJLI26 - I know. Small steps are best. I've just been putting off starting this build for so long I'm excited about it. Rushing it will just produce unsatisfactory results.

Garry - the layout looks great. The cows are definitely a nice touch. The seem to be way off on the horizon.

Good morning everyone. 11 degrees and mostly clear. High of only 25 today. The temp dropped 23 degrees in 30 minutes yesterday, and a 44 degree drop in just over an hour (62 to 18)! I need a big cup of joe this morning!! Frigid weekend coming up, with snow on Sunday and Monday - we'll see.

The photos that several posted yesterday (Garry, others) - dang, that's nice work. Always inspires a newbie like me to see what others are doing on their layouts. I need to post a couple of photos but keep forgetting to take them.

We've discussed roadways before. I know some of you use signs, paint them, cut them to size and then lay them down as roads. I'm thinking of using black cardboard/posterboard, and doing the same thing - spray paint them and cut them to size. Any thoughts on that?

Have a good day everyone.


Well-Known Member
Good Chilly Morning Everyone. It's 20°, clear and still quite windy from the northwest, Montana weather! Although the 13 mph right now is nothing like the 35 mph winds we were experiencing yesterday. The temperature is 31° lower than this time yesterday. Our roller coaster winter continues with highs above 50° Sunday and Monday, highs near freezing Tuesday and Wednesday, and back into the 60's by the following weekend. Headed to the dentist this morning to have the broken crown removed, temp one will be put on with the new permanent one in 3-4 weeks. I'm sure that the dentist is not pleased that it broke because he is redoing it for free as well as absorbing the cost of the new crown. I'm happy because I no longer have dental insurance.
Out in the train shed, I finished up that signal bridge that I am making for my friend's nine year old son. I misidentified it in yesterday's post as Bachmann, but it is a 60's era Life Like model. Not a lot of difference!!! Other than that I didn't spend much time out there. Instead I finished updating all of my freight car maintenance records in the computer, Yay! Now I am ready to enter the 34 newest roster additions into the database with their corresponding inspection records and photos. Just for kicks, I did a spreadsheet with costs to see what I spent over the last 30 or so years and immediately deleted it before my wife saw it!

Terry - Doesn't sound like the Affordable Care Act is working for you.
Jesse - Wife working only 3-4 months a year has only been a supplement most of the time. Early on it helped with the bills, now part of it just goes into the Roth IRA. There's no way we could have made it on that alone. But it is good pay for the time spent (~25K/3.5 mos).
Sherrel - Wow! 5.5" is a monsoon to your neighborhood. Hope that it doesn't slide away. By the way, I'm not sure mankind is ready for you to have a CC permit!
Jesse - Don't have a turnout to measure, go here for printable HO or N scale templates.

Curt - Completed pump house looks great.
Garry - Great shots as usual. I never noticed the forced perspective in the first one, knew about the other two though. Good that our newest members can see some old scenes of yours.
Johnny - I use roofing felt, commonly known as tarpaper for my blacktop roads. I am hesitant to use cardboard or posterboard because I use water-based glues and I have also had water/glue scenery adhesive seep into the cardboard and warp it. That's just my experience, others may have had different results.
Eric - Get ready for this cold front that came through here yesterday, (Johnny got it as well). You'll see some drastic changes this afternoon.

Everybody have a great day and a good weekend.



Whiskey Merchant
Good morning. Started off at 34 degrees but the temps were dropping. 28 when I left the house. Road are still slick.

Curt - Excellent work on the pump house. Thumb up.gif

Terry -
My wife was just required to sign up for Medicare and with the rate increases that the group plan at work went up to. She is so much better off with the Medicare and the supplement plan she has. I have the same plan and an so happy that we don't have to deal with the unaffordable care act. I am lucky that I am healthy, but I did have surgery on my eyes last year and for a $6.700 procedure, it only cost me $210 out of pocket. My son and his wife have to more or less self insure theselves because there is no way in the world they can afford any medical insurance that is now being offered.

Ken D&J
- I haven't commented on your modules yet, but I am really looking forward to see what you come up with. Looking good so far.

Jesse - Terry made a good point about having a short piece of straight trackon the reverse curves.

Garry - Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. The photos you posted are as usual, excellent. I had thought about trying some forced perscective, but the majority of my layout is around 24" deep.

Here's another rail photo for today.



Joe - The photo that I posted yesterday was taken somewhere in New Jersey, but it was not mentioned where it was. Like the Alco needless to say.
Joe - The photo that I posted yesterday was taken somewhere in New Jersey, but it was not mentioned where it was. Like the Alco needless to say.
Chet: Ok, it's just that that photo jumped out at me, I just can not remember where it was taken. Jersey had and still has many secondary lines running through less developed areas. And if it was on the PRSL, PC or CNJ and LV I ran over it. Cannot say the same for the old Erie Lackawanna Branches, except the main line, which is very developed, and the Northern, which is mostly Suburban. That's why my guess is the Clementon Branch of the PRSL.

The Alco, runs on DC, but not well. It's an ESU chip. More than likely, it will run better if I connect the DCC. The only flaw is the offset Red P, White C on the front of the engine.


Whiskey Merchant
Joe - I do have a few DCC locomotives and as you know I am a DC operator. My DC locomotives will operate flawlessly around the layout and when I first put a DCC locomotive on the tracks, it sputtered and studdered around the layout. Dirty track was the culprit. After a thorough track cleaning, the DCC locomotives ran fine. In the video "Switching in Churchill" below, the Alco is from Bachmann. I wasn't interested in the DCC part of the locomotive, but being an Alco fan and with the locomotive painted for the Milwaukee Road, I picked it up. Did have some problems with it on dirty track but again, a good cleaning solved the problem. It did go lights out only one time in the video, but these tracks hadn't been cleaned in a while. The same is true with the other DCC locomotives I have, A Bachmann 2-6-0, a BLI heavy Mike and the Atlas RS-1.

Running them on DC, they only get the voltage put to the tracks whereas when running on DCC, they have max voltage to the tracks at all times. All of these locomotives run just fine on the Livingston Model Railroad Club layout.

I have amp and volt meters in line with my throttles and on DC, my old original Atlas Alcos with the Kato drive will start crawling at just a little over one volt. You can time it between ties with a calendar but the DCC locomotives need just about 6 volts to just wake them up.
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Active Member
Since you guys seem to spend a bunch of time talking bout the weather, I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth. We have about 8-10 inches of snow on the ground here central Minnesota. Officially at the airport here in Park Rapids they had -29 below without factoring in the wind chill. I live in a low spot north of Park Rapids and my thermometer showed -35 below when I got up this morning. Generally, when it gets this cold, there isn't much wind. However, with the 5 mph wind the National Weather Service is showing, right now the wind chill is a balmy -40 below. I am somewhat skeptical about the wind and wind chill reported because they also state that there is light snow coming down. Out my window right now, there isn't a cloud in the sky, the sun is brightly shinning and I see no snow or ice crystals in the air. Park Rapids has been reported as the coldest place in the lower 48 at times. Not today, however!

People ask me why I live in a place that gets so cold. I explain to them that it keeps them away from here.


Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Good Morning Flo, Francine, and all the railroad workers too!
I'll have another cup and then get busy doing something - my list just keeps growing every day. Spent yesterdaay working with the animal rescue people and "sitting" for some folks who were out of town.

Today need to see about making a dental visit ... broke my upper denture plate right square in half when I bit down on a pizza crust!
I have now sworn off ever eating pizza again - that was an expensive slice of pizza! I still figure that I am ahead on the dental vs. insurance. Fortunately I do have a couple extra sets of dentures, but this was the best fitting - one of the others I can wear for looks, but they do not fit well and hurt when I try to eat anything.

Let's see: dishwasher out ... RV Tranny problem to check ... tax payment to IRS ... haven't made any progress on layout space ...
What else can I possibly add to the fray? Oh, YEAH .. Can't get a CC license! lol

Garry - echo Chet's remark about the landing - and - it is a big plus if you can use the aircraft again! The 74 was a beautiful a/c to fly; Hard to believe that they came on the scene almost a half century ago - I will certainly miss seeing them around.

747 Gif.GIF

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Hello All...It's been a good morning...

Now it's started...And if I can keep things turning out as planned I think I'll be in pretty good shape...The grade isn't 'optically' as steep
as I thought it might be and any Marklin Loco can pull that with ease...It'd take a pretty long Train for failure to occur and a 4 x 8 layout
really isn't built for anything longer than maybe 3- 5 long passenger cars / 5 - 10 freight cars...Any longer than that and the Train would
stretch 1/2 way around the layout...I was going to apply power but I can't see the need to do so...That grade will work AOK...

From the 'Deck' to 'Roadbed' is 3 1/2"...'Rail' to 'Roadbed' is 3 3/16"...The 100 Ton Concrete Pier is an exact 'Full Size' Pier and that is
the 1st Pier where the 'S' goes flat....About a full track length before the 'Tunnel' would end...The concrete will be a bit darker gray...

SCARM says I should have 1" between the edge of the Roadbed on the incline and the edge of the 'Board'...Spot On !!!...That 1" is very
important to me in terms of structural considerations...Tunnel Portal / Clearance etc...The 1st two shims on the incline won't be individual
Piers...I'll build a single ramp for that out of 'Foam Board' that I just happen to conveniently have some extra lay'in around...:D

I cut some perfectly straight/square rectangles that I'll scribe as templates for the Piers...Cut'em, Piant'em, Set'em...Easy Right...LOL...
Also...The Piers are 'Florist Foam'...Easy to cut and shape and it gets pretty tough with a few light coats of paint...I've used it in the past...

So...Hopefully things will keep going smoothly but I'm sure something will pop-up that requires a work around...And as time rolls along I'll
post an image here and there of the progress...It'll be nice to have Trains running again !!!...Trig :)

DSC00802.JPG DSC00801.JPG DSC00799.JPG
Good progress Trig. I haven't laid any track as of yet but I know I'm set to start come tomorrow. Getting snow here and I know how my hill is. So I'll stay indoors and hopefully before the end of the day I'm running trains again. My approach is to make sure I can run six axle locomotives. At least the outside anyways. Good to have a perfectly level layout to start with this time. I have to remember to take my time and do it right the first time and fix any on own issues before they multiply on me.

Afternoon All,

Currently 77 with rain storms coming through in front of the cold front, 50-60's for the next 4-5 days. I mounted the pumping station on the layout and then I replaced all the old whistle and ring posts on the layout with new Tichy Pennsy versions (relatively new product). Previously I could only find ones from Mount Vernon Shops, but with theirs you have to cut out the decal, mount it on a blank keystone and then mount it on a "pole". Needless to say it was a pain to do and not the greatest looking. The new Tichy ones are 1 piece and look nice.

I opened the kit for the interlocking machine, and all I will say now is that it will be an interesting build with plenty of magnifier glasses use. The downside is they always give me a headache.

Chet- Thank you. Nice rail picture.

Sherrel- Thank you. It's hard to believe that 747's are done flying. Didn't the DC-10 come out about the same time?

Jesse- That should be a nice layout. It is very close to my first one.

Garry- Thank you. Funny picture. Thanks for the beautiful layout pictures and lesson from the master.

Joe- Thank you. Nice picture.

Johnny- I would do some testing on various techniques and find the one that works best for you.

Willie- Thank you.

The old one on the right



I hope everyone has a good night.
Good progress Trig. I haven't laid any track as of yet but I know I'm set to start come tomorrow. Getting snow here and I know how my hill is. So I'll stay indoors and hopefully before the end of the day I'm running trains again. My approach is to make sure I can run six axle locomotives. At least the outside anyways. Good to have a perfectly level layout to start with this time. I have to remember to take my time and do it right the first time and fix any on own issues before they multiply on me.


Thanks Justin...Great to hear you'll be putting down some track soon...And if ya' don't get them running tomorrow there's always another day...As you said you're
better off taking the time to do it right...I can't count the number of times in my life when there was "Never Time To Do It Right But Always Time To Do It Again"...

In the next few days I'll probably set up a simple oval mostly for testing but it'll still nice to be able to run something...Then I can take my time on getting the Piers
cut, painted & set right where they need to be...I don't have any "Margin Of Error" to play with and any mistake just compounds itself somewhere else down the
line...I'm gon'a do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen...Keep On Peck'in Away At It...All In Good Time...Trig

And Curt...Very Nicely Done...Looks Great !!!


Well-Known Member
Howdy .... I'll try again. Power interruption shut down the computer last time I tried to post. .... The cold front is nasty. .... Yesterday it was almost 70F at this time. Now, it is 19F. .. Lots of ice everywhere with a lot of snow on top. Windy too. Neighbor says our road is blocked by another neighbor who tried driving in this stuff and got stuck.

Thanks to Trig, Jesse, Johnny, Willie, Chet, Curt, and any I missed for the very kind remarks on my photos.

Chet ... Most of my layout is 24", and that is one reason I am trying to force the perspective.

Curt .... Your pump house is great.

Mark D... Nice to see you here. .. That is a funny response when people ask why you live there. I recall some trips to Duluth in the winter, and it definitely was cold.

I stayed home all day. Too dangerous to go out. .... Main Squeeze is still in Michigan, and so it's just me here with the 3 cats. ... I worked on scenery on the layout today..

I'll click on "post" before the next power interruption.
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