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Chet: Granted, my track is dirty, I rarely clean it. I have been avoiding DCC locos of late, except when I don't have a choice. I have a whole box full of silent decoders just waiting to be installed. The S2 was an afterthought, and Kleins only had the DCC version, so... The thing that bothers me, is that when I go to reverse direction, I have to wait out the start up cycle each time. I suppose, the path of least resistance is to wire in the DCC controller, and go that route.

Curt: I like the placement of the pumping station. The whistle and bell signs are really nice. I regret never procuring a cast iron version for my self.


Whiskey Merchant
Joe - Who puts out the S-2. My RS-1 from Atlas has ESU LocSound and any time the power is put to it, it also goes through the start up cycle, but it does no do that when changing direction. At the club, if there is a short that trips the breaker with the digitrax, it will also go through the start up cycle, of course, because power is being put to it after not having any. I also did not want the DCC version of my S-2, but that's the only way they had it painted for the Milwaukee Road. It is getting harder to find locomotives that are pure DC. When I was trying to build my North Coast limited, there were F-7 A and B units available, but in the DCC version only and I wasn't willing to shell out over well $400 for the pair.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
The thing that bothers me, is that when I go to reverse direction, I have to wait out the start up cycle each time.
The reason for that is because when, with DC you bring the loco to a stop i.e. you turn the track voltage to 0, which of course turns off the sound. With DCC, track power is always at full power whether your engine is moving or still.
Chet & Toot: The S2 is an Atlas Master Gold Series with ESU LocSound. Cutting off the current makes sense, I tried to reduce track power to where the sound was still on but the locomotive was standing still, then I reversed direction without the restart. Worked most of the time. It ran much better today, probably because I let it go the entire length and back.

I built the rolling table for the transport box tonight. The transport box loads onto it quite easy. Actually, it's backwards on the table.
The two 2x4s on edge on the top shelf to the right is were the 16 legs of the modules will load after the module is loaded to the left first.
I'm still working on the modules so it will be a week or so before I actually load them into the transport box for a test fit. Everything measures up correct. Just have to be careful of the peaks of the hills and make sure to lay the signals down before loading.

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Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
WOW, That's some good looking work there, Ken n VA.

Have to ask - I confused myself again -- I see three full size shelves and one partial? Fro some reason I thought you were building a new full size number four? What did I miss?

I got a reprieve today! Finally got my nerve up enough to crawl under the RV and discovered that the fluid i thought was coming from the Transmission was actually from one of the leveling cylinders. It still will require service, but so happy that it was not the Tranny! I also discovered that I an't limber no more. I think my crawling underneath a vehicle years are fast coming to a close! OUCH!


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Well, the club had it's special meeting this afternoon to report on the developements since the AMRA AGM/Committee election, which didn't achieve the desired result, even though we got the President changed and one of our club members onto the committee (he got made the secretary and we were told his first job will be to write a letter to our club president. A please explain his letter to certain people. Not sure what it said but knowing him (a lay preacher) there would be nothing offensive in it. Maybe they're planning on suspending him for 6 months, like they did our treasurer for doing what our committee instructed him to do. Another thing that happened after the election was that the members in the majority, invited another unelected member onto the committee to perform some role, but pretty clearly, just to boost the anti numbers.

What gets me is there are those, even within our club that still want to hang on to this divisive and overbearing organisation that is out of touch and now irrellevant to the clubs associated with it. What at least has been done by our committee, is guarantee that we are compliant legally with the Queensland state laws re having it's own members, paying membership fees directly to our club and receiving a receipt to that effect. (We all paid a Dollar to that end to cover us up to next August, when the AMRA Inc ones are due again). A new constitution will be presented to our members within the next month for discussion and approval, with the aim also of complying with those state regulations. The West Australian club is already well advanced with this as they are more heavily impacted than us timewise.

In many ways, I think it's a pity that the member we got onto the Federal committee is also one who has a life membership of AMRA Inc. He is a very honest bloke and is definitely trying to do his best to get a sensible and reasoned outcome, but he even admits himself, he is being torn apart by his allegances. He defended the concept of a national organisation covering all model railway activities and clubs in the country. And there probably is, if it were an umbrella body. The fact that there are only 4 clubs, out of all the clubs and groups that exist in Australia, that are in the association, the question has to be asked, why is that so? The answer is in it's makeup and rules. These other clubs don't like them and the main sticking point is what is at the root of the current problem. AMRA Inc's insistence that all members of the association belong to it first and the clubs by appointment, with them holding the right to decide who joins or not. Nothing has changed on that front..and by the look of it, not likely to (reports of a very heated "discussion" between the newly elected President and a re-elected previous member)

There was another member at our meeting, who questioned how us becoming a non-associated club would affect his membership in both. He was assured that it would not, he can be a member of both, no problem, but he just couldn't grasp it.

So it goes on. I've determined that unless the subject comes up at some monthly meeting, which it no doubt will, I'm going to make my business the running of trains, because the club will survive. It has no other choice. Whether AMRA Inc does is up to it. Events are not on it's side if it doesn't adapt to current reality.


Active Member
Good morning fellow Spike drivers and Ballast Tampers/Gandy Dancers,
Good Morning Flo, Francine, How are you both this cold morning? It's good you have Jeffrey Running Bears' Dinner nice and warm for everyone. I'm sure they will start coming in, in a little while. How about a couple of Brown Eggs, Hash Brown Potatoes, Pork Sausage Paddy and Coffee. Thanks

42°F Wells rd Station Report.
1:56 AM PST on January 13, 2018 (GMT -0800) | Updated a few seconds ago
54°F | 38°F
42°F - Feels like 42°F;
Fog, Wind ENE at 0.0 mph;
Humidity is at 96%;
Today is forecast to be Warmer than yesterday.

I had to restart my fire as it burnt out completely this morning and I just started it again around 10:30 Pm, it sure feel good, nothing heats like a wood fire.

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.

Say Garry: Your scenes look great as does your use of forced perspective.

The only thing is I have to be very careful buying a side of Beef from you as I'd be paying HO prices but getting an N side of beef!

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!

Jesse - Don't have a turnout to measure, go here for printable HO or N scale templates.

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.

Everybody have a great day and a good weekend.

Say Willie: That's good advise to use tar paper for Asphault roads.

As far as using the fast track templates, you need to be aware that they are slightly under size as far as rail spacing gauge.

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.

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Say Sherrel: Glad to hear your problem with the MH wasn't the Trans. You aren't just kidding about getting older and crawling around. I've had to get down on the floor to reach something the rolled under the bed and it's a bit of a challenge getting back up again.

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.

The old one on the right

View attachment 64972

View attachment 64973

I hope everyone has a good night.

Say Curt: Nice work on the pump house and I like the scene showing the sign placement.
WOW, That's some good looking work there, Ken n VA.

Have to ask - I confused myself again -- I see three full size shelves and one partial? Fro some reason I thought you were building a new full size number four? What did I miss?
There are three modules that are 3' deep and one that is only 2' deep. The 2' deep module will go in the top rack. They are all 5' long.

The transport box and the modules will all weigh about 175lbs (79.3 kilos).
Good morning y'all.

Flo, coffee and a donut please.

After a nice (although rainy) day yesterday near 70°, today it's 34 and only supposed to hit 46. Gotta love South Carolina weather.

Willie - that does sound like a nice bit of change. Lol. Reminds me of a temporary gig I worked where I made 16k in 5 months. That was real nice. Until it came time to pay those 1099 taxes. Thanks for the link on printable templates, I'll check those out.

Terry - I think I found a way to add small straights and stay in my allotted space. I'll post an updated picture later.

Trig - looking good. Can't wait to see the finished product.

PRR - Thanks. I'm looking forward to getting the track down. I've been debating on the basic oval for years, but knew I wouldn't be happy with only having left or right turns as my only variety. I think the updated version will do nicely (pics to follow). The pumping station looks great.



"retired" conductor
Good morning gang,
Flo, can I get my regular coffee, and the full pancake breakfast? I have to reload the bin in the basement with firewood today. Need some energy.
Oh, and it's 28 degrees and snowing.
Its was 60 and foggy yesterday:rolleyes:
I'll be back later, have to catch up on a heap of posts .


Well-Known Member
Good Morning to All. 26° and partly cloudy to start our day. Mid 40's for a high today then up to the mid 50's for a couple of days until Ol' Man Winter hits again Monday night with another frigid windy front with temperatures in the teens. Trip to the dentist yesterday for the crown replacement went well. Old one came off with a minimum of effort and the temporary one works. I'll get the new permanent one in about 2 weeks. Blah! Had a drain pipe freeze up on me under the house. It's just a line from the washer and dishwasher that runs out into the pasture. Had to put in a temporary bypass so those appliances could be operated. Works for now, but after it thaws, I just know that I'll find a split(s) in the PVC pipe that will need repairing as well. While plumbing is generally easy, I dislike working under the house, and under counters and all those other places that plumbing pipes are hidden.
A bit cold in the train shed yesterday at 50°, so I didn't do a whole lot out there. Modeling is out at that temperature. I did move structures around and did some visualization in an upcoming project area, but didn't have any great flashes hit me.

A short commentary on forced perception since that subject came up - I have done some forced perspective by printing out structures and other elements using the computer and Google pictures, in a scale smaller than HO. I then attach then to the blue/green painted backdrop, sometimes an inch or two above the layout so they appear to be in the distance. Haven't done much yet, but I am still experimenting. I also like an idea that I heard from, I think it was Garry, to cut out pictures from the old model structure boxes and use them as well. Years ago, in 2012, a fellow forum member by the name of Tomkat posted 1000's of pictures of background flats and buildings (as well as 10,000's of signs) that we could copy and save for our layouts. I probably have five or six dozen of them that I downloaded and use as well. Sadly they are no longer available due to the Photobucket ripoff. Use of N scale stuff is intriguing, but none of my backgrounds are deep enough to warrant using that technique. I may get an opportunity to do so in a corner or two in the future.

Mark - Stay warm and I like your reasoning behind why you live there.
Sherrel - That's a real drag regarding your dentures. Don't give up pizza, just give up the crusts.
Trig - Elevated rail that close to the edge makes me nervous. Not to say that you shouldn't do it though. More likely is a long train "stringlining" inward on an uphill curve. Lay your track very carefully.
Curt - Pumphouse looks right at home. Nice work.

Everybody have a great weekend.

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Well-Known Member
Good morning ...

David Truss Rod ... LOL .... Not to worry. They are dairy cows.

Willie.... Yes, I have used pictures from boxes of some of my building kits on the backdrops. I have also used pictures cut out from old magazines and old calendars.

Ken D&J ... You do quality work.

Justin .... Let us know when you are working on track, and we can make suggestions that might make track laying less of a chore.
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