Running Bear's January 2019 Coffee Shop

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Well-Known Member

Erdman Ave at Belair Rd. Baltimore, MD 1950s
I caught the #22 bus there when I was 15, working at Memorial Stadium as a bouncer in the season ticket holders private club; the Hit and Run club.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I have no idea how they maintained the connection to the overhead wires.
Same way as the street cars did, a U shaped channel guide that pivoted to follow the wire, and some very strong springs pulling the up against the wires. They would swing out a long way, but they could become disconnected if forced. They did have batteries for short moves..


Well-Known Member
Good morning everyone. 34 and cloudy. Rained overnight. The storm activity starts later this morning and goes through most of Saturday. Expecting everything from cold rain to sleet to ice to snow depending on where you are in southern Missouri/northern Arkansas. Where we are may just dodge the bullet. Regardless, wood is stacked and ready for the fireplace and the generator is standing by.

Mike - I add my congratulations on the quitting smoking. I echo Louis's thoughts: you'll have more money for your layout now!
Willie - Yeah, I'd like to see any photos of the train barn construction project, too.

Have a good day everyone.


"retired" conductor
Good Morning all,

Clear, and 18 degrees. Couple of inches of snow expected starting tonight.

On New Years Eve, I quit smoking! I’m so proud of myself. I’m in day 11, and it’s getting easier every day.

Have a great Friday!
Congratulations Mike, I'm in my 9th year, and I don't miss it a bit. Reward ypurself, take the money you would have spent on cigs and divert it to the hobby!


Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Couldn't sleep - up a couple hours before I usually wake up. High sixty's today with PC and rain forcast tonight - hope so! Thanks for all the comments on the U25B story by my friend Andre. That story reminded me so much of my Middle and HS days when I would have my parents drop me off at the airport in Shreveport and I would spend 3-4 hours with my nose pressed at the fence watching the planes come and go. An amazing amount of traffic there in the late 50's and early 60's. Delta ran an interchange with TWA and the a/c was a TWA Connie - I thought that red and white, tripple tailed plane was the prettiest I had ever seen; little did I know that just a few years later that I would start out as a Flight Engineer on one just two months past my 21st birthday.

LOUIS: Speaking of those trolleys - I used to ride all over Shreveport on those. Relatives lived about 4-5 blocks from one of the routes and I would catch the trolley to go to baseball practice and to the hobby shop or the big Lionel store downtown.
My fare was 10 cents - 15 cents for a transfer .... lots of times I would stay on the trolley and make a complete loop of the route just to spend the afternoon. I went on every route one day - just kept asking for another transfer and ponying up another nickel ... great fun for a country boy.

MIKE : Congrats on the cessation of the smoking! I puffed away for 52 years - almost did me in. been going on 4 years now - and just every now and then I have a tinge of wishing I had one. I tried everything known to quit several times - finally the doctor told me, I had a cough that would not go away, that if I did not stop that I would not live much longer. I walked out of his office, dropped my pack in the trash outside the medical building and have never looked back. I told myself that if I ever picked up another that it would kill me - it worked and I haven't!

GARRY - Very nice pic of the "Texas Special". I wish that I had spent more time riding trains near the end. First wife and I did take the "Southern Belle" from KC to New Orleans - we could have driven faster. The train stopped for every freight we met - took forever!

Well - cup needs filling - hope there is space left on the forum after Louis - LOL :D


Well-Known Member
Good Morning All. Outside it's 43° and cloudy with intermittent sprinkling. The weather rock is spotted. Inside it's clear and 75° and no rain. Looks like more very light rain still on the horizon moving this way. Back on schedule yesterday with the Thursday grocery/beer trek resuming. My wife tells folks that it is my weekly social event because I know and talk to many of the stockers, checkers and baggers at the particular Kroger grocery store that we use. They all know me as well because I am quite handsome and stand out in a crowd, maybe?o_O
Wife was off work yesterday and did some painting in the now resumed bathroom remodel. Not enough to allow me to go any further but it is the first progress that we have made since before Christmas.
Out in the train shed later in the afternoon, I ran a lot of trains. Ran a short freight "roundy-round" continuously on the upper level while switching and running on the lower level. I normally don't do this, don't like running two trains at one time because I'm mostly into switching and tend to concentrate on a single train at a time. Did some more layout clean-up, this section is easy because very little of it is scenicked. Is that a word Johnny?
Did some other odds and ends before going out to eat, my delayed birthday dinner at Outback.

Thanks for the comments regarding the SD40-2's everyone. ScaleTrains deserves much of the accolades with their excellent detailing. Let's see, that was Mike, Garry, and anyone else that I may have missed.
Joe - Thanks again for the prototype railroad experiences. They offer wonderful insight into how things actually work.
Greg - You made it much longer than I do regarding falling asleep at movies, I rarely lasted more than 30 minutes.
Erik - Here's seconds on one level.
Garry - Another great picture of your models, keep them coming.
Mike - Congratulations on Day 11. Here's hoping that you never pick another one up ever.
And congratulations to you too Karl on 9 years. I actually quit 49 years ago when I could no longer afford them when the price went from 30¢ to 33¢ per pack. Spent my money on beer instead!
Today is National Milk Day and also National Hot Toddy Day, take your pick.
Everybody have a great day.
Good morning y'all, 22° and sunny. Snowmageddon has been cancelled due to lack of panic. ;):rolleyes:

On New Years Eve, I quit smoking! I’m so proud of myself. I’m in day 11, and it’s getting easier every day.
Mike: Great! Congratulations. I quit 21 years ago. Be patient with yourself, quitting is worth the effort.
Louis: Electric buses were very common at one time, as replacements for trolley cars. They were capable of coming up to the curb, vs. the customer walking out in traffic to get to the street car. Another benefit, no expensive track maintenance. Philadelphia had an extensive network, as did Toronto, ON. Dayton Ohio, Baltimore, and other major cities.
Nice catch on the Christmas Car.
American Beer, was probably before my time.
I wish I had bought a Commodore VIC-10 back then. "The only computer you will need for years to come". Ten years later, I bought a 386-25 Processor computer from Sears, and spent a lot more. The salesman used the same line...the computer I bought was already obsolete, but I didn't know better. Meanwhile William Shatner is still huckstering merchandise.
Garry: Nice feature on the MKT and the Texas Special. Your model version looks great. I don't know a whole lot about the Texas Special, other than that it was a joint venture with the FRISCO. I do have an advertisement, which implied a five car train, consisting of a coach, a bar lounge coach, a dining car, a 14-4 Sleeping Car and the Sleeper Observation. I would imagine the actual consist was larger. As you demonstrated, it's quite easy to model the train. Nice !
Back in the late 50s or early 60s, Lionel did the Texas Special color scheme I believe both with the Alco FAs (O-27), and the O-31 F3s. Never did the passenger cars though, just a freight train.

My layout is in the basement, the space is 23.5' x 16'. which is not that large for an HO layout. I run around the walls on a single level, because the outer walls are concrete block. (I don't want to be assessed for a completed basement. Painted cinder block and unfinished ceiling are considered unlivable). The room entrance precludes a continuous run layout , so I'm limited to either a Point to Point or a Dog Bone style. We are looking to relocate to one floor living, sooner, rather than later, so my next layout will either be in a spare bedroom or garage. Already, there are many days when I don't go down to the train room simply because my knees are sore, and I don't want to do the steps.



Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
BORIS - (JOE) .. Thanks for your adding comments about the GE "U" boats.
I guess that crews did not like the "cockpit" of the locos? A track foreman for FRISCO said that he used to collect the mushroom seats along the ROW and dump them off at the Super's office.
A couple engineers made remarks about the control stand - that it was not very "user friendly"?
Comments were also made about the great "pulling power" - as you stated.
The High Nosed ones the Frisco had were called MOBY DICK and were said to be poor visability.
Interesting note is that FRISCO purchased the first U25B and the last U25B produced!

That is all for now!
Louis: I was born in the middle of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and running down North Avenue was the street cars and later electric buses in the 1950's. I remember at night walking down to North Avenue to watch all the sparking from the electric boom connections from the bus/trolley to the over head wires. It seem there was always a boom disconnecting from the overhead wires and motorman using a long pole trying to reconnect the boom to the wires.

A long time ago, but I still remember some of the details as a kid.



Whiskey Merchant
Good morning. 23 degrees with an expected high in the mid 40's again.

Didn't check in yesterday as the wife and I took off to Butte for out dental check up. After the dentist visit we met up with some friends and had lunch at a place called the Metals. It is a restaurant and sport bar in the main floor of the old Metal Bank. great food and we usually do stop there if we are there at lunch time. The old building has been restored inside also.

The metals.jpg Butte--MT--Metals-Bank.jpg the-original-safe.jpg

You can even have your lunch inside the old bank vault if you want. While having lunch, I was looking at a couple of abandoned building across the street and they could be prototypes for some of the DPM kits available.


There is a lot of history in Butte which we enjoy visiting when we have time. Not only is there a lot of mining history, but a lot of railroad history. The city was served by both the Northern Pacific and the Milwaukee Road and the Butte Anaconda & Pacific. The BAP hauled the copper ore from the open pit mine in Butte to the smelter in Anacond, MT where the finished product was made. The BAP is still in operation today running between Butte and Garrison Jct where it connects to the MRL/BNSF. We also pass by the old NP consolidation #25 which is on display that the Butte Civic Center.


Louis - I really enjoy the old trolley and bus photos. Never rode on either when I was growing up. The towns weren't large enough to have bus or trolley service at that time. Many moons ago there was the Gallatin Valley Elactric Railway which provided trolley service, starting in 1892.

26306_7031_585_1686.jpg Around 1910 the Milwaukee Road bought the operation and passenger service continued south from Bozeman servicing the Bozeman Hot Springs and down to Salesville, present day Gallatin Gateway. In 1927 the Milwaukee Road built the Gallatin Gateway in to service passengers going to Yellowstone Park. In 1930, the wires came down and only freight service used the rails. Around 1974 the grain elevator burned to the ground and that was the end of rail service to the south end of the valley.

- Falling asleep at the end of the movie ??? You must be getting old. I haven't been to a theater on at least 25 years. Like the photo a lot.

Eric - I can understand wanting to down size.. We had thought about that many years ago, but unfortunately the land and house prices has sky rocketed here in out area with all of the newbies moving into the area. The only steps we have to worry are the 7 steps leading to the front door and the ones going to the train room in the basement. We like where we are so those thoughts are now long gone. A basement is the best place for a train layout. Hope you guys can get things figured out.

- Love the Texas Special photos. Sweet!

Willie - I like you am a lone operator and do enjoy switching. With a single track main line, I really can't do much switching except in one of the yards with a train running on the main line. Years ago I had consider DCC, but although I can walk and chew gum at the ame time, I know for sure that I would have a wreck if I ever attempted any switching along the main line.

Joe - I like your description of you layout. I have just about the same area for my layout. I am able though to have some continuous running although my layout for the most part is also point to point, but with the use of a drop down bridge near the door, continuous running can be done. Post some photos of your layout.

Sherrel - I will have to agree with you on the looks of the Super Connie. That is a sharp looking aircraft. Nover got to ride in one but do have a few photos of them on the wall. They do have on on display at the Helena regional airport.


I hope to be able to get down to the train room today and run some trains today. I did look into the room the other day just to make sure they were still there, but never got to run them.

Here's a rail picture for today.




Well-Known Member
Good morning ....

Sherrel, Willie, Boris, and anyone I missed .... Thanks for commenting on my Texas Special photos... My model has a train of Con Cor cars, and PA1 by Hobbytown which I painted several years ago. ... It does not have DCC, and I do not run it anymore because of that.

Louis .... I rode in an electric bus in Chicago when I was a kid.. I recall it accelerated rapidly, and you had to hold on tightly. The Illinois Railroad Museum in Union IL has one which has rides for visitors.

Below is a link to an interesting You Tube video.

It is a story of the aftermath of major derailment of a 101 car chemical train in Livingston, Louisiana on the Illinois Central Railroad. The video does not talk about causes of the accident.

I have a friend here who worked for IC, and he was part of the team that investigated the derailment. There were also government investigators and AAR investigators. I learned from my friend about the accident. The engine crew had a guest on board who was female IC yard clerk. She was operating the train while the engineer was drunk and passed out on the floor. An unskilled operator of a very heavy long train contributed to dangerous train dynamics which ultimately lead to a derailment. Speeding was part of the cause. An empty gondola in the middle of heavy tank cars near the front of the train contributed to the causes. The gondola was turned nearly 180 degrees in the accident. My friend said, the female yard clerk was known as one who slept with various men, and she was likely "community property" of the engine crew.
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Good Morning everyone.......................mostly sunny and cold this morning. Down to the layout room in a few minutes for the day.

The duct cleaner needs access to the supply and return duct close to the furnace and that is just above the Saxeville Interchange. I need to find a way to cover this area and isolate the balance of the layout room. I know contractors will tell you everything you want to hear, but will not put it in writing..."No Dust Escapes" is the contractor's reassurance.

Back to street cars in Milwaukee... we had a steel and wooden via duct that ran over the Menomonee River Valley and the old structure would make strange noises and move when the trolleys traveled over the structure. The cost to replace the structure was to expensive and it was a link from northern Milwaukee to the Southside. When it was abandoned it marked the end of the trolley era in Milwaukee.


The supports become increasingly higher as the via duct crossed the valley.

Down to free up the two turnouts and scenery work. I can run some trains when I work on these projects.

Have to get ready to travel north to the cabin to get another load of firewood for the home's fireplace and check on the cabin. We stock pile the wood at the cabin and make several trips a winter for more wood. This will be an entire day trip and we'll stop to see some friends at the local watering hole, soda for me! These trips are the only times the pickup gets any exercise during the winter.

Chet: That street in Butte you photographed sure does look like a DPM street scene.

Garry: Sounds like the Payton Place on the rails.

Willie and Chet: I'll use a Digitrax DT402 throttle where I can run two trains at a time, one switching and the other on the main. The main will run very slowly.




1548 Actual Loco.jpg

The actual Milwaukee Road locomotive that the Athearn SW1500 was modeled after and one of these locos is in the CM&NR roster.

A few years ago we were looking at model homes and some of the models featured extended garages for additional storage in front of the cars in the garage. The size of these areas could easily accommodate a model railroad.



Mumbling in the corner
On New Years Eve, I quit smoking! I’m so proud of myself. I’m in day 11, and it’s getting easier every day.
Congratulations. And especially, congratulations on behalf of your children.

This is personal for me... I didn't smoke (well, except for some high school foolishness) but my father was a lifelong smoker and I am quite convinced that his death at 71 was hastened as a consequence. For me that has always been especially poignant, because my two sons never got to know him, or he them. I also wish that he'd been around to meet the lovely DairyStateMom. (I think people know that she and I met and married after my first marriage ended.) As I grow older, I still miss him very much...


AKA Gomez Addams
Staff member
I remeber the old U boats that I got to ride on, and the one I got to operate. First, God help you if you attempted to board the engine with nything in your hands. The steps were more like ladders, and were spaced inconveniently for access. They rode worse than comparable EMDs, the seats were one step below a piece of plywood to sit on, and the control stand was not what I would call user friendly. Yes, they had 16 throttle notches, but only half of them really seemed to do anything.
I operatedthe one at Orange Empire museum, and SP had replaced the seats and control stand with better versions.
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