Running Bear's January 2019 Coffee Shop

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Well-Known Member
Speaking of ladies in control of trains, some time before I joined this forum I became acquainted with a very foxy lady engineer who worked for the SP. I forget what happened but we never did connect unfortunately.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Had a look at the 2 recalcitrant engines this Arvo. The Athearn will have to be taken apart again, although I did take it back to default and get some response out of it. No sound though, might have broken a speaker wire. The Proto, I did the same successfully, and then readdressed it to it's long address again.

I did a bit of experimenting with it and one of the SD40 RTR's w/sound. I run all engines on 128 speed steps as a rule but there was no way this Proto was going to speed match. I had tried giving it a much higher speed curve to boost low speed acceleration, but even that didn't match the Athearn which also had some momentum applied (3, on NCE's Richter scale). I even tried changing the speed steps on the Proto to 28 instead of 128 and 0 momentum. That seemed to bring it to a state where it compared favorably with the Athearn in acceleration from standstill (done individually), but put them into an NCE Advanced consist, and no matter which was designated the lead loco, the Proto would go right back to it's bad habits of sluggish response. Quite strange. I guess there's some electro/mechanical difference in it's motor/drive combo (it has the 14:1 helical gears) that may be affecting BEMF or something. I read that one of the SD45's in use on MRL had been involved in some switching duties. This does crawl at step 1, very convincingly.


Well-Known Member
Good morning Everybody!

Some of you may have noticed I have been absent late mornings and afternoons these last two days. I'm trying a new work schedule. I pick up my grandson from school Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I decided I would try working 3 or 3.5 hour blocks (shifts) on the other days, no more 4 or 5 hour blocks in the late afternoon and evenings. I'm hoping to do one block each day, but I'm going to let my body decided that. So far I worked Thursday and Friday and I feel good. No cramps and I'm sleeping 6 hours, that's a lot for me. Working earlier in the day, I start at 11:30am or 12 noon, better suits my internal clock. I'm almost always in bed by 8pm on any given day, that is best for me.

I'm not getting the "gravy" blocks by waiting for Amazon to need me, but that's ok. I'm not obsessed with how much I make per hour, I just want to work and be productive. I'm so happy to have a job I can do, I love working! I would never tell Amazon, but I would do this job for much less. I have no control over my good days and bad days. I could never work a set schedule again. Where could I find a job that affords me so much flexibility, work when I want to or when I can with no repercussions. I thank God for Amazon. It's not that I need the money. I need to be productive. The hardest part of my disability was sitting on the bench watching everybody go to work, watching the world pass me by. I'm so happy to be back in the game!


Well-Known Member
Wow, so many great posts and I don't have time to reply to any. My wife is off today and she is awake now. I want to spend the morning with my Angel. You know I love you guys, but my Angel always comes first.

Have a great day Everybody!


AKA Gomez Addams
Staff member
Ray, some decoders have to be told what to do when thet are in a consist, because they forget, or have been factory programmed to be different. I'm thinking of Digitrax here, bur others are similar. Check the offending decoder, and see if bemf is enabled in consist .


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ray, some decoders have to be told what to do when thet are in a consist, because they forget, or have been factory programmed to be different. I'm thinking of Digitrax here, bur others are similar. Check the offending decoder, and see if bemf is enabled in consist .
In this case, even though they are different loco brands, they are both 1st edition Tsunamis. That's not to say that, that means they have all the same functions. One of the most annoying aspects of model maker "customising" for Brand or model specific decoders. It was reported on an FB page dealing with decoders and installations, that Athearn's new NS SD60E has rear ditch lights that flash. Now, as you know, that requires 2 additional F functions which is not available even in the aftermarket TS2, yet.

I guess I'd have to see if I can find Proto's specs for that model to discover that.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Some good news, about 15mins ago, as I was sitting at the 'puter, having closed up out in the living areas, my wife heard the trap go off. Got'im. No licking it clean tonight for it. The blighters been sitting under the cupboard all day, waiting. Must've been driving it nuts to have that Vegemite aroma just inches away and not game to come out. Quite a decent size one, bigger than I thought. Trap is reset, just in case.


"retired" conductor
Good morning gang,
Pooch let me sleep in late (7:30) He's fed, watered and pottied, now I'm sitting here with Bagels and caffeine contemplating what to get done before a 3 pm B-day party for a 2 year old. (attendance mandatory, GF's granddaughter) Probably going to bring in firewood, vacuum the house and laundry.
Tonight they are calling for sn*w, so tomorrow I may get to the trains.
B&O 4-8-2.jpg


Well-Known Member
Good Morning everyone,

A nice light snow is falling with temps in the upper 20s. Not sure what the agenda is for today, right now I'm sitting in the four seasons room watching the snow fall enjoying a hot cup of coffee while everyone else is still asleep.


Well-Known Member
Good Morning Everyone. Partly cloudy and 40°, the drizzle stopped sometime during the night and left .6" in the gauge over 24 hours. The ever changing forecast is now predicting mid-60's from Wednesday through Friday with snow/freezing rain Saturday. Yesterday, along with other household chores, I baked bread, which worked out despite the high humidity. Helped to warm the house (with pleasant aromas to boot) and fills the void in the freezer from eating last spring's ever diminishing vegetable harvest. I'm growing concerned about this spring's garden since it has been too wet to get out and till the ground. Planting time begins in about another two weeks. I may be skipping some vegetables this year, won't be the first time though. Speaking of housework, does anyone else hate those little "thumbscrews" that are on light fixtures as much as I hate them?

Out in the train shed yesterday, I continued doing many minor tasks. Did a little more track inspection of industrial spurs before getting the vacuum going and found (much to my surprise) a Kadee coupler spring! Probably wouldn't have found it if that track had been ballasted. I also painted little people since I felt lazy and sat at the workbench for a while. Inspected a few more cars for drooping couplers and any other irregularities and found only one. It wasn't a problem, but I decided that since I had it at the workbench I would replace the McHenry couplers on it even though they appeared to still be working.
I am glad that so many folks enjoyed my post regarding the train shed build. It is indeed a great place to retreat to and get away from life's other pleasures. My wife generally does not venture out there, but unfortunately I now have a cell phone (after steadfastly refusing to get one for years), so now she calls me!:confused: Thanks again, Jim, Greg, Garry, Mike, Erik, Sherrel and anyone else that I may have missed. If you got the room on the estate, go for it!

Sherrel - Meant to comment on the U-boat recollection that you posted the other day. That was a great story, very similar to some that Joe posts about his experiences. I do remember watching GE diesels belch fireballs years ago; they were usually UP locos running in SP consists. Kinda looked unnerving to me.
Chet - Those buildings in Butte really do look like DPM prototypes!
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.
And you just thought that you would have more time once you retired!:p
Greg - Can you spread an old bedsheet over the layout under their access point?
Tom - That's a nice size area for a layout. Looking forward to your progress.

Trolley's, buses, and subways...As a kid in Brooklyn, we rode the subway from Brooklyn to the Bronx Zoo with my aunt a few times. I was always enthralled. My family normally only made short hops. When I finally returned to NYC in my early 20's, I spent a day just riding many lines out and back before finally returning to my origin point. I was able to ride the Canal Street Trolley in New Orleans once when I was eight years old while my family resided in New Orleans. I don't remember it being too notable at the time. Rode it again in the mid-70's when I took my newly acquired wife back to experience Mardi Gras. A bit rowdy that time. They had electric buses in Dallas in the early 60's but the trolleys were gone. The tracks were still in the streets and if I recall correctly, the buses used the same overhead lines. Lots of sparks and re-connections, and I once saw a driver out with his pole knocking ice off the line so he could move. I never rode in one though. Dallas has resurrected one of the old trolley lines as a tourist trap.

Everybody have a great day and an awesome weekend. Today is National Kiss A Ginger Day, so see if you can find one (that you know) and plant one on the cheek.


Well-Known Member
Good morning everybody

Garry: In defense of the lady, considering the fact there are a lot of questions, she was probably doing her best to control the train, certainly she can't be blamed for the consist being made up with an empty gondola between heavily loaded tank cars which derailed when she probably attempted to apply the breaks, possibly too much too soon. As your friend said the engineer was drunk on the cab floor and it seems the other guy wasn't much help either. So, if not her attempting to control the train, then who ??
David .... Investigators used simulators to see how the train had been operated. One was the FRA's and one was the IC's. (The IC simulator was operated by my friend.) The route had various speed striations based on the track profile and track conditions. It was not perfectly level track. There its ups and downs in the track spaced close together a bit like a roller coaster. It needed an experienced engineer familiar with the route to operate it. The Yard clerk went too fast and cars were bouncing up and down too much. Both simulators demonstrated that happened. The gondola and other cars bounced off of their trucks while trucks were still on the rails. Eventually cars derailed, and the gondola might have been the first to derail. ..... If you watch the video, you cans much of the train had been derailed.
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Good Morning y'all. 19° and sunny. There is a prediction of a chance of snow overnight, with an accumulation of 0" to 2". The further South you go, the greater the accumulation. Sometimes, it pays to be North of the Mason - Dixon Line. This may be one of those times. :rolleyes:

The High Nosed ones the Frisco had were called MOBY DICK and were said to be poor visability.
Sherrel: The funny thing about high hood locomotives, was that they always had limited visibility. Nothing was worse than running an E44 motor, with the (very) long hood leading. One night, while working as the Hostler at Wilmington DE, the Enginehouse Foreman decided to run D-3 (Wilmington DE - Capr Charles, VA), with a dual control RS3 short hood lead, leading the consist, so as to avoid turning the consist. The Delmarva Division Engineer refused the power on safety concerns, because the short hood did not afford sufficient protection, in the event of a collision at a highway crossing.
Crews preferred the long hood lead, even though the visibility was limited. Fast forward a few years, the same engineer refused a long hood lead, dual control GP38 consist, because it did not afford sufficient visibility. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: All late and lamented steam power, except SP Cab Forwards, offered very restricted forward visibility...

[QUOTE="montanan, post: 448616, member: 4041"]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,
a lot of railroad history. The city was served by both the Northern Pacific and the Milwaukee Road and the Butte Anaconda & Pacific.[/QUOTE]
Liked the photo. Looks like a fire station down the block in the background. The old bank is neat.

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.
Chet: I could probably engineer a drop down bridge, however, my better half wouldn't like it.:rolleyes:. Our basement stairway creates an awkward access as constructed, and I would like to keep it open as much as possible. Perhaps water wings will be my solution. should I go that route.

03-28-2017 C&DR.jpg

This is the "East End" where the PRR Branch on the left connects with the Reading, on the right. As you can see this is still a work in progress, I need to update my photo file, there is more to see. Further to the far left is the site of the marine terminal, the movable bridge and more industry. I spend too much time switching pretend industries, and not enough time with structures and scenery. Started building a cobblestone street with brick sidewalk, and a four track grade crossing this past week on the opposite side from where this photo was taken. I will show off when complete.

. 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.
Garry: It's a great looking train, thanks for sharing your work. I wonder how difficult it would be to convert a Hobbytown drive to DCC?

Speaking of ladies in control of trains, some time before I joined this forum I became acquainted with a very foxy lady engineer who worked for the SP
David: Not for nothing, but the foxy engineer on the SP, and the Female Clerk running the train in the wreck Garry described, are two separate items.
The SP Engineer, was trained, certified and qualified to operate trains, a clerk going for a ride with a reckless drunken crew, had no business on the train, let alone at the controls. Neither did the drunken crew, who undoubtedly became ex-employees. I had two friends, both trainmen, killed when their cabin car was rear ended by a train operated by a drunken engineer.

BTW, I had the opportunity to work around numerous female engineers, especially when I was with Amtrak. They took their jobs seriously, and did very well, much better than some of the males.

Speaking of Lockheed Constellations, there was a "Connie" mounted onto the roof of a Diner / Cocktail Lounge, along US 1 in Pendel, Pennsylvania.

Certainly attracted a lot of attention for the diner.



Well-Known Member
Good morning everyone. 35 and raining out there. We've had nothing but rain in this neck of the woods, but just a few miles east of us is sleet and ice and to the north is anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of snow. We might still get some snow today, but it's looking more like we've dodged the bullet. This storm is heading east, so you guys all the way to the mid-Atlantic coast get ready!!

Willie - thanks for sharing those photos of the train shed. Looks nice. I remember seeing a photo or two of the layout - would love to see more. Also, what kind of heaters did you put in?

Have a good day everyone.
Good Morning Everyone...mostly cloudy and not a great day so far.

I did work on the layout yesterday as planned but like all good intentions I got side tracked. The first thing I did was vacuum the carpet tiles on the room's concrete flooring. The carpet tiles really attract bits and pieces of ground foam. I wanted to do some landscaping but found that I needed to extend the layout bench work in several directions and I used 1/2 inch foam board to do this work. No need for strength.

Today, I'll use white glue and cinders to cover most of the still bare areas and ground foam for vegetation.

Trains will run today as I do work on the layout. Long over due.

The Monroe liquid weathering solutions do a nice job of weathering a piece of rolling stock especially the Dirt which needs to be carefully applied not to over do the effects.

That's all to report............



SOO and cows.jpg


Well-Known Member
Karl .... I like your B&O Locomotive .

Boris ... Nice track work...... I have a few old Hobbytown locomotives, and I had wondered about DCC for them..... For now the Katy engine and some other Hobbytown models spend their time on display shelves. ... Regarding the crew employees involved in the IC chemical train derailment, three went to prison (engineer, head brakeman, and yard clerk) . ... Caboose crew (Conductor and rear brakeman ) did not participate in wrongdoings and were not charged.

Greg .... I like the scene with the Too Line loco.


Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Clearing up at the moment - yes, thank you Flo, I will have another coffee fill up and some sourdough toast with jam. The rain came, as forecasted; remembered to sit my bucket out yesterday afternoon and it had pretty good 1/2 inch in it when I checked it a few min ago.
My backyard is pretty flat and is downright "mushy" from the past few weeks rainfall. I wish that I would have started a chart back in October when the "rainy season" started.

Built a nice fire to take the chill off this morning. I am about out of several food items, so I will be forced to venture out today. I'll try and get that done before any football games - is there one today? Will have to check?

Still working on getting the Christmas "stuff" boxed up. I have wasted several hours needlessly fussing with the top of the tree where the builtin lights quit working. It has those little tiny bulbs - hundreds of them - and I think the only salvation at this time is to purchase a string of lights and weave them into the section that does not light. I see no use in buying another tree, although Spousal Unit may think different.

Speaking of the "Spousal Unit" -- she is still roaming around Egypt with her sister and two others. Every day they try and post a few pic on FB, and maybe a text message or two. Interesting that they are able to connect with FB, but have a hard time with a text message?

JOE - Like the photos and description of your layout ... not sure why you say a liftout, swing section won't work. You would only have it in place when you were operating?

KARL -- Nice steamer! You going to tell us about it - or just leave us hanging?

WILLIE - I swear, Your layout takes up so much of that building that when inside - it just did not seem that large? There is hardly room to turn around! It is definitely "A Train Shed".
Have a question: How are the Real Estate taxes computed in TX? Is it a % of "full" value, or what. Looking at some prices and such around there seems to be a wide variance?
Also - seems like prices around TYLER are cheap compared to where you are?

GARRY - Very nice Texas Special rendering. I have a Lionel Alco, but no passenger cars.

TOOT -- Sakes Alive -- Have you checed the BMEP of those boards? :p:D:eek:


"retired" conductor
KARL -- Nice steamer! You going to tell us about it - or just leave us hanging?
Its a heavily reworked IHC (Mehano) C&O unit. I got it at an auction (cheap) with the smokebox cover and air pumps missing. The headlight on the pilot was all boogerd up. I replaced the smokebox cover with a brass piece along with the headlight, bell and handrails, I scratchbuilt the air pump cover out of brass and screen, painted and detailed her. "under the hood" she's got a can motor, Soundtraxx LC decoder and a TCS keep alive unit. All told, I've got very little in her, maybe 150 bucks, and she runs great!
Here are some construction and prototype pics. Some had Vandy tenders, some had regular ones, and researching, I found pics of some locos with both!
I didn't go hog wild with the details, but I think I captured the "look" quite well.
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