Running Bear's LXXIII Coffee Shop

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Good morning, it's clear and 50.
It appears there has been an upheaval at the club I used to belong to.
"Used to", because after emailing everybody I had an email for, for over a month, about discontinuing my membership and returning my key, I got a very--terse-- email from the new club president, informing me I had been kicked out for not paying my dues, and return my key immediately.
Good Morning All. 55° and partly cloudy. Headed up to 82° later today, setting a pattern for the next six days. Looks like it was another slow night in the Coffee Shop last night, Joe posted about 13 hours ago! Hey! Good Morning Sherrel, finally in NC.
Had a very productive day in the garden yesterday, picking lettuce, broccoli, spinach and beets. Spread compost and began mulching the tomato rows. Later after lunch, I began freezing broccoli for future enjoyment. Today I will do the same for spinach. It's too bad that I cannot preserve lettuce because I have quite a surplus this year, the rabbits haven't been visiting as much as normal. That may explain why the coyotes are all so fat this spring.
Not a lot of progress out in the train shed yesterday, as other stuff took priority. Spent a little time painting figures and ran some trains.
Thanks for the comments on the photos, Chet, Garry, Curt, Karl, Joe, and anyone else that I may have missed.

Chet - Meant to comment on your grain train pictures. It seems that around here about a third of the trains that I railfan over on the BNSF line nearby are grain trains, both full going to the Gulf for export, and empties returning. They are getting more boring lately. Another half are container or TOFC, due to my proximity to the Alliance Intermodal Yard. On the BNSF line that ran by where I used to work, there was no container traffic and there were many more mixed freights. Both lines are very busy all of the time. Hope that you have a productive day at the swap meet.
Joe - That's another nice looking hopper picture.
Garry - Nice looking GP7's, but they are too clean!
Curt - That Mobil sign is at the edge, but it is on the upper level at about chin height to me. Yes I have bumped it before, but it is made of mostly "white metal" and is held in place with repositionable glue, so it is very forgiving. Eventually the fascia will add another 1/4" of buffer, but will not extend above the horizon.

OK, more pictures. First up is an overall shot of the current "project" area. I intend to upgrade the near side of the RR tracks here. Following that, I will be moving over to the other side and finishing that auto repair shop and the small area behind it. The second picture is a shot of the activity across the street on the side of the closed grocery store.
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The repair shop is a DPM "Gold" kit sold as "Harlee & Sons Cycle Shop"; which is actually just their "Schultz's Garage" kit with a bunch of metal casting detail parts included. The block of "seedy" businesses is a hydrocal kit from Downtown Deco known as "Addams Ave Part II", if I recall correctly.
Down the road is Olsen Feed Store.
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While I think that this is another DPM kit, I do not remember and I cannot find it on their website any more. All details, figures, vehicles and signs were mine and did not come with the kit.
On another unfinished part of the layout is Murphy's Bar, another DPM kit known as "Skips Chicken & Ribs". This overlooks a riverbed and backs up to the main line and will eventually have an outdoor beer garden used to view activities on both.
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As I have posted before, I have many unfinished areas with tentative structure placements awaiting improvement.

That's all for now, everybody have a great weekend.

In other news ... A friend, Rick McClellan, in the Kansas City area has a nice spread in RMC on his "FRISCO Northern Division".
Sherrel: My magazine arrived yesterday, and I was paging through it this morning, and was about to bring it to your attention. Looks like a great model railroad.


Well-Known Member
Good morning, everybody ............. I'll have coffee and donuts please....

Curt, Chet, Karl, Joe, and Willie ..... Thank you for commenting on the GP7's .

Joe .... The lighting is challenging on the GP7's .. #251 with its factory installed sound decoder is impressive. There are 4 lights in each end (Clear Mars light, red emergency brake light, and 2 sealer headlights) .... All are wired into the decoder. The Mars light operates if a function button is on. The red light works if I stop the engine with the red "panic stop" button on the controller, but not with a normal stop. ... I removed the shell of #251 so I could see how it was wired and do the same in #210. .... Each light has a tiny lens over a 1.5 V bulb which is inserted in the hole behind the lens. #210 had the headlight bulbs installed and one mars light bulb installed. I had to install the others. Are is needed because it is easy to insert a build too far causing the lens to fall out. I had one lens fall onto the work table, and amazingly I found it, and could put it back where it bloomed. .... I have #210 back together, and now I am reviewing a manual which Sounraxx has on line that is over 80 pages. I should be able to figure out how to make #210 operate like #251 does. #210 has sound, but volume is too low, and I should be able to figure out how to turn it up as I select the correct horn. I think it has the correct 567 engine sound, but I need to turn the volume up. ... I think I would have bought two engines with factory sound already installed.

We are getting good weather. .... So, the Porsche is coming out of the garage where it was parked for the winter. Also, today the boat is coming out of storage. ... .... and we are doing yard work.... ... That means less time for the layout....


Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Sherrel: My magazine arrived yesterday, and I was paging through it this morning, and was about to bring it to your attention. Looks like a great model railroad.
JOE ... It's quite something too see. Rick is also very into WW1 and WW2 reinact ments and parades. He has a jeep and a Dodge command car that he restored. Awesome stuff!
SIL is away on training down in Florida .. Bummer! Won't be home for another week
Good morning 50° and Foggy. There are numerous "Quality" articles in this month's RMC, much more so than the recent MR.

Willie: Nice neighborhood! :rolleyes: Seriously, good work. Just how difficult are the Downtown deco Hydrocal kits to assemble? The scene looks really good.

Garry: Ok, gotcha. I don't have as many lighting issues on PRR / PC units.

SIL is away on training down in Florida .. Bummer! Won't be home for another week
Sherrel: Damn! That's the Marine Corps for ya. Hoorah! :(

In addition to the hoppers, I have finally finished the first of the "Front Street" background structures. All that remains is to drill the hole for the wires for the wall mounted light.

Commercial Dye Co. 4-28-2018.jpg

When in place, there will actually be a track entering the building, (although it won't go very far). It's the justification for my Carbon Black hopper.
Good to see all is well here in the land of serenity. Great photos of great work! Ahhh. the smell of cut wood is about to return, the "plan" is coming together. I just might be able to "have it all", a spur yard and a ladder type yard with run around track, continuous running options and several industry "destinations" a couple of "stations" thrown in to boot! some of you know I got the room for it so I'm going to GO for it!

End of the month blues has me smoking the butts of the butts and drinking TEA for my caffine but tomorrow is another day and the day after that is the end of the month, the Eagle will shit and all will be well!

Hope all is well with all of y'all, HAPPY ROLLING!
Good evening. Still cloudy and damp although they are promising mild and sun the next couple of days.
Thanks to all who complemented my attempts at building a coal train. I have five more to complete this pike size coal train. ;).

Garry: Those Genesis Geeps look great. What caused you to have problems installing the decoder? (I have more than a couple Genesis Geeps that may need decoders sooner than later).

Willie: Nice store and fillin' station.

Sherrel: You're going to get a reputation for being a Walmart stalker...:rolleyes:

For something different, and remotely rail related, the St. Lawrence Seaway is open!
View attachment 26269

This one is riding on ballast, on the St. Lawrence River at Alexandria Bay, NY, going for a load. Sure sign of Spring!

VERY COOL! I yousta live in Port Huron and was a "Ship fan" sat under the Blue Water Bridge and looked em up in the book and crossed em off as they went by. Saw the "Tall Ships" go thru in 76, they had to take down the very tip of the Top Mast to get under the bridge! Good times.
Yes, thank god A month ago the Shingle pain finally eased away. It was almost 10 full months of semi continuous, extreme, debilitating PAIN!
Bruce - I guess you never saw my post about Shingrix a few days ago...?:confused:

Sherrell - looks like you made it safely to NC! Do you plan to visit with Terry while your there?

Garry/Chet/Willie/Joe - great pics from all of you. Just because I rarely comment on them does NOT mean I don't admire them, it's just that you guys are too damn good for me to keep up with!

* * *

Finished my Saturday morning chores, now it's time to tackle Phase 2 of the gantry crossbuck project: installing the IR sensors/circuit. Been doing all the stuff that the instructions do NOT cover:

[1] Pre-painting the white mounting tubes of the sensors to semi-camouflage them, so I won't have to lean across the layout to do that after they've been installed...


...and [2] agonizing over where to mounter the sensors' circuit board. I have to place it in a spot that is both easy to see and easy to reach. I attached a 6-inch long piece of masonite to the frame so it would be visible without my having to strain my neck looking upward. But there was still this thick bundle of wires blocking the view:


Kinda tricky to see and maneuver tools thru all that, ya think?;) Luckily there was an easy solution for propping them up and out of the way:


Good ol Home Depot paint sticks to the rescue! Now I have a clear view of the sensor module:


Lunch break is over - time to go out and [hopefully] finish the job!


Whiskey Merchant
Good afternoon. A nice 85 degrees with a light breeze and not a cloud in the sky.

Bowling league is finished for the season. Couldn't quite take the crown. Got second place losing by 3 pins. It was a nice payday though. the total winnings we a little over $800.

Willie - Thanks for posting the photos. That wl be one fine looking town. We have a lot of everything coming through besides grain train headed to the pacific northwest. A lot of oil tankers have been moving through lately along with a lot of other mixed freight.

Sherrel - The dog looked a bit confused. I did see that Frisco article in RMC.

Terry - You had mentioned emails to the club. Finally got your answer. You might be a bit better off if people are going to be like that. Sorry it worked out that way.

Joe - Sweet looking background structure.

IB Ken - Better you than me with that birds nest. Still have to finish mt street lights and dreading all of the wires under the layout. It's a lot of work, but you will be happy with the end result.

I did get over to Livingston to the train show in the old NP depot. My but is now dragging. We were up late last night finishing league business and didn't get home until after 11PM. My normal lights out time is around 9 PM. Had to be at the club at 7 AM to get things ready for the open house and have trains ready to run. The wife was nice enough to make breakfast and I was off. The swap meet was held in the waiting room of the depot.


I managed to sell everything I brought except for the FP-7 A and B unit. Some people were whining because they weren't DCC from what I was told. Didn't have much time to spend at the swap meet.

There were a lot of folks visiting the club layout and at one time we had 10 trains running at the same time. Unfortunately, the isles aren't as wide as they should be but they tried to get as much layout as possible into the space they had available. It did get a bit difficult to keep upwith out trains at times with all of the people, but there were no wrecks. Didn't have much time to take photos but I will post a few in the Livingston Model Railroad post.

I did manage to restrain myself with all of the things for sale. Got an Atlas, new in the box, NP caboose and an Accurail Milwaukee road reefer that was nicely weathered all for twenty bucks.



The wife is up in Great Falls for a womens tournament with some of the ladies from out league so I will have to forage through the fridge and figure out what to fix for supper. Could be lights out early tonight.

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Well-Known Member
Staff member
Chet, when I went to one of the board members' houses and dropped off my key (and shirts, hats, and anything else with the club logo), I gave him a copy of my emails to the president, and his response to me. Sometimes the wheels of justice turn swiftly. He had his ass handed to him by the director over the phone while I was there. Not that it matters to me at this point, but maybe he will be taught to use some couth.
It appears there has been an upheaval at the club I used to belong to.
"Used to", because after emailing everybody I had an email for, for over a month, about discontinuing my membership and returning my key, I got a very--terse-- email from the new club president, informing me I had been kicked out for not paying my dues, and return my key immediately.
I went to one of the board members' houses and dropped off my key (and shirts, hats, and anything else with the club logo), I gave him a copy of my emails to the president, and his response to me. Sometimes the wheels of justice turn swiftly. He had his ass handed to him by the director over the phone while I was there. Not that it matters to me at this point, but maybe he will be taught to use some couth.
Terry: Now, that it's over, you have one less headache to contend with. Now you can move on.

Ken: That's quite a handful of wires and sensors there. Great use of a paint stirrer.

Chet: Station waiting room is in good shape. Show looks successful. Nice score on the NP cabin and MILW Fridge car.

My hopper project came to a screeching halt. My rattle can of Dull Coat failed, so I'm SOL until Monday Well there is always something to do around the layout.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Terry, at least no more club politics and those who take it upon themselves to be dictators. My club, which I thought had got through all that was needed, still has to get it's new constitution approved by the local membership to get the final "blessing" from the State dept that oversees these organisations. They could have called a special meeting and had more than enough members attend to get it done, but because we have a number of statewide members who can't or don't regularly attend because of distance, there's been a bit of tardiness, returning their postage pre-paid, pre-addressed, envelope supplied, voting papers.

There's no pressure or requirement being placed on them to resign from the so-called national association, they can belong to both, but the sticking point for some no doubt will be the required by law, payment of a membership fee to both, something which, as it was, didn't apply.
Good Morning All. Looks like 59° and clear skies to start the day. After two windless days, the wind will pick up this afternoon out of the south for a few days, bringing Gulf moisture up for probable rain beginning Wednesday. Temperatures will remain in the 60° - 80° range for the next ten days at least. Spring is here. Spent time mowing again yesterday, then pruning back additional low tree branches that delighted in swatting me while mowing.
Out in the train shed, I split my time adding foliage and trees to my latest project area; painting figures and details to add to that area (and others), and when paint/glue was drying everywhere, I ran trains. I have to repeat here, these Scale Trains SD40-2's really run well. I think Ken (D&J) posted a few months back that he had some GEVO units from them that also ran really well.
Thanks for the comments on yesterday's pictures, Joe, Ken in MD, Chet, and anyone that I missed.

Joe - Downtown Deco structures are not too difficult to build. Basically they are four Hydrocal walls and some styrene strips and sheets for the roof. The windows and doors are plastic from Grandt Line. I use a large flat file to smooth the Hydrocal where the walls join and I use Walther's Goo and a small square to assemble. CA adhesive can also be used, but I like the added work life of Goo, although the drying time is overnight. I am not in a hurry. If you break a wall, Randy (the owner) will send another free of charge, although I just use CA glue to glue them back together. The cracks, if noticeable at all, add some additional character to the structures. The key is painting them. After a primer coat of either Krylon white or gray, an assortment of reds, grays and browns; and some patience, usually does the trick. I have built five of their kits and I will probably purchase some more once I get further along with some of my unfinished areas.
Your background structure looks good. I use a lot of DPM modular walls also.
Bruce - I am looking forward to seeing how you use your area this time. Your whole layout can have a lot of industries if you go that route in addition to your trademark "racetracks". I assume that you still intend to use the "Disco Ball" for lighting. That's pretty neat regarding the ship watching.
Ken in MD - I like how you "repurposed" the paint stirrer.
Chet - It sounds like a successful swap meet and exhibition. Congratulations on the bowling. With your winnings and swap meet sales, you can refill those now empty staging tracks...or expand. Although I remember that you don't intend to. Nice score on the caboose and reefer.

All right, let's see what I may have in the photo library for today. First up is an auto body shop made from Pikestuff walls. I purchased several of their large "Milton A Corporation" kits and use the components for lots of structures. The body shop is located down the street from Murphy's Bar that was pictured yesterday. That's a Walther's grain elevator in the background, one of seven currently on the layout. Two more are planned and already purchased.
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Along the same block as the bookstore that I posted a couple of days ago, is a series of Smalltown USA kits, Bonnie B Boutique is a newer kit that came with a sign/window sheet. For the drugstore, I downloaded some pictures from the Internet and resized them to use in the windows. The signs came from Blair Lines. I still need to add figures in front of the boutique and all buildings need to be anchored since I have basically finalized this placement. I have some more details like signs, fire hydrants etc., and some backdrop stuff that will be added once I get back to this scene.
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Further down the road is "Red Owl Grocery", a Walther's kit. That's the bookstore to the right, the structure pictured in the post from the other day (an old picture) has moved to the other side of the bookstore. I don't remember if the grocery interior came with the kit or I made it myself. I'd have to go out and look more closely. To the left of the grocery is City Hall, made from the now discontinued Walther's modular walls.
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Way over on another aisle is mama bear and her two cubs in a whimsical scene. They are in front of a dusty and not yet weathered Accurail covered hopper that's waiting on a siding before being shoved into one of my many grain elevators. In the background is a Walther's kit called "Brook Hill Farm Dairy", that I have re-purposed as "Federal Cold Storage", since train serviced dairies were no longer around in my era and locale. To the right is another industry built from Pikestuff components.
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That's it for now. Tour will resume tomorrow. Everybody have a fabulous Sunday.



Well-Known Member
Good morning ....

Chet .... It looks like the show was a good one, nd being in the old NP depot probably made it even better. .... The caboose and reefer look good.

Joe .... I like the background building you put together.

Willie.... I like the buildings and downtown scenes in your photos.

IB Ken .... That looks like quite a boring project. have fun.

Sherrel ..... Your trip so far sounds like a good one.

Have a great day.
Chet, Garry, and Willie: Thanks for the compliments on the background building. it took me longer than I anticipated, because I lack patience.
I have been using Google Maps and Google Earth, to revisit "Front Street", looking for suitable buildings. I'm still challenged when it comes to screen captures of the buildings. The real Front Street, is still a combination of Cobblestone, Black Top, Cinders or Brick, depending on what part of town you're looking at. It's essentially a curb at the RR ROW, a one lane of street, roughly 12', another curb and an 8' sidewalk then the buildings.

Willie: Thanks for the scoop on Downtown Deco. I'm enjoying the photo tour of your layout also. You are quite creative at repurposing existing structures. FWIW, I do see a few "hints" of the Metropolitan Area, in your Southwestern layout ;).

KenMD: The more I see of your layout, the more I like it. Like the way your crossing is coming along.
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