Running Bear’s August 2019 Coffee Shop is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

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Beach Bum
Good evening, y'all. I avoid watching the news when I can, when I do watch it, I'm amazed at what the local producers consider to be current news. Some stories are over a week old. Only some of the stories are political in nature, some (fires, accidents and crime are not). But there is an attempt to politicize or sensationalize all the non political items. This was especially obvious during "special interest awareness months". National Network and Cable news is so politicized, even my wife has begun to avoid it. Problem is that total ignorance isn't good either.



Gomez Addams
Staff member
Good evening. It’s cloudy and 77. Looks like storms moving in later.
Last year for the holiday, my nephew got us a couple of gift cards for one of the local steak houses. This afternoon, we went there, and used the gift cards. The food was good, and the service was fast.
As for trains, I had sent a pair of damaged shells from two engines in for warranty replacement, and the replacements arrived yesterday. I installed them, and noticed the new shells had a couple of pieces missing. I called the company, and they are sending parts to install on the shells. While I had the shells off, I went ahead and replaced the Kadee #5s with #158s. If nothing else, they look better.


Gomez Addams
Staff member
...And just that fast, we went from “cloudy” to “severe thunderstorm”. I’m going to run around shutting stuff down before the power goes *poof*.


Well-Known Member
Another pit stop before bed. I hope everyone is doing well. Haven't had time to run my new GP7 as of yet. I'll have to clean my track beforehand. Hopefully this weekend I can make the journey down to the train room. Going away from the C&O this go around. Another West Virginia coal railroad was the Norfolk and Western. Of course it's now Norfolk Southern. At any rate I'll share a couple of photos I dug up. Two are of the same location from Bluefield, WV/Va. Bluefield is in two different states. I have been here a few times and it's a pretty good sized yard located there. One photo is of today and the other back in coals heyday. The last one is out of Kenova WV I think.

NW Bluefield coal-M.jpg



Well-Known Member
Boris, you are correct sir, ignorance is not good.

Most of my news comes from the Baltimore Sun, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Bloomberg radio and I skim through others. I do like to watch the PBS NewsHour, CBS, NBC nightly news, Sheppard Smith, Chris Wallace, Brian Williams and a few others. I try to get a broad spectrum so that I am not brain washed into believing one thing or another. Another good source is the congressional record. For the most part I avoid cable news networks, other than those I have mentioned.


Well-Known Member
="MikeInHubCity, post: 460979, member: 6166"]Next season, the rosters expand to 26 players & then only 28(instead of 40) after Sept. 1st.
Speaking of pitch clocks, a semi-pro tournament in my parents’ home town in South Jersey has been using “speed-up rules” for 50 years. In addition to the clock, there are rules about only one infield throw after a strikeout before the ball has to come back to the pitcher. Arguments can only last 0:15. After that, an automatic ball/strike. Their DH rule can be used for the pitcher or catcher(but not both in one inning). The advantage to using it for the catcher is that if his spot in the lineup comes up with 2 outs, you can hit for him so that he can get his gear on, as there’s only :45 to switch sides between innings.
Mike, I can see the logic in those rules. I've played and coached with a few of those rules. Being a baseball purist I don't really like rule changes in the major leagues. The ones I proposed to speed up the game are just to get back to moving the game along.

Today's players have been allowed to artificially inflate the time of games. Remember Jim Kaat? That guy worked fast! It was not unusual for him to pitch in games that last only 90 minutes, almost never over 2 hours. Id like to see a stat showing how long his average inning was and he won 283 games. I have to also mention we have to many commercial breaks!

I would not want to have a DH for Johnny Bench or on the other hand I would not want to see my opponent have a DH hit for a catcher that can't hit over the "Mendoza line". One of the fundamental rules of baseball is; once you are out of the game you are out of the game for good. I would not want to see that change for any reason.

I don't think 26 is enough. The Orioles in the late 60's and early 70's often only had 8 pitchers on the roster, but they had 3-4 starters that could complete games and durable relivers. Now teams have 12-13 pitchers on the roster and they have taken strategy out of the game. You almost never see a pinch hitter or pitching change early to get a better match up. Sparky Anderson (captain hook) would be hand cuffed in today's game. He could not have managed with relivers who can't go more than 1 inning and no starters who can complete games. The big Red Machine seldom had more than 1-2 starters that could complete games, but he had several relivers that could pitch 4 innings or more if needed. He managed to win with only just above average pitching staffs in some seasons.

I don't blame today's starters for not being able to complete games. The lineups today don't provide any easy outs, another reason to do away with the DH. Very few pitchers are good hitters. In the American league even number 9 hitters can hit the ball 375', enough in many new ball parks to hit a home run.

I think doing away with the 40 man September rosters is just to keep players from accumulating time on the major league roster. Once they get enough time they have more freedom and make more money, greedy owners don't want that! The 40 man roster is especially important for teams that are out of contention. It allows them to see what the minor leaguers can do against major league competition. Teams don't have to expand September rosters, it's optional.

Baseball owners are so greedy and short sighted. Big TV contracts have made them complacent. Now they worry about how to keep all the millions they are making and they are making more than ever! They are forgetting about bringing in young fans. You almost never see day games in the playoffs or during the regular season. Kids should be in bed before the night games are half over, the really young ones should be in bed before it starts!

When I was coaching it was a challenge to keep the attention of young players for more than 45 minutes. I had to have a plan and keep things interesting and moving to keep their heads in the game for more than an hour. When my teams were at bat I had to do more than managed the game. I had to be an entertainer and teacher for the kids on the bench.

Baseball does very little to entertain kids today. Even the broadcasters ignore kids for the most part. I grew up listening to Chuck Thompson, Bill O'Donnell, Rex Barney, Charlie Eckman, Vince Bagley and others. Not only were they G-rated entertainers, they were excellent teachers of the game.

Baseball is a thinking mans game, we need to bring back the strategy of the game. I like homeruns more than most, but I don't want to see games where we just sit back and wait for homeruns.

Thanks for talking baseball with me, sharing your thoughts and experiences. There is not much better than talking baseball with an intelligent and true baseball fan, thanks again![/QUOTE]


Well-Known Member
While I'm talking baseball, sorry Beady.

The Cardinals have run down the Cubs to take over first place in the NL Central! I watched the Cardinals and Cubs last night, until I fell asleep that is. In the last 10 games the Cubs are 3-7, while the Cardinals are 7-3! The NL Central is a 3 team race, the Brewers are only 2 games back. This is going to be fun to watch.

There are some other good races as well. The AL Central for one, only 3 games separate the Twins and Indians. I think the NL east is going to be interesting. It may turn out to be a 4 team race. Even the Mets are not out of it. The Mets are 11 games back in the NL east, but they are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won 5 of 6 series since the All Star break. They also managed to pick up a top shelf starting pitcher from the Blue Jays before the trade deadline. The Mets have arguably have the best starters in Baseball, Astro's fans will surely disagree.

In the AL East I don't see the Rays or the Red Sox catching the Yankees. Same goes for the AL West, I don't see the A's catching the Astros. In the NL West the Dodgers have all but run away with that race. The Giants and the Diamondbacks still have a chance in the wild card race.

The Wild Card races are no where near settled. I think the teams with the best chance to win it all as a wild cards are the Mets and the Nationals. Wild card teams need depth from the starting rotation to have a chance. As it looks now the other wild card contenders don't have enough depth in starting pitchers. Wild Card teams don't get the luxury of setting up their starters for the playoffs. A one game, loser goes home wild card playoff game makes things interesting.

The upside for us baseball fans is, anything can happen! You never know who will emerge from obscurity to fuel a playoff run. That's one of the reasons I love this game.

Play Ball!


Gomez Addams
Staff member
Good morning. It's cloudy and 67. More storms moving in later.
Louis, I pass Lionel's building a couple of times a month. It's good to know Neil is bringing back some manufacturing to the US.
Justin, the last time I was in Bluefield, I thought the railroad had abandoned the yard. There was a single string of empty hoppers, and absolutely nothing else.


Well-Known Member
Good morning all. 70 and mostly sunny out there. I'll have a cup of coffee, a stack of pancakes, and a couple of eggs over medium, please, Flo.

Patrick, Ken, SirFold, Boris, Louis, Justin, and anyone I may have missed - thanks for the comments on the farm scene. It's encouraging.
Garry - That looks like it was a fun ride in Maine.

Ran trains, did some scenicking on the layout, and made some progress on the modeling workbench, mostly on the DPM "Valley Farm Supply" structure I've been working on forever. Still not quite done and not on the layout, so I'll take a photo tonight, post it soon, and then another when it's in place on the layout.

In the meantime, here's another photo:. This is my trainyard, such as it is - - it's one of the lesser-scenicked areas - got a lot to do to make it "come alive" yet. That white icehouse is from Chet - I still have to scratch-build a platform/catwalk for the icemen to work from, and add a few other details, but that's a great addition to the layout. Lower right is an "abandoned" track that an old freight car sits on (out of sight) where the work crew keeps supplies, or sleeps, or eats - whatever. The two-bay locomotive barn is something I posted photos of recently, after I added the interior lighting.
trainyard july 2019.jpg

Well, have a good day everyone.


Well-Known Member
Good morning. 74*, partly sunny, only 84 expected later when the T/S come in. THOR must have really been pissed off at LOKI. Lightning storms for hours in the afternoon and the rain .tho light for a while didn't stop. More of the same for the next few days.
Wish all a pleasant and safe day. May your "MEDS" work and help heal.



GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Wife asked what I wanted to do this weekend, I told her "Train Show". lol
Near severe storms overnight and this morning has it so I can't mow when I get off work in a couple of hours. I have to watch a couple of the grand kids this afternoon, so the grandson will want me to work on his train. I've bee trying to figure out a way to get his track wired without using the table top and I think I'm going to remove the shelf I built for mine and use it on his. I'll then create myself a slide out for my DC controls. I think I can do that easier as that will open up my center area a bit. I'm always hitting the shelf anyway.

I need to get a new power pack anyway as I have a sticking power switch on my 20+ year old Spectrum. It had some neat features, but like everything Bachmann...'nough said. I have a old MRC 501 power pack that looks rough but works well. The newish one I got in the last auction is going to the grandson, so I'm looking. What is it about that old stuff that keeps working???

You all have a great weekend.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. 73° and clear here this morning. While we're starting off cool, it won't remain that way for long today. Tomorrow through Monday will see us at almost 90° for a high, unseasonably cooler. Today starts the first therapy session at the nearby PT clinic for my wife. So far nothing different in her condition, although she's walking a little more.

I did find some time in the train shed yesterday. I made a few adjustments on the Miller Engineering sign that I installed in a Walther's structure.
08-02-19 006.JPG

08-02-19 007.JPG

08-02-19 008.JPG

The sign is animated and has like 33 different lighting patterns. I chose one that sequentially illuminates each letter.
08-02-19 010.JPG

08-02-19 009.JPG

The structure kit is for an office building, I don't readily remember the name, but I am using it as a boarding house. Chet uses that same structure as a freight house or something on his layout if I remember correctly.
I needed a way of holding all of the components together so I added a small shelf inside the building.
08-02-19 016.JPG

Louis - Those debates are a real circus. More interesting than baseball at least for me. Here in Texas, many Republicans are sending money to Marianne Williamson, in order to keep her in the race and keep things lively for the Democrats. For unbiased American news here, I go to BBC.
Johnny - Didn't have time to comment yesterday, but I like your farm scene. I'll add the storage unit pictures to your other thread a bit later this morning.
Chad - Those Japanese subway pictures should shame all subway agencies here in the states.
Phil -
WILLIE - and other BEER drinkers. Are you aware the 100 ton RBL insulated boxcar can hold more than 28,000 six-packs or enough for 3 six packs a day for 26 years.
There's no siding at my house!:mad:
Garry - Looks like a really neat vacation you are on, narrow gauge, cog railway. Probably much cooler weather than here.

Speaking of beer, today is International Beer Day. Hoist one if you indulge, if you don't, let me know and I'll have one for you.
Everybody have a great Friday.


Whiskey Merchant
Good morning. Clear skies and 56 degrees with an expected high in the low 80's. We also had one heck of a thunderstorm come through yesterday afternoon. No need to water the lawn.

- Enjoyed your photos again. Looks like you're enjoying the trip.

- Good photos again.

- Good photo of the yard.

- Like your photos. I have thought about adding some of these signs but just haven't had any time to spend in the train room. Still have to get the grade crossing flashers working. Have everything need but the time//

It was a busy day at the club yesterday with a lot of visitors. Here is the local that services the lumber mill on the south side of Livingston. Just pulled into the yard when I arrived.


We had seven trains running yesterday and with all of the visitors it was quite a job to follow your train around the layout. Again I hooked onto the passenger train that the club uses to service the Gardiner part of the layout.


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Well-Known Member
Louis, I pass Lionel's building a couple of times a month. It's good to know Neil is bringing back some manufacturing to the US.
Terry, I want to get down there to see the place and the Lionel store of course.

Howard Hitchcock, the CEO of Lionel since 2014 has been a driving force in Lionel's ever expanding US manufacturing. Several years ago they tried farming out the US production of the Christmas Boxcars, but that was a near disaster. Production delays and cost over runs killed it. I did not get my Christmas boxcar that year until several weeks after Christmas, but they did send me a free hat.

After the Bankruptcy of 2008 (thanks to MTH) Neil Young's shares in Lionel were wiped out. Although he is still a member of the board of directors, don't ask me. From what I understand Mr. Young focuses on the technical aspects of the company, He is a co-inventor on several patents for model trains. He is truly a brilliant man.

I've been very excited about the direction of Lionel since Mr. Hitchcock took over. He has expanded the service department and is pushing for more and more innovation. He even called for maintaining and expanding a line of entry level products to make O gauge available to more people.

I can't wait to see what all comes from buying out Model Products. I'll have to keep open and maybe expand some space in my train room/playpen for HO. If not HO, I'm sure there will be some O gauge stuff that comes from it that I will buy.


Well-Known Member
Good morning, 75 headed for 86.

I enjoy the train pictures best-- I "ran out of steam" for the time being but working on the water tank here and there.

Super busy today at work, also got the news working tomorrow.

Justin, I love the WV coal

Garry, more nice Maine photos

Chet, your trains can't be beat, of course I am partial to NP

Johnny, I enjoy your layout photos to

Louis, I am unable to comment on sports due to extreme ignorance!

Willie-- I forgot to comment on the signs! I love them!

On the News, it has turned into Commentary :p Hope the entire generation can differentiate between fact and opinion

Hope all have a fine day!! Dave
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