Running Bear’s May 2021 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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Well-Known Member
Good morning modelers from around the globe. A warm sunny morning here in So. Central Wisconsin. Topping out today in the high 60’s and after 4 days of waking up to frost, there was none this morning.

My addiction to diet Dr Pepper isn’t as bad as I write! I usually only drink one in the morning. Sometimes but rarely, one at lunch. But the terrible issue of being on the last 6 pack of bottles is annoying. I know, I am spoiled. I could switch to diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and I have a 6 pack of that but it is just not the same, I like my diet Dr Pepper. This morning I received an email from the local beverage distributor saying if I can stop in today or tomorrow there are 48-16.9 ounce bottles waiting for me, no charge. I am a happy camper! I have been a Pepper drinker since Coke switched their mix and then went back and called it Classic Coke. I have no clue what Coke is anymore but IMO the Diet Coke is undrinkable.

Trains, I am totally confused on my next steps for the layout. The tree tunnel and the Papermill complex will stay the same. Everything else MAY change. I thought about underneath staging but nope not happening. So a clean slate of paper and the sketching starts over.

milw-Steve, welcome aboard. Don’t let the modeling here intimate you, let it inspire you to better your skills. Heck, none of us started out great. But we all seem to want to get better. Learn from that. JazA, showed you her early work from across the pond, she is an excellent modeler and her scenes are very well done. I enjoy creating a scene, on the layout.

Willie, I enjoy diet A/W root beer and that is in the fridge. But in the morning since I don’t do coffee is the diet Dr Pepper or diet Cherry Pepsi because they have caffeine and IMOO taste similar to the originals. All other drinks for me are caffeine free. Diet A/W root beer is # 3 on my list along with no sugar diet 7UP. Terry drinks diet caffeine free Pepsi as will I sometimes. Basically 2 sodas a day and much straight water.

Heading out for a walk. Have a wonderful day. TomO

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Well-Known Member
G'morning all, Thanks for the welcomes and replies.

As expected, wife met me at the door with, "I WANT ALCOHOL!" In her defense, she is CEO of a Surgery Center in Plymouth MN, so does have a pretty high power job (thankfully she is ok with me spending all her hard-earned dollars on Model RR stuff). And her 'boss' is a micro-manager. She has grown the surgery volumes over 300%. Her monthly financial target was $150K. She produced $480K. So as they say on the street, "She got this." But micro-manager says he has to approve all hires and wages offered. So she can't get staff because he keeps low-balling. She is spittin' mad (I'm just grateful that it is not my fault ... ... this time). Now she is having to turn away cases because she does not have the staff to run them. That really fires her up!

So I made her a martini, and pretty much figured that modeling was tabled for the night. And you know what they say about martinis:

*** W A R N I N G **** off-color joke approaching, read at own risk and skip over if easily offended

"Martinis are like a woman's breasts; One's not enough but three is too many."

So one led to two. Then she had made black-eyed pea salad and I fixed some blackened cod. That was dinner, washed down with a nice Portuguese Vinho Verde. Sitting on the couch watching telly. Nice evening, but no layout work done. And of course, didn't sleep great.

Willie: I had to look up Era Texas. I grew up in North Dallas (Farmers Branch) and then lived over in Kilgore from 1992-2000 after my 10 years in USN.

Still looking for tutelage regarding the Tam Valley servos and controls for turnouts. My yard will have 11 TOs, may just have to buy them and try them. Yikes, that won't be cheap.

Well, must to work. I'll have my corned-beef hash and eggs over-easy to go, please, pancake instead of toast, and yes, you know you can, my dear.



Well-Known Member
Morning all!
With the temps going to hit the mid-60's and no chance of rain, it will be a door painting day for me.
The new backdoor looks so nice, the wife wants to see the front door changed out now. I'm trying hard to come up with a justifiable reason why that's just not possible, but, she's threatening to give the door a karate kick if I don't do it.

I thought the Tree Swallows had evicted the House Sparrows from out of the two bird boxes on the back of my home. I guess not, the sparrows are putting up and good fight, and it looks like they are winning. The sparrows are a tough little bird; introduced and not native to these parts.
Now, I'm hoping they'll settle on a bird box for each. Just not sure if they like living that close to each other. - I had hoped the swallows would win the day, as they've been nesting in those boxes for the past 20yrs. I believe it's been generation after generation coming to those boxes.
Here's a photo of last years Tree Swallow family, just prior to heading south for the winter:
View attachment 128097

I'm just going to have toast and one more coffee, and then I'll get to painting. I like to paint earlier instead of later, before the sun's rays have a chance to hit the work directly.
The wife started her tomatoes from seed and they are now 2' tall; she's getting them ready to replant outside. I told her it's still to early and there will be frost, but, she's head-strong.

Before I get painting, I'll just post one more photo of the local rails. The MOW workers are maneuvering a high-rail onto the tracks in the distance:
View attachment 128098

Thanks for all the posts and layout photos! Thanks for a spot to let it out a-bit!
Have a good one!

Guy, thanks. So many good details to be pulled from your train pictures. The ROW is filled with things to model. If that had been me taking the bird pictures they would have bombed me with their crap. Nice picture though.



Section Hand
Good Morning Everyone......a beautiful day here in Wisconsin and several more to come.

Waiting for a call from the HVAC repair guy. No heat from our furnace yesterday. It seems that the thermostat is faulty, but who knows until the system is in over-ride. The furnace and A/C was installed in 2003 and it should be fine for several more years. The heat echange has a 20 year warranty.

Ordered a new car to replace my Silverado and it was to be delivered yesterday at 2:00 PM and we received a call from the salesman at Noon that the vehicle wasn't delivered by the trucking company. It hit the fan!!! A email to the owner/General Manager and I just heard that our car with be ready today and they would deliver it to our home. We decided to let the dealer have some more time to prep the vehicle and we'll pick it up tomorrow morning.

It was just to hard for me to lift my right leg to get into the Silverado being so high since it was a 4X4, so a new vehicle was necessary. I loved driving a pickup and have had several in the past years.

Little on the model railroading front with my problems getting around. Working out at the Fitness Center seems to be helping and I sleep better. Time at the cabin helps to since I have to walk more in the cabin and woods than at home.

I like Pepsi Zero and then Diet Dr. Pepper, but Pepsi came out with a new favor, Diet Pepsi/Mango and I like it for a change. But, then there's vodka and orange juice.....!

Diet A & W Root Beer is great too, but I like a regular A & W Root Beer with a hamburger from a free standing A & W Drive In. We have one in Wild Rsoe and I enjoy stopping there during the summer.

Looks like it's time to turn on the dehumidifier in the basement to lower the humidity.

That's about all for now........





Gomez Addams
Staff member
Good afternoon. I drained three gas stations to fill my truck this morning. Not that it holds that much gas, rather they were all nearly out, and I got the last 5-10 gallons they had at each place. I can hardly wait to see what my fuel filter will look like after this.

Texas Hobo

Well Known Hobo
Good Morning all! Looks like we get a couple of nice days here in H-Town before a week of rainy days.
I managed to complete Shaw Ridge over the last couple of days. Pics attached. Got to set aside more nickels and dimes for another Bar Mills.
Shaw Ridge - 3.jpg

Shaw Ridge - 4.jpg

MILW Steve - Welcome. from a former Coastie. I like your plans, but I think the one with the harbor is going to be a fishing port or village rather than a seaport with freighters. Just my thought.


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Well-Known Member
Howdy ....

MILW Steve ..... Welcome to the Coffee Shop. I've been here while Jeffrey (Running Bear) was till with us.

Hughie .... I like your Shaw's ridge.

WIllie .... I did not have room for the Bachmann Bus Station.

So, I made a small building to be my bus terminal. It is above and behind the SD7's and SD9's in this picture.


All of the other Bachmann downtown buildings are in my downtown along with other buildings. Some are visible in these pictures.




Well-Known Member
Good afternoon. I drained three gas stations to fill my truck this morning. Not that it holds that much gas, rather they were all nearly out, and I got the last 5-10 gallons they had at each place. I can hardly wait to see what my fuel filter will look like after this.
Yeah, Terry, I would DEFINITELY recommend a fuel filter service to anyone who “emptys” a filling station(let alone 3).


Lazy Daydreamer
Good morning gang!
40° outside under clear skies, should get to almost 70 today.
IBKen, why are you trimming the clothspins? It would seem to me that the longer the clothspin, the more place for glue, the stonger the joint. Or am I missing something??
Well, off to work I go, BBL
Karl, that's just the method Dave Husman (a.k.a. dave1905) described for how he does his cloth clamps, possibly for extra clearance when installing around toggle switches or other sub-surface obstacles; or maybe to conserve hot glue? I was actually thinking of trying it without the trimming step in spots where the full length will fit.
. . .
Ken - I saw one report of a person partially filling a plastic trash sack with gas in the Baltimore area. That wasn't you was it?
Willie - if that was in Baltimore, it couldn't possibly have been me; I've avoided the place for over a year now since my self-preservation instinct outweighs my sense of adventure. Hopefully the person had some sort of petroleum-resistant container inside the bag... 🙄 As for those rising gas prices in Texas, a quote from a prominent Chicago personality comes to mind: "Never let a crisis go to waste!"

. . .
Ken ..... LOL .... I'm laughing because my 15 minute projects also take much longer than intended. Sometimes, I'll tell my wife I'm going to the garage to work on something for 15 minutes. Next, one thing leads to another. I don't come back in the house for at least two hours, and the original project is not completed yet. I worked on a lot of other stuff though.
Ain't it the truth, Garry! It took me more than 15 minutes just to clear the work area and stage all the tools & materials. I wasn't about to simply walk away from there after putting in all that prep effort.

* * *
Back later, I've got supper duty tonight!

[9:40pm EDT] Ok Shop Dwellers, I'm back now! 57*F, calm and mostly clear where I'm at.

Had to go prepare and consume supper, clean that mess up, then participate in a 1-hour Zoom conference with this committee I'm part of in my parish church. I finally had some time of my own at ~8:45pm, so I went out to the trainroom and hot-glued some more clothespins behind the next linear 8ft of fascia from where I left off yesterday. This wound up taking ~40 minutes. Fact is, this type of under-the-layout work requires a large amount of prep time before I can do the planned "15 minutes" of actual work, and another 10min afterward to get everything cleaned up. (BTW Karl - This time I did NOT snip any of the clothespins before cementing them down. Maybe DH was playing a practical joke on his readers...?)
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Well-Known Member
I am down to about a 1/2 a liter a day on pop . I used to drink Diet Stewart's Root Beer on the weekends , especially with a steak . Now its all Hawaiian Punch or Orange Crush , I like to have a Crush with breakfast every once in while. I still drink a D Dr Pepper if I am out.

No rain today . Gas was $2.59 up 10cents from last week.


Gomez Addams
Staff member
I am down to about a 1/2 a liter a day on pop . I used to drink Diet Stewart's Root Beer on the weekends , especially with a steak . Now its all Hawaiian Punch or Orange Crush , I like to have a Crush with breakfast every once in while. I still drink a D Dr Pepper if I am out.

No rain today . Gas was $2.59 up 10cents from last week.
For soda, I pretty much drink a single 12 ounce can of diet Dr. Pepper at work with my lunch. Other than that, I get a 2 liter of decaff diet Dr. Pepper, which usually last me a couple of weeks, and often goes flat before I get it all drunk at home.
Gas that's available here has shot up nearly a dollar per gallon over the last few days. I got gas today, rather than wait until it's nearly all gone by Saturday. This way, I can now wait until next Saturday, when I hope supplies will resume.


Well-Known Member
I am down to about a 1/2 a liter a day on pop . I used to drink Diet Stewart's Root Beer on the weekends , especially with a steak . Now its all Hawaiian Punch or Orange Crush , I like to have a Crush with breakfast every once in while. I still drink a D Dr Pepper if I am out.

I was telling a gas station owner about my stepson dying and he asked me of what? I said, liver disease. He replied, I have liver problems myself. I said how's that? My doctor tells me it's from drinking to much soda.


"retired" conductor
Good evening fellas!

Flo my dear, a diet Dew if you will please. I'm not down with all the Dr Pepper gang, diet or otherwise. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi are intolerable. If I can get the backing, I'm gonna start producing and selling diet water. Look for it at a store near you soon!

I must be living right. After much procrastination I did the taxes tonight. It was pretty much a wash. We owe the feds 36 bucks, the state is paying us 297 bucks, and the program with electric filing and audit protection was just over 200.00. So were 60 bucks to the good. I was expecting worse.

Sandman time for now,,, Tootles!


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Today is my Saturday, tomorrow is my Friday and then a normal Sunday. Confused? Off today, working tomorrow and off Sunday. Server update time.

On another hobby, got my telescope back from repair. Been in storage and bounced around in the garage the past 9 years. It needed cleaning and adjustment. Something about spider webs and dust make it hard to see out of it. Now I just need to be able to stay awake late enough to use it.


"retired" conductor
Good morning gang!!

Bright and sunny morning, temps heading to the low 70s, coffee is hot and a breakfast sammich will make my tummy happy!

Flo, can I get fried egg sammich with bacon and scrapple on a Kaiser roll? Danke sheon.

Heading off for another day of unnecessarily inflated stress at w*rk...

Terry, If it was stress free, it wouldn't be w*rk. If only the paychecks were inflated.



Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Morning troops from the West where it's likely to be 78 degrees with partly cloudy today.

Like a bad penny I just keep turning up! Consensus is that I may, or may not have had a heart attack.
Not going into a large, long discussion here, but I spent about 30 hrs in the local TV hospital and then Kaiser hauled my butt to Fontana to their cardiac specialist establishment hospital which, after echo and angiogram, it was determined that I had some blockage and that my heart had simply shifted into overdrive for an unknown reason. In the end - basically an increase in heart meds and a blood thinner (expensive even after co-pay).
So here i am finally back home last evening with a larger basket full of medicine, a flatter wallet, and another lost week of my dwindling candle!

On with the play!


Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Good Morning!
It's one of the warmest mornings so far this year, with the thermometer reading 40°F. Should be able to put the entire garden in soon, including the tomatoes.
I'm having that hamburger-n-baked bean mixture on toast along with my coffee. That's called the cowboy breakfast.

Sherrell - I just read you're post! Holey Shit, man!! You gotta take good care of yourself. I was wondering how you were doing; didn't expect to hear you were hospitalized. - Take those medicines and do whatever else it takes! Maybe a light exercise program is in order. - We'd sure hate to loose you this early in the game. You haven't even seen the layout I plan on building, yet. Gimme a chance, will ya! - Maybe take short walks down by the tracks and take some photos; that's good, light exercise.

I'm going to post a couple of photo's that I took yesterday. Sherrell might enjoy these because there's no big power poles standing in the way; just a little sign post in one of the photos. These two engines were parked in a different spot from the usual, because the MOW people were working in the area. That darn sun hates me, and won't shine when I'm taking photos.
CN 5778_05-13-2021.jpg

CN 5678_05-13-2021.jpg

When I post a photo, I don't usually alter it other than some cropping. Almost all of the photos I post are cropped to some degree, so that I can retain the full size original and prove they are mine.
However, I've started playing with altering certain photos for visual effect. Maybe yu'all can tell me which one of the following photos you like better, the original, or the highly altered photo. These are both cropped to about the same size:

CN 2466_C40-8W_04-07-2021 (1).jpg

CN 2466_C40-8W_04-07-2021 (2).jpg

I believe the altered photo is better, but, I really hate messing with an original photo. I like to be able to trust my photos.

Anyway, I'm going to get on with my day. I'm going to be thinking a lot about my friend Sherrell, and pray he pulls through with flying colors!
Have a good one!
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