Running Bear’s October 2020 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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Sprue-n-Glue Victim
Morning! The weather guesser is suggesting it will feel warmer today at 27° than it was yesterday at +40°, due to the lack of wind-chill. Can't see it, as I was out in shirt sleeves yesterday, taking photos of trains. Won't be doing that again today. Guess it was only a one day chinook.

gseritt - looks like you are building a Munsterville layout. Isn't that Herman's and Grandpa's hot-rods parked out front of the eerie mansions. It looks good!

Sherrel - 46 going to 77!; sounds like summer to me. Time to wake-up and get on with it; don't sleep through and waste a beautiful day. - Nice job on the handicap ramp; good idea with the raised safety edges. Should be able to make it home safe after a few drinks with those installed.

Garry - Those engines in the photo look brand new. Hope you are feeling as good today as the engines look. Hope the sickness has passed for you.

I like all the coaling tower photos you folks are posting. None of those here where I am, but, there would have been something in Edmonton, back in the time.

It's not quite 7:00am yet, so it's a bit early for breakfast; going to settle for my daily coffee fix for now.

Here's some photos of the SD40-2w that was left idling down at the local yard yesterday. First time I've seen this engine in town, and it looks as weathered as I've ever seen an engine:
5242 (1)- 10-27-2020.jpg

5242 (3)- 10-27-2020.jpg

5242 (2)- 10-27-2020.jpg

Saw that pair of engines leaving town about 4:00pm yesterday, but, they were too fast and I was too slow to get photos as they crossed the road.

Boris - Nice photo. I believe that's an RS-3. I'm still a-bit inexperienced to be absolute on that, though.
Willie - I miss you're photos! They often make my day. I want you to enjoy the holiday; on the other hand, though, go home!

Have a great day, everyone!


Well-Known Member
Alan - Over the years, I would have really relished the thought of building a Sierra West kit. They just never fit my era or locale and if they came close they sold out before I had a chance to act. I imagine that they come up on Ebay every so often, but I am not an online shopper so I would probably miss them.
Yeah, the general flavor of these kits is rustic, narrow gauge modeling in say the early 1920's to maybe immediately pre WW2. I model immediately post WW2 up until the mid 1950's, so I can make them work. It is a fair amount of cash to lay out if it doesn't fit what you're doing, and from what I've seen of your layout I see your point. I have four of them here. O'Neill's, which is a fabrication/welding & supply shop and what you see being built, a small foundry, a junk yard, and his Loco & Service Shop kit. Of the four, that last one is probably a stretch for me. It would really be more at home on a logging layout with shays and narrow gauge rolling stock. To be honest, I didn't buy these because they fit a layout plan or an era. You can always update signage, vehicles, and such to move a scene forward in time. I bought them because they looked like something I really wanted to build. I also wanted to push my skills. I'll figure out what to do with them later. Maybe a small branch line on a couple of modules, or a switching layout with a 2-8-0 shoving cars into and out of them. They might even end up as dioramas for sale at a train show if I can't use them on a layout. You'd be surprised what completed craftsman kits can bring! Not enough to make you rich, but certainly enough to finance your next round of kits! On the Sierra West business model, its different from what George Sellios used to do. I remember wanting a couple of FSM kits. The ad would hit MR or RMC, I'd go to the website or call them and they'd already be sold out. Frustrating! Sierra West is a one man show. Right now he's offering about 5 or 6 different kits in HO, and several in O. When I've ordered, I've usually had to wait, as he fills orders first come first serve. Waits can be a couple of weeks to 4-6 weeks. It's worth the wait IMHO.


Well-Known Member
Good morning from my portion of crispy So. Central Wisconsin, the wind chill is 19 but heading to a real temp of 51. Not sure what today’s plans are but I could close my eyes for some more sleep. Tossed and turned all night.

Another new Covid day in Wisconsin. Highest number of new cases yesterday, the same with deaths. Where is that vaccine? Sad that it seems folks are waiting for that instead of using the masks.

Have a great day.


Grandson of ALCO Bldr
Well a 2nd day of fall rain mist to drizzle in no particular order it just keeps coming......tomorrow evening will be snow for us as well as Friday.

I will be going out on my boat Saturday morning for a few hours lol will share pics of that if I think of it.

I am picking up more lumber today from Lowes glad I have a tonneau cover on my truck! Ya'll keep them pics coming the inspiration is revving my motor to get more progress done in the train room!

Have a good day!

Flo! Coffee to go! Gotta run!
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Beach Bum
Where is that vaccine? Sad that it seems folks are waiting for that instead of using the masks.
Yesterday, the CEO of Pfizer stated that the earliest the third stage testing would be completed is early November, meaning no vaccine before early next year...Wearing the mask over longer periods of time, is uncomfortable, but they do prevent inhalation of not only Covid, but Flu and Cold virus.
I don't understand the resistance to masks, especially since the Covid outbreak is extensively discussed.


"retired" conductor
Good afternoon gang!
Tried to stop by earlier but the doors were locked! Guess they were disinfecting the joint?

McLeod, that sure is a weathered unit! Love the spray painted F and R designations. did they really need to make it so large?? LOL

Gary S. Keep us posted on your progress, I like seeing the Munsters, Psycho, and Addams houses together, now you need the Amityville house!

Sherril. Nice job on the ramp. Great cause too!

Gotta do some of the stuff they call work, BBL


Section Hand
Good Morning Everyone......bright and clear with seasonal cool temperatures. Still have to have the grass mowed. The grass loves the cool weather and morning dew.

Yesterday, I needed to get my INR thickness of the blood) checked at the local hospital. The blood testing is done by a trained Pharmacist and while there she gave me a Flu shot. My INR hasn't been regulated lately and we discovered that my wife was giving me a full tablet on a certain day rather than a half. Just enough to upset the blood system. Now we're back normal in the pill dosage.

In-spite of the virus I made reservations for a Thanksgiving dinner at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception over 45 years ago. It over looks a Big Cedar Lake and they did a great job on the entire reception. Everything worked out without problems with the open bar, dinner and band. Speaking of the was a group of 20 + high school Band Directors and professional musicians that grouped together for weddings and played every type of music from Big Band to Rock 'n Roll. The dinner was a family style sit down dining affair with ham and beef which was $3.95 a plate!!! It will be fun to go back in history if only for a few moments. Pictures of the hall on their web site show that nothing other than the tables as changed over the years.

Talk about the low prices for the dinner at the wedding, look at the automoble prices in the Ad Section from the Milwaukee Journal in 1936.

We'll take precautions with wearing our masks when not eating and avoiding direct contact with others. After being cooped up in the house since March 1st, a nice dinner will fit the bill to relieve the strain places on those who are house bound.

Not much on the railroad front and I think not really working on the layout is that the blood thickness and is running me down. In exchange for not working on the railroad I'm doing a lot of arm chair computer railroading. It run to watch railroading videos on the computer. It will be a long winter and the things I want to do on the railroad and related items can be on a "To Do List" and completed when its below zero outside.

cv_acr: Interesting in your post about the mill's locomotives needing boiler maintenance one a year. A the facility where I would we had a Central Plant with three 600 hp Cleaver Brooks low pressure boilers. Each boiler had 286 boiler tubes, each 16 feet long which required attention every spring or early summer. A boiler tear down would last two to three weeks for each boiler. No expense was spared when it came to the boilers. A boiler failure in the winter would mean reduced heating for over a million square feet of retail space and two hundred thousand square feet of office space with much of the office space being medical. During extreme cold weather two boilers would operate and the third warm up and on stand by status.

Great photos of those SD40 locomotives. They look like something I would weather!!! More of a fading job than adding rust. I like the spray painted "F" and "R" on the front and rear of #5242. I'll need to remember that touch for one of my weathering jobs.

TLOC: Your weather reports makes me glad I drained the water at the cabin. No need for frozen pipes.

The Commissioner of Baseball estimated that the virus cost this year major league baseball over 8 Billion dollars from lenders and at least 3 Billion dollars in operational costs from the virus. I hope the players and owners are taking a pay cut!!!

Yesterday, we drove to North Lake, Wisconsin where the former North Lake tourism train used to run on the former "Bug Line" from North Lake to just outside Merton, Wisconsin. It was sad to find the terminal gone and a new multi-use building in its place. A rundown passenger car sat in the weeds hidden partially by trees and other growth. I used to love that old oil burning steamer when it pulled the odd assortment of cars filled with people down the trains.

I have a commemorative coffee mug from the railroad and a penny flatted after I put it on the tracks and the locomotive ran over it.

That's all for now.....




Old Vehicle Prices 001.jpg


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Afternoon All. temperature here is now up to 81° and still overcast. Either Zeta is diminishing or its landfall is moving a little west of where it was originally thought. The city management here in Gulf Shores has been overreacting in my opinion. 1"-2" of rain isn't excessive, and the storm surge is now expected to be just 0.7'. Wind might be a bit high at 45-50 mph, but I see that at home 3-4 times a year. Of course these hurricanes can be unpredictable. High tide tonight is at about 7:00, and with that minor storm surge which will be a couple of hours later, I think that we will be alright even though this beach house is just 100 yards from the tideline. There is a 15' sand dune between there and the house, which wasn't breached during the last hurricane.
Y'all don't be too concerned about a spoiled vacation, it isn't spoiled, just different. I'm with five close friends and relatives (and wife). We can sit on the balcony at this house and see just as much of the Gulf as we could at the condo. Just isn't any bikini-clad girls to distract me. Went shell hunting earlier today while walking along the beach. I'm going to watch some model rr cab-ride videos which I don't normally have time to do back home, although this laptop screen is much smaller.

Guy - Picture posting will resume when I return home. I am taking a lot of them.
Gary - Meant to comment yesterday about your structures, very nice selection.

Everybody have a good rest of the day.

PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

No layout work today. We spent the morning at various grocery stores :confused: then after getting home I changed the batteries in the 7 smoke detectors and then brushed the sides and bottom of the pool. I think MOH wants to go to BJ's tomorrow, but if we do I should still be able to finish the track painting.

I'm debating whether to ballast the high track before proceeding on any other projects. I've run the largest steamer about 7-8 times without issue and I'm concerned about access to do it after the lower track work is put in. I'm also thinking of modifying the location of the private coal trestle. I obviously have some thinking to do.

gseritt- I'm looking forward to seeing your waterfront scene coming together.

Sherrel- That was very nice helping out the disabled vet.

Willie- I probably would of picked another location because of the GI issues present, regardless I hope you have a good time and stay safe.

Joe- Nice RS photo. I would of guessed a RS1.

Guy- That looks like a well used loco.

Alan- Months ago (before I started the layout) I had to choose between the Sierra West Deer Creek mine and the BTS Mill creek Mine. Both were approximately the same cost and I decided that the BTS version looked more appropriate for the layout location and time frame. It took me between 2 and 3 weeks to build working several hours a day. It will be the focal point on the right side of the layout.

I hope everyone has a good night.


Well-Known Member
McLeod, Thank you so much for the kind comment. 😁 At least 50% of the layout is television or movie related and most all of it has some connection to my childhood. Likewise, the east side of the layout is for my son but it's from a television show from my childhood as well.

kbkchooch: Thank you so much, that would be a nice addition!

santafewillie: Thank you so much. No worries at all - you've been busy outrunning a storm. Welcome back to Alabama and I'm sorry that your trip has been messed with. Safe travels back home.

PRR Modeler: Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to getting that together as well.

Everyone: Thank you for the likes, tips, and comments. It's much appreciated!



Active Member
Evening all,
Hope everyone is keeping well - to those who are stuggling will illness of whatever cause get well soon!

Here in the UK, we're in various stages of a lockdown, currently I am in the lowest stage although I don't think that will last. My own view being that the whole country will be locked down in the next 5-6 weeks again. Still have to make the best of it, and keep modelling! At least we have plenty of hobbies to keep us going, and forums such as this for interaction and chat.

Work on the model continues tomorrow, hopefully, if the weather plays ball and the timber merchant delivers the wood for the last board! I'll post an update when there is something to show.

I thought I'd post a few more British pictures, given the lovely response to the Scottish ones! Thanks to everyone for their comments and likes. This time I thought I'd take you to one of our volunteer run heritage steam railways - the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) in Worcestershire - 16 miles of former Great Western Railway single track branch line, with a number of different sized stations en route, providing passing points for trains. I have been many times in recent years, but this selection turns the clock back to the 2012. The Severn Valley, like many heritage lines hold special gala weekends across the year and their late September one (usually) is one of THE gala events of the year, one reason being that it is the ONLY steam railway in the country that runs overnight for this weekend. They start running around 8.30am on a Friday and run constantly until 5pm on Sunday! From 8am until 7pm trains depart either end of the line about every 45 minutes, then every hour until midnight and every two hours through the night. I have enjoyed the overnight running and there are usually 60-70 people on all night, the trains are steam-heated and the overnight service is run by two steam engines, one on each train. Listening to them climbing the banks on a still night is pure magic! It also offers some great photo opportunities as well. Enjoy!

Next time we'll take a look at how the railways of Britain are controlled ... past and present....








Well-Known Member
Evening fellers. I hope everyone is doing well. Meant to stop by sooner but I've been caught up in other things. I finished the construction on my company store. Did a little painting on it. Just had to put my little spin on it. Oh before I forget thanks to everyone for the kind comments on my company houses. Biggest pain in the butt structures I've had to build up to this point. Good at teaching you not to rush though. I'll give them that. Started work on building my scene divider today. Spent better part of the afternoon trying to figure out the best possible location for it in the center of the layout. Kind of put me in a pickle for a moment. The divider is making for some fitment issues. Initially I had planned on putting the company store track side. However I have found there isn't enough space for it there. So how to fit it on the hillside with the company houses and church? I have thought maybe going without the store. As my first measurements only included houses and church. The measurements for the store were off the box and I'd lik to say life like messed up on that. Or it's all on me. Either way I'm stuck pondering what to do with that. Also I havent fully sold myself on a two tunnel layout either. As I really like the visuals the two tracks give me. However itll take away the dual scene layout I have envisioned. Ok I think I've said enough for one post. I'll leave off here with some pics to enjoy. One is my company store the other is my go to for my future coaling tower. Seeing as that seems to be the trend at the moment for just reasons. Probably the closest to the coaling tower in question. Hence why I bought it. The coaling tower in Ronceverte, WV.

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