Running Bear's January 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.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. 72° and cloudy. High today is forecast to be 90° after 87° yesterday, then a "blue norther" hits around midnight and the high tomorrow may reach 75°. May not be much of a cold front to some, but it is for this time of year here. Roller coaster weather for the next ten days.
I did get an hour or so mowing under the belt before lunch, as the dew dried yesterday morning very quickly. Then it was some household chores for a while.
Had a great visit yesterday by my daughter, her husband and our granddaughter, culminating in another trip to town to eat at our favorite Italian restaurant. Of course that cut into train time, but it was a very enjoyable visit. Hadn't seen granddaughter since she spent a few days with us in early August. Third time in a week that my wife left the house for dining out, so her recovery seems to be going really well. We don't really dine out that much even in pre-pandemic times.

A couple of over easy eggs and a handful of bacon this morning Flo. Big glass of OJ to wash it down with.

Thanks for the likes and comments yesterday regarding the layout progress; Lee, Garry, Alan, Guy, Karl, Jerome, Troy, Sherrel, Phil, Tom, Chad, Curt, Justin, Mike, Jerry.

I made minor progress in ballasting yesterday in the train shed. Not worthy of a picture yet.
Over on the workbench, I got the four walls assembled on the DPM kit. Wasn't too hard after filing off the beveled edges that are a part of most DPM kits.
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Afterwards, it went into the paint shop where it is still drying this morning.
As I was exiting the train shed, I came across the following critter that I had not seen before.
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That's a 2"x2" that she's climbing. I don't recognize the species; I believe that that's an egg sac on her underside. Either that or it's extremely fat! Common Texas Brown Tarantula's do not carry their eggs around, and it's the wrong time of year for them to be reproducing. Females rarely leave their burrows either. While I have much larger spiders in residence elsewhere on the estate, this one is quite large.

Joe - I like yesterdays pictures.
Alan - I like your analogy of "Model Railroading is an art form". That is how I view it, but never thought to put it into those words.

I haven't paid attention to sports for quite a number of years now. Much to my surprise, I went into the living room last night and my wife was watching the hometown favorite Dallas Stars playing in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. I didn't even know that they were in the playoffs! So I watched about five minutes at the end of the tied third period before heading for bed. I may actually have to watch the next game.

Today is National Crush a Can Day, meant to increase awareness of aluminum can recycling. I don't really need the money that I get for recycling, but I do pick up all of the ones that I find on the side of our rural road when I am out walking. Today, like most Sundays, are somewhat lucrative. Keystone Light seems to be the most favored beverage of the litterers here. Those added to our own usage nets me about $30 every three months to go into the modeling budget.
Everybody have a great day and observe safe distancing.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Willie - You seem to be dining out a lot here recently? Are you sure you needed a new freezer?
Need it to store all of the food that I am not eating at home!
You're right. Three times dining out in a single week has to be a record for me. But I think that you're jealous because I went to Pellegrino's twice!;)


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning One and All. Mostly cloudy and 59° this morning. Cold front came through right on schedule last night, but with wind gusts of only 35 mph instead of the 45mph+ that were in the forecast. Tonight will be chilly with temperature dropping into the upper 40's. A bit unusual for September here. Then highs in the 80's again beginning Wednesday. We'll use the A/C intermittently until the end of October in a normal year. I guess that I better sweep the chimney for the wood burning heater pretty soon. I took the remnants of last years ashes out yesterday. We have been seriously looking at alternative heaters this month, as I am not too sure how much longer I want to deal with firewood. My source of free 4"x4" oak firewood is going to end after October. While I still have plenty of high BTU trees on the property to thin out, that's been getting old after 40 years of living here. It's also somewhat time consuming. But it's been free heat (except for labor) all of these years.
Update on wife's knee replacement recovery: She went all day yesterday without using her cane and has been sleeping straight through at night without having to strap on the ice water circulator. She'll be dancing real soon, alone!

Morning Flo, I'll take some scrambled eggs and sausage links along with some of Troy's leftover doughnut holes.

Thanks to all who commented on or reacted to yesterday's progress report (and the hairy eight-legged visitor); Lee, Sherrel, Garry, Jerome, Chad, Guy, Karl, Curt, Phil, Chet, Ken, Tom, Jerry.

What happened in the train shed yesterday you ask? I did some more ballasting and only have a couple of switches left to do. I also started to add ground foam and gravel between the tracks.
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Those I do slowly and carefully!
Doing some contemplating about the industry (unnamed) up against the backdrop and the small area in front of it.
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Might just extend it out from the backdrop a little and move the spur closer to the siding.
Meanwhile over on the workbench, I started with the window sills and lintels on the DPM structure.
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Yep! A little sloppy right now, but I'll fix that.

Sherrel - Good to see that you have recovered and have returned with your witty posts.
Chet - Another series of excellent layout shots, most of which I haven't seen before. I especially like the shots of the switcher traveling through the playground!;)

Today is National Drink Beer Day, kind of a daily holiday around here. It's also National Neighbor Day. So grab a few beers and get together with your neighbor's wife and have a good time.
Everyone have a great day.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and quite cool at 48°, rather unusual for September. Later today it will be 80°, and 90° tomorrow. See-saw weather for the next ten days, and no rain in sight.
Spotted a new visitor to the estate after mowing around the pond yesterday.
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It's about twice the size of my hand. Haven't named it yet.

Western Omelet with extra sausage on the side this morning for me Flo.

Thanks to all who liked or commented on yesterday's progress update; Lee, Sherrel, Troy, Garry, Patrick, Karl, Tom O, Chad, Justin, Phil, Jerome, Curt, Dave, Ken, Jerry.

I made some visible progress out in the train shed yesterday. Ballasted the last two switches that I intend to do at this time.
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I added a partial tarpaper road to the layout edge.
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Then I turned my attention to the left hand side and the auto body shop.
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Specifically to adding ground foam between their future fence and the ROW alongside the passing siding.
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I am making the fence out of scrap cut-off pieces of Pikestuff roof panels that have to be cut down to fit some of their walls.
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Jerry - That is interesting that BNSF had an ES44C4 on that work train. Looks pretty clean as well. I believe that that particular loco was built this year. I had seen some in that number range headed out of the GE plant in Ft Worth TX earlier this year.
Garry -
Jerry .... BNSF 3273 looks remarkably clean for work train duty.
See comment to Jerry above.
Tom O -
We used to heat with wood but the insurance company put a stop to that.
While mine originally accepted it, they cancelled 15 years later. I've been self-insured for the last 25 years. They also didn't like the pool with no fence despite the fact that we have no neighbors closer than 1/4 mile, and they had no kids either.
Justin - Nice fleet there.
Curt -
How do you ballast the T/O moving parts? I just set a little bit of ballast loose in that area without glue.
That's pretty much how I do it. If I do it right, sometimes a tiny bit of "wet glue" seeps in and holds what little that I put there in place. And, that's only on the outside of the track.
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Hillside looks great, you'll need to put a bear or two in there later.
So Troy, what kind of novels do you write?

A couple of commemorative days today, National VFW Day, and National Coffee Day, subtitled Starbucks Day. I don't drink Coffee but I appreciate all of the Veterans in the VFW, as well as all of them who are not in the VFW. Here in Texas, the VFW posts have the cheapest beer around, just gotta go with a member.
Everybody have a great day.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. I'll be back in a bit but first, I watched the debate last night...I normally do not watch TV. That is 90 minutes of my life I won't get back! What a fiasco.:eek:o_O Should have gone to bed instead.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning Everyone. Clear and 57° on the SFW estate. Headed for a high of 90° today with our roller coaster fall weather. Managed to get the "back 40" part of the yard mowed yesterday; really don't consider that as part of the yard, it's more of an untamed expanse between the yard/garden and my hayfield. Then I started winter prep with the firewood stack. Removed the stray weeds around it, removed many of the cobwebs that have found a home there, and in general tidied the big one up. There is a secondary one yet to go, wood that I cut later in March. Speaking of the hayfield, neighbor's son mowed it Saturday and started baling it yesterday. It's a lucky year in which we are getting a second cutting.

How about something a little more hearty for breakfast today Flo. Chicken fried steak, cream gravy and French fries should give the heart a workout this morning. Give me the low-cal ketchup as a nod toward healthy living.

Thank you to all who liked or commented on yesterday's update; Lee, Chad, Patrick, Jerome, Sherrel, Guy, Joe, Karl, Justin, Phil, Curt, Tom O, Tom, Ken, Gary, Jerry.

Out in the train shed yesterday, I got some minor work done on several tasks. Did some more painting of the lintels and sills on the DPM structure, three walls now done.
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Added a center stripe to the roadway that I installed Monday.
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Did some more assorted ground cover and made the fence posts and fence for the storage yard at the body shop.
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Here it is with the shop in place.
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Troy -
But, how does one modifiy a plastic tank car to make it look like a metal one imploded?
Perhaps fabricating the tank out of an aluminum pie plate or roasting pan, crushing it like you want and fitting it to a tank car frame. Since it will be crushed, it doesn't have to be real accurate, especially in N scale. I never saw the show so I don't know what it should look like.
I'll try to remember to post a disclaimer if I post any more pictures of the slithery cohabitants from the estate. " Paranormal Cozy Mysteries " don't particularly hold my interest, but it is an interesting job. I always thought that I would do more reading once I retired, but found that I just don't have the time or attention span for it. I do like writing and composing though.
Garry - That's the type of loco that I normally saw on work trains. Don't see too many any more as they have shifted most maintenance to nights around here. While they still use RR owned locos, all other equipment is usually Loram, Herzog or RJ Corman. Speaking of Herzog, my BIL is a commuter rail consultant who has worked on projects all across America. Herzog is one of his clients and they pay him a retainer of $70K a year NOT to do work for any of their competitors. He can still do work for clients that he had before the retainer, but hasn't done any major work for them (Herzog) in over three years! Nice gig.:) One other perk is that he can go to any of their worksites and ride along in their inspection trucks.
Curt - I have had that track flexing/derailing issue before, that I corrected just like you did. Quite a sigh of relief that it wasn't anything major!

Had a good laugh at some of the frog name suggestions. If I see it again, it will be Kermit in deference to Sesame Street.
Last day in September today. Guess we'll all move to the new place tomorrow. See you on the other side.

Everybody have a great day.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good morning.
I already had an exciting morning. Somebody unloaded a six shooter out front of our house at 4:30 am. That’s the second time in three weeks. I’m guessing it has something to do with the house next door, it has a long history of similar problems.
There was no damage to our house or equipment, but after me enidng up on the floor after the second shot, I was not going back to sleep... funny how adrenaline works.
That's a real drag. Here, the shooting starts around daylight at 7:00. But it's dove hunting season right now. No real danger to humans.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear, almost full moon and 61° on the SFW estate. September went out with a very warm 91° yesterday, back to normal mid-70's to mid-80's for the next ten days, no rain in sight. Household tasks filled my morning yesterday, and I did some minor yard maintenance after lunch. During my daily walk yesterday morning, I met the wife of the newest neighbor down the road. She is the one who actually owns the land (100 acres ±), having inherited it in 1991. Pretty young lady in her late 50's who seemed to be a lot more friendly than her husband. It was only her third trip out there since inheriting it years ago. Her older sister (and husband) who lives about three miles away has been taking care of it all these years. She was checking on the progress of the new house (big one) that they are building back in the woods. First new home being built in our area in over 15 years.
Working on the weekly grocery list this morning in preparation for the grocery/beer trek to the "big city". Looks like added stops at the vitamin shop and wine store are on the list. Wife is continuing to make progress in her knee replacement recovery, she drove to the mailbox and back yesterday, 2.25 mile round trip for the first time in six weeks.

New Coffee Shop looks nice with that Octoberfest look to it, Flo. I see fresh pumpkin pies over in the pie case as well. Maybe I'll just have a slice of that along with a couple of over easy eggs and a handful of bacon this morning.

Thanks for the likes and comments regarding yesterday's progress report; Lee, Guy, Karl, Garry, Patrick, Joe, Chad, Tom O, Phil, Jerome, Curt, Justin, Chet, Tom, Jerry.

Out in the train shed yesterday, progress continued. Mostly ground cover here and there. Note the unpainted switch machine here, I had to replace the original one because after two years, it quit working properly. I'll hand paint it even though it will be completely hidden by the plastics factory on the near side of the tracks.
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Included here are two culvert pipes.
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Added gravel to the storage area behind the auto body shop.
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And over on the workbench, I started with the windows on the DPM structure after finishing all of the concrete trim.
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That's ten down, maybe twenty more to go.
Ran a train through the recently ballasted trackage to ensure that all switches worked as planned and that I left no residues on the track.
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I took another shot of this train as it rounded the peninsula at the other end of town.
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Ken - Google Homemade Cricket Traps to alleviate your cricket issue.
Lee - Another neat picture post of your O gauge layout.
Garry - That sure is a great looking train station in Nashville. I don't believe that I had ever seen it or a picture of it before. But I do take IH440 when traveling through Nashville and the station is probably closer to IH40,
Sherrel - I was absolutely floored when I saw the average gasoline price in CA on Stuart Varney's show the other morning. Here it is still in the ~ $1.80 range. And last week I got a 60¢ per gallon discount using my Kroger gas points on a 14 gallon fill-up.
Chet -
"Get the old eyeballs ready for the windows."
Ready and waiting; see above.

Everybody have a great day.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Perfectly clear with a full moon still shining brightly and 51°. The moonrise last night was particularly spectacular here on the prairie. The sound of nearby coyotes lent a special ambiance to the evening.
No problems yesterday on the grocery/beer trek. All went well; I spent less than expected and found only one product outage. My wife wanted a package of caramels that were on sale, and that (no surprise) they were out of. She planned to use them in holiday baking. The trip to the wine store also went well, I found all six items on my wife's list without asking for help. There are at least 10,000 bottles of Cabernet to choose from. The $120 was not bad as all of the bottles were on sale. I got off light, the lady checking out ahead of me spent $1100! 😍

How about a stack of blueberry pancakes with a quart of maple syrup, and a side of bacon for me this morning Francine. I see that Flo is working the curbside pickup this morning.

Thanks for the likes and comments yesterday regarding the layout progress; Lee, Karl, Sherrel, Jerome, Troy, Patrick, Chad, Phil, Curt, Joe, Ken, Garry, Gary, Ray, Jerry.

Out in the train shed yesterday, progress was good but not too photogenic. I painted more windows on the DPM structure, two walls are complete. I added more ground cover and tidied up some ballast in the current project area. Tested all switches in the newly ballasted track; all are functioning properly including the replacement switch machine. I used a machine in that location because it's behind a structure, thus using a ground throw would not be practical.
Reset the Superior Auto Body shop and added some barely visible scratchbuilt tool cases inside.
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Ooops! I need to add a license plate to that van.
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Hoping to reset the plastics factory on the other end today, and then work on some Insta-Fence to go around the D's Diner parking lot. And of course, more window painting.

Troy -
Ugh. Lots of fiddly little parts.
If you modeled in HO, then they wouldn't be so little!;)
Sherrel - Great news about Kate's progress.
Glad to hear that Arlean is improving. This one seems to be a little more cantankerous than prior - is that assumption correct?
Arlene also lost 60 pounds, but it took her 16 months. It's like sleeping with a new woman. While this recovery is just a bit more cantankerous than the last, at five weeks she has equaled her progress from eight weeks on the other knee replacement. So this recovery is much more rapid. She is only using the ice water circulator for maybe three hours a day, and no more nighttime hookups. Hasn't used the cane in almost a week. Doctor says that every knee on every person is different, even on the same person. On one hand, I wish that she had had it done ten years ago, but when using company insurance, I would have had to pay a hefty deductible. Two knee replacements now using Medicare and supplemental insurance resulted in NO out of pocket costs. Still have the monthly premiums though.
Tom O - Nice work on the dumpsters and trees. Even using pre-made armatures, I still hate tree making. Using that frying pan might make it somewhat easier for me.
Ken - Regarding Covid-10. Around here, mask compliance is nearly 100% in stores and other public places. I have not been to a private gathering in over seven months, but friends who have been, have told me that mask compliance is rather sketchy. I am pretty religious about wearing mine. It appears that someone in a position of power should have listened to his own advisors. Wearing it in a pocket doesn't do the trick! Good luck with your test results.

Well, that's it for this morning. Everybody have a great Friday and an awesome weekend. Stay safe and wear your mask when among others.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear skies and 55° on this fine Saturday morning. Headed up to 85° this afternoon, then a cool front rolls in around midnight and the high tomorrow and Monday will only be in the upper 70's. Then it's back to mid-80's for at least another week. Very slight chance of much needed rain with that cool front tonight.
Mostly did yard work yesterday to the point that I had to take one Advil by mid-afternoon. Today starts with laundry and more yardwork.

With the heightened concerns about the pandemic, I noted that our rural county (Cooke) of about 40,000 people seems to have leveled off with the Covid-19 cases. Still holding steady around 450 cases and only 6 deaths. The county just south of me (Denton) has over 670,000 people in it, with 12319 cases and 155 deaths; also holding rather steady. Most of those cases and deaths are in the southern part of the county where it borders on Dallas. Our county has an about 1.2% infection rate, Denton County is about 1.8%. Two people that I know, but only see about once a year have gotten it, and they were both anti-maskers. I remain vigilant.

Ah! The weekend Flo. How about just a bowl of Corn Flakes today. Hate to say that I am temporarily burned out on bacon and sausage every morning.

Thanks guys for all of the likes and kind comments regarding the layout progress; Jerome, Lee, Karl, Tom O, Chad, Phil, Curt, Sherrel, Garry, Justin, Tom, Ken.

Slow, short day in the train shed yesterday. I did finish the window painting on the last two walls of the DPM structure. Then I touched up the brick and concrete paint where I went out of the lines.:( While waiting for paint to dry, I continued assembling some of the Bar Mills Insta-Fencing that will surround the diner.
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I did set the plastics factory in place and added some very minor details/improvements to it. I also added that yellow lane marking stripe on the roadway.
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Then I picked up the throttle and ran trains for a while. That's what they are there for, isn't it? Once I do that, all modeling is suspended until the next day.:) Started to take some action pictures of an intermodal train that I was running, when the battery on the camera died. But I did get a few before that happened.
Coming through the town of Charlottesville.
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Outskirts of Charlottesville.
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Heading into the outskirts of Maultown.
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And a couple of shots at the other end of Maultown as it was leaving.
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Jerry - While I don't like the idea of graffiti in general, I do apply some to some of my railcars as it enhances the realism. I never go overboard as shown in your picture, just a little bit here and there.
GT - I am like you, I don't see myself standing around with a bunch of possibly infected people just to get tested. Testing doesn't get you well any sooner!

Everybody have a great day.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Thursday night the moon was beautiful here also and last night as well. We sometimes call it a Harvest moon around here
Next full moon will be on Halloween, October 31. It is known as a Blue Moon because it's the second one this month. Watch out for the crazy people that night.o_O


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Cloudy and 61° to start this Sunday at the Covid-free SFW estate. The predicted rain last night did not materialize, however the cool front did come through. It will be rather cool tonight at 47°, then back to normal for the foreseeable future, maybe even reaching 90° on Wednesday. Yesterday was another beautiful day outside and I did a lot of outdoorsy stuff. At least I am not feeling it this morning.
Neighbor finally fixed his hay baler and came back to finish baling my hayfield yesterday. Not nearly the same yield as the first cutting, but the second cutting is all profit in the years that we get one.
My plumber is coming by this morning to work on an underground water leak by my water meter, that he has fixed before. This time it's not as serious as the last time, but it is messy nonetheless. I have to stand around and hand him tools and be a general "gofer" kind of guy. He does all of the digging though, although he sometimes brings a "street corner helper" with him. Cost is greater but the work gets done quicker.

I am ready for sausage and over easy eggs this morning, Flo. A toasted English Muffin would go well with that. I'll pass on the doughnuts today as my blood sugar level yesterday was on the high side but acceptable.

Thanks once again for all of the likes and comments yesterday, regarding the progress and train watching tour; Sherrel, Jerry, Jerome, Garry, Gary, Tom O, Lee, Phil, Karl, Curt, Chad, Ray, Tom.

Well, what did I do in the train shed yesterday? I did apply a mortar wash to the first side of the DPM structure.
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I'll have to go back and look at it, as this picture is either not very good or I didn't exactly get the effect that I was looking for.
Other things that I did was to measure stuff in between the body shop and the plastics factory. I am going to put a .080 styrene base under the diner, made from an old sign. The measuring was not only for that, but to ensure that I assembled enough Insta-Fence to surround it. I will be using chain link fencing around the appliance repair business and I need to start on that soon as well.
Whoa! Fourth quarter is upon us, and I need to also start the cleaning of the next quadrant of the lower level. This area is mostly undeveloped with just a main/passing siding running through it and it ends in a staging/classification yard on the end. Mostly it is a surface storage area for stuff that I haven't taken the time to put up (I am sloppy and need to add more shelves underneath). For now I will only post an overview shot of this U-shaped area that's approximately 25' x 6.5'.
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None of the track other than the main and passing siding on the right is fastened down at the present. The staging/classification yard on the left has several backdrop industries that I switch occasionally. I want to get more of the rest of the layout finished before I tackle this expanse. I do have an overall plan that includes another grain elevator, a team track and flatcar unloading facility and the Walther's Allied Rail Rebuilders kit.
Now here's something for you Jerry. I resumed the train watching and took a few more pictures.
First the train coming through behind downtown Maultown.
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Continuing from yesterday's trip. After leaving the outskirts of Maultown, we come around an industrial park that's located inside the "turnback" loop at the end of a peninsula. This is a good illustration of why I use HO scale roadbed on the main, and N scale roadbed on the passing siding.
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After rounding the area, the train makes it back towards the town of Vernon, passing a unit ethanol train on the siding.
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It loops its way behind a rural residential area here.
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Then it passes across from Vernon's business district.
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Finally passing by the feed and fertilizer dealer on the right, on the way out of Vernon. It is also passing a manifest freight waiting on the siding on the left.
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From there it goes behind the body shop/diner/etc where we started yesterday.

Troy - Good luck on the latest book. I cannot offer any advice on the bridges as I have never assembled one of them before. I do agree that the 2"-3" of flex on each side is a good idea.
Alan - I'm good with the short clips since I cannot really spend that much time just sitting and watching. I could easily spend days on end watching You Tube layout videos if I didn't exercise some restraint. Keep them coming.
Thanks Garry for the comment. I could get a whole lot more done if I spent more time in the train shed, but then it would resemble a job again!
Jerry - Thanks for your comment. For more of my layout pictures, follow the tour in the January, April and July Coffee Shops. I clean and tidy up 1/8 of the layout every quarter. January began with the lower level and progressively worked around it.
Greg - Welcome back to the Coffee Shop. Glad to read that things are getting back to normal and you can get to your layout.
You asked "How fast do you run your trains?". I generally run slow. It can take me seven to nine minutes to go non-stop either end to end on the lower level or a loop on the upper level, both are ~165' in length. That's a scale 15-20 mph.
Gary - That's great that the E Bay situation worked out in your favor.
Ken - Good news on the Covid test.

Today is a commemorative day for several gastronomic delights. To start your day, it's National Cinnamon Roll Day, for your libations, it's National Vodka Day (yech!) and it's also National Taco Day. :)
Everybody have a great day, go to the church of your choice and wear your damn masks.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and 50° to start the week. Wind should shift to southerly soon and warm things up for the next ten days. No rain in sight. Back to a somewhat normal day here I hope.
Yesterday was well spent but busy after morning Mass and then lunch. My contractor buddy (who is actually a licensed plumber) came by and we fixed the pesky water leak out at the water meter. It might have only been leaking around 15 gallons a day, but apparently it had begun about a month ago and the ground was saturated and there was standing water in the area. He wasn't able to make it out last weekend. Downside was that I only had two of the three parts needed for the repair (I keep a stockpile), so he spent an extra hour going to town and back for the other one. He bought three so I now have two spares that I hope that I never have to use. While all of the glue and other adhesives were setting, we swept the chimney. I did that myself for 38 years but my wife doesn't want me getting on the roof any more. It cost me $150 for three hours work, not bad for a plumbing repair on a Sunday. I actually handed him $200 and he handed me back $50. Hell, if I did it myself, it would have taken me longer than that just to dig the area up, about 3/4 cu yard of wet mucky clay soil. After everything dries out I have to go back and refill the hole, but at least the water doesn't have to get turned off to do that. I can also take my time since my HOA (me) isn't too picky.

This morning calls for a couple of breakfast burritos, Flo. The usual, sausage, egg, potato and cheese with lots of spicy salsa on the side. Wonder where's Troy with those Amish doughnuts?

Thanks to all who commented or liked the pictures yesterday; Troy, Lee, Sherrel, Joe, Jerome, Karl, Garry, Tom O, Gary, Phil, Chet, Ken, Curt, Rick, Chad, Tom, Jerry, Patrick.

Made it out to the train shed late yesterday. I only had time to finish the mortar wash on the remaining three sides of the DPM structure.
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I'm still thinking that it's a little too bold. I'm going to experiment with a few ideas that I have been mulling over to see if I can tone it down a bit.
Everyone seemed to like the intermodal freight running through the layout, so I hooked up a pair of ScaleTrains SD40-2's to a manifest freight and ran in the opposite direction for a few photos. See some of these towns from a different view.
Entering the outskirts of Charlottesville from the north.
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Passing that intermodal freight on the passing siding in Charlottesville.
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Coming down "the alley" in Charlottesville.
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Excuse the lack of ground cover on the right for now, this is where I left off detailing (temporarily) due to the lack of suitable structures.
Next, rounding the corner behind the plastics factory into the area that I am currently working on.
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On the approach to downtown Vernon. Note the Bar Mills "Wicked Wanda's" structure on the right that I re-purposed as a rooming house.
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Entering downtown.
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Leaving town behind that rural residential area.
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Passing the flour mill on the left and the grain elevator on the right through the countryside. Another manifest freight on the left powered by a pair of F45's.
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One more and I have hit the limit on the number of pictures in a post.
Rounding the loop on the end of the peninsula past the paint distributor in the industrial park.
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This is an opposite view from yesterday of the difference using the N scale roadbed can make on the siding.

Ray -
Tharrs Baarrz in them thar 'ills, umm, flat areas.
Yes. I like to incorporate some occasional whimsical mini-scenes here and there throughout the layout.
Lee - That's really a fine job on the circus wagon. Whenever I finish up the layout, I would like to try something like that, although not necessarily circus wagons. Maybe 1:48 boats.
Tom O - I have been pretty much hit or miss on the mortar. For whatever reason, some of my older structures look better than what I am doing now. I want some to look "new, mortar only", but end up with "aged weathered" structures that look bleached out. I should try that stuff that Greg uses. On another note. All of my LHS's price everything 20% under the Walther's prices. If Walther's sale price is less than that, they will match it and obtain a rebate from their Walther's rep.

Everybody have a great day. Stay safe. Keep your social distancing and wear your masks.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Willie Using that N scale roadbed for the siding really looks prototypical/good. Is it wide enough or do you have to insert a spacer?
Dave - It is not wide enough to extend all the way out to the edges of the ties. I do not split it, just lay it down. While not quite wide enough, maybe 1/32" too narrow. it is wide enough to fully support the track and ties. I just use a small wide paintbrush to sweep the ballast into the proper profile as shown. I'll see if I can get a close up picture for you when I head out to the train shed later today.


Same Ol' Buzzard
I don't plan on getting tested unless I have some of the symptoms.
I feel the same way. Besides, I don't want my DNA going into someone's data bank! I truly think that the recent surge in cases is totally related to asymptomatic cases that would never have been known about to begin with. Kinda like having a cold and calling it the flu.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and 55° in this part of the USA. No rain in sight for the next ten days, with highs in the upper 80's for at least a week. Not quite as warm as Sherrel's weather out there in the desert, but very pleasant.

Off to a late start this morning. Slept in a bit and then spent some time with the wife.
Spent part of the morning yesterday watering transplanted saplings since it hasn't been raining. While out walking, I looked in on the progress of the lake that the new neighbor down the road is putting in. They have been working on it for five days now, after spending ten days bulldozing down a lot of scrub and reclaiming the area. Seems like it may be around 2.5-3 acres in size. It happens to work out that this is a perfect time to build it with no rain to hamper construction.
Water pipe repair made it through the first day without incident. Now I am waiting for everything to dry out before putting the dirt back into the hole in the ground.

A big old stack of blueberry pancakes and a handful of bacon for me this morning Francine. Bring the whole jug of maple syrup over with them.

Thanks to the entire gang for the likes and positive comments regarding yesterday's railfan adventure; Patrick, Jerome, Troy, Lee, Chad, Sherrel, Tom O, Phil, James, Curt, Chet, Karl, Tom, Ken, Justin, Garry, Jerry.

Train shed time was cut short by a visit from a long time neighbor who needed some assistance moving some furniture inside his house. I was still able to do some more assembly of the Bar Mills Insta-Fence, cutting all of the posts, gluing the last two stringers and trimming most of the sprues. I also hit the Linen Mill structure with a coat of dull coat which toned it down a bit. While DPM included a piece of styrene to make an overhang for the dock doors, I decided to make my own. I used a piece of Evergreen corrugated styrene and three support brackets from a Walther's modular wall kit.
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Painted it up yesterday but I did not attach it yet. I want to install the window acetate which is easier with no outside details on the structure.
Meanwhile let's continuing with the railfan adventure following those SD40-2's with its manifest freight going around the layout.
Headed from the industrial park into the town of Maultown, that's a piece of the red Dairy Queen roof encroaching on the right.
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On the left is another freight waiting on the siding. Then it's past the abandoned barn just on the outskirts of town.
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Now we round the corner and head through an unfinished section of layout.
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Our final shot is coming out through a small rural town (as yet unnamed) prior to hitting the plywood prairie where the future ethanol processor will be.
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Patrick - Bad news about the siding. We had fiberboard siding on our house when it was first built. Eventually I ripped it all off after 28 years and replaced it with an MDF smart siding product. Like yours, the old siding began to slip and the seams separated, and there was general deterioration. While I had it removed, I wrapped the entire house in Tyveck plastic house wrap to further eliminate heat loss.
Troy -
Salon is close the the LHS,
That's convenient. Have fun with that bridge. That's a lot of Elvis cars. Unfortunately, I like to be more prototypical and I would have no interest in them other than as a curiosity.
I did learn a looong time ago not to show off stuff to my wife. It always led to "I didn't know that you could that"; and then something new showed up on the "honey-do" list.
but most of us come here to get away from the poly tics and Covid stuff
I don't mean to lessen your enjoyment of the site, but many of us are in the "older crowd" and this is actually our version of Facebook.
Tom O - I get the Walther's sale flyer/catalog in the mail once a quarter. Easier than looking the prices up! Looking forward to reading of your results with the Mortar Wash.
Sherrel -
WILLIE - I never liked trying to dig in dry clay - much less wet that you cannot shake off of the shovel!
Felix spent over ten minutes washing his shovel with the hose after the water was back on. More time than he spent on himself.
Better stock up on the gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant now. Display them prominently.
Alan - A bit before my era, but those tank cars look really good.
Curt - I have tried several methods to tone down the mortar, some of them also took the brick color off the structure. I did try spraying it with an over-coating of dull coat and that has helped to some extent. Not exactly what I wanted, but a lot closer.
Ken - Hope that the leg is nothing too serious.

Today, October 6, is National Plus Size Appreciation Day. So show me some appreciation and buy me another beer.
Everybody have a great day.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Here's one that's not too dirty.

A damsel, seductive and handsome
Got wedged in a sleeping room transom
When she offered much gold
For release, she was told
That the view was worth more than the ransom

Stolen from Oliver Hereford.

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