Running Bear's July 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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Well-Known Member
Good Afternoon. 86F at 14:45 here in the Intermountain West area (SL Valley/UT).

Somehow I got on some sort of history news letter -- probably when I subscribed to Curiosity Stream.

Fun acts for today, July 27

Today is the wedding anniversary for:

Steve Martin
Otto von Bismark

Today is the death day of JS Bach.


Nothing train related to report.

Texas Hobo

Well-Known Member
Well good evening all. It seems I lost quite a bit of time here at the diner. Wasn't cause the food was bad mind you, but social distancing and all that stuff. In reality it has been a tough month and a half. Two brother-in-laws passed,both of old age, 89 and 96. My next door neighbor passed from Covid 19 last week and his wife just returned home after a 1 month battle with Covid. I watch all these young folks out partying and I just shiver to think to whom they might spread the virus to, Grandma, Grandpa?
I have had a few days running some trains, mostly switching from and to the interchange. So far the little NW2 from Broadway Limited has been really working well. I have been working on a new layout design using SCARM. I have a couple I like and think will be better suited for operations than the current and unfinished layout. (65% scenery). I hesitate to go to HD or Lowe's for the new wood and foam board, maybe I can curbside.
As usual you guys have posted some awesome photos. I'll need to spend some time going back into last months postings.



"retired" conductor
I hesitate to go to HD or Lowe's for the new wood and foam board, maybe I can curbside.
When Covid 1st shut down our state, I did a curbside order for all the supplies I needed to build SWMBO's planter box. Our HD filled my order, emailed me it was ready, all I had to do was to call the store service desk and let them know which dedicated curbside spot I was in. The came out, loaded the truck and I was on my way in a flash, safe and secure , neve got out of the cab!


"retired" conductor
Good evening gang!

Glad to see we have some fresh faces in the diner! Welcome!

I Told you the other night I found some old photos, here's a few more.

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Harrisburg, summer of 1999. We were all afraid of y2k, and 2000 wasn't looking very good in the flesh. What is that in the distance??
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It's the RBB Train!

By the way, how do they get the clown cars to the circus??

On a clown car carrier right??
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Speaking of clown cars, we got passed by this on crossing over the Susquehanna

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The more you look, the worse it is!! 😆 :D 😆

L8ter gang!


Well-Known Member
With regards to opening schools, the science is very much in favor of it. Children have been shown to have a very low rate of infection and also transmission. So much so, that some researchers say that children are a "break" in the string of transmission.



Well-Known Member
Howdy Everybody ...

Yesterday, my eye surgery went very well. Already today, the eye has greatly improved vision. I could not be more pleased. Next week, my other eye has surgery too. Thanks again for all of the well wishes .

I quickly glanced at posts from the last couple of days.

Johnny .... Good to see you posting again.

Bunker ... Welcome !

It will be a while before I catch up with you busy Coffee Shop patrons.


Well-Known Member
I am still in a modeling funk right now. So I spent some time yesterday testing some of the locomotives on the layout (70 right now), to determine which ones to retire to the "standby" shelf to make room for the new SD45's that I got. I kinda needed to do that a year ago when I got the new Dash9's but never got around to it. It appears that some of my 30 year old "Blue Boxes" will be the first to go. They are fair runners, but lack some of the detailing that my newer power has. While things are still fluid on the layout, it's getting crowded until I develop some blank areas that I have future plans for. Some of those 70 are already on the standby shelf and I rotate them off and on every so often.
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. :) I've been in one since finishing up the City of San Francisco. For me that often happens after a long project gets put to bed. I've taken a few weeks off, plus it is summer, and there are things that need done around here. Nothing wrong with an occasional sabbatical! You come back energized.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Sounds like a thunderstorm is wanting to move in this morning. Supposed to be hit and miss rain for the next 36-48 hours. highs in the mid to upper 80's so it's not all terrible.

That photo the the 'vette reminds me of the one the wife and I bought when we first got married. Little POS got good mileage when it moved. But it also couldn't get out of the way of its own shadow. Try passing a truck on the interstate at 60 with a cross wind and it could hardly get through the wash of the semi. Ours didn't look like that though, and ours would have qualified under the lemon laws for a buyback. Transmission went out at 4,000 miles, dealer rebuilt it (couldn't replace due to the way warranty claims were structured) got 3 miles from the dealer after picking it up and had to tow it back. It spent 2 months waiting for parts before they "fixed" it. I went to retrieve some items that I left in it and found it in the body shop where they were putting bondo in the drivers door as a mechanic let a large tool box roll away and severely dented the door. No calls, they must have thought I'd never notice. It had a new door when I got done. I did have the district service manager involved. After another 8 months it acted up again, so I got another dealer to look at it. When they told me they couldn't find any problems, I traded it off. The sales people knew I had had issues and when asked if there were any known problems with it, I answered, "Not according to your service department." lol

On another rant: I had a software vendor not able to continue with a software package install, and when they said it was our issue to fix, I told them it was a problem with their software, so after about 6 hours of changing configurations over the course of 2 weeks, I finally asked for the link to the test it myself as making a change and then sending an email to test it again was taking way too much time. So I played with it another 15 minutes and said to myself, "what if the aren't using the correct password?" Changed the password and Viola! works every time. Sadly they were given the correct password and argued with me that it wasn't the password, but a problem I needed to fix within our network. They better credit us back the time they wasted arguing that they knew their product and it was my problem to fix. I ought to charge them for fixing "Their" problem.

Otherwise I'm in a happy place!!!! 🤣

On a train note: When at the train store over the weekend, I did find a locomotive I'd love to have. That said, the loco had what is called a "dual" card, in that it could run either with DC or DCC without needing changes. (I believe it was a Broadway Limited). Are those reliable on DC?
Also there were 2 of these in stock, but one was a "Light Pacific" and the other was a "Heavy Pacific", both 4-6-2 configuration. What's the difference between the 2?
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Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Mostly cloudy and 75°. My weather rock is wet, but nothing in the rain gauge. Radar shows a shower passed here about 0430. They're all over the place, just light right now. Ended up with 1.8" yesterday, no run off or puddles, all of it soaked in. Grass and leaves all look clean. High temperature yesterday only reached 80°. Too bad it was too wet to do any outdoor chores!

I'll take some corned beef hash and two sunny side up eggs this morning Flo. Extra large OJ to wash it all down.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments regarding the photos yesterday; Sherrel, Patrick, Johnny, Guy, Jerome, James, Phil, David, Curt, Chet, Tom, Garry.

Picked it up a notch out in the train shed yesterday. Started and completed (except weathering) that Accurail covered hopper kit.
07-29-20 014.JPG

As I have posted before, this Accurail kit is several steps above traditional "shake the box" kits that they have done before. Still have plastic wheels and couplers, but the price is right. They also offer a decal kit, ordered separately, for those of us that want a fleet of these cars. It has twelve additional numbers in addition to the four that are sold. If you cut them further, you can get 24 total if wanted. This is my 14th car that I have done, two more to go. ATSF actually purchased 1000 in this particular order.
Here it is with the new number and is now awaiting the "builders photo" for my computer inventory.
07-29-20 016.JPG

In keeping with the current "switching theme", another local freight is standing by in the South Yard, headed up by a pair of CF7's, just for Sherrel!
07-29-20 001.JPG

They're headed to Vernon to drop off three empty covered hoppers at the grain elevator and pick up three full ones. Also in tow are two boxcars (RBL's) filled with beer and soft drinks for the beverage distributor in the nearby industrial park.
07-29-20 002.JPG

To be continued, stay tuned.

Guy - Nice pictures of the silica operation. And thanks for the paper mill/saw mill shot.
Chet -
Any ideas yet on how you're going to connect the top with the bottom?
I have a plan drawn up, but I might never get to it. It involves adding a 5' x 8' "helix room" on part of the front porch of the train shed. I have turnouts already installed on the layout to access it and I am currently just using them to service background industries. Several things have to be considered, none of which are going to be easy. Access is the main concern. Air conditioning/heating is another concern. Building the room and burrowing through the wall won't be too difficult, although as I add years to my life those things are less appealing, however I do have a much younger contractor friend that I could pay to do that part. Since I mostly do switching and no industry is dependent on any other one, (coal mines/power plants etc), leaving it as it is poses no real problems. Everything begins and ends in staging/sorting yards. I rarely move anything from one level to the other unless I'm just rotating stuff.
Hughie - Condolences on your family and friends' passing due to Covid. I understand that it is quite severe in the Houston area. It is getting worse in our county way up north of you, After going six months without a death and less than 100 cases, in the last two weeks the total cases have shot up to 182 with 3 deaths. People here got overconfident and many still refuse to wear masks. Even though Walmart and Home Depot (among others), have signs on the doors requiring masks inside, they are not enforcing it. $$$
By the way, the curbside service at HD really has worked well for me.
Bunker - Looking forward to your work on the GP9.
Karl - Are those Atlas or Peco switches in your second photo in post #807? Also, how is the mint doing in the planters?
Garry - That's great news regarding the eye surgery. Hope that the other one is also successful. I don't remember, was it cataract surgery? I ask because I have been advised to get it done in one eye for now.

National Chicken Wing Day, and also National Lasagna Day are both celebrated today. Why not do both?
Everybody have a great day.


Raincoat: I know that feeling all too well. Having to tear down, pack up, and move on. It can be extremely painful. I wish you luck with your move. Hope you find a nice place soon, and get the trains back up and running again.

Patrick: Yes, I'm a Hardware Technician for the local suburban high school. Nice to be in good company with another IT person! 😁
That makes three of us! (IT highschool)


Active Member
Willie I too didnt want a laptop after my 14 yr old dell with win xp went *blue* screen. but I do have a laptop configured thusly: powered on by house power, keyboard & monitor plugged into it, external cd player plugged in. who would have thought you buy new puter that does not have a internal player that can record. Also have a 3 inch fan blowing under it, powered by an old cell phone charger.(puts out 5 volts) Also have my external speakers plugged into it. Seems just like using the old dell
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