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
Hey Joe. My daughter and her family are leaving Friday, headed for the State of New Jersey. They're going to the southern part near Philadelphia, specifically to Marlton near Cherry Hill. Against my advice by the way. They are driving. Is there likely to be any issues with them having Texas license plates going into your state? They are leaving Friday. They will mainly be staying with my SIL's parents both in Marlton and their beach house somewhere near by.
Willie- right near my old stomping grounds. I grew up about 15 minutes from Marlton & just sent a “WI care package” to a buddy from HS, who lives & works in Marlton. Cheese, brats & curds. He’s going to hook me up with a Jersey care package(Tastykakes, pork roll & scrapple).


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Staff member
Well, the little Win 7 e=machines mini tower, I got for my JMRI adventures ages ago, seems to have kicked the bucket without getting used for that. Have had it on a few times just for general use to keep it "oiled" hopefully. Booted it up, was quite slow doing so, which if was last time too, but it's always had to have it's time reset before it will let me continue. This time it lost the pointer when about to do that and soon after lost signal altogether. Put new batteries in the keyboard and mouse with no change. No sounds from the fan etc, so I figure the hard drive's taken a dive. No photos stored, so no great loss there. Nothing that can't be replaced. Main disappointment is it's a great fit inside the desk's lid, with the 22" monitor at the back and it all closes up neatly and dust protected.


Ol' School
Good day all, and now for something completely different......
The temperature is way up, mid 90's, humidity is way down, 7-8%, throw in a lightning strike, and you've got trouble......

I took this pic less than a week ago looking southeast from my house, less than 20 miles away as the crow flies.
This is the Caldwell fire in northern Cal. It has turned into a 67,789 acre fire, or 106 square miles. For the most part, the fire in the low land scrub sage has been contained, but it has moved into some highland pine forests, making containment more difficult.
Stay safe out there.....


Broke... just like early railroads.
Morning all,

Comfortable 66* and cloudy in Doo-Dah this morning. Sunny later on with highs in the low 80's and supposed to be in the low-mid 80's throughout the next week. Very autumn like. Maybe I can actually get the yard mowed this afternoon as I only did the front yard last week and the back was avoided.....More need to mow in the back.

Hopefully some train time as I think I'm a little ahead on this week's chores.


Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Good Morning, Everyone.
Yippee! A free day today! The wife's gone to work for a 12hr shift. Don't get me wrong, I love her well enough; but, I also enjoy the odd free day commanded by the magic of complete silence. Mowed the lawn yesterday; so all the rest of the yard chores can wait until she gets back and starts suggesting again. This is a 'my stuff' opportunity that I'm not going to miss.

Those who don't know, don't know if it's going to rain or not today. They don't seem to know if there will be another thunder and lightning storm. They are telling me it will be hot; somewhere near the 80F mark, which is unbearably hot for me. I suppose I will depend mostly on just looking out the window to see what's happening. - The nice thing with this heat, is that there are no mosquito's. The no-see-ums are bad, but, no mosquito's.

Thank you for all the likes on my time-wasting post of yesterday. I'm thinking you folks must enjoy seeing the photo's of industry and environments from other places.

Jerry - Every year I see news reports of California fires this time of year. Never been to Californy (is that a song), but, it must be awful hot and brittle down there. Our fire season is in May, prior to green-up. California's fire season must be after dry-up. Hope yu-all get through it ok.

Since I'm batching today, I'll just have a quick toast with peanut-butter and a couple of coffee. It's nearly time to get moving on something fun.

I bought 6 of these open hoppers marked Reading, all with the same road number. The Reading was purchased because they were 1/2 the cost of anything else.
Hopper_07-31-2020 (1).JPG

Hopper_07-31-2020 (2).JPG

I think they are a fairly strong, very acceptable HO hopper. They have to be stripped, though, and re-painted. These are to become my test beds for stripping, painting, decaling, and weathering. I paid $120.00cdn for the six, but, I can't find good deals on stuff up here; and train shows in the closest city seem to be fairly rare.

Anyway, I suppose it's getting long in tooth. May as well get on with it.
Have a great day, everyone.
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"retired" conductor
Good morning gang!

72° with light rain. Evidently my "rain dance" worked! (I had just washed my truck 24 hours prior)

Happy belated birthday Steven! Hope it was a great day!

The blower motor in my Chevy Silverado was making a lot of noise so I drove it over to the dealer this morning for an inspection. The Tech found rodent damage to the blower along with a dead mouse in the housing and the cabin filter damaged by mice with a lot of bird seed and mouse poop. Along with this damage, the mice ruined some of the wiring for a total of $700.00.

Greg, I can't tell you how many times I have heard of similar scenarios with vehicles and rodents, and food being bird seed, or dog kibble being involved in most of those cases. In my line of work, it happens several times a month. FWIW, I keep the dogs kibble in Rubbermaid hoppers and bird seed in Home Depot buckets with lids.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Mostly cloudy and 70° outside right now. Cool front came through just at dusk last night. Not supposed to get above 90° for the next few days. Rained last night as well, there's 1" in the gauge this morning. That's 6.5" for July, about three times our normal total for this month. Another day of no outdoor chores. Woke up at 2:00 and the damn thunder kept me awake for over an hour and a half after the rain had stopped. Power went off a few times during the night, and this morning our new tankless water heater doesn't work. So that's my chore today. I am hoping that it is just an internal reset button that needs to be activated.
Granddog was dropped off for an extended vacation yesterday evening while her family goes to Jersey. Great, the rain came and now I will have to deal with muddy paws from day one.
Dermatologist did a little more scraping and freezing yesterday, to ensure that he got all of the cancerous cells the last time about a month ago. He didn't see any, this was just a precautionary step.

Light breakfast this morning Francine since I have to get into a tight space to check out the heater. A BLT sandwich should do.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments yesterday regarding the train shed activity; Tom O, Mopac, James, Justin, Guy, Sherrel, Chad, Joe, Patrick, Phil, Curt, Hughie, Garry, Rick, Tom.

OK, I am in a dilemma in the train shed. I am ready to deal with a project, but I am at a standstill on the current Charlottesville project. I have used twenty two structures so far and I have temporarily run out of appropriate ones to add. So I am looking at an area just south of the bakery, Sears Distribution Center and brewery that I pictured earlier this month.
07-30-20 001.JPG

I am looking at two probabilities here. An industry just to the left of the brewery serviced by a spur curving around next to the passing siding. Don't know what it will be yet.
07-30-20 002.JPG

Secondly I always intended to fill in the space between that peninsula and one further to the left (out of view) with an 8-10" flared extension to provide more room. The vise and pencil sharpener were removed after this picture was taken. The industry for this space which is approximately 52" x 16", will be a piggyback unloading ramp. There is already another spur coming directly off of the passing siding for this.
The tail end of that era just overlaps my era by about 6-8 years before overhead cranes started to be used. I spent many hours watching this type of operation as a teen, when I rode my bicycle over to the ATSF Zacha Yard near where we lived in Dallas in the 60's.
First step is to install the backdrop.
07-31-20 003.001.JPG

Those two railcars are just being stored there and have no significance. That's the current plan. More to come.

Justin - Good news about your father.
Sherrel - The grain elevator is one of the few plastic kits from American Model Builder. I got it when it was first released in 1991. It has since been redone as a laser cut wood kit. It is known as The Country Grain Elevator.
Good luck with Kate's medical procedure today. I hope that it turns out well.
Garry - Wife has had the bad knee for over ten years and has always been hesitant to have a replacement done. I finally convinced her to get the first one done last year and it responded well. Of course having one good one has now put more pressure on the remaining bad one. Then Covid hit and elective surgery was put on hold. Now it is back on, and she has finally scheduled it for August 24. Whether it will be done in the hospital like the last one, or the outpatient clinic is yet to be determined. We're waiting to see if Medicare and our supplement will pay 100% like the first one done in the hospital. My cataracts can wait until the knee is done.

Hey Patrick, today is National System Administrator Appreciation Day. Thanks for being there!
Little late this morning as I have been jacking with the water heater.
Everybody have a great day.


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Well-Known Member
Good morning .

Sherrel ..... I hope your wife's surgery goes well today.

Jerry .... Your photo of the fire in the distance is remarkable.

Mike: .... Your "WI care package" for your friend sounds yummy.

Willie .... Your reminded me you told us about your wife's previous knee surgery. Please forgive my forgetfulness. August 24 is not too far away. .... z I have faith you will fill that space on your layout with a very good choice.

Guy .... Your hopper project looks like it will be fun.

Everybody ..... Have a nice day.



Well-Known Member
Good morning from the brightness of Wisconsin. A beautiful day out on the deck. The yard looks good and no need to be cut.
Not sure how today will play out, we will just have to see. I just walked through the train room to get a soda from my mini frig
under the layout. Not in the modeling mood but will run a train or two! Pictured is my final piece of brass after selling 2 pieces yesterday. One of the folks I sold to is able to repair the dropped side rod. Next I have 13 pieces of WC rolling stock to sell off, but that’s for next week. Enjoy the day. TomO


Well-Known Member
Good morning from the brightness of Wisconsin. A beautiful day out on the deck. The yard looks good and no need to be cut.
Not sure how today will play out, we will just have to see. I just walked through the train room to get a soda from my mini frig
under the layout. Not in the modeling mood but will run a train or two! Pictured is my final piece of brass after selling 2 pieces yesterday. One of the folks I sold to is able to repair the dropped side rod. Next I have 13 pieces of WC rolling stock to sell off, but that’s for next week. Enjoy the day. TomOView attachment 115736
That's a fine model, and a good runner. The dropped main rod just needs a screw replaced from what I can see.


Whiskey Merchant
Good afternoon. We are having some warm weather, up into the mid 80's, but not as warm as some other parts of the country. Our little long hair doxie sure doesn't like it. I was going to mow but decided against it with the heat.

Joe - Really like the photo of the Reading electrics.

Curt - I used the cookie cuter method with the wood risers. Spaced them around every 16 inches. Doing it this way allowed me to get some rollimg terrain quite easily.
IMAG0325_BURST002.jpg IMAG0645.jpg

Greg - Rodents sure can do some damage to vehicles. You're lucky that one didn't die in the truck. My wife had one die in the heater system and talk about a smell. Took a couple of months to get rid of it. Last winter I had rodents chew on the sensor wiring to the intake air temp sensor and had to replace it twice because the wires were chewed so close to the sensor that it couldn't be spliced. Sprayed some spearmint essence on the wiring harness and no problems since. I keep rat baits all around my shop and so far haven't had any problems out there.

Hughie - Like those D&H Alcos.

Like your photo as usual.

Tomorrow I will try to make it over to the model railroad club. Don't know how long I can put up with wearing a stupid mask. Hard to breathe with it and I can't wear my glasses because the mask makes them fog up. May just run an A-B consist tomorrow because I'm thinking of bringing the RDC over. If I have to MU the F units together, I have to get a second throttle to run an additional train.

I will again have to go into the photo archives for photos.





Same Ol' Buzzard
Well, that's done. Talked to the Rheem tech on the phone regarding the tankless water heater. She somewhat walked me through the procedure to access the control panel fuse, and sent me a lengthy PDF with many additional technical things. I don't actually have an ammeter to test the fuse, just a continuity tester, so I was momentarily stopped. Then I used my continuity tester as a jumper around the suspected culprit fuse and YES we have the answer. A blown fuse on the controller. Whew! I wasn't going to have to remove the heater and return it for a new one. A trip to the local Ace Hardware which actually has humans helping you, and I was back with a fuse (and a spare) by lunch. Put the fuse in and ate lunch, took a nap, and made some Coleslaw for tonight's supper. Then I reassembled everything and put the cover back on the circuit breaker box which I had removed to rule out faulty breakers and everything still works as it should. Reinstalled the shelves above the heater and left my wife to clean up with the handheld vacuum. I am headed out to the pool now, because it's pretty tight quarters and I didn't take the time to set up a fan. A quick dip and then over to the train shed. Later y'all.

PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

It's been a busy day and unfortunately not all in the train room. However I think I have a workable plan for steam loco provishining. I had to order the Walthers diesel fueling pad (my old one got tossed) and the sandhouse kit because the towers were mangled. The 7x11 square of wood in the photo is where the diesel facility will go. I'm letting this setup percolate in my brain for awhile, then I'll relook at it.

Guy- Nice looking hopper.

Willie- I bought a Revell Beam Crane years ago for my TOFC on the last layout. I believe there was space under it for 2 tracks and I built ramps on the ends for trailer loading and unloading.

Garry- Beautiful layout shot.

Chet- Also beautiful layout shots. Love all the cars.




I hope everyone has a good night.


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
WHEW! No mowing here today - it's 106 on the back patio in the shade!

Moving right along - great pictures EVERYONE ...
Wife is out of surgery and being wheeled to a room for the night. We got there at 6am as requested - then her potassium was low so they had to pump it up before surgery and then at 11:30 they took her back. It;s 3:30 here now.
God willing, she should be home tomorrow.

Thanks for all the well-wishes, guys!


Beach Bum
Good evening, y'all. Today started with a dry thunder storm passing over, followed with a steady all day rain, which began several hours after the thunder. The temperature remained in the upper 70s all day, although the humidity was equal to a wet sponge. Now it's sunny with a cool breeze. Outlook for next week is a lot of rain.

Chet: Thank you. I like the photos of the Logan Valley and your Club that you upload. Sort of disappointed when you raised the possibility of taking it down, although, I'm faced with the same prospect.

Willie:: That's what I call a successful day.

Sherrel: Good news about Kate! Also congratulations to your daughter.

He’s going to hook me up with a Jersey care package(Tastykakes, pork roll & scrapple)

Mike: That sounds more like a Philly Care package, ;) as the only item from Jersey is the Taylor Ham :rolleyes: Scrapple is hard to get around my part of Jersey.(Central Jersey). Only Acme and Walmart carry Habbersett's and Rapa. (Both now made in Bridgeville, DE). The local Acme's mostly have it over the summer for the shore tourists. Tastykakes are not what they used to be, now made in the Northeast, and something is missing. Tastykake became readily available around here about the time Hostess shut down.

Curt: When planning your engine terminal, remember what came that the original facilities included coal towers, ash dumps and sand houses, Ice houses, and repair facilities oriented to maintaining a steam fleet. As diesels arrived, facilities had to be changed or duplicated for servicing diesels. Once diesels began to dominate, and steam was phased out, steam oriented facilities were either removed or allowed to rot in place. (Reference the photo of the former Reading steam facilities at Erie Ave, during the Diesel era).
Round Houses and turntables remained at repair facilities in the diesel era, but were demolished / filled in at service / light repair locations. fuel was provided by new facilities with storage tanks, or by truck from vendors. sand facilities were modified to accommodate diesels. Ash dumps and coal towers and water plugs were no longer needed and either demolished or abandoned in place.
I'm sure you will come up with something that not only meets your needs, but satisfies your expectations.

BTW: Hope the latest hurricane misses y'all.

Eastward TV atHarrisburg 03-20-1977.jpg

Eastbound Trailvan leaving Harrisburg PA on March 20, 1977
CR 8183 + 9524.jpg

GP38-2 + SW1500 consist at what appears to be the Trailvan Terminal at Frankford Jct, in Philadelphia prior to 1981


Well-Known Member
I accidentally made an $11k charge on one of my Visa cards today. I did not even have anywhere near that amount available credit but the bank let it go through.

I was trying to make a small payment to the architect we hired for our (hopefully soon) to be built home. I am making regular "small" payments until the construction loan actually goes through and we can finish off his invoice. He uses Quickbooks and Quickbooks lets you pay by debit card, credit card, or ACH bank transfer. I selected credit card and forgot to update the amount (it defaults to the total invoice). I entered my details in and started to click the submit. I realized I had not updated the amount right as I was clicking. Unfortunately my finger momentum was not to be overcome as I tried to stop it and the submit button was pushed.

I emailed and texted the architect and asked him to see if he could cancel or reverse it. He did not get back to me for a few hours, which increased the tension inside me, but eventually he got back to me and it appears he was able to reverse it. We'll see what happens in the next few days to the pending charge on my card...

In other news it was supposed to get over 100F today. I don't know if it did as I was inside and did not look at any temp readings but right now at 7pm it is still 95F. I was just outside and it felt hot but did not feel bad at all, since it is quite dry and there is a slight breeze, and the sun is low enough that it was not directly beating down on me. For me, dry heat does not feel hot like humid heat does. The same temperature when I was in Japan last summer (yes we had just gotten to Japan a few days ago, a year ago as of today, arriving there July 26 in 2019), but with 90%+ humidity, was absolutely terrible. Even when we have that one week of 100F+ (usually we have a week or two more like that every summer) it is not as bad as the humid hot.

I may try and run a few trains this weekend on my test track. I still have my JR 103 series Osaka Loop Line trains on the track and I need to put that all away. I want to try some German locomotives I have out before I start packing stuff up.

I need to start putting all the half assembled locomotives, power cars, regular cars, etc. that I have lying around in the middle of some sort of installation or another, all back together and start thinking about boxing it all up for the eventual move to the new house once it is done (hopefully by the end of the year).
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