Running Bear's March 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
Afternoon all! A couple of Sunday projects:

A Tenshodo GN S-2 done for a friend and GN fiend. Picked her up as a cheapie from Brass Trains "As Is". Didn't run, and a bag of loose parts. $250.00. The didn't run part was fixed by a piece of model airplane fuel line between the motor & gearbox. I had to solder a number board back on, solder the stack cap back on to it's bracket, drill out a broken front dummy coupler & replace it, put a Kadee on the tender, new light lenses, and touch up some chips. Runs excellent. Not bad for a 60 +/- year old model!

Ras's S-2.JPG

Next, I've been doing some work on some tank cars. The Athearn Blue Box tanker is petty much dead on for a 10,000 gallon SP tank car except for one glaring problem: The dome. It's way undersized, because they used the same dome as the one on their three dome tanker. That dome is correct for the smaller compartment. Solution: Find some triple dome Athearn tankers and rob their domes. With a little filing they fit right over the existing domes so with a little glue and some squadron putty you get the correct proportion. I found a set of 6 SP sugar tank cars some time back and am working on this conversion. These have a way to go but it's a fun project.

SP Sugar tanker.JPG

The GP-38-2 ran well yesterday at the club, but the video file got corrupted somehow, so I can't share that.

For my next project I'm going to play with the Lok-Programmer some more and see what I can f... screw up now!


Well-Known Member
Surprised no one mentioned how pleased JEFFREY would have been to see the K C S consist.
Ten days now with no rain. Temps in a m mid 60's and by noon near 80 and late p m 87 to 90.
Gas down to $2 - stores have m t shelves.
Wish y'all stay healthy and PUHLEZE keep posting pictures.


Grandson of ALCO Bldr
I have noticed a few of you are modeling paper mills etc. So I went back through my archives of pictures from my travels....mainly my travels after my divorce 11 years ago. I sold everything off except my hobby related equipment and stored all that. I took a job with Werner after obtaining my CDL. I needed to get away after the divorce. It was a clean break I had no kids to worry about. My plan was to get away and do a reset on my life to clear my head. So I couldn't think of anything better than hitting the road. I traveled to all US states minus HI & AK. U also did all providences in CA. I did this for almost 2 years. I would drive an average of 600 miles a day. I did a little over 250K before I decided I had enough. I was fortunate that the company let you choose where you could shut down on your driver reset. So I chose places like North Platte etc. Anyhow I have a few picture to share from one stop at a paper mill in Atlanta TX. So if you wondered how they transport paper here you go.....



Grandson of ALCO Bldr
more....notice the weight of these giant rolls.....



Staff member
Bob- Will we be taking up residence with TRON or MATRIX?
Nosy little people want to know. lol.
You do as great job administrating this site and you do not get the accolades you deserve!
Thank you.
Thank you for the kind words.

For what the new server costs to lease, they’d better both be in there, and it had better fly like Tron’s light cycles. (No, I don’t make money on this deal. It would be nice, but not happening right now.)

Initial testing has been good, hit a few snags, that’s normal though. One forum is up and running, and after swatting on small bug, seems to be working smoothly. The garden forum is next, should have been done today, but ran into a configuration issue.

Railroadforums will likely migrate Tuesday, to give the new place a day to show any lurking issues before I move the big ones.

That means a mid week move if things go as planned. We’ll see if that holds.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
A couple of years ago I bought an Intermountain Trains MRL SD40-2 #250 (that's the one MRL has that is the only long trucks and extra length porches, i.e. genuine -2 version) with Loksound and LEDS installed, from MBK I believe on a sale. I already had Athearn's early RTR version DC/DCC ready, but figured the price with sound made it worth it over having to put in a decoder and the LEDS into that one. Always was disappointed with the blue color IM used, looked too light and "glowie" (Glowy?).
Early this year, when I was "into" the Atlas SD35's that began swarming onto ebay, I also picked up Athearn's RTR SD45 #346, one of the 4 still in use today, which is the same blue as that other SD40-2, but has the new "meatball" logo, (as do the other 3 SD45's).

Today, on the FB page that I have been copying pics from, there is a series of photos of action on the weekend over and on Bozeman Pass again. And what should be in their own little consist, but #346 and #250. Half a dozen, all shot from the same side, but different angles and distances. What the show in all of them is that the colors used by the modelmakers are pretty good matches. Here's a couple that illustrates it well.



and as #250 looks with the sun on it.


Well-Known Member
I see the Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled to the first week in September. That means the Saratoga Traverse will have to be rescheduled. I guess this means people that depend on the revenues will be out of luck. I play the horses for entertainment it's not for everybody. You can lose a all of money if your not careful. I ordered some Microscale decal strips to be used in future patches. I hope they get here soon. To cold to do any yard work yet and with no one playing golf it gets boring around here. George


Well-Known Member
Alan- A beautiful engine restoration as normal. Looking forward to seeing the tank car when you have completed the modification.

Rodney Dangerfield said- I get not respect. I went to my dentist the other day and told him to add a tooth that matchedall my others. He put in a tooth with four cavities.
Thanks Mikey, but I can't take too much credit here. It's a factory paint! All I did was the touch up and repairs. That old Tenshodo stuff is grand, isn't it! Cadillac mechanisms.


Well-Known Member
Good morning everyone. 43 and overcast here, probably cloudy all day.

Chessie, Willie, Roofintrash, Iron Belt Ken, Boris, Karl, TexasHobo, Flip, Wheeler, Chad, Tom, Guy, Garry, Patrick, and anyone I may have missed - Thanks for the comments and likes on my post last Friday.
Garry - Sorry to hear about your neighbor. Prayers for the family.
Terry - Glad your wife is now home. Hope things work out regarding the oxygen situation.
Mikey - Our church is live streaming, too. It's hard for me to get into it, even though they are good sermons.

Not much to report from the train room since I'm not really building anything these days. Ran trains over the weekend. Here's another archive photo, one of the farms on the layout. Still haven't drilled holes for the fence posts yet.


Have a good day everyone.


Well-Known Member
I see the Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled to the first week in September. That means the Saratoga Traverse will have to be rescheduled. I guess this means people that depend on the revenues will be out of luck. I play the horses for entertainment it's not for everybody. You can lose a all of money if your not careful. I ordered some Microscale decal strips to be used in future patches. I hope they get here soon. To cold to do any yard work yet and with no one playing golf it gets boring around here. George
Hey, NYC George - I model the NY Central (grew up on Long Island) but live here in the midwest. You'd be hard pressed to find many NY Central stuff in the hobby shops or train shows out here. Even the MJKlein online store doesn't have much. Do you know of any online stores, maybe in NY, that have a good supply? I need a number of freight cars for my layout. Thanks.


Well-Known Member
Good morning fellers. Rainy start to today. No lockdown for us here. The hysteria of buying up everything has ended here. Stores are finally getting caught up. Covid19 cases seem to be exploding here. The spring breakers who traveled out of state to the awesome tourist traps seem to be the ones coming down with it. Atleast according to the local news. At any rate I finally got around to assembling my C&O 70T hoppers. I still need to install the details but the frames have been filed and fitted to the hopper bodies. Aside from that I just ran trains when I could this weekend. So it's back to work today. I'll try to stop by later if I get chance. I hope everyone is doing well.


Well-Known Member
Morning folks. Light dusting of snow here, but it should be gone by lunch time. Last night's learning session with the Lok Programmer went well enough. Everything behaved as it should have when I was done (that was the earlier problem ;)). Elementary stuff, setting up engines to that lights, horns, class lights etc. don't function when the model is in consist but not the lead unit. Also fiddling with motor settings a bit. Go slow. Read first, double check before you write. The Lok Programmer will automatically update decoder firmware if there is an update available. That was a little unsettling the first time, as it does it automatically without prompting, but it's normal.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. 58° and a dense fog over the area. It actually warmed up overnight, headed into the upper 60's today and then the mid to upper 80's for the rest of the week. Yucky day yesterday with overcast skies, fog and drizzle all day long. I don't normally watch any TV, but I did see some yesterday. Is there anything going on in this world besides covid-19? I happened to see the mayor of a large Eastern city being interviewed, what a pessimistic finger-pointer he was.
Sequestering still continuing here, day 12. Yes I have been out a couple of times for food, but nothing else. Wife drives a mile down the road most days to get the mail. This isn't too difficult for us, as we normally do not go out a lot anyway, unless work related. Wife is currently on a self-imposed hiatus from there right now. I will have to go out again this week, as I forgot to get the dishwasher soap pods last week. Need eggs as well since that shelf was bare when I was there. I can make bread if needed, and our water is excellent from the tap, so those two items are not a concern. Too bad that gas is so cheap, but we aren't able to take advantage of it. Saw some places last Thursday at $1.59.

Thanks for the comments and "reactions" yesterday regarding the grain hopper; Alan, Guy, Ken, Karl, Jerome, Sherrel, Tom, Garry, Chet, Justin, Curt, Phil, Chad.

How about a western omelet with a good side of sausage links this morning Flo.

Out in the train shed yesterday, I worked on three projects. Still adding ground cover and scenery items to the grain elevator scene. I also started preparing the posts for the barbed-wire fence. Drilling those .020" holes in the posts that I make from cut up toothpicks is eye-crossing at best. I did manage to get 14 out of 24 done before moving on.
Another project that I finally got to was upgrading a pair of Athearn GP38-2's that I mostly use for switching. These are from an early Athearn run when they were first using the plastic handrails. As you can see from the picture, the color faded almost immediately and the rails deformed slightly.
03-23-20 003.JPG

03-23-20 004.JPG

After a few years of this unsightly presentation and not having a good paint match, I discovered a bottle of craft paint that I gained when all of the kids left home. It's from Citadel Color and is called Sunburst Yellow.
03-23-20 005.JPG

As far as the misfitted railings, I will fill in the old mounting holes and drill some new ones rather than trying to straightening out the warp.
03-23-20 006.JPG

Note that the GP38-2's that ATFS owned are the only Geeps (or SD's for that matter) that they owned without dynamic brakes. That's because they acquired them from TPW when they absorbed them in the mid-80's.

Sherrel - Forgot to comment yesterday regarding the KCS picture. Really great shot.
Joe - I am actually a really early riser, between 4:30 and 5:00 every morning, even though I no longer work. For the next six months, it comes in handy when I need to "beat the heat" doing yardwork. Wife makes fun of me for going to bed when it's still daylight outside.
Garry - I have always liked that grain elevator scene on your layout.

Everybody have a great day and keep practicing that social distancing.


Well-Known Member
Good morning. .... Coffee and a donut, please. .... This will be our 12th day of being hermits because of the virus.

Bob .... Thanks for taking care of the forum. Much appreciated.

Curt, Chet, and Willie ... Thanks for commenting on my photo. Also, thanks to 12 guys who "liked" it.

Boris ... Thanks for your reply to my comment about the NKP train.

B Bob ...... I hope your new place was not affected by the tornados in that area March 2 and 3.

Alan .... I have always admired the Tenshodo GN S2 model. Thanks for posting the photo even if it made me envious of your GN friend. It is gorgeous!

Willie .... That is unfortunate you have to do that work to get the handrails to fit. Interesting about the lack of dynamic brakes.

Everybody ..... Have a nice day.


Sprue-n-Glue Victim
Good Morning!
The wife wants to go ice-fishing again today, because it's warmed up to -4C, and she wants us to stay away from people. So I looked out the window to see what kind of winds we were having. Sadly, the wind is coming from the east, so I talked her out of it. As you know, nuthin good ever come from the east. Besides, I want to sneak paint on my new garage sometime today. That's not easy done when the wife is off work for a few days, and there still might be a fish in the lake.

Thanks for all the likes and comments from yesterday. I find this is a very friendly place to be, with goodly portions of light-hearted humor and/or knowledgeable, educational discussion. That's the way I like it.

Not a lot of time right now, so I'm talking quick.
Just wanted to mention that I stucco-ed up the exterior walls of my new garage. Used Dap Stucco Patch. It's a little bit grainy, but, I'm happy enough with it. Hoping to get a soft blue/grey paint on it today. Yet to see if I'll be covering with a white glue/water mixture to try and lessen the grain impact.
Garage_03-23-2020 (1).JPG
Oh, Oh!! The wife's on my back to go fishing again! How come women can't understand what 'no' means?
I guess I'm going fishing today! But, I've made the deal with her: paint first, fish after, so the paint can dry!

All have a great day!
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