Running Bear's May 2019 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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Gomez Addams
Staff member
It's a little late getting opened up, the site seemed to be down until a few minutes ago.
But, we're here now, and open for business.


I'm going to start off the month with the same old boring stuff: Here in Park Rapids, Minnesota, it is 34 degrees and cloudy!


Well-Known Member
Good morning fellers. I hope everyone is doing good. Turning the heat up on us today here in West Virginia. Supposed to be 90° today. Not the usual temps for us this time of the year. Seeing as I have such a fan fare for coal train photos I'll post some more for y'all to enjoy. I'll even throw in N&W 1776.




Whiskey Merchant
A quick good morning. 34 degrees and clear skies.

An apple turnover and a coffee to go please. Headed to Best Buy in Billings to get a new TV before the wife changes her mind.

Justin - Again, nice photos.

Time to put it into the wind.



Well-Known Member
Good Morning All. 71° and cloudy. Happy May Day. Thunderstorms ended earlier and deposited 1.1" in the gauge between 5:30 pm and midnight. Cooler day today with the high only 76°. Nothing boring about last night's weather around here, watches and warnings for flooding, severe thunderstorms and a tornado warning. There was a brief tornado about 35 miles SE of here in the city of Denton. Mostly just the usual spring weather for here.

Thanks for the comments and likes for yesterday's progress pictures, Garry, Jerome, Sherrel, Chet, Greg, Dave, Curt, Justin, Tom and anyone else whom I may have missed.

Yesterday was sort of a no-progress day in the train shed, at least on the industrial park. I did line out the remaining roads, but didn't add them yet. I made a few minor repairs to the large blue warehouse, re-gluing a corner and re-attaching two downspouts that had come off. I did run a few trains and switched things out there, to ensure faultless operation after all of the recent ballasting. Car clearance in the "alley" worked out OK as well. It does look like I will still have some blank plywood left in the industrial park for a while until I can obtain some suitable structures to fill in the gaps. I have over two dozen DPM, City Classics and Smalltown structures already built, but they don't fit the theme of the area. They're all destined for one of the other large blank areas that are still left to develop.
Looks like the local turn has spotted a covered hopper of fertilizer at the distributor.
04-30-19 007.JPG

Looking around, here is another industrial switching area on my layout.
04-30-19 001.JPG

That's a Walther's transload structure known as "Lakeside Shipping". In order to make it work in this location, I had to reverse the long walls to put the truck docks on the near side. As I recall, it wasn't as easy as it appeared to be before I started. In the back is a large backdrop warehouse that I made from Walther's modular walls. Wish that those were still available, but that's a different story.
Dave - I liked the scratchbuilt coal bin yesterday. I make many details out of "industrial garbage", similar to those street sweeper brushes.
Chet - I may have posted before, but I am really impressed with the yard on the club layout.
Curt - Ironically enough, "Willie" came about after I went to college. Other than the neighborhood kids who knew me as Bill or Billy, the priests in high school as well as the nuns in grade school always called me William. In college, my high school buddies just started calling me Willie and it stuck. So other than obscenities, I have had four different first names in my lifetime as well as Daddy and Grandpa. When I was first married, my wife would hear family members refer to Bill and she didn't know who they were talking about!

Why do wives always seem to yank really hard on those pull chains on ceiling fans? Do all of them do that or just mine?

Everybody have a great day.


Well-Known Member
Good morning, we have light rain and around 40 this morning.

Justin-- coal country at its best!

Willie-- the fertilizer scene is turning out well

Mark D-- the weather is always interesting in Minnesota. Must be, it is one of our main topics!

Boris, Terry, Chet--good morning to you as well

I have a couple photos of the projects I am working on, the 3 pack of shorty flat cars also this 50' double door box car:


Here is the 3 pack also another individual one I assembled earlier:


Some of the other freight cars I assembled recently:


I have a few more cars to assemble then I will planning to create a module for the town of Groningen which will be part of the layout when we get our house done. That will involve a few buildings, track, and some scenery. It will be designed to go into the layout, similar to the Wyoming MN module.

more later, Dave


Section Hand
Good Morning Everyone.....overcast and rain again!

Not much planned for the layout today. The back still hurts to move in certain directions. Some time I forget and move wrong and then WOW!!!

Looking for some work bench projects to at least keep me busy. Maybe clean out the drawers in my work bench? The work bench is an old desk of my fathers and it works great and I mounted wheels on the desk so its movable. It lives under the layout and a piece of paneling across the the center drawer increases work space.

I mounted an electrical outlet for the solder station and other tools. A desk light provides illumination.

Stayed up too late last night watching a show about the Yukon and White Pass Railroad. Great scenery and I can't imagine those workers creating the roadbed for the railroad in 1800's.

Later everyone...

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Well-Known Member

Terry .... thanks for stating the May Coffee Shop.

Mark ... That is cold weather.

Justin ..... Great photos from you today.

Willie .... Your Santa Fe is a busy railroad with so many industries to serve.

Dave .... you are doing a great job assembling the Roundhouse kits.


Well-Known Member
May 1st and I've been catching up from yesterday as I ended up going home way too early. I was hoping to make it through the day.

I read the old coffee shop and think there may be a component of one of the spays I have a problem with, but I'd been spraying weeds since early March and the tree spray I watch how I mix and deliver it.

No trains yesterday, but I hope to get down there tonight.

PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Spent 3 hours going to 3 grocery stores and Dollar Tree today.:( I reordered the Funaro F22 kits today and tomorrow I'm going up to see Jon and Phil.

Justin- Neat pictures.

Willie- More nice layout pictures.

Terry- Thanks for opening the coffee shop.

Dave- Nice job on the cars.

I hope everyone has a good night.


Section Hand
Good Afternoon Everyone....I'm Back!

Never made it to the layout room, but tomorrow afternoon for sure.

Spend a lazy afternoon making my Walter's Shopping list for my trip to Walthers tomorrow. First item is to have a a new battery installed in the pick up. The battery is almost five years old and when I'm at the cabin I don't want to take a chance on the truck not starting some morning and be miles away from a source of vehicle batteries. Some banking, then go to Walthers and then on to home.

I watched a video of Gerry Leone making lily pads and I have two maybe three places that I could used the pads. But, first I need the Green, Brown and Yellow paint to color the pads. I'll end up making several hundred pads that will be needed to do the areas I want to detail with lily pads. One is a very small hollow which would have water deep enough to support lily pads and the pads would be found growing in this setting in nature. The other two areas are large water features that I made with EnviroTex liquids. A very clear finished water feature.

I'll first install some Walthers grass bunches along the edges of the pond and then extend some of the grasses directly in the deeper water and then add the pads planted in dense masses with white glue in and among the grasses out ito the water. Leone also made some cat tails which I'll make at a later date.

Added to my Walthers list are a few items that I "needed" like a screw grabber tool, some HO scale pigeons and a couple of box cars that I use the oil paints for weathering the cars' roofs and sides. The price of Model Railroading just increased.

Spend some time today watching videos from the NMRA video library. Some interesting subjects. One younger fellow earned his NMRA Master Railroader Award at the age of 12!!!

Another video showed Cody Grivno from Model Railroader magazine weathering a SP locomotive with an air brush using four basic colors in his air brush. Interesting how Cody used Post It note materials for masking the loco's side window glass and left the headlights unmasked, but cleaned the lights when he was finished air brushing. The air brushing did a light weathering job on the SP locomotive and it was an impressive job when he finished.

Willie: I have one semaphore signal on my layout, but it's on the old main line that is now a spur. The lamp is wired so it does light, but does not function. I always like the signals as a kid and I wanted one on the CM&N layout. That reminds me that I need to install some "weedy vines" growing up the mast since it is not in use and now forgotten by the maintenance staff.

The Mrs. just arrived home from shopping and visited Hobby Lobby for me for the Turpenoid and Winsor & Newton oil paints.

Almost Miller Time....!!!




The old smaphore signal by the former freight terminal. Adding the "weedy vines" growing up the ladder will give the signal the neglected look. The roadway was made using sand from Sedona, Azronia and takes on a realistic appearance. The four Wisconsin Central box cars are from Fox Valley and each have different reporting numbers. -Greg
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max diyer

Well-Known Member
Howdy everyone!

I finally got a couple of days off. They're forecasting warm temps and rain for both days! :(:mad:
I checked over my pickup as it has to be state inspected by the end of the month and everything seems to be in good condition. My pickup is 11 years old and for next year, I'll probably have to spend some money to be compliant. :rolleyes: Maybe I'll move over to Ohio where they don't have inspections. ;)

I did very little construction on the layout since last week, but with rain tomorrow I hope to get a substantial amount done.:cool:

Justin- I really like the coal trains, especially the one on the bridge!

Willie- The fertilizer distributor and Lakeside Shipping are really neat!
I followed the Trains DPU link and it was very interesting! Thanks for posting!

Dave- Nice work on the 4 cars!

Greg- It's a good thing I don't live close to Walthers - I'd be broke all the time!
Really cool layout photo - lots of stuff to look at!

Have a good night and here's a few photos:

Crossing the Mississippi at Memphis TN

F7a Hagerstown MD

Railfanning the EL at Mansfield OH 1973


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I don't know just how many of you read the Trains magazine forum. There's a pretty interesting discussion regarding DPU operations going on over there. Well interesting to me as I thought that it was more simple than I now realize.
DPU Questions
Check it out if you have time.
I've tried a couple of times on the club layout to do mid train etc DPU helper/s in a long train, with only partial success. It entailed the leads going upgrade, the mids going down and the rear helper going up on a lesser grade (2% for the lead and mid and about 1% for the single rear) with 2 180deg turns in between each. Verrrry slowly was the order of the day.

NCE has a system where you can cut a midtrain helper consist in and out of a long train to simulate the sort of operations that was mentioned MRL/BNSF do over Bozeman and Mullan passes, called "Nesting Consisting". I've tried it and it does work, but once again, is tricky, because of the lack of independent speed/power control over the individual power consists.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Well, good news and bad news on the SD35 front. FedEx must have passed it over to Auspost to deliver and it arrived today (Thursday morning). Packed very securely. The bad news, it's not the road number shown in the listing photos of #702, but #703 instead, with the lifesaver logo. The #702 was probably the clincher for me in going ahead with a single item purchase, as 702 is still in active service on MRL's roster as the switcher at Laurel M.T.'s yard, whereas 703 was sold in 2017. There is not another on the seller's pages. I did check before buying, cause I probably would have bought it as well. It's not stated on the listing header what the road number is, but 702 is what the pictures show.

It's obvious though that it was not intentional by the seller to mislead, because in the description below, he states quite plainly the road # and Atlas's product # and also being the lifesaver version (something I had seen on Atlas's site before buying, along with 702 without the logo.)

Now, even though I had done all this checking on #702, I had not done what I always otherwise do with listings, read the description. The manufacturer's box is still sealed with it's original round seals, unbroken, so it looks like the pics have come from a 702 he's previously sold, which shows it in it's foam cradle.

The model has LED lighting, so that means the numbers on the boards will be translucent. Changing the decals or printed numbers on the shells will be possible and removing the unwanted logo too, but they will present a problem. Sending it back is not really a viable option as there are unintentional failures on both sides. I'll check Atlas's parts list, but I'm not hopeful.
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