Running Bear's November 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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Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Cloudy and 62° on the plains of North Central Texas. Doesn't appear that the clouds are going away today, but it will be 78°+ later. Cool front should arrive around 0300 tomorrow morning along with a 60% chance of rain. Mild temperatures for a few days after.
Of course it will rain, I brought my two granddogs home with me yesterday. Bentley who rides inside "the crate", puked as usual and I had to hose it out after getting home. Cannot understand why my daughter always feeds him in the morning before a road trip? This ain't the first time which is why he's confined to that carrier. Thankfully the blind skunk has not made a return visit since coming around three weeks ago; but a very large armadillo came by Wednesday and Thursday nights. Molly will teach Bentley how to chase them. They're actually pretty fast when pursued, despite being rather clumsy looking. I return the dogs and pick up my wife a week from Sunday. If I run the Roomba vacuum, kinda like a Jetson's device, every other day, I may be able to keep the doggie hair in check. I really don't like that device, it's great for laziness, but it is extremely inefficient, circling over and over in the same places repeatedly.. I haven't tried to make use of the mapping system yet, because that requires a combination of WiFi, Alexa and cloud storage...all of which I have access to, but it is a pain to set up. I am not favorable to smart homes at this point in life. Note to Sherrel: I unplugged Alexa while my wife is gone, both of them.

Sausage, cheese and egg biscuits with bacon on the side for me this morning Flo.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments on yesterday's posting; Guy, Sherrel, Karl, Walt, Chad, Phil, James, Hughie, Joe, Curt, Dave, Jerry.

No train shed time yesterday, and to make matters worse, my wife took the newer camera with her. I'll have to use my duct-taped 25 year old Kodak digital for a few days.
Meanwhile I anticipated this and took a number of pictures earlier this week. Let.s look at eateries on the layout. Since my layout is pre-Covid, they're all open and thriving.
In Rycon Township, named after my grandsons, Ryan and Conner, we start with an Oriental restaurant named Mai Wah Noodles & Chop Suey. It's a Downtown Deco kit known as Blair Ave. Part I.

The real joy to me is painting and detailing these Hydrocal structures. The second floor scene is actually a picture from the Internet, that I mirrored and combined to make a dining room.
Also in Rycon Township is Betty's Diner. It's a laser-cut wood kit from Bar Mills called Sweaty Betty's.

The Southern Grill is part of a Walther's Merchant's Row I structure in Maultown.

Paul's Pizzeria is a pre-assembled Walther's Trainline structure that one of my daughter's gave me for Christmas.

I added the sidewalk but no additional detailing or figures yet. It is the beginning or a restaurant row in Charlottesville.
Still in Charlottesville is Adella's Restaurant. It still needs an interior and some patrons. It's a DPM structure sold as Carol's Corner Cafe. If you look at Woodland Scenics built up structures, you'll see the same structure with a couple of other names.
Further north is Casa Montez Mexican Restaurant. It traces its origins to a Heljan/Con-Cor kit, Two Brothers Restaurant.

Sherrel - I can't really offer any advice on GP7's, as they were before my era and I never researched any. I do have an old blue box Athearn one that I believe is actually a GP9; that I have used a a parts supply for years.
Walt -
Willie - Safe travels and don't overspend at the hobby shop!
Unfortunately no visit to the hobby shop as I had the two dogs in the car. Didn't think that one all of the way through.
Greg - Good luck with the Covid antibody test.
Karl - That's good news for you regarding the Covid test. Bad news is that you are still susceptible, as many of us are also.
James - That was a lot of interesting facts about the E units that you posted. Thanks.

Everybody have a great day and an awesome weekend.
NOTE, I stopped while writing this post to freshen up, and forgot to return to it for a while; thus I am later than usual in posting. Now, why did I come into this room to begin with???


Section Hand
Greg - What is the VHS tape you mentioned?
I must find a copy!

There's a VCR version as well as a CD of John Allen's railroad. Sunday River Productions is where you should find the video.



Section Hand
Well Doggies! This just popped up on my U-Tube feed ... I love this!

James Last, the conductor in the Orange Blossom Special video is a German musical director who is of world wide fame. He became very popular in the early '70's and I have many of his vinyl albums.

Sherrel, I have had this video Bookmarked on my computer for years and yes, the fiddle is a collectible.



Section Hand
Sunny day here in this part of Wisconsin. Staying inside like usual and it looks like another day in the computer room.

First order of business today is to start my 2020 Income Taxes. 👎👎👎 I itemize my deductions each year so I start early preparing Excel Spread sheets especially for Medical. I deduct every mile we use to travel to doctors appointments, tests and to pick up prescriptions. Then at 2:30 PM is the Wisconsin Badger's Game.

Checking airlines for trips to Miami to watch the Orange Blossom Special in person.

Willie: Nice job on the hydrocal kits from Randy. I never could master coloring the castings and I guess I should of sealed the hydrocal before painting or staining the kits. I like that blue color as it really stands out.

Likely no trains today, if not a hour or so later after starting the spreadsheets. Maybe tomorrow since the Packers start later in the day.

I do enjoy the many cab rides and layout videos on the web.



PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Spent the first half of the day participating in wife directed pre-Thanksgiving cleaning festivities o_O. I think the big jobs are complete now. In the train room today I soldered the newly laid track together and attached 8 sets of feeders to the rails but not to the buss. No train time tomorrow.

Karl- Nice photo.

Jerry- Thanks for the links and nice CB&Q photo.

Willie- Nice scenes and buildings.

Sherrel- You sound like my daughter and taxes.



I hope everyone has a good night.


Beach Bum
Income taxes for 2020, already....really! Actually, I'm starting to gather up data myself.

Not for nothing, I have been busy researching other Part D plans and calculating probabilities, to determine our direction. Staying with our existing plan, with all of its flaws, appears to be the best bet. It appears that Next year, assuming the wife remains on Rinvoq, the first quarter will have the greatest out flow of out of pocket costs. February and march will be the worst. After that, the monthly cost will settle into a "meager" $239.00 per month through November when the cost drops to $ 100.00 per month. This doesn't count monthly premiums, nor other prescription drugs, most of which will cost $ 3.00 (+ or -), per month. While still really expensive, the cost is do-able instead of prohibitive.

Meanwhile, I'm moving right along with the layout. I did some more work on the Reading station, mostly with the platform, and worked on another of the planned revisions to the original track plan.
Essington Station Rev 1.jpg

Curt: Great progress on your layout. My turn doing thorough cleaning tomorrow. Only the one son will be coming home this year, pending any last minute Navy Department imposed restriction to the contrary. He has access to instant result testing, and will undergo one prior to departure.

Karl, speaking of Covid tests, happy to hear your test was negative...also disturbed that it took you a whole week to get your results. It took them five days to get my results back to me last June, looks like we are regressing, rather than improving.
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Well-Known Member
Greetings folks!

Brought the cinnamon rolls this morning. Help yourselves.

It's 37° in The Fort (NE Indiana) this morning, and snoushing - that's a midwest term. Snowing but it's slushy by the time it hits us.


It'll melt tonight or tomorrow as a warming trend hits with rain. But, we're in for the first of our winter-yuck weeks of cold/melt/cold/melt.

Didn't get much done on the layout. Did decide to cut out one turnout that I melted the ties on with my first wave of overzealous soldering. The short/little through rails after the frog were good, except for one on the mainline. Couldn't get it to stay put, and I had a boxcar derail several times when I pushed it through.

Fortunately, I didn't have any through track on the single side of the turnout. BUT, I cut the wrong feeder track first after the frog. Should have cut the other one with the curve first, then the straight one. Shattered the cutoff wheel in the dremel when that piece of track snapped straight.
Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 6.34.21 AM.png

I screwed that install up. And it was a repair job after cutting out the other turnout. Didn't have enough glue holding it, and had pushed it beyond where I had it curved when I installed it. I gave it an extra flex AFTER soldering both ends to make it fit better during install. Should have just cut a new piece, bent it, glued and pinned it, then soldered to the turnouts.

That one section has had all kinds of learning experiences. So far, only at the expense of two turnouts -but the Peco ones are in short supply right now. The supply chain is more painful than the dollars lost, but not by much.

And yes, I had my safety glasses on.

And I need to replace some of plaster cloth over the foam riser. The torque of the track popping loose pulled the cork and plaster cloth off the foam. Cork replace is easy, but it's too low. I'll add the plaster cloth, then the cork, then level it before I install that new turnout I stole from the other end of the layout.

Oh, and I got this yesterday. Making life easier. Interesting that the solder from the hardware plumbing section I was using didn't melt until the iron got up to the 700° range. I also ordered a spool of .6mm solder for electronics with a melting point around 450° (F). Hoping that cuts down on the melted ties.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 6.36.00 AM.png


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Partly cloudy and 63°. Wind has already shifted from the north, the rain in the forecast, eh maybe. Still about 75 miles north in OK and sorta moving east.
Fifty seven years ago today was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the shooting death of Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. I happened to be at recess during the sixth grade at a Catholic school in Dallas at the time. The Mother's Club from our church was at the reception that he was headed for, volunteering to serve lunch. One of my neighbors was James P. Hosty, a member of the FBI, a key person in the investigation, as one of his roles prior to the assassination was to keep tabs on Lee Harvey Oswald. A historical side note regarding Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas businessman who took the infamous home movie during the assassination; he donated $25K of the $150K that Life magazine paid him for the film, to the widow of Officer Tippit. Where were you?

That's both Alexa's that I unplugged! The damn thing in the kitchen reacts when I remove the top from a beer bottle among other things!

I'll take a Mexican omelet with a side of bacon this morning Flo. Of course I'll need some spicy salsa and a big glass of OJ.

Thanks for the likes and comments regarding the restaurant tour yesterday; Phil, Hughie, Greg, Sherrel, Guy, Rick, Ken, Curt, Jerry, Karl, Dave, Tom O, James.

I did a little project work in the train shed yesterday. I made trees, something that I dislike doing but it is a necessary evil. Made eleven before moving on to other stuff, including vacuuming parts of the floor near the entryway. Lots of grass clippings get dragged in.
Meanwhile back to the "Taste of the SFW Layout Tour".
Starting off with Rudy's BBQ, a well known eatery here in Texas. It too is another version of the DPM structure Carol's Corner Cafe (seen yesterday as Adelle's), with their traditional outdoor patio. It's in downtown Maultown.

On the highway leading into Maultown is Bigglemeyer's Burger Parlor. It's a Walther's kit, Miss Bettie's Diner, with an alternate name.

Another place on the highway leading into town is the Dew Duck 'N cafe. It's one half of a DPM Gold Series kit called Popa Weelie's Saloon and Dew Duck'n Cafe. The Saloon is built but is not currently on the layout.

Next door to the cafe is the Dairy Queen, for fast walk-up service.

This is a Walther's kit and represents a Dairy Queen built before drive through or dining room service was added.
A fifth place in Maultown (Southern Grill) was featured yesterday.

Greg - I also have some music conducted by James Last. Good time happy music.
You're correct, sealing the Hydrocal is the key to a good paint job on those Downtown Deco structures. I just use Krylon rattle-can white primer from Walmart after I have assembled the walls.

I'll leave with a parting picture. As some of you might remember I have somewhat chronicled a new neighbor that moved onto the property about a quarter mile south of me, technically next door. He and his wife are quite fond of decorating. While I missed getting a picture, for Veteran's day, they had a "tube man" dressed in red, white and blue out front next to the "gatehouse" (actually a well pump house). They took it down and now have an old truck in its place.

I don't know whether or not it will become decorated at some point. It does still run, although the registration has expired. They recently built a 2.5 acre lake near their gate, and installed a fountain in it. Currently there's multicolored lights aimed at the fountain. Brings a little liveliness to the neighborhood. Their intent has always been to build a country estate there, and nestled in the property are two homes accessed by a gravel driveway that probably cost $20K to build. He has expressed some dismay, because they thought that the homes would be secluded and invisible from the county road; they were until the trees dropped their leaves.

Looks like the rain may make it here after all, it's now about 35 miles north and while headed in an easterly direction, it's developing along the front.
Everybody have a great day. Go to the church of your choice and wear your mask, so they don't know who you are when you don't give an offering.


Well-Known Member
Good morning ....

E-units ....

CB&Q E5A / E5B with the Twin Cities Zephyr in Northern Illinois . Note, as a kid growing up in Illinois, I did ride the TCZ a few times including behind E5's. E7's were most common on that train.

SOU E6 in Birmingham, AL with Frisco E-units.

As was mentioned, EMD produced more E7’s than any other model pf passenger locomotive. PRR has the largest E7 fleet and CB&Q had the second largest E7 fleet.

Everybody ...... Have a good day.
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Well-Known Member
Good morning, another beautiful clear cold day in Montana, currently 20 degrees outside.
Willie - I always look forward to your pictures. You really bring everything to life with the various figures. I would pitch those two listening devices out.
Cant even crack a cold one without being noticed. :rolleyes:

What a beautiful old truck, If Santa has a truck that's how I imagine it would look!


Ol' School
Good morning from the left coast. Going to be clear & 45 today. Flo, one of those cinnamon rolls heated up with a cup of deer camp please......Thank you Troy!
Thanks all for the likes & comments!
Willie, the Dew Duck'n Cafe, looks good, I like the old free standing brick building.
Gary, good info, great pictures! They don't build them to look like that anymore!-----Although they should! 😉
I always liked CB&Qs all white with red accent paint job. Only road that had a basically all white painted power (?) Classy, but it would seem like it was hard to keep clean. I've got pictures of an FT and F2 in that scheme.


Texas Hobo

Well-Known Member
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