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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PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Our family event was cancelled (probably a good thing since it would be with strangers) so I vacuumed the pool and cleaned the filter. After that I hooked up the sidings electrically to the main buss. After metering everything I tested the sidings with a F3A and 4 Pennsy H21's. After a break I covered everything in a black craft paint wash. Finally I laid out the right hand side reverse loop (inside the right hand loop around). It looks like it will have a 22" radius-not great but it is what it is.

I found out today that a local friend (lives in Orlando), his wife and his MIL have tested positive for Covid. I usually meet up with him 1-2 times a month but we haven't met up for months because of daughter being a school teacher and the grandkids in school.

Hughie- That sounds neat.

Joe- Immaculate looking trackwork.

Troy- I use 0.5mm solder in HO scale so the 0.6mm may be large for N scale. Nice soldering station.

Willie- Great looking eating establishments. I was in second grade (in El Paso) and I remember to this day that a girl who had been in the school office came back to the classroom crying because she saw on a TV that the president had been shot. I remember the teacher telling us to bow our heads and we prayed for him and his family. I also remember how the country shut down for days. This was the first government thing that I remember from my childhood.

Garry- Nice pictures.

The test train.

How I like the mine. Gives me a track for a shifter. The blank spot would be for trucks.

How it should be placed.

I hope everyone has a good night.


Well-Known Member
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?
Willie, I too was in the 6th grade in Santa Maria, CA. Someone came into our room and whispered something to Miss Hart. She started crying and told us what happened and asked us to sit quietly for awhile. Later all the classes met in the cafeteria and they set up a TV. Ironically, my future bride was in the 4th grade at the same school at the time. We met in my senior year.


Beach Bum
Curt: Thanks. I would place all three tracks under the tipple. Love the scenery behind the test train. Your layout is coming along nicely. Using 22" radius on a reverse loop is not the end of the world, based on your previous layout, you don't use stuff that doesn't like 22" radius, so it really won't matter, in the broad scheme of things.

Troy: I work with solder I bought at Radio Shack, around 25 years ago. Last summer, I ordered some electronics solder from MicroMark, that was significantly thinner, but for some reason wouldn't melt. I have my best results, when i put a drop of flux on the joiner and tin the iron.

Willie: I was a Sophomore in High School, we were in Study Hall, watching the clock, (last period), when they broadcast the news over the PA system. Not for nothing, that sort of left us all with an empty feeling. The whole country seemed to shut down.

Nothing to report on the layout, I spent much of the day helping vacuuming and moving furniture. I room left for tomorrow.
B&O #7 Departing Jersey City 6-18-1954.jpg

B&O Train #7, "The Shenandoah", departs Jersey City on June 18, 1954, with NYC in the background.


Well-Known Member
Good afternoon from Paradise. While boring with the Pandemic I could get used to this island paradise. The weather is beautiful. My golf game after not playing for 3 summers is getting better. I miss my modeling.

Great pictures guys.

6th grade when President Kennedy was shot. Vivid things I also remember are Sputnik, the Cuban Crisis and Kennedy’s election. Nothing before the that except my grandfathers wake in 59 because that was my first dead person, I would have been 7.



Well-Known Member
Evening, been busy at work and home getting things wrapped up for winter. 4 of the 5 trucks have their plows and salters in and ready to go. The outdoor Christmas lights are up and working on the inside next. Did take somewhat of a break from the grain cars. In one of the boxes that my buddy gave me were damaged cars for parts. Mr. Butterfingers tends to drop cars once in a while and ends up with a box of broken cars. What is no good to him ends up being derailment loads for me. Other than getting the chain and turnbuckles to tie it down it's done.


Well-Known Member
View attachment 121049

On the right, the Oatey solder I picked up from the big box hardware store
on the left, ordered via Amazon
Track in the image is N scale for comparison. the Oatey is labeled as Wire Size/Guage 0.063
I'd use the thin stuff, and I'd use a gel or liquid flux like the H&N one I mentioned earlier if you are soldering track. I'd probably use one of the silver based ones H&N sells (96/4 Tin/Silver) for track. I am not an expert but when I see other things I have soldered that could be comparable, that is more what I have used. I use the 60/40 Tin/Lead stuff when doing electronics but things like steel track (or steel electrical bus in a cab car wagon) I use the Tin/Silver and the H&N No. 30 Super safe in Gel or liquid. Works far superior to what I was trying to do with normal rosin core solder and teh steel electrical bus in the cab car. (Long steel "bar" which carried power from the pickups to the lights -- trying to solder to it was impossible until I used what I mentioned -- I can see it being similar to soldering track)


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Rewriting this as I was attaching a picture and the whole thing disappeared.

A peek at my progress on the rail tower:

In this picture the guttering wasn't painted nor was the roof attached. More pictures will be in the build thread.

Wife's employer has shut down for the next 2 weeks due to covid concerns. She's in quarantine through Friday which has given me the train time. I'm also sleeping in the spare basement bedroom. No symptoms for her yet, but based on what she told me of her exposure, I don't expect her to have any.

Short days this week as due to the 2-day holiday, I only work 3-8's instead of 3-9's. Of course there's always on call, but that's been rare lately.


Beach Bum
Another slow morning in the coffee shop, eh? 55° and wet here in Jersey, although it appears the rain has stopped. "Sposed" to cool down later on.

Took Miss Molly to the Vets for her annual Dental work. Wife is nervous and will be until her fluff ball comes home, later today.

Yesterday, I vacuumed all three bedrooms, and hall upstairs, and the living room, dining room and stairway. All that's left is the family room, at most, a 30 minute job. Then, I can finish a project in the train room.

As we approach Thanksgiving eve, I think back to the days when I was in charge of both South Kearny and North Bergen Trailvan Terminals. United Parcel shipped every Parcel shipped in Metro NY via Rail, as they were off Wednesday COB to Monday morning. That meant a parade of UPS vans waiting to get in to the terminals, drop and return lite to get more. Extra sections of TV79 and TVLA, plus filled out Consists of Mail 9 and Mail 3, as well. The biggest shock, was the sudden silence, when the last trailer was loaded, and the train was given over to the car department. The other strange experience on Thanksgiving morning was driving over the Pulaski Skyway at 0600, and being the only car on the highway.

November 23 2020 Trenton NJ H. Smith Photo.jpg

Trenton, NJ on November 23, 1968, with a GG1 powered freight waiting for the Signal to go East on #2, and a Westbound drill behind an ALCo on #3 Track. Hal Smith photograph.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. It's currently cloudy and 45°. The rain yesterday stalled at the Red River (Oklahoma border about twenty miles away) and moved away to the east. Clouds won't go away until Wednesday, :( and the temperature today may hit 60°. Yesterday's high was 62°, but that was at midnight and it dropped all day and night. Fall weather is definitely here but I don't see freezing temperatures for at least another week in the extended forecast. I know that it's fall because I had to wear blue jeans and long sleeves for the first time this season yesterday.Today's southerly winds will allow a return to shorts and tee shirt.
Made it through the first two days of dog-sitting OK. Molly has been here many times for extended visits (four weeks earlier this spring), but this is Bentley's first time to spend time here. I had been concerned about leaving him out unattended and untethered, but he hasn't wandered off far enough for any worry. I have had him on the leash when we walk, but I will see if we can ditch that today. When I walk with Molly, I only walk on the gravel easement road up the hill and back to the neighbors goat farm a bit over a quarter mile away. She (the dog) isn't really cognizant of cars so I don't take her on the paved road out front. I dislike leashes and so do the doggies.

Morning Flo. Heard that you had leftovers from yesterdays BBQ special event. I'll take a half-rack of ribs and a Polish Sausage with potato salad and lots of that southwest BBQ sauce. I'll pass on the cold brew for now, but I will take a diet A&W Root Beer.

Thanks to the long list of visitors to the Coffee Shop who left a like or comment regarding the restaurant tour; Rick, Troy, Garry, Tom O, Walt, Jerry, Karl, Guy, Joe, Hughie, Ken, Chad, Curt, Phil, Sherrel, Tom, James, Patrick.

Out in the train shed yesterday, I did a bit more vacuuming of the floor. That shop vacuum is extremely loud and I have to wear hearing protection when using it. One result of living in the country with no concrete around. Plus, the man who farms the large plot of land next door, plowed up te field last week while there was a stiff breeze from his direction. Dust everywhere.
Let's continue the "Tour of SFW Eateries" with a bakery/deli with dine-in seating. It doesn't have a name yet, and it anchors down one end of a Walther's Merchants Row I structure.

Then we have Walt's Cafe. This is a City Classics structure and is located in my town of Gainesville.

Fred & Reds Hamburgers is on the outskirts of town. It is a Blair Line laser-cut structure that was fun to build. Those two signs have raised lettering which was interesting to do.

Elsewhere in Gainesville is Tequila's Mexican Food. It is in the same location in a Walther's MR I structure as the Southern Cafe pictured Saturday. The two structures are on different levels and face different aisles so no one is the wiser except me, and now you.

Rosa's Mexican Food is a Hydrocal structure from Downtown Deco. It's actually nearby Fred & Reds, but I uploaded the pictures in the wrong order.

Sorry about the poor picture.
Lastly is the D's Diner structure from Woodland Scenics that I completed recently.

I hope that you have enjoyed all of the food on this tour. I have a few more for tomorrow.

Walt - Can't ditch the Alexas since they are a companion to my wife. She argues with one of them all of the time while playing trivia or jeopardy type games with it. I have for now not mentioned to her that the new freezer and semi-new washing machine, as well as the Roomba vacuum can be hooked up to our home wifi and come under Alexa's watchful eyes/ears as well. Wife is into some of these techie things; her Fitbit watch besides monitoring her body also tells her whenever she gets a text message on her cell phone! Displays the time also.
I truly believe that the old truck next door will be decorated with Christmasy stuff like lights and figurines. I'll know if lights are added as I will be able to see it from my back porch.
Tom - Great use for the covered hopper. Did you do any additional scarring or is that the way it came? I look forward to seeing the final result.

Thanks for the 11-22-63 memories from all. That event got me interested in politics for the first time, especially since it happened in my hometown. Shortly afterward, I met Walter Cronkite himself, having cocktails with my parents and his nephew (my Dads boss) in our living room. I paid much more attention to the nightly news by then. Dad also knew Dallas's District Attorney, Henry Wade, (Roe vs Wade) and he visited several times. Politics has been a passion ever since.

Looks like a short week for many who are employed. Enjoy the upcoming long weekend even though you might be away from family and friends.
Everybody have a great day.


Well-Known Member


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Guess I had better show up today as I was in hiding yesterday. We had a little frost this morning when I rolled the trash bins out for P/U. Now the temp is up to 52 ° heading for a 67 ° high under partly high thin clouds.
Concerning JFK - I was driving to Mobile, Alabama, to spend Thanksgiving with a girl that I had met in Miami while interviewing with Eastern Airlines when I heard the news on the radio - she was there interviewing for flight attendants.
Her father was in the merchant marine and was gone from home, so I spent Thanksgiving with her and her mom - The three of us stayed "glued" to the telly most of the time. My mom called the house there on Thanksgiving Day to inform me that the station master had just delivered a telegram informing me to report to Kansas City for pilot training on December, 2nd.
SD-45 #945 Mammoth Spring, AR; May 17, 1979.jpg

Texas Hobo

Well-Known Member
Good Morning all. Waiting to the conductress to the dr.
As to JFK - I was working at my first full time job after high school. I worked for a Customs Brokerage. The events were on all the radios in the Customs House and when I got back to the office the boss sent me home and closed early. An aside, that company was lost in the 9/11 attack.

she's ready.



Well-Known Member
As to JFK, I was not yet quite born -- my parents were newlyweds and I was not born until early 1966 (like Jan). The earliest world event things I really remember is some of the later moon landings and the 73 Yom Kippur war and the end of the Vietnam war (I think about the time the US withdrew in the 71 and the South was on its own -- I clearly remember the time up to the final defeat of the South). I remember Nixon running for re-election, as I told my mom I wanted her to vote for Nixon for me :)


Well-Known Member
Happy Monday all! I had so much vacation I didn't use this year I decided to Jumpstart Thanksgiving by taking a few extra days. Gives me 9 days off for three vacation days. Not too shabby! I'll spend the time not used preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday on O'Neill's. I finished the tower walls this morning, and assembled the tower doors and windows. Now I get to make some signs!

Tower Walls.JPG

Tower doors & windows 1.JPG
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PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Today I started out with some chores then in the train room I laid out the right side reverse loop cork road bed and figured out how I'm going to put in the B.T.S mine that I built earlier this year. It will have 2 load tracks, 3 storage tracks and 1 shifter track. There will be miner housing also. In the pictures the white WS risers (not glued down) will go to a AMB Pennsy style coal trestle (private business).

Thank you for the likes of my photos yesterday.

Sherrel- Nice memory and photo. I didn't realize that you are that old! :D

Alan- Very nice modeling.

Joe- Thanks. Nice photos. I figure if a loco doesn't like a tight curve then go slower. Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way of modeling?

Tom- That's going to be a really nice load.

Patrick- Nice job on the tower.

Willie- More great eateries.




I hope everyone has a good night.


"retired" conductor
Good evening gang!
Another Monday in the books and I survived. Actually I think SWMBO had a worse time of it. After work she ran home to grab both dogs, the cat and the 17 year old to get the critters to a 5:30 vet appointment! I got home at 6:15 to a quiet house, so nice!! A half hour later they hit the door. Oh well, it was nice for a bit.
Working on modifying parts for the heater controls for the S10 tonight. The factory parts are discontinued, and there are no aftermarket replacements. We did find the correct vacuum actuator, but with different linkage. The only issue is the are tack welded on, so after cutting through the welds and freeing up the right parts, I now have to put them together again. More on that tomorrow.

Found a few pics from my modular display layout days (I still have most of them!)

The east end of the town of Polar Grove
Cameracontents 32010 012.jpg

Double heading past a bank barn (yes, the engine is smoking)


West end of Poplar Grove

Cameracontents 32010 010.jpg

WM 40 with it's oddball Scotchbright nose lettering, the only unit to ever wear them.


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