Running Bear's September 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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Beach Bum
Good morning, y'all. This mornings low was 59° and the forecast is for another tranquil day. Yesterday, I actually soldered numerous wire drops and secured the track at the Scott Paper facility. Next step is to connect everything to my new buss. I also ran a few trains, and did some switching.

1. Condolences on your family's loss. 2. Like your plan.

Ken: Great work on the GP40

Curt: Like the engine terminal area. you're moving right along with your build.

No photos this morning, have a happy Labor Day!


"retired" conductor
Good morning gang!
Time to wash the truck and a little yard project vefore it gets too warm.
twotracks, I like the trackplan from what I can see of it on my phone. I'll get a better look later on my puter. I've got a similar space to fill.
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Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Happy Labor Day Holiday for those who are still in the Labor Force and have this day off!
To me it was always just another day on the calendar ... Maybe I might have had 50% of them off and those days that I worked never resulted in any extra pay such as most all ground personnel received for working a holiday. The same applied for all anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and all other holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas was another story: My record of being off on those two was something on the order of 20% - that improved as I got older and had more seniority. Finally, the last 5 years I was pretty much able to be assured of the days that I wanted to be off.

Nothing much planned around this household today. The Spousal Unit will be returning here around noontime and I need to "police" the premises. I cannot believe how much I can drag out when doing a few simple repairs that I am able to do when she is not here.

The weather will give us a break over the next several days - only forecast to reach 103 today -
My A/C's need a break ... people on a local website here are complaining about electricity bills in the hundreds of dollars ... and I mean like $5-600 (mine is a $10.00 line service charge each month.)

FRANCINE - Did TROY bring us any additional cinnamon rolls today - no? OK - I would like a BLT with fries and a coke, please!

Curt - You seem to be moving at warp speed - looking good there!

JOE - Good to hear that you got some work done - still don't remember ever seeing some sort of a track plan from you? Did I miss it?

later, Guys


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and 72°, going up to 92° later today, a repeat of yesterday. Pretty active in here already this morning.
Resumed my summertime pastime of mowing parts of the yard yesterday. No wind so it was a good time to mow around the pool and avoid the mower ejaculate blowing into it for cleaning out later. At 50 GPM, the filter pump takes almost an hour and a half to circulate everything and doesn't get it all the first time. I mow some more today.

Eggs Benedict this morning Flo. It's a holiday!

Thanks guys for all of the likes and comments regarding the grain elevators; Sherrel, Louis, Phil, Lee, Chet, Joe, Ken, Curt, Justin, Chad, Guy, Tom.

Still just doing small tasks in the train shed with the newest project section. I installed traffic signs and applied more ground cover. That part is not easy, as that section is immediately in front of the window A/C and ground foam flies easily. I have to clamp a piece of plywood to the layout to block it. However, afterwards, the air flow dries the glue rather rapidly.
OK, the last two grain elevators coming up. I just posted the first one a couple of weeks ago when I upgraded it with signage. Its a styrene kit from American Model Builders, who are more well known for their laser-cut wood structures. This kit has since been re-issued in wood. I call it Red River Valley Feed and Seed
09-05-20 009.JPG

And lastly is Prairie Coop elevator. It is yet another kit from Walther's, whose name escapes me at the moment.
09-05-20 007.JPG

Right now it is on another of those unfinished segments of the layout. I have many industries like this that are just plopped down on their spurs to assure that they fit, and I can switch them, albeit without scenery or figures. Note that this one still has the capability of loading grain into boxcars with the lower spout. Management has just never removed it.

Joe -
There are others, who haven't worked since March, when Knucklehead shut the State down, and not everyone is getting paid. Businesses are realizing that they can get by with fewer people and smaller facilities, so that indicates portions of the economy are due to shrink, in the near future. Guess it depends on what one looks at.
I'll refrain from commenting too much as it might get political. There appears to be governors who don't really have a clue so they have kept everything shut down rather than reopening intelligently. Then you also have the politicians who don't believe the rules apply to them...on both sides of the aisle.
By the way, I am worse than a pack rat, I am a hoarder!
Lee - Celebrity tomatoes work well for me also. I mostly plant Early Girl with Celebrity being the second most popular.
Alan -
Here we go again! Wanna make someone's day really interesting? Send them a completely disassembled steam engine, and put EXTRA hardware in the baggie
Maddening but funny!
Chet - Yes, grain hauling is a big time operation on my layout.At peak harvest time, as many as 35 covered hoppers might be on rail spurs, while another 80 are in unit grain trains traversing the layout making things fun for local switching jobs. The rest are in yards or in mixed freights.
Lucky is the man who has such an excellent club to run trains at in addition to an excellent home layout. The closest model railroad club to me, while close at 30 miles away, is modular only, with no place to set up except at local shows and a Christmas display in a local mall.
I too have almost stopped purchasing any new model RR stuff, freight cars at least. I have been a sucker for some of the ScaleTrains locos though and have purchased nine of them. However I have found that I need quite a few more structures than I planned for prior to retirement.
Curt -
Willie- Nice grain mills. I had no idea you modeled so much of the grain industry.
Thanks Curt. Yep! I basically model generic flatlands with a lot of off-layout grain farmers. On the entire layout, I actually only have two industries that receive grain, an ethanol processor and an flour mill. However nothing goes directly to them. Everything goes to staging/classification yards first.
I just have a concern about getting bored in time once you memorize all the moves. Maybe I'm not looking at it the right way.
That's the beauty of having ten industries to switch like that layout. Just switch two or three per session, vary the way you stage the cars so it isn't repetitious, and set out at some industries and pick up at others. Another trick is to have industries that use a variety of cars. A printer for example might receive ink in tankers, bulk paper rolls in high cube boxcars and ship out in regular boxcars. Lumber yards might receive lumber on flatcars and bricks in boxcars. Leave a car, empty or full, on a spur or the runaround track so you have to move it on the next session.

Besides being Labor Day here in the states, today is National Beer Lovers Day. I'll include myself in that category. It does seem like we have a lot of different "National Beer xxxxx" Days. I'm not complaining, but I don't really need a commemorative day for that hobby!


Well-Known Member
Good morning, and Happy Labor Day !

Jerry ..... It certainly looks dry and hot in your photo. I can see how wildfires can be a problem .

Sherrel ..... Hopefully, the Southeast can get relief from the heat soon.

Willie ..... I like your grain elevators.

Here are photos of my county park where people are enjoying Labor Day Weekend.



Well-Known Member
Morning All. 77 degrees and full sun here in the Ozark Foothills. Flo. Two sunnysides up and Raisin Toast.

Terry. Nice pic those fires out there really effective everything. Seems we slow down when there’s Fires or Blizzards out there because the trains can’t run or delayed.

Troy. Hope to see some track soon. Sounds like the wheels are turning in your head

Sherrel. Why are you sucking up to Flo by calling her by her first name you know she has a crush on the new blood Troy now. Oh thanks for blow the Heat to the Foothils

Willie. I think the Coop Elevator is my favorite I’ve enjoyed the pic. I have a Elevator in O scale I need to build it and put on the Layout. I planted Early Girls last year with no luck so this year I went back to Celebrity.

Thanks for all the likes I don’t think I’ve ever had that many on here and the complements everyone.

Yesterday I tested the cars and took a few pics. I also had this idea of make some old Lionel Piggybacks in the scale this scale is not true O scale or O27 it’s kind in between that’s the beauty of this scale if you like it. Here’s a trailer I did last night using HO decals I’ve had for years. I hand painted the tires which are some old Revell ones I had using Tamiya XF NATO Black. Happy Labor Day. I’ll check in later.



Aurora & Portland Owner
Missed a lot over the last 10 days. Lots of great pictures, conversations, stories and tid-bits. Thank you all.

I had to run to Tennessee for the last 9 days. Moving my elderly and uncle into a smaller place they can handle with their health issues. A long week for sure.

Looking forward to catching up on everything.

Texas Hobo

Well Known Hobo
Good morning all. Oatmeal please. Looks to be another hot humid day. Willie, holler out when the cold front passes by your place.
Thanks to all for the input on the shelf layout. For me the jury is still out. It was a long battle to get the real estate I have and I'm not sure I want to give it up by going smaller. Talking with the grand kids, they like to watch the trains go a round, so another fly in the ointment. I'll keep working it out.
Some great photos you guys a posting. It shows the great array of railroad stuff both real and modeled.




Ol' School
Troy... that is a 2.5% grade. After building this plan, I found out that I wanted more yard switching and storage. Being as I am a glutton for punishment, I'm now going to build a layout with 2 helix's and 3 levels.
Karl... it was fun while it lasted.........
Gary... this has been an unprecedentedly hot summer. I would be hard pressed to come up with the last time it was this hot this long......

Everybody be safe out there.....


Beach Bum
I'll refrain from commenting too much as it might get political. There appears to be governors who don't really have a clue so they have kept everything shut down rather than reopening intelligently. Then you also have the politicians who don't believe the rules apply to them...on both sides of the aisle.
By the way, I am worse than a pack rat, I am a hoarder!
Willie: Initially, I supported the governor, what he did, made sense; we didn't really understand this virus...still don't FWIW...until he decided that opening the beaches, and political demonstrations were risk worthy, while other activities weren't. The other thing I take exception to is his tendency to call everyone who either disagrees with him or fails to follow his edicts, a "Knucklehead"... Gets old fast and shows disrespect. He must have been a pip to work for when he was at Goldman...:rolleyes:

JOE - Good to hear that you got some work done - still don't remember ever seeing some sort of a track plan from you? Did I miss it?
Sherrel: You are correct, there is no plan. A few photos back a couple of years ago when I started, a couple of staged scenes, that's about it. I add a module, put some trakc down, and mess with it until I find something that work to my satisfaction, then I move on to the next segment. Something like 40 linear feet, wrapped around three walls right now, working on an additional 11 ft, once I get the wire buss finished.


Whiskey Merchant
Good morning. We;re a few hours behind a lot of you guys so we don't make it for coffee very early. A cool start to the day at 51 degrees with the temp dropping to 45 and a check of the radar shows rain and snow coming down from our friends to the north in Canada. Any precipitation will be welcome to the fire fighters. Did start a fire to take the chill off. Hard to believe going from 97 to 45 degrees in 2 days. As for the fires, they are zero percent contained.

Lee - Nice work on the NYC steamer and the rolling stock.

- Sorry to hear about your BIL. Condolences. I also have an around the wall layout. It was built mainly as a switching layout. I never had a track plan when building it, but did know what I wanted. It is a point to point layout with a yard at each end. As the layout was being built, I needed so tracks for storage and staging tracks. When building the staging tracks there was a continuous loop for continuous running, but I do not use it too often. Usually when the grand kids or visitors want to see the trains run. The way I operate is to bring a train out of the hidden staging tracks into one of the two yards where a local train is made up and goes out onto the main line to service the rail customers dropping off loaded cars and picking up empties. The local will then return to one of the two yards and pick up any outbound cars and then go "off stage" to one of the hidden staging tracks.
If I want to run trains, then I can go tp my club, which always has some interesting operations. There are two main lines which are usually run in opposite directions. The club is usually open to the public when operating, but with this CORVID-19 crap, we can't allow visitors, so some of the club members will purposely cross over to the opposite main line making operators scrambling for a passing siding, just like the big boys.

- You sure are making some progress on the new layout. Well done.

- Like that B&O locomotive. Sweet.

Jerry - Like that photo. We used to visit the land of fruit and nuts and liked the area around Mt Shasta and like riding on the McCloud River. We do avoid going there now. Do also like that old track plan.

Joe - Nice to hear that you are getting to run some trains. You don't need a lot of room to enjoy running. When I was working on my last yard I was running lots of trains through the different routes through the yard making sure that there were no probems. I figured tha if I can back a 20+ car train through every possible route through the yard with no derailments due to track issues, the job was done. I also enjoyed seeing the web of overhead wires. Reminds me of the yard at Deer Lodge, MT on the Milwaukee Road.

Sherrel -
For years I don't think I knew what holidays were when working as a cop. They didn't mean much and on some of them we got called in to help on some.

Willie - Enjoyed your photos as usual. I have only 4 small grain elevators on my layout plus a flour mill. With it being a smaller layout, it generates more than enough traffic and a lot of switching. It is nice to have the club available for some running. It takes around 15 minutes to work your way around the longest route, that is unless someone decides to throw a curve ball and run in the opposite direction on the same track you're on.

- Excellent photos of your layout as usual. Excellent details. Glad you are enjoying my club photos. Here are some out of the archives.
The first is a train wreck we had. The back of the train is on the grade at the right of the photo. Dewey like to run long trains. I was in no way responsible.


This is one of the two yards on the layout. This room was a baggage room.

This is the other yard which we call the east subdivision. This room used to be the old coal bunker for the Northern Pacific.

This room is where one of the members wife modeled the town of Gardiner, MT set in the 1930's. It is the only part of the layout modeling a particular place. All of the buildings were scratch built using photos from the Museum of the Rockies. It is also one of the few locations where an entire long train can be photographed.

Here is the Roosevelt Arch which is the north entrance to Yellowstone Park with the actual arch below.


Here is the scratch built passenger station.

And the actual station in Gardiner.
Gardiner 9.jpg

Gardiner 1905.jpg

Here's the old Northern Pacific depot in Livingston. Our club is in the basement of the building on the left. You can see the riling for the steps at the right of the building.


PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Today started like any other day with chores then layout time. I did finish up laying out the rest of the track in the RH/TT/Engine servicing area. I connected the 3 leads from the engine service area to the TT (those have power), I added 3 small storage tracks directly across the TT from the RH, and finally I added 2 long tracks (about 2.5 ft. long) alongside the right side of the RH. I figure I have 5 longer storage tracks (including RH) and 7 smaller ones. The 5 storage tracks I added today all still need to be powered and everything needs testing. Tomorrow I hope to get everything wired up and start testing which will most likely take several days to do. I'll post a picture tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thank you all for the likes yesterday.

Lee- Thank you. Nice looking box cars. Great job on the Pennsy trailer.

Garry- Thank you. You are correct that I posted pictures of them before. Great layout scenes.

Ken- Thank you. Great job on the plow.

Joe- Thank you. Any layout pictures?

Sherrel- Thank you. How you liking that dry heat? When I was a kid in El Paso my Dad would always say "It's hot, but it's a dry heat". o_O

Willie- Nice looking mills and storage silos. I briefly thought about having one on the layout but I have nothing to support it and it probably doesn't make sense in the coal/industrial theme of the new layout.

Chet- Great club photos/history and the historical 1:1 photos. I've been meaning to ask how tall is that arch? It looks huge.

I hope everyone has a good night.


Well-Known Member
Tom....CambriaArea51.... was there rail manufactured around the area you are from? I have come across some 90# rail that has been marked Cambria.
Just curious....Thanks
Nope, the closest would be Bethlehem Steel (30 miles south) that would've made rail. The only thing close to me was a former Nike missile site. Ironically the old Nike site and were I live is area #51 on the tax map. Thus the name. It is now where town hall and the municipal building where I work.
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