Monday, April 25, 2005
There are still real Red Cars and you can still see them without leaving California! I know of a few places I need to visit when I am in Los Angeles. Check out the link above. Also, there is a great link to John Smatlak's Vintage American Trolley Links. If you are bored some weekend, here is a great destination.....
Sunday, April 24, 2005
More accurately, this is Joe's reproduction Carlisle and Finch Mining Train. It goes along with those cool little ore cars he made some time back. Also, if you go to York, stop in and see Joe. As I recall, his table alone is worth the trip!
If you belong to the Standard Gauge Groups, you've already seen this. If you don't this is some amazing work from a master craftsman, Joe Mania. Check out the original vs. Joe's! Joe just whacked the ball outta the park on this one. Joe, how many complete sets can I order???
I always thought that if I got my hands on a nice 116 Station and Terrace, that would be the end of it. I'd have the nicest station in the world and I could go on my merry way scheduling the mid-morning 408E express and let the 384E pull the 500 series freights out of the yard.
Well, this is probably the nicest station I have ever seen. The Ives original glass domed stations come close but this thing is just unbelievable. It does have the obvious European flare but I think I could live with it, especially since this architecture is essentially timeless. Is remaking an item like this impossible (is something like this with this kind of quality a lost art)? Maybe that's why it will command a nice price?
Saturday, April 23, 2005
These cars are really very, very nice inside. The wood paneling reminds me of the early trolley work I have seen at quite a few of the museums. I'm not going to pepper you all with too many more pics, I know how tedious home slide shows can be of vacations (and this wasn't really a vacation for me anyway). If you want me to post more pics, let me know.
Here's a thought on Walt Disney from Ward Kimball's book, it really does say it all:
"If you want to know the real secret of Walt's success, it's that he never tried to make money. He was always trying to make something that he could have fun with or be proud of."
I wish there were more of the above sentiment these days.
Eventhough this is not a real steam loco, it is a very nice attempt. The loco and cars are sort of an amalgamation of all the various trains we might have seen from an African or Outback safari. The insides of the cars are really very nice.
Funny thing, this thing isn't even a streetcar. It's just a bus that was made up to look like a streetcar. Pretty darn good attempt though. Watch the movie, the streetcars are probably some of the nicest I have seen represented from Los Angeles in the Golden Era of Film.
One thing about this layout, it is consistently packed with visitors. Even when the trains aren't running right, this thing is packed. I wish LGB would step in and give them some running gear and routine maintenance. That kind of sponsorship would be very positive for both companies.
There's a really nice LGB (or G gauge I guess) layout at EPCOT Germany. Unfortunately it is maintained by the Horticulture Department at Disney and not train enthusiasts. It isn't running as many trains as it should and the trains/buildings are not well maintained. Still, it is very, very nice layout and with some minimal TLC could be really fun for many, many people to operate and get bitten by the train bug.
Some toy trains at Disney... A little display that shows a couple of the trains you can actually buy and take home with you at Disney. Are they perfect standard gauge? Hardly. Would they make nice additions under a Christmas Tree or somewhere on a layout? Probably. The fact that they have them at all speaks volumes. Toy trains still resonate with all ages.
This is one of those reasons I love Walt Disney! The whole concept of his parks having a huge trainset definitely puts us on the same wavelength! I don't know anyone in standard gauge that wants "small" trains and judging from his friend's collection (Ward Kimball), I don't think Walt or his pals wanted teeny weeny trains either.
MGM is probably my favorite part of the park. The architecture is phenomenal and I do like the sense of nostalgia. They have great old cars everywhere and a bunch of neat little suprises. I have two favorite areas, one is the animation area and the other is the biographical area of Walt Disney.
The tinplate above is in the Walt Disney, One Man's Dream attraction. It is really a great attraction for us older folks because it has a wonderful show area and it really does have a nice biography of how the man thought.
But further, it had some of his feelings on trains (toys and real). Yes, I know there are some great books on Walt's feelings about trains (I have them) but it is really kind of nice to go the park and see some of the stuff in action.
I gotta tell ya, the Monorail, even after all these years is just something else. It's shiny and fast and comfortable. I'll see if I can find some of the Monorail pics I took. If you haven't been to Disney, just the Monorail makes it worth the trip. There are trains in all of the parks in some form or fashion. Obviously the Magic Kingdom has a straight tourist train and so does Amimal Kingdom.
Alright, so I spent some time at Disney last week. That Walt sure did have a thing for trains! No, there isn't going to be much up the way of standard gauge at Disney although Disney does really lend itself to some neat standard gauge gear.
So I'll post some pics and items and you can tell me what you think. I am not going to go into whether I love Disney (or not). Save that discussion for here:
I'm not going there. I'll just go where there are some really nice trains!
Thursday, April 14, 2005
That Jim Kelly! He's improvising lighting systems in his 42 and 18, 19 and 190 cars!
Actually, it isn't the lighting I was wondering about, it's that animal in the back... Is it a horse or a wild boar? I have yet to see wild boar's associated with prewar trains but I do seem to remember an old beer with a boar's head on the label.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Ok, I know you are all tired of hearing about this museum! But man, this is a cool snow plow! And this little guy got to jump on the caboose and wreak havoc!
I've been paying for my long trip, came down with something nasty. Probably caught it from those Amish guys I bought the caramel corn from in PA!
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Bruce, do you live in a log cabin? Just goes to show that these trains not only look great, they look at home anywhere! Bruce, you ever thought about putting in one of those overhead tracks to go around your living room?
We folks in the train community are always fussing and feuding about reproductions, refurbs and the like. As I recall, Bruce said some of this set has been refurbed/fixed. When you look at it, it doesn't matter one iota what was done to it, it is just a dang beautiful train.
I hope Bruce's house has plenty of mantles!
Bruce has some nice trains - he actually saw a page from one of the catalogs I posted and let me know that the maroon 318E was really a maroon 380E. As you can see from his pics, you don't need a big layout or a the rarest of rare to have gorgeous standard gauge.
It's amazing how great these little sets are.....
My camera lense couldn't capture the raw size of this Power Plant. I didn't have enough room to back up! I'm just not doing these justice with pictures. Does anyone else know where I can go to see these things in the Northeast? Most of the decent steam in the Northeast is focused on tractors and farm stuff. Pretty cool but kind of boring after the 10th tractor.