Sunday, May 29, 2005


And I keep reading about the housing bubble bursting! Can't have too many bungalows on a layout!

MPosted by Hello

More from the upcoming NETTE auction on June 25th

A gorgeous Ives lampost. This makes me want to go back to Bridgeport and snag the old lamp I saw discarded by the Trolley Barn!

MPosted by Hello

New England Toy Train Exchange - June 25, 2005

Some unusual stuff coming up from Mark and Naomi on June 25th. Check out the link above, they will proabably post the auction in the next few weeks.

This just goes to show how nice transition sets can be.Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

DCS & 22 Volts?

Ok, so I am trying to fire up the below GG1 as well as a few other standard gauge morsels and my DCS remote won't kick out more than 22 Volts of juice in conventional mode.

I called MTH and got through to a great tech. He told me that most O gauge engines and most current standard gauge don't use much more than 22 volts. Unfortunately, standard gauge requires a little more than 22 Volts of juice.

I like DCS and I don't see changing my preferred control mechanism but it looks like I may just have to wire up a seperate ZW to my standard gauge track.

First though, has anyone figured out any tricks with DCS to get around this "juice shortage"? If not, I guess I'll just take one of the old ZW's out of the closet.

PS It took me 1.5 minutes to get to a live and knowledgable person (that was from this country) at MTH. No company is perfect but as someone that can't even get a live person on the phone from his OWN gigantic company, I was very pleasantly suprised. That's good work, even if I didn't get the answer I wanted!

M Posted by Hello

JAD M10000

I'd love to add a few more cars to this thing. It's already huge but I don't care, two more cars would make it ideal.

Now if I could just get my hands on a decent standard gauge Zephyr.....

There are at no less than 8 versions of the M10000 and Zephyr in O gauge but diddly in standard gauge. Come on manufacturers! I also just saw the new MTH catalog (the I-5). That I-5 and some heavyweights sure would look nice in standard gauge.

MPosted by Hello

JAD Heavyweight

Ok, so click on this picture and blow it up. The prior owner of this set decided it needed people. Ergo, all of the tables have little dishes, glasses and silverware. Also glued in place are a TON of little plastic people, decorations and so on. I know these are after market because there is a small amount of plastic glue on the top of one of the cars. Ugh.

THe little people don't look bad but I know this wasn't how the product shipped. Oh well, the little people are probably here to stay.

These suckers are heavy! Heavyweight is the right name for these cars.

By the way, if Lionel really wanted to make a striking statement in standard gauge, a bonafide GG1 and Congressional set would be nothing less than amazing.

M Posted by Hello

GG1 & Heavyweight

Ya, I know I gotta get my trains off the floor and get started on some benchwork. I gotta thin out some of my collection first. I have already started putting some stuff up on eBay.

Check out the next close up.

M Posted by Hello

JAD Rules!

I finally got my hands on one of these Tuscan GG1's (in standard gauge that is). The set is huge, I haven't really pushed this engine yet to see if it is heavy enough to pull the entire set.

I like this set because it is a little bit different. I've seen enough State Sets and Comets to choke a horse. I like 'em but after seeing them for a few decades I get kind of anxious to see something else.

This thing is really something else. Does anyone else have any pics they can share of recent standard gauge? That means something that Lionel could have not or would not have built but someone else got the great idea and built anyway.

I gotta talk to John Daniels and get some history on these things.

M Posted by Hello

PS I know the floor looks a little dirty. I have to pull up the track to clean it! The wood flooring is about 110 years old (cut from New England Lumber).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The One That Got Away....

I was watching the Ralston auction today. Most of it was very, very reasonable, especially if you like Marklin or some other German manufacturer.

I wish they broke the auction up logically, like The New England Toy Train Exchange does. Everything seems to be all over the place. I really like the German stuff but I would rather tune into the auction when items I am interested in are getting auctioned off. All in all though, the auctions were not expensive at all. I am still confused on the Lionel Classics stuff, they auctioned off two 390E's in Blue and Green that they claimed were Lionel Classics. I just know that this can't be correct.

The above (pictured) got away. I was about to bid and my internet connection died. I practically threw the computer at the wall.

The price of 260 bucks is pretty reasonable for this set. I only have one CMT engine and it doesn't run well at all. I thought I would try this one. I liked this Camelback because I haven't seen many in standard gauge.

Does anyone have any information on CMT or some of the other obscure vendors like JAD?

Oh well, another day, another train....

M Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Cold Spring and the Hudson Valley

I have a few more interesting pics that I'll post later but I wanted to get this one up. This is one of my favorite views on our little planet. It's the Hudson River from the shores of Cold Spring. I know most everyone is heading someplace this summer (if you can afford the gas) and the Hudson Valley is a good place to vacation. For folks that appreciate history and trains, there is a tremendous amount to do.

This is just one little part of the Hudson Valley, you can also go up and tour Franklin Roosevelt's house in Hyde Park or go see the Vanderbilt's Summer Mansion right down the street. West Point is always interesting and there are a ton of train related tours and excursions via the Metro North.

Off the beaten path (and this is where it gets interesting), there are some major ruins and haunted places in the Hudson Valley as well. Bannerman's Castle is just up the river from Cold Spring and there are now tours you can go on. When I first saw it during the winter years ago, my wife thought I had lost my mind (a castle in ruins on the Hudson River?) Ha! I'm not crazy! Now there is a drive to preserve the castle and there are daily tours of it. It is one super-creepy place. There are also walking tours of haunted Cold Spring.

By the way, there are train shows in the Hudson Valley and quite a few interesting and ancient trains crawl out of the woodwork. There are huge old Victorian homes all over the place, most of them are owned or occupied by descendants of the original owners or by long running associations with the property. Bob (the owner of Once Upon A Time) told me about many homes he has been to where he opened a door or went into a basement and saw room after room of standard gauge trains. I'm not talking about a TCA member, and I'm not talking about a couple of 500 series boxcars either. I'm talking about a very old guy that was there (and rich) when this stuff was made and bought them en masse.

Bob told me about a guy that had a bunch of Blue Comet sets. He apparently passed away, the pipes burst in his mansion and his heirs asked Bob if wet Blue Comet sets (rusted) were worth anything. Makes ya want to cry, doesn't it? Oh yes, Bob told me that same guy collected Lionel Trolleys (the standard gauge kind) and those weren't wet. Who knows where they'll show up? Believe me, I have done a few cursory explorations of some of the mansions through the Hudson Valley (just do a Google search on Hudson Valley ruins or mansions). There is a ton of standard gauge that has yet to be found.

Get out and do some exploring -

MPosted by Hello

Cold Spring, Finishing Up

I just love these windows. When you walk down the street in this little city, you just wanna grab this architecture and take it back to your layout. This could be the streets of Paris but this building and these windows have been on Main Street in Cold Spring for over 100 years. Even if you don't walk away with a standard gauge treasure, you won't be disappointed.

M Posted by Hello

Serious Toyz Nice Tin Case

This store is full of nice toys. The owner told me he is having trouble keeping up with all of the toys he is getting consigned for the next auction. Ergo, check out the link to their website and get on the mailing list.

By the way, they also have a nice selection of toy soldiers here as well.

M Posted by Hello

Standard Gauge at Serious Toyz

Ok, so it isn't much but I did like to see it. Hold on, they also have some cases of very nice tin as well.

M Posted by Hello

Another Toy Store in Cold Spring (Serious Toyz)

Serious Toyz is in Cold Spring as well. They are having a fairly large toy auction in the next few months and they do it on the web but NOT on eBay. Why? Well, how about no 17% buyers charge.

Call them up and get on their mailing list. They have some very nice old toys and one thing I really did like was that the owner made sure you knew what was refinished and what is original. Honesty speaks volumes.

The store is pretty cool too. Not as full of tinplate as I generally like but I did like what I saw.

M Posted by Hello

Inside the Ice Cream Shop

Ah, here's the pic of the Lionel sign. Kind of cool (pardon the pun) in an ice cream shop. One other thing, this shop also has a beautiful and giant wood counter (like you'd see near an old Soda Fountain). I didn't get any pics but it is something special.

M Posted by Hello

Mural inside the ice cream shop

The mural is a nice shot of the Hudson and the overhead train really helps! See the little Lionel sign down in the lower right corner (it's yellow, kind of hard to see, I think I have a shot of it somewhere). I would love to have a backdrop like this for my trainroom. I have to believe that this was intended not only as a great backdrop for an ice cream store but as a great backdrop for some toy trains as well.

M Posted by Hello

A Shot inside the ice cream shop...

Ok, while it isn't standard gauge, this isn't normal for an ice cream shop. I LIKE IT! Posted by Hello

Toy Train Ice Cream Shop

This is one of the Ice Cream Stores in Cold Spring; Rapalje's. The owner definitely has a penchant for Lionel and Toy Trains. This place must have been some kind of bank as they have a huge old safe stashed away in the corner. It has a drape over it because people were letting their kids fiddle with it. The ice cream here is excellent and where can you get a dose of calories and trains at the same time?

M Posted by Hello

Bob and a shiny #10E

Here's the owner of Once Upon A Time Antiques and he's holding a nice little 10E. He's much friendlier than this picture lets on. Ya gotta ask him nicely and he'll take almost any item out of the case and show it to you. They also have a ton of penny candies here as well. Hmm, trains and penny candy, seems to go together.

M Posted by Hello

A Bunch of Toy Soldiers at Once Upon A Time

Here is another case of a pantload of toy soldiers. These always look cool on a layout and they don't cost that much at all.

M Posted by Hello

Another case of toys and trains

Nice to see this someplace besides a train store!!

M Posted by Hello

Some Signal at Once Upon a Time

This is a shot from one of the cases at Once Upon A Time in Cold Spring, NY. Always kind of cool to see the items up close and in person. Yes, I know, there are tons of these at York. Well if it isn't April or October and you need a signal, this might be the place for you!

There's more... Posted by Hello

Toy Shelves at Once Upon a Time

Sorry for the flash glare. Like I said, absolutely no shortage of cool items in this place.... Posted by Hello

Once Upon a Time Toy Cases

Hope you like dolls... Even if you don't, the owners are experts with dolls and their antique doll selection is one of the best. This isn't the junk you see at train shows, these are Victorian Era dolls and toys that are genuine and beautifully displayed.

M Posted by Hello

A really great toy store...

I have taken my kids here at least 20 times and I don't think they know how lucky they are. Check out some of the shelves in the following pics. The people that run this place are friendly, decent, honest and knowledgable. They sell a ton of old toys, trains and dolls as well as antiques.

The place is just stuffed with stuff. I have bought some amazing items in this place like boxed prewar sets. This is one of those places you have to check once every so often, the stock is so voluminous it is hard to see all of the changes.

M Posted by Hello