Saturday, December 29, 2007

JAD Hiawatha On Display At Grand Central

I had a fun day in the Big Apple last weekend. New York is always a blast around the holidays. One of my stops is always Grand Central Station to see the holiday laser light show and to visit the Transit Museum Store. I was surprised and delighted at the window display at the store this year, which features a JAD Standard gauge Hiawatha and an AF Standard gauge Pocahontas set. I don't own either of them, so it was a pleasure to see them so prominently displayed. Inside the store there was a reprise of the large 0 gauge layout that I saw last year. This drew a big crowd.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Lionel's Hogwart's Express On The Layout

Well, it's not Standard gauge, not even tinplate, but it could be...I've always admired British outline locomotives and Lionel did a good job with the Hogwart's.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I am penning some new articles now. I am putting a really nice one together on standard gauge flat cars (the unsung hero of the prewar pike). I'd love to blog more except it seems like every customer I have needed some urgent something or another right up until yesterday. I'm not kidding, my mobile phone has been ringing constantly since last week and just stopped this morning. I am still getting emails! So much for balance. I think I am just going to turn all of this junk off and leave my ZW plugged in for the next week....

PS The nice Christmas card above is from one of our contributors, VisitingAl. Happy Holidays Al!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nope, it isn't tinplate

My brother snapped this picture of Chicago last night. I just thought it was a cool photograph. Reminds me of times when all I did was play with my trains (I couldn't exactly go outside).


Friday, December 14, 2007

Dreyfuss in Standard Gauge

This wonderful picture has been hanging around my inbox for some time.

This is an original standard gauge engine made by Yoda in the Dagobah System.

Ok, I'm kidding, I promised I wouldn't say who made it but I did have to post it. Blow up it up. This thing is just glorious, especially in Standard Gauge. It's everything a great tinplate engine could be and should be.


Some Lego Youtube

Here is some Youtube of the Lego. Please remember that there are two other layouts in close proximity (hence a little bit of the background noise).


San Diego Train Museum Part 4

Here is a massive Lego Layout at the San Diego Train Museum.

I know what you are thinking. "This can't be any good!" All plastic, little locking parts and bits. How good could it be?

This layout is outstanding and believe me when I tell you it's worth the trip. The details on it are extraordinary. In a nutshell (and this is opinion, not by any means fact) the details make the layout. It isn't especially high rail, it can't be qualified as such. Details on a high rail layout are there to give it realism, some charm and to highlite or differentiate a place. The details on a Lego layout are for pure fun. And there are tons of them. They aren't hard to do and are very inexpensive. The technology of Lego really lends itself to doing amazing things on a train layout. And even further, the colors and textures are there. I'd have to say it reminds me of Tinplate in plastic. I don't think any of this is collectible in the sense of collecting old toys. However I do have to say that the trains ran quite well. I didn't see much opportunity to interact with them the same way we interact with a Lionel ZW and a huge standard gauge layout but the effect was similar. I did notice that even with four trains running simultaneously, there was almost no noise. The lack of sound was the only thing I found mildly disruptive, not because it was necessarily bad but because I am so used to a racket whenever any train is run (of any gauge). Some Youtube is coming as well!


San Diego Train Museum Part 3

Here's the tinplate at the museum. I didn't see any tinplate layouts. I found that to be a little depressing. I hate it when old toy trains get relegated to the shelves because they are "too old and delicate" or considered too expensive to run. Truth is that there's probably no club that wants to run them. The train museum works in conjunction with clubs to run the trains.


Friday, December 07, 2007

San Diego Model Train Museum 2.1

This is your typical monster layout from the West Coast. Long running and wide open spaces. This is the first layout I saw in the museum. Ya, it's O gauge but it is still huge and quite nice. That kind of room is just something to behold....


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

San Diego Model Train Museum

Out here in lovely San Diego; who says the West Coast doesn't have the same train vibe as the East Coast? Right in the middle of town there's a huge Santa Fe station and trolleys are running everywhere!

This town is full of cool trains, gorgeous buildings, boats and ships and the airport was where Charles Lindbergh worked on the Spirit of St. Louis.
I started out my brief train adventure in Balboa Park in San Diego. Balboa Park is gorgeous. And I think gorgeous is the understatement of the year when it comes to the park, the museums and the general area around San Diego. The buildings in Balboa Park are beautiful. I'll post a few pictures here, my prose can't do them justice.
This large public area also houses the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. It is a 27,000 square foot not for profit showplace. It has layouts maintained by clubs from N to 0 gauge as well as sizable exhibits and a wondeful Lego layout. Yes, I took a ton of pictures but the only way you'll see them is if you tune into my blog for the next week.....
PS Yes, they had some very nice tinplate on display. Spectacular museum. Youtube and pics on the way!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Westchester Train Show?

Ok, I am trying to sort this one out. In CTT it says that Westchester County Train show is 12/9. As I recall in CTT it said 12/8? And CTT doesn't have it listed in their website!!

This is a big weekend for collectors in the NY, NJ area. The Montvale Show is Dec. 8th and Dec. 9th (one year I made it to both but it was a stretch). So can I go to both this year?

Incidentally, I love the show in the County Center in Westchester. The building is wonderful, it's very Art Deco and it is way overbuilt. No building will ever be made like it again. It's a decent sized show with a good selection. Montvale is also a good show, there are just tons of dealers there and there are usually nooks and crannies where dealers go and you can pick up some really neat stuff. I also liked it because I saw Angela Trotta Thomas right in the front. Her stuff is much better in person than online or by looking in a magazine.

Anyway, any ideas on when the real dates are for these shows?

Morphy Auction on Dec. 8th 2007

So I am sitting here bored out of my skull in an airport. I decide to do the ultra-geek thing and see if I can connect up to a wireless network. It works and I am instantly wasting time and money on eBay.
So I am surfing around and this Morphy auction comes up on Dec. 8th. Now Morphy auctions usually aren't major train auctions so the presence of a decent amount of standard gauge actually caught me off guard. Than I saw this thing:

I'm just not sure why anyone would do this? They want to make a 402 go only on 90 inch curves? They want it to be less reliable through every switch frog on the planet? Any thoughts? It sure doesn't make it look more majestic. If I won the auction those would be coming off faster than the engine would ever go...
Baffled and Confused

Running Under The Tree?

I don't have our holiday tree up just yet, but here is the set that I'd like to run around it this year. The problem is that I need some 2" gauge track. I'll probably roll my own using some standard gauge tinplate track, but I haven't started the project yet.

What are you planning to run under your tree this year?