Monday, December 28, 2009

Very nice to see...

Well, I did see Lionel trains at Target this year and also at Stew Leonards in Connecticut. It was really great to see them, especially in a Christmas setting.

Here is a pic from Stews.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Wonderful Little Youtube!

Happy Holidays everyone! Here's a neat little Youtube from Bluecomet390.

I am going to post a new Youtube this weekend of a very smooth running American Flyer original!


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Lionel On The Today Show

It isn't standard gauge. But it is nice to see Lionel at Rockefeller Center!

PS I can't guarantee NBC's link will last forever. They usually last a month or two so watch it while you can!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Lionel on the Today Show - Dec. 7 @ 8:30 am EST

Lionel Trains (ok, a representative) will be on the Today show on Dec. 7th at 8:30 AM EST. I'm very glad to see Lionel in NYC! Maybe I should roll over to Rockefeller Center and say hello!
For more info go to the Lionel newsroom at

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Check out this cool building...

I was visiting some customers the other day in Jersey City and I saw this building.... I've seen it a thousand times before; it is an old manufacturing building that has been converted and refurbished for different uses. It is a really glorious old building and will remind you of what it must have been like when the Blue Comet actually ran to Atlantic City and the Brute was only a few years old... Blow up the pics as well. You'll get the idea.


PS - The fascinating thing about this company is that it is still in business. No, not at this location. But they are still in business and still making the same stuff. Tell me this wouldn't be a great name/logo on the side of a boxcar?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Breaking News - MTHs Website doesn't suck

Some breaking news: MTH Trains has fully upgraded their website. Here at:

MTH's website (for years) has been a first stop for model railroaders and a frustration for many. Dead links, buggy pages and a poor representation of a great company. Mike Wolf and crew have done a great job re-inventing the site and launching a new look and feel. It's about time!

Nice job Mike, ya gotta keep it rolling and keep it up to date. Marc

Overhead Flyer Shot

Here's a shot of a Flyer Standard Gauge consist running past a Lionel factory. These are hard shots to take (at least on my pike) because there is no room to move on this side of the layout. At the moment, I'm just glad to have a layout.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

The NYC Handoff

As has been written many times, steam trains are not allowed in NYC. I seem to recall this rule actually still being on the books. I think of this every time I ride the Metro North into NYC.
I also think the mail car is one of those really good ideas that still is completely viable. So much mail moves by truck across the country. I'd love to see trains used (again) for mail. It just seems like such a smart way to move parcels around the country. I just got to thinking this the other day when I was taking some shots of this Ives Mail car (sad, probably).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another Day on the Pike....

I just thought this was a neat picture. A dimly lit caboose, heading into a tunnel, noisily clanking away with the rest of the rolling stock. The bright red cabooose color contrasts wonderfully with the cool, muted earth tones of the Olson Displays Tunnel.
Yes, I know the tunnel has a little overhang. It's to remind me to expand the layout sooner rather than later. It's so stable (both the layout and the tunnel) it won't budge one iota.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New England Toy Train Exchange Dec. 12, 2009

A really nice NETTE auction is coming up with some great Standard Gauge and prewar O gauge as well. Check out this gorgeous Ives set. I've seen some recent postings on the Tinplate forums where people are asking or looking for original prewar standard gauge. NETTE is probably one of the best places to invest in original prewar pieces.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Stout December Auction

Looks like if you are in the market for authentic American Flyer Wide Gauge, then you should take a look at the December 2009 Stout Auction. Some very nice Flyer and some pretty decent Lionel Standard Gauge as well.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Circus Train at Cal-Stewart

I've been invited to Cal-Stewart at least 15 times. 2010 is the year I'm going! I'm not a huge fan of Circus Trains (I have the MTH/Ives Flavor, nothing else). This flavor of the McCoy Circus train is pretty rare to see running and shiny in almost any state.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Brute Convert...

My friend and train colleague Mike V. just received his new Brute. He purchased the Buddy L flavor of the Brute. Apparently there were fewer pre-orders for this flavor thus it is officially going on the "rare" or "medium rare" list. Whatever the case may be, it looks pretty damn good on Mike's mantle. This engine was a work of art when JLC commissioned it from Italy and it still looks great in 2010. The fact that some dealers have sold out of both versions says volumes.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Dave Hess 4 Wheeling

Dave Hess put up some great movies. They are so dang good I had to post them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Speeder

My son and I were hanging around the train museum the other day and I saw this. I have never seen a speeder in standard gauge (but I'd like to!!)

Overwhelming? Why yes....

Probably one of the coolest engines I've ever seen. And I even like the color (s)!


Half My Layout....

Two Brutes, one small layout. It's half gone...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Brute Has Arrived!

Well, the Brute has arrived. As many of you know, I am not a "box saver". However the graphics for this box, well, seem to be just oustanding. I have to rank this right up there with any prewar box I've ever had. They are definitely getting saved after the Brute is removed. So what would everyone like to see on the Brute? Some pics of it running? Some pics of it crushing my layout? Some movies? What should I put up on the blog that everyone would like to see (besides me crashing my trains)?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Standard Gauge In The UK!

There was a huge Standard gauge display at the UK Train Colllector's Autumn Event, held in Leicester, England. What a surprise to see all the big colorful Standard gauge tinplate at this overseas event! Click on the title above to go to the site and view more photos.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Yet Another Layout Shot

Kind of a topdown shot of part of the layout. Check out the smoke remnants and the rest of my prewar, super messy attic. Yep, my house is 115 years old, thus it is in fact older than the trains.


Friday, November 06, 2009

More Layout Pics

It's train time again! My MTH Brass Piper seized up. I read about the info in the Tinplate forums and I felt lucky that it wasn't happening with me. No sooner than reading that info... My Piper seized up. I'm probably going to tap one of my esteemed train friends/colleagues to help me un-seize my Piper. I absolutely love that engine and want it back on the roster asap! I have an original Piper I may press back into service.

So here are some more pics, I know some folks would like to see a picture of the whole layout, I'll try and work on that a bit later. Please don't hesitate to write or comment. The blog only gets better with reader pictures, feedback and info. The great thing about trains is not just the toys but the great folks you meet along the journey....

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Some Tunnel Pics....

I have quite a few layout pictures to post. Plus some tunnel pics for our anonymous request....

A cool prespective shot...

I was messing around with this Kodak camera and came up with this neat perspective shot. Click on it to blow it up. Please don't re-use the pictures without permission first!

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Ives Cars

Some Ives cars humming by a 116 Station...

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385E coming out of the Tunnel

This new Olsen Tunnel is outstanding. As you can see, it is pretty darn large (hangs off the side of the layout). There's a major manoil traffic jam as well. I wonder how the Brute will handle those portals?

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Two giants meeting

I dumped one of the stations to the left. Seemed kind of redundant having two of the same station on the layout. I am going to sell the one with the auction tag still on it (if anyone wants it, let me know). Another busy day on the layout!

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Blow this one up!!!

It is an absolute hoot! I was fooling around with the flash and the F-stop. I got an interesting effect with the smoke on a white backdrop/surface.

The smoke does tend to give off some ghostly aura when you let this run, especially in low light. I love these MTH switches, they work very well. It has been one of the only things keeping me from flipping (immediately) to Gargraves Track.

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A closer shot of the 385e. By the way, I've optimized the blog to be viewed on the iPhone and Windows Mobile. You can now look at the blog and your favorite tinplate and it should look good, even on a teeny tiny screen. Yes, tinplate isn't really optimal for teeny tiny screens. It is still better than nothing and the formatting won't frustrate you into oblivion.

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Click on this and blow it up. The 1134 is hissing away at the station. I have to say I LOVE running this engine. Smooth as glass and the cars with the little people are really something different. I have a Manoil traffic jam going on.

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Welcome to November, 2010, otherwise known as PRIME TIME FOR TOY TRAINS! Here's a 385 chugging around the laoyout with some transition cars. This must have been a prototypically familiar site out of NYC in the 1930's. Steam train outside NYC, Electric trains inside NYC. I know everyone likes 400e's, they are graceful, big, noisy, almost as fun as their real life counterparts. But the 385 is almost as fun. It has a ton of pulling power and can fit in some very small spaces. Check out that Olsen Tunnel in the background. The 385 loves that tunnel!

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Dick Tracy Oh My!

Dick Tracy is racing a train, probably to catch Clay Face! He cut off Scrooge McDuck, probably to pass the Brass Piper and see the new Brute. The Brute actually sounds like a Dick Tracy Villan. But enough about the Brute, the Piper is pretty enough on track as is.

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