Thursday, April 29, 2010

A desk can be cool...

I must be getting older, I think a desk is cool...


PS This desk was made in 1940. I wonder what my desk will look like 70 years from now?

largest poured concrete bridge....

Ok, again, not much to do with trains except that everyone loves a cool prototype bridge. So....

For those of you that want to be very proud of American ingenuity - I give you a new bridge, right by the Hoover Dam, that is the largest poured concrete bridge in the world. To see this thing in person is amazing.


Standard Gauge Desk...

Ya, I know it isn't a train. But damn, this thing is ridiculously cool. It is a solid metal desk! This isn't that flakeboard crap we have to deal with. It's actually one of two control desks from the Hoover Dam. Notice the built in heater on the bottom. Just tell me this isn't the coolest thing outside of a 400e you've ever seen! No, it doesn't have anything to do with toy trains. No, it isn't ergonomically designed. No, it isn't eco friendly. And man, I'd love to have one of these... If you could see this up close, it is built and will last FOREVER! It just reminds me of why I like so much old stuff like toy trains. Metal is king and there is no substitute for skilled craftsmen making great stuff.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Route 66 (The Grand Canyon Railway)

So I was hanging around Route 66 last week in Williams, AZ and I caught this quick pic. I love Route 66.

This town in Arizona is special because it is the home of the Grand Canyon Railroad. I jumped down there kind of late in the day and grabbed some pics as fast as I could before it got dark. The Grand Canyon railroad is really something. I've never seen so many fluted steel cars in one place at one time that were still in great operating condition. Check out this gorgeous postwar Lionel car (ok, it's the real thing, just pulling your leg...)
They had a couple of absolutely MINT ATSF Cabooses hanging around both in the train yard and at the place below. There is a little motel/RV Camping area outside of town that uses old train cars as offices, etc.. The cars were in really good shape and were interesting to see off the tracks.

The Grand Canyon Railroad also has a hotel that is spectacular and an absolutely beautiful station. If you like trains, get down to Williams, AZ. And the food..... More on that later...


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nevada State Railway Museum Cont.

More Pics from this great train museum in Boulder City. Check out the "Jackass and Western"; I love that. I also love the below work car. Very cool prototype.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nevada State Railway Museum

Just out at the Hoover Dam earlier this week and I passed by Nevada State Railway Museum. Utterly fantastic. I actually first saw these cars on a siding:
They caught me completely by surprise. Like a typical train nut, I hopped over a small bunch of stones and started taking some shots. My haste was probably not a good idea. I forgot where I was (Nevada). I looked down and there were about 30 well dug, very neat little holes, one of which had a very large reptilian tail sticking out of it. I promptly hopped right back over that little stone wall and took pictures on pavement. I then proceeded to the Hoover Dam thinking that was the end of it.

Well, after the Dam I doubled back and checked out the train museum again. Here is the first pic of what I saw:

More pics later. This was one heck of a nice museum. They had a wonderful authentic car barn as well. I wish I was there while it was open, it is actually only open on the weekends. Still, it was a heck of a find I wasn't expecting.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Operating The LeLand Monorail

I have an original Detroit Leland monorail installed on my upper level where I run my 2 inch gauge trains. It operates smoothly and the wheels do not slip. My powered car pulls three upowered cars with ease. Maybe it's a weight issue? I don't know how heavy the MTH power car is but the original is pretty hefty.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stout Today? April 17, 2010

Did anyone check out the Stout Auction today? Pretty damn good deals if you ask me. I was watching on line and the tinplate deals were excellent. I saw some wonderful prewar Flyer and Lionel going for reaonable $$$'s. Quite a substantial amount between the $200 and $600 range.

Did anyone grab anything of interest?


The Times, They Are A Changing....

So I made some big changes to my layout. I dumped the Gargraves track. Was just too difficult and always looked kinked. I flipped to MTH Standard and O gauge Realtraxx. The stuff is really quite nice. I do enjoy using it. It makes a different sound and set of sounds versus tubular. The contact is way better though and I don't think it will age the same way tubular does. We'll see, I'm pretty happy with it right now. I've backed out some of the buildings in the interest of putting up the Monorail. I haven't managed to get the wiring right yet and I have to add an AIU and TIU for the DCS stuff.

My Monorail wheels really slip ALOT. I'm trying to figure out what I need to do to keep them from slipping so much. There really isn't any grade on the surface of the layout. Any thoughts on stuff I should add?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pride Lines

Sad news - John Davanzo of Pride Lines passed away April 6, 2010. John was beyond knowledgable about toys, toy trains and he was a pivotal member of the toy train community. His innovation and courage will be missed.