New delivery:

Milwaukee 3 car passenger set.  Made in 1972 by Nickle Plate Products. Factory painted. 

Got them on ebay at a good price as they are pretty inexpensive.  I bought them since I have a Hiawatha Hudson 4-6-4 that will go well with the cars, especially since they are made by the same manufacturer.  From what I remember, the early Hiawatha was a short train so the Hudson and 3 cars should look nice.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 01

Fortunately, the cars are in plastic bags to protect them from the deteriorating foam.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 02

The old foam was disposed of and new foam cut for the box and cars.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 03

Trace of cars made and scroll saw used to cut out the car's profiles. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 05Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 06

Nice factory paint job.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 04

Beaver tail.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 3-car set passenger 04A

Milwaukee F-7 4-6-4 Hudson.  If I remember, correctly, I bought this engine in the last year. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 01Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 03

Disassembly to start LED install and decoder install. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 07

Classification light mounting is thick enough so it can be drilled for the 0402 LED's.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 08

Holes drilled for LED's.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 09


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Milwaukee F-7 4-6-4 decoder install (cont).

Marker LED's installed.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 10Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 11

Normally, I have to drill holes in the boiler for the running board lights but, with skirting, only needed to glue them under the running boards.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 12

No back head but cab is enclosed so still installed a cab light.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 13

Tender frame holes drilled for speaker. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 14

Eight wire connector from engine to tender and speaker connected.  Wires to boiler frame LED's not connected.  The previous owner changed the open frame motor to a can motor.  The motor was only taped to the frame so I used some GE silicon caulk to secure it.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 15

Decoderpro days all's good.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 16

However, nada on the mainline.  No sound or motor movement.  I know it's got 'juice' since the boiler  fire box LED is on.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 17

Connected another tender and all's good so it's either a defective new decoder or my wires are incorrect even though decoderpro says they are OK.  Getting late, will sleep on it. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 18


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Thanks, Mark.  I try.


Milwaukee F-7 4-6-4 Hiawatha decoder install (cont);

Decoder not working:

A voltmeter was used to test the wires from the decoder to my 8 pin connector and all was good so it's gotta' be the decoder.

The coal pile needed some new coal: old stuff was wearing off.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 19

Routed all the LED wires and put heat shrink tubing over them to protect them (they were not 'heat shrinked').

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 20

Four pin connector made.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 21

The top of the boiler has a stream line casing so there is a gap inside the boiler so I added some lead weight in that area.  The original lead weight was, also, reattached to the boiler.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 22

Some extra room in the boiler so a sheet of lead was rounded over and placed inside the boiler.  The friction up front will hold the lead around the original weight plus some tape in the back is good enough and makes it removable for servicing the LED wires (should the 'time come').

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 23

Since the new decoder isn't working, I used another tender and no juice: found out that the driver's wheel's insulated side is on the wrong side so I had to reverse them.  

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 24

All assembled with a temporary tender.  The person who did this paint job did incredible work.   I'm guessing he must of used decals as I could never get that crisp of a line on the entire engine, especially as complicated as this paint job is.  That paint on the cow catcher is superb. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 25

The black and maroon lines are perfect. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 26

The running board lights are hidden with the skirting.  Nice clean paint lines. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 27

Nice uniform points on the maroon paint.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 28

Window painting is not easy.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 29

Fins look great.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 30

Gotta' be a decal!

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 31

Great work, also, on the tender.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 32


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Thanks, Radcam.    


GNRW ops session.

This was part ops and part fixing things.  Joe brought some engines that weren't running.  We only got one to run.  John brought some passenger cars that needed better rolling characteristics: still working on those.  With running trains, fixing things, eating and discussing world problems, we closed down around 12:30 AM.  

Every engineer picked articulated's.  

C&O H-8 2-6-6-6 at the water hole.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 01

N&W A 2-6-6-4.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 02

N&W A.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 03

Picture of Steve taking pictures!

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 04

Pizza time.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 05

UP 2-tone challenger 4-6-6-4.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 06

Dave at the upper loop staging track with C&O H-8 and vintage freight cars. 

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 07

N&W A taking on water.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 08

UP big boy at Glacier's water stop.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 09

Dave's C&O H-8 entering Seattle's freight yard.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 10

N&W A at Tye's water tower.  Mandatory that all steam stop at the functioning water towers!

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 11

John's N&W A at Tye.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 12

...while UP big boy exiting basin tunnel.

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 13

N&W A entering cascade tunnel.  Only 1.5 scale miles compared to the full size 8 mile tunnel. 

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 14

Food time and discussions. 

GNRW OPS 2020 march 21 15


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Mark, if nothing else, they went home with a full stomach!


For you N scale guys on trucks.

Learned a few things about N scale trucks.

A modeler brought his brass passenger cars to see if we can make them roll better.

First, we set up an incline to take accurate measurements for comparison of changes made to the trucks. 

n-gauge trucks 01

One thing I learned is don't put oil on the axles as it slows them down.  Dry graphite is good. 

n-gauge trucks 02

Any slight slop in the side frame mounting holes exasperates problems: skewed wheels and too tight against wheel axles.

Also, these brass sides can be bent: either too far in or out (as lower right side frame in picture) and bind the axles.

n-gauge trucks 03

Also, the support between the side frames can be bowed up or down causing excess friction on the axles. Also, check for any wheel rubbing against trucks or dirt on treads.

n-gauge trucks 04

Initially, tried to use the new plastic wheel sets in the original brass truck frames but was unsuccessful in achieving consistent, positive results. Also, made sure no burrs in side frame axle holes to interfere with existing axles or new plastic axles. 

Used these all plastic trucks to replace the brass trucks. 

n-gauge trucks 05

Didn't want to alter the original passenger frame and the new plastic truck pins were not compatible with the frame so cut off part of the truck pin (skinny part in picture) and drilled/tapped the remain piece to accept the original truck screw. There was, already, a small hole in the truck pin so easy to extend the hole through the entire pin.

n-gauge trucks 06

Some pliers with teeth on the end were necessary to hold the small, slippery truck pin while drilling and tapping.

n-gauge trucks 07

The original screw could, then, be used to secure the truck to the frame.   The original trucks, frame and screw are unaltered so can be put back to original state, if so desired in the future. 

n-gauge trucks 08

Post test.  

White piece of paper at bottom of picture shows where original trucks on car stopped.  The car now rolls off the end of the track and, probably, would have gone another foot. 

n-gauge trucks 09


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Milwaukee F-7 4-6-4 Hiawatha decoder install (cont):

This install had a multitude of problems, most of them created by me!





Cut a hole in the bottom frame instead of the front of the tender....

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 33

as there was no tender deck plate to hide the hole.  Also, in this case, the wires would not interfere with the front truck.  Also, the hole was easy to cut since it was at the end of the frame plate so only 3 sides needed cutting. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 34

A piece of tubing to hold the draw bar onto the tender pin.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 35

Wires without the decoder installed.  No tender lights on this model.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 36

Here's where the first problem started and took 3 decoders and about 4 hours to resolve.

After using decoderpro to check out the wiring, I inputted the engine number 100 into the 4 byte address and nothing would work over on the mainline.  I figured the decoder was defective so tried another decoder.  Checked with the original address of 03 and worked OK.  Back to decoderpro and input address 100 with same results.  Noticed that I didn't heat shrink the ground wire and it may have shorted against the speaker.  Third decoder and same results.  Then it occurred to me that the address is binary and 100 is only 2 bytes (short address, ie: 01100100).  I didn't know a short address will not take on a long address selection.  

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 37

After getting the engine assembled, the air hose on the observation car was bent down and touching the rails.  Had to close off every other passenger seat to keep them 6' from each other!

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 38

Plus the tender coupler was touching the rails on turnouts.  The tender treads, also, had some kind of clear coating on them and needed cleaning. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 39

One of the passenger cars derailed at a turnout. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 40

The wheel was bumping over the frog so I cleaned it out with the NMRA track gauge and there was a lot of crud in the frog. 

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 41

Basin tunnel exit.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 42

West of Waverly.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 43

West of St. Paul.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 44

St. Paul.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 45

Passenger car derailed a second time. While removing a truck, the bolster screw has a nut on the inside so it fell in the car resulting in disassembly.  Found that the truck was slightly racked so, slightly, bent it (brass construction).

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 46

Thought 3 screws along the center sill would allow removal of bottom frame but the frame screws were, actually, under the coupler pocket: fortunately, I didn't try to force the frame off the car!

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 47

Departing St. Paul.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 48

Wilmar water tower.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 49Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 50Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 51


Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 52Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 53

Chumstick canyon trestle.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 54

Marias pass.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 55


Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 56Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 57


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Thanks Gene.  The previous owner did a real nice job of painting it.


Intermittent lost of power fixed.

Several times the new decoder install on the Milwaukee F-7 Hiawatha train would lose power.
The 'keep alive' would keep the engine moving until power was regained.
Found the tender to be the culprit.
Usually the axles on brass engine have blunt ends whereas this model has pointed ends.
I'm guessing that is the main cause as all other parts were cleaned.
Drilled/tapped the tender truck for a screw and attached some wire from the screw to the axles cured it.

Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 61Milwaukee Hiawatha 4-6-4 62


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With the BLI UP 2-tone gray 4-6-6-4 sent to BLI for a new decoder the UP 4-12-2 (Key) was assigned to the passenger train.  Had to see if it could handle the tonnage. 






UP 4-12-2 Key 103UP 4-12-2 Key 104

Hillyard.  The 4-12-2 just made it up the 'hill' with the 17 passenger cars!

UP 4-12-2 Key 105UP 4-12-2 Key 106

Smoke box needed some cinders removed.

UP 4-12-2 Key 107

GN R-2 2-8-8-2 freight drag.


GN R-2 2-8-8-2 50GN R-2 2-8-8-2 51


GN R-2 2-8-8-2 52

Amazing the color variation of these last two pictures that were taken seconds of each other!

GN R-2 2-8-8-2 53


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UP 4-12-2 bald face (KEY) passenger train.

Tumwater Canyon trestle.

UP 4-12-2 Key 108


UP 4-12-2 Key 109

Chumwater canyon trestle.

UP 4-12-2 Key 110


UP 4-12-2 Key 111


UP 4-12-2 Key 112UP 4-12-2 Key 113

Marias pass.

UP 4-12-2 Key 114UP 4-12-2 Key 115UP 4-12-2 Key 116

Passing Seattle's freight yard.

UP 4-12-2 Key 117

Entering passenger yard.

UP 4-12-2 Key 118


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Ore drags:  



I uploaded 3 videos and youtube sent me this statement on one of them:

I think they made a mistake.
Youtube removed a video of my HO train.
Their statement:
As you may know, our Community Guidelines describe which content we allow – and don’t allow – on YouTube. Your video Great Northern Railway: GN N 3 2 8 8 0 ore drag from Havre to Whitefish was flagged to us for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines and we’ve removed it from YouTube.

Didn't know trains were so violent or disturbing to people !!!!!!


 The engineer and fireman are staying 6' from each other!

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 ore drag at Skykomish:

GN M-2 2-6-8-0 ore drag at Skykomish:

GNRW ore dock.  String of ore cars being pulled out.

Ore dock 01

GN C-1 0-8-0 switchers were, usually, used to shuffle ore cars. 

Ore dock 02




GN N-3 2-8-8-0 :


GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 42GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 43GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 44

St. Paul.

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 45

Chumstick canyon trestle.

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 46


GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 47

The train stopped at one spot.  Overnight one of the jumper wires broke between two pieces of rail.

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 48

GN M-2 2-6-8-0.  An unusual wheel arrangement.  These engines were rebuilt into Mikes. 

New decoder installed in this engine.


GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 04GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 05


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Update on Youtube deleting one of my videos:

Was changing the title name and went to youtube to load the new name but youtube allowed the old video to be viewed.
That was quick of them to change it: they must of watched it and saw the 'error of their ways'!

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 ore train.  GNRW used N-3's to hall ore to the docks.  They were  the 2nd largest ore hauling railroad behind DM&IR.  Hill bought the property where the ore was and then gave it to the GNRW.  Ore drags were very slow: about 15 MPH.  This train ran about that speed and it must of taken an hour to traverse the mainline (East bound only).   

Caution: watching steam engines may be disturbing to some !

Possibly, youtube thought the engineer and fireman were not 6' from each other!

Last edited by samparfitt

Thanks, John,

See my youtube link for over 300 videos including my RC airplanes:;view_as=subscriber


Train running:

Videos:  I rarely run trains this fast.

SF 2-10-4 vintage freight drags:



SF 2-10-4 at Wilmar.

SF 2-10-4 67

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 ore drag.


GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 49GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 50

Chumstick canyon trestle.

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 51

Marias pass.

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 52


GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 53

GN C-1 0-8-0 pulling ore cars out of incoming track to the drill track.

GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 54GN N-3 2-8-8-0 Tenshodo 55


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Bike ride along the Little Miami river which I believe PRR acquired.

Parking area along the bike path.  We did about 15 miles. 

bike trip little miami 2020 01

On the other side of the bike path is the exact spot where I got this signal back in the early 80's.

It was on the original signal tower, which was very rusty. A monkey wrench was used to remove the bolt/s and I dropped it on the heavy end.  No restoration done: exactly as I found it save adding colored glass.



bike trip little miami 2020 02bike trip little miami 2020 03

Large munitions plant that built 'bullets' for WW I and  II.

bike trip little miami 2020 04

North end view.

bike trip little miami 2020 05

Guessing this separate building was for explosive powder, kept separate until needed at the main plant. 

bike trip little miami 2020 06

They are renovating the building.  Saw no signs on what it is to be.  New windows installed.

bike trip little miami 2020 07

new metal studs.

bike trip little miami 2020 08

Old coal dock supports. 

bike trip little miami 2020 09

Looked like 'waves' of flowers.

bike trip little miami 2020 10

Just the concrete foundation left along the mainline. 

bike trip little miami 2020 11bike trip little miami 2020 12bike trip little miami 2020 13

Watering time.  Hard work sitting in that carriage!

bike trip little miami 2020 14

A few poles left after 70-100 years.

bike trip little miami 2020 15bike trip little miami 2020 16

The south view of the building.  Lots of worker's vehicles (mostly trucks). 

bike trip little miami 2020 17

Tower and smoke stack looks to be in excellent shape after all those years.

bike trip little miami 2020 18bike trip little miami 2020 19




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A couple of my railroad friends informed me about the munitions plant:

The Little Miami Bike Trail is the ex-PRR (built as the Little Miami RR in 1841) mainline to Columbus, which was abandoned as part of the Penn Central merger in 1968. The line followed the Little Miami River all the way down to Lunken airport (Undercliff Yard) and then followed Eastern Avenue all the way to downtown, to the Pennsylvania's station at Pearl and Butler Streets (now Sawyer Point park at the end of the Purple People Bridge).
The cartridge factory was abandoned long before that. It is being redeveloped as an apartment building with some commercial space.

Samparfitt, Amazing layout, amazing pictures, and amazing Comic of Peanuts Observation Of Life as we see it today...... I just hope you and your great train friends are staying safe, staying healthy, enjoying your time with the trains. Thanks for all the great pictures. Happy Railroading.  

Thanks, Larry.


Bike trip with daughter.

Even on a bike trip, got some 'railroading in'.

 Once to Morrow, Ohio, headed north on the bike trail (old railroad converted to bike trail along the Little Miami river).
 Did about 11 miles.  

bike trip morrow 01

2.  An old caboose in Morrow.

bike trip morrow 02

3.  Railroad bridge still there after 100 years, or so.

bike trip morrow 03

4.  Can't tell by picture but that tree trunk is about 5' in diameter.

bike trip morrow 04

5.  Need stilts when building along the river.

bike trip morrow 05

6.  Telegraph poles still up after 100 years.

bike trip morrow 06bike trip morrow 07


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Control of turnouts remotely via the dispatcher's panel (PC's FLAT SCREEN).

Presently:  The turnouts can only be thrown via the original control panel. The dispatcher's panel only indicates which way the turnouts on the mainline are thrown.

Future: With the new LCC (Layout Command Control) Tower CB (circuit board) and logic, turnouts can be thrown via the dispatcher's panel or the original control panel. 

My friend Joe came over and we set up controlling the turnouts via the dispatcher's panel using LCC.

A new LCC tower circuit board was needed (temporarily hanging in the picture).  

Presently, we plugged a test LED circuit board into the LCC tower to test the turnout logic. 

turnouts RR-cirkits 01

The new LCC tower's address is 2A (as seen in the picture).

turnouts RR-cirkits 02

Logic created for each turnout.  We completed and tested the logic for 4 turnouts on the mainline.

turnouts RR-cirkits 03

We can, now, just click on the turnout image on the dispatcher's panel and it sends power to that particular turnout's switch machine. 

turnouts RR-cirkits 04

Next job: I need to replace the LED test CB with an SCSD-8 (8 output solenoid driver) CB and connect input power to it and output to each of 4 turnout switch machines.   

After these 4 are done and tested, more logic and turnouts will be completed.  Picture has the wiring schematic needed for each switch machine (this was part of the initial test phase). 

Yellow and gray wires: 15-18 volt input.

Black: common to switch machine.

Red/white: to each side of coil.

Also, can be set up for tortoise. 

turnouts RR-cirkits 05


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New delivery.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 cab forward.

I was able to obtain this engine on ebay from the seller in Germany.  Normally, the price on these was higher than I wanted to pay but I was able to obtain this engine at a reasonable price.   I paid for it on March 14 and with the pandemic in New York, port of entry for this engine, it took awhile to arrive.  Almost 2 months.  Long time to wait.

Westside product made in 1980. Craftsman series #9.  I have to agree on the 'Craftsman series' as this engine is super detailed.   I don't think this engine was run much, maybe a test run, as very clean drivers, wheels and no coupler added, plus the weights were never added. 

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 02

Very nicely detailed.  

Left side.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 03SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 04

Love those huge steam pipes along the roof of the boiler.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 05

Well detailed cab interior.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 06SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 07SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 08

Right side.  Both the engine and tender have steam  lines going to each other so I could add some flexible tubing between the two for steam hoses.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 09SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 10SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 11

Can motor just about standard by 1980.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 12

My other cab forwards have easily removable cab roofs to see the interior.  This one has 2 screws securing the entire cab so will be easy to paint.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 13

Has equalized drivers, ie, vertical movement of one driver affects the movement of the other drivers.  Very clean.


SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 14

Lots of detail, also, on the tender.  Wanted an AC-1,2,3 series because of the whale back tender.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 15SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 16SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 17SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 18SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 19

Comes with a tender booster truck; cool.  Bag of spare parts.  Weight never added, also, indicates it wasn't run much.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 20

That finishes what I wanted in my SP collection: 


SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 21

Gotta' have a GS-4!

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 22

AC-9.  Only 'conventional' engine in the AC series.

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 23

AC-5.  Only the AC-1 left to paint.  

SP AC-1 2-8-8-2 Westside 24

About the only engine left on my 'bucket' list is the C&O M-1 steam turbine. C&O M-1 custom brass 01



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Thanks 'much' Art and Mark.


Control of turnouts remotely via the dispatcher's panel (PC's FLAT SCREEN) using LCC.

Phase I summary of previous work:

Presently:  The turnouts can only be thrown via the original control panel. The dispatcher's panel only indicates which way the turnouts on the mainline are thrown.

Future: With the new LCC (Layout Command Control) Tower CB (circuit board) and logic, turnouts can be thrown via the dispatcher's panel or the original control panel. 

Phase II: Running wires from the SCSD-8 CB's to each turnout.

I need to replace the LED test CB with an SCSD-8 (8 output solenoid driver) CB and connect input power to it and output to each of 4 turnout switch machines per board.  I need to connect 12 switch machines so three SCSD-8 CB's are need.

  This the schematic for the SCSD-8 CB.  The input voltage (-V, +V) is the '2-input' connector.  The long '10 pin' output connector is for 4 twin coil solenoids plus two common outputs (9, 10).

turnouts RR-cirkits 06

Input is 25 volts with a capacitor discharge CB to the SCSD-8.  

turnouts RR-cirkits 07

To insure no power loss, 14 gauge wire was run from the capacitor discharge CB to a terminal strip close to the SCSD-8 CB's.

turnouts RR-cirkits 08

14 gauge wire was then routed to each SCSD-8 input CB.  We were getting shorts when connecting the common (9,10) to the twin coil machines.  Joe and I found out the output commons (9,10) are positive and, also, not needed for my set up via the original momentary SPDT toggles.  Normally common is ground and that is how I have my entire layout setup.  On the SCSD-8 CB's common is hot thus I had to reverse input wires going to the original momentary SPDT toggles. Plus no wire is needed to 9,10 as we figure the CB does it internally. 

turnouts RR-cirkits 09

The original momentary SPDT toggles on the main control panel.  The new yellow and red wires goes to the SCSD-8 CB so the turnouts can be thrown either by the main control panel or the new dispatcher's flat screen display.  16 gauge wire was used to insure no 'juice' is lost.  The gray wires on the right interface with LCC to 'throw' the toggles on the dispatcher's flat screen display. 

turnouts RR-cirkits 10

Thus far, 4 turnouts have been connected so that the dispatcher's screen can now throw the turnouts without having to get up to throw them on the original control panel.  Using the mouse to click at the base of any turnout will throw it in the opposite direction.  Nice when things start working correctly     

This should complete the entire signalling system and dispatcher's panel that was started about a year ago last Fall.


1)  Scale signalling system indicating occupancy for the next 4 blocks. The signals on the dispatcher's panel will change to the appropriate color as the train passes or the dispatcher can click on the signal to change it's color. 

2) Trains show up in red on the dispatcher's panel indicating their location.

3)  An 'EAST' or 'WEST' sign will show up above each block indicating which direction the train is proceeding.

4) Control of all turnouts either via the dispatcher's panel or the original control panel. 

turnouts RR-cirkits 11


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GNRW operating session.

First ops session since the state of Ohio 'opened up' after the pandemic.  Wasn't expecting a lot of railroaders but, as I always  say, I only need one other to have fun, with a total of 4 railroaders showing up.  The basement has large areas and isles to keep our 6' distance.  After pizza, we did some 'ops'.


N&W Class A 2-6-6-4 at Hillyard:

N&W Class A and SF 2-10-4 meet at St. Paul:

Class A and 2-10-4 pacing each other:

Class A on turntable at Seattle:

 My 'ops' is a little different: the engineer picks what engine he wants to run.  

John picked up his N&W Class A 2-6-6-4 and backing the engine to pick up his freight train.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 01

Steve's the engineer on the SF 2-10-4 at Hillyard.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 02GNRW April 2020 ops session 03

N&W Class A at Tye.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 04

N&W A taking on water at Hillyard.  Four of the water towers have functional spouts with sound. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 05GNRW April 2020 ops session 06GNRW April 2020 ops session 07

All cabeese and observation cars have marker lights or internal lighting so the LCC signalling system can detect, via current draw, when a train has left a block.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 08

Joe doing dispatcher's duties.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 09

Steve's SF 2-10-4 just west of St. Paul.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 10

N&W A and SF 2-10-4 pacing each other.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 11

Both have the vintage metal Athearn/Varney and wood Silver Streak/Ambroid freight cars.  

GNRW April 2020 ops session 12GNRW April 2020 ops session 13

Class A at Wilmar and the 2-10-4 at Marias pass.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 14

2-10-4 taking on water at Tye.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 15

Class A at Wilmar. Yep. the engineer pulled forward to, also, fill up the auxiliary tender. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 16

Class A taking water at Wilmar.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 17

Dispatcher's board shows location of all trains, their signals and turnout position.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 18

Steve's SF 2-10-4 on one of the incoming tracks at Seattle's freight yard. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 19

Class A taking water at Tye. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 20

SF 2-10-4 dropped off cars and leaving via the escape tracks.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 21

2-10-4 heading for the roundhouse.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 22

The new 'norm'.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 23

GN C-1 0-8-0 attaching to incoming freight cars on the opposite end of the train.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 24

SF 2-10-4 ready for minor servicing at the roundhouse. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 25

GN C-1 sorting cars in the freight yard. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 26

N&W Class A entering incoming track at Seattle.

GNRW April 2020 ops session 27

Ditto for the Class A: cars dropped off and heading for the roundhouse. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 28

Walthers makes a great turntable. 

GNRW April 2020 ops session 29

One of Steve's vintage Mantua 4-6-2 pacific.  He just installed a decoder.  Very quiet and has added detail.


GNRW April 2020 ops session 30GNRW April 2020 ops session 31

Water hole.

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NP A-5 4-8-4 gray boiler northern.   Painting is the easy part: masking off all those black parts is the hard part!

GNRW April 2020 ops session 34

NP A-5 at Marias pass.

Whoa: didn't realize it's quarter to 4 AM: not many railroaders but had a great time and the last one left around 1:30 AM.  

Probably sleep in this morning and not get up until 8 AM!


GNRW April 2020 ops session 35 


Images (35)
Last edited by samparfitt

Sam, I’m glad to see you fellows got together again for an operating session!  Great photographs!!!

Thanks, Mark.


History of where the GN 2-6-8-0 engine operated:

full page:

GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 06

picture comments:

GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 07GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 08GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 09

full page:

GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 10

picture comments:

GN M-2 2-6-8-0 #1981 11


Images (6)
Last edited by samparfitt

Nice videos of the SF passenger trains in the 50's: (part 1,2,3)

I like the 'wig wags'.

Enjoy seeing all the old vehicles.

Has some steam engines and PA's versus the usual F3's (?)

Looks like a few NYC cars are included.

Looks like one young fellow has a nice Schwinn Roadmaster bike.

Looks like one boy is picking up a penny he put on the track.

View from cab.

Lucky people: their yard backs up to the mainline!

Looks like some Milwaukee and NYC cars.

A full dome car.

5 F units.

Last edited by samparfitt

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