Great Northern railway

Div 7 monthly meeting.

Got back from a Warbird flyin at Lansing, Michigan (8:30 this morning) in time to attend our Sunday's 2 PM meeting.

650 mile trip:

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John Listerman's layout.

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Peter Weiglin's layout.

Unfortunately, only 3 of my pictures were not blurry  


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Makes his own turnouts.


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Only 1/2 blurry!


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New delivery (kind of)

After 12 weeks, BLI returned my GN S-2 4-8-4.

I tried to clean the wheels just using dc power as one would on a brass engine and it stopped working.  I sent the engine to them on the last day of warranty and they fixed it, no charge.  Nice of them to do so.


GN S-2 4-8-4 BLI 19


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New delivery:

More 'Lionel' type enhancements to the layout.  Got a lightning and thunder set from BLI. 

Comes with a speaker, power reducer, start button, two sets of LED strips and hook up wire.  

Will be putting it behind one corner where the back drop is about 3 feet from the 8' curved radius of the layout where the speaker and LED's can easily be hidden behind the mountains. 

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Bought a 'skeeter' killer for 4 bucks from harbor freight.

Will get a wire sifter from households and make a cheap static grass maker.

Ken Patterson has the instructions (about 7 minutes into the video):



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A fellow modeler sent me this email about the homemade static grass maker:

A couple guys in our group built the static grass applicators from Patterson’s article. They work OK on the really short static grass, but if you do a side by side comparison with a ‘real’ applicator, like the one from Noch, the difference is staggering. For starters, the Noch unit has 10x the power, and will easily make ½” fibres stand straight up. Because it is more powerful, it is also much faster. I guess you get what you pay for…

The Lightning and Thunder will be a nice addition.

I have heard the same "warning" but I still plan to build a static applicator just like yours, to get started.  It is a good cheap way to see if I really want to go that far.  There are also youtube videos about DIY ways using an ion generator that would be as good as a Noch or better.

Gene Anstine

New delivery:

12 new 20' brass logging cars from Far East Distributors.

Originally, they were imported around the 70's and just the brass car (4 per box) without trucks or couplers.  They need a little TLC but have trucks/kadees and for less than 18 bucks each (including shipping), I couldn't pass them up.  I needed some short logging cars for the logging railroad. 


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New delivery.

With around 650 cars, just what I need, more cars!...but I'm a 'sucker' for old metal Athearn and Varney freight cars!  Also, they were reasonably priced at $11.80 each (including shipping).

Kadees and all metal wheels.

Four are Athearn and the last one is a Varney.  


Truck broke loose. I usually expect some minor mishap on shipping.



Couplers came off.




Only one correct vintage box (bottom) but two others are old version of Athearn boxes. 




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New delivery:

Bought two Quality Craft Models Marlinton station #104. 

Very nice quality wood. Main walls are a good 3/32" thick, nice metal castings for doors, windows, trim, etc.  All wood, no cardboard stock.  Has instructions and nice multi-view of all sides.

Definitely worth the 30 bucks each.

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Today, we had our div 7 meeting and visited Bob Lawson's layout after the meeting. 

I've showed some pictures in the past and here are some more.  

Showing this same layout in such a short period of time is like having the Swedish female Olympic volley ball team knock on your door, every year, and ask if they can stay at your place for the week because all the hotels are booked: it never gets old!

These pictures are, probably, about 10% of his buildings.

Most of the models are built at the workbench as a group setting.

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Overall view of layout.

Bob is on the left.

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Close up views:

About 90% of the buildings are scratch built.


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Local chapter of garden railways had 'open houses' this past Saturday so I visited a few.  

It was a rainy day so pictures are limited and on some, the shutter didn't open all the way.

Oxford, Ohio

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Allen had a lot of large engines.

Many by MTH.

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Located in West Chester, just a few miles from me.

Two large loops.

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new delivery:

Replacement circuit boards for my two Walther's 130' turntables.

Comes with instructions.  Can replace them while installed on layout, assuming easy access from 'below'.

No charges from Walthers.

As previously mentioned, initial power to the turntable always needed initialization of 'base' before operating correctly but all existing track locations were always available after initialization. 


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Coming back from flying RC planes, another pilot said there's a great place to get ice cream.  

Stopped there in Franklin, Ohio and there's not only an old freight station there but tracks that run through the street.

With weeds growing between the rails, I'm figuring, abandoned a long time ago.

Walking to the other side, there's 3 bridges and I'm looking at the top of the rail and there's no rust.  

Turns out the track is still used to deliver tank cars for a roofing plant.

Tracks being used and down the middle of the street has to be, as they used to say, rarer than hen's teeth.


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Trains at Henry Ford's museum in Dearborn, Michigan.


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Cement arch of old DT&I track.
Read about those in Classic Trains about electrification of the line and when the wires were, later, removed, the cement supports were left there due to too expensive to remove. 


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