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I retired a short time ago and have been reacquainting myself with the hobbies I put on hold so long ago.  Playing saxophone, woodworking, and a few others.  My only connection to railroading was playing with the Marx Commodore Vanderbuilt from my Mother's house and riding my bicycle over the numerous tracks around Carlisle.  I was quite surprised when I found out how complex the engines have become.  I try to frequent the PA/MD area swap meet and purchase what I like such as a Schnabel car with U.S. Steel girders.  My Father once worked for the Bridge Division.  So when I get to creating a layout I want to feature whatever strikes me such as the last passenger train through Carlisle.  I also included a few pictures of my first completed project.  It was my first attempt with decals and reminded me why I didn't like painting my models as a kid. 

Thanks for letting me join!


Click on the pictures to see them full-size.


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  • 2020-05-31 20.25.27
Last edited by Cumberland Valley
Original Post

Welcome Bruce!  Your first project looks good!  I am recently retired myself and am finally getting a chance to build a layout since our girls were little.  I have had numerous false starts in the meantime.  This Forum has a lot to offer anyone of any skill ar experience level.  There are so many folks here to answer questions.  I had so many answered since I had not tried command control of trains until about 8 years ago.

The car was a Lionel crane tender with the bed removed.  I don't have a lathe so the barrel was made by a former coworker.  He was into turning and making pens.  He guessed at the shape, turned the end, and penciled in lines for the staves.  I ran over the pencil lines with the edge of a file.  The barrel bands are graphic vinyl tape.  I couldn't figure out a simple way to make them with metal.  The real Zillertal Wagen has a table and benches in the barrel.  I wasn't going for that much detail so the window opening was only drilled and chiseled about an 1/2".  The acrylic window is tightly press fit.  The bottom (side) of the barrel was sanded flat so that it would sit on the car without a pedestal and mate under the roof of the caboose.  Two screws hold it from below.



Last edited by Cumberland Valley

Wild Mary,  there isn't much of a back story.  I grew up outside Carlisle, PA and went to college in Shippensburg.  The stomping grounds of my youth were basically from Harrisburg to Chambersburg and the CVRR ran straight through the towns.  My career was in the D.C. metropolitan area, but I absolutely hated living in that mess.  Some Southern girl followed me out of Virginia and we made our life within ear shot of the NS freights on the old Western MD "Tapeworm" line.

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