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I went into Menards and stopped at the train display.  Purchased 4 new 2 packs of there Ore Cars.  Price $29.99 per pak of 2 each with an 11% rebate.  That makes them $15 dollars per car plus an 11% rebate   Remember when Lionel brought out there ore cars and they were $22 each at the get go!  And they did not have ore loads in them!  Yes, the Menards cars are light, but you can lift out the ore load and add weight to them.  Bought a few accessories such as the Starbucks and Taco Bell.  Right around the corner from the Train Display was a new item called the Lemax Display.  I was impressed.  Bought a Brown Rubber Cobblestone Mat (size 18 inch x 36 inch x 18 inch which can be cut to size.  You can use it for cobblestone streets, etc.  Price $9.99 each,  Bought a few Black Crossing Flashers that operate on Batteries or one of Menards Walwart Transformers.  The red diode lights in these flashers work alternately....but they are not automatic turn on and turn off.  Since I am not a whiz on electronics, I shall have to ask someone how I could intergrate a relay to turn on and off this display.  As they come out of the package, they are very Kool.  Price $5.99 for a pack of 2.  I am not quite sure on this price but I think it is correct.  Also purchased 4 Little 12 inch Christmas Trees that are Illuminated by batteries or a Menard Walwart Transformer.  All trees light up the same color. They can be Green or switched to Purple or switched to Yellow.   Price $9.99 for a 4 pak of trees.  Also bought a Lemax 12inch Floodlight Tower with 5 Moveable LED Lights.  They use batteries or you can use Menards Walwart Transformer.  You can illuminate a building, your street, etc and they are very Kool.   Price $9.99

I have to add this about the fact that Menards train cars all have different numbers.  In the above paragraph I wrote about the Ore cars that come in 2 to a package. They are priced at $29.99 per two cars.  Well, something happened to the Ore Cars in the plastic 2 paks.  The car numbers are the same on each one of the 2 cars....which breaks my preaching that Menards does not repeat the same number twice.  Not true anymore as each of the new 2 pak ore cars have the same number on them.  I  hope that Menards goes back when they make more of the Ore Cars and put different numbers on each car.

One other thing, this Christmas will be heavy into decorating the home as most people are not permitted to go out into crowds because of the Big V.  This is the first time in years that I got out the Christmas Light Bulbs and decorated my house, And I bought an inflatable item for the center of the front law.  I bought a red and white Train Engine with a Santa Clause hanging out of the fire mans window.  It is very cute and of course, I bought it at Menards.  I paid $100 bucks for it and got my Rebates too.                                                                         

LEDs are going to be big time this Christmas Season and most likely into the future.      Sincerely yours,    railbear601

Last edited by railbear601
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There are several ways to make those crossing signals work. It's as simple as you want to make it. You could just steal power from track power thru a buck converter and an insulated track. The power it needs is nil, you can have the buck converter change the current from ac to dc and set the converter to 3.5v dc. done! That's assuming the track in question is always powered for command operation. In conventional, as long as there's power to the track, it works the same. Obviously if you have a stop near the crossing and you kill the track power, you kill the signals.

I love the fact Menards has stepped up their game with their tubular track, but wish they would make insulated sections as I hate making them on tubular! Their transition piece from Fastrak to tubular is cheap! making the insulated section could be just as inexpensive, but would probably only be made in 10 inch straights.

Last edited by Marty W.

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