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Good Morning  fans of those locomotives that do BIG things.  If you love switching locomotives you have found the right thread.   I'm Patrick ( trumptrain )  pinch hitting for JHZ 563 today.  He will be back hosting this thread next Saturday.  

Switcher Saturday is welcoming to anything switcher related ... real 1:1 gauge and all modeling gauges from G to Z.   If you post photos ( and we hope you do ) do so within the OGR Forum Terms of Service of which you can refer to by clicking on TOS at the top of this page.  

Today on the Free State Junction Railway ... four switching beauties have posed for the camera early this morning.   Lets see your photos, videos, and hear your stories.   I can't wait to see what you all post.  Have a wonderfully satisfying and safe weekend everyone!  



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Last edited by trumptrain
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Your Yardmaster won’t be able to report on the adventures of shop switcher X-8688 today, because he is visiting one of Johan’s favorite places, Maine.  He is in ME to see his daughter and grandson after six months!  It would be a perfect trip if there were BAR, MEC and B&M trains to see!

I still will be looking forward to seeing the trains you SwSat guys post.  Have a good day!


Happy SWSat!

Thanks for getting the yards open today Patrick.

Traffic volume is way down on the RSJ&B due to the main yard reconstruction. The yard boss is getting impatient and so are the RR's customers. The track crew has assured everyone that the much needed track has been shipped from Georgia and should arrive early next week. The track gang is ready to go just a soon as the delivery arrives.

In the meantime, a local factory had a load ready for pick up. Since most of the crews are off working for other lines right now, the boss had to grab the Boxcab to go get the load himself.

2021-04-17 08.18.39

The crew stops by the tower to check in before heading back to the yard.

2021-04-17 08.18.50

On the way back the Boss stops to survey the mess.... He's slightly encouraged to see that the signal crew has gotten the new switches wired and operational. He's been told that all of the wiring will be in place and ready for final connections as soon as the track is laid.

2021-04-17 08.21.30

Since the main yard is closed, the Team Tracks have become temporary staging yards. D&H 5001 is standing by to take the load out of town.

2021-04-17 08.20.39

Hopefully there will be progress this week on the yard, and traffic will be able to return to normal soon.

Have a great weekend everyone!



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@Steam Crazy posted:


Your Yardmaster won’t be able to report on the adventures of shop switcher X-8688 today, because he is visiting one of Johan’s favorite places, Maine.  He is in ME to see his daughter and grandson after six months!  It would be a perfect trip if there were BAR, MEC and B&M trains to see!

I still will be looking forward to seeing the trains you SwSat guys post.  Have a good day!


Here is a MEC engine on my HO switching layout...



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Happenings on the Free State Junction Railway as recorded on camera by the company photographer.

A bright sunny afternoon finds a EMD MA&PA SW1 and a Baldwin VO1000 belonging to Patapsco and Back Rivers RR, two railroads that served Maryland for many years, working Butler Junction.  


Jake and Elwood, the brakemen, stand on the back deck and soak up some vitamin D. IMG_3360-2

B&O GP 9 and F7 B unit glide through Patsburg with a perishables train in tow. IMG_3612

Western Maryland center cab on the service track getting ready to take on sand. IMG_2562

B&O GP 9 rolling at 60 mph is about to pass a RS1 of the Washington Terminal Co.  IMG_3609

B&O Docksider  on the Mountain Division mainline  has just set out a damaged hopper on this team track.  Soon a FSJR Car Dept. truck will roll up with a crew ready to do some needed repair work so this hopper can be moved to the car shop many miles alway.  Once at the car shop the damaged car will be fully restored.  IMG_6345


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Last edited by trumptrain

Well SwSat fans, my offering today is a Marx set from 1961 - this one with a mysterious difference from that listed in the Greenberg Marx Sets's reference book.  Both sets go by the basic number of 9610 BUT mine, from Sears, carries a Sears number of 49-N-9610 in the Sears Christmas Wishbook Advertisement for 1961.  Well lets take a look to see what the difference might be.

Here is the "mighty" Marx 400 locomotive, not really advertised as a switcher by Marx but 0-4-0 always said "switcher" to me.  Plastic boiler, 2 position reverse, and a "wedge" type tender lettered for the NYC.  Classic Marx, and used in many different sets over a considerable period.

Marx 400 loco

Here she is with her train, right out of the 1961 Christmas Wishbook.  Not one of the "stars" of their offerings that year (or any year) this is one of the only 4 wheel, lightweight, freight sets I could find under Sears that used the plastic freights.  Most of the lower end Sears sets that were 4 wheel, used the lithographed 6" cars.  Sears did use a lot of Marx plastic freight cars but highly favored the 8 wheel cars.  The set included the loco and all the cars shown below plus 8 curved and 2 straight tracks to make a 129 1/2 " oval and a 25 watt transformer.  Its cost in 1961 was $9.89

Here she is coming at you.

Marx 400 train

Here she is leaving the depot, showing off her NYC 4 wheel caboose in "Tuscan" with white letters and no herald. This specific caboose is actually somewhat difficult to find.  Note also the blue "Allstate Motor Oil" tanker.

Marx 400 train rear view

Here is an "action shot" of her leaving the mountains (one tunnel on the L&S) and approaching the suburban passenger platform.  Those folks had better step back unless they want to get their nice clothes covered in soot and dampened with steam.

Marx 400 train exiting tunnel

Here is the "mystery" car and my thoughts about how it ended up in the Sears version of the 9610 set.  The set as listed in the Greenberg reference is exactly the same as this one, including a 4 wheel, lightweight, tank car but instead of it being Allstate it was the white and red "Rocket Fuel" tanker.  My speculation is that Sears, a large buyer of Marx products, simply told the Marx sales rep that it wanted something in the set to reflect on the fact that it came from Sears.  Marx had made both tank cars before and structurally they were exactly the same and likely had the same manufacturing cost.  Thus Marx, to please an important customer, just substituted the blue/white "Allstate Motor Oil" car for the "Rocket Fuel" car and POOF we have a unique Marx Sears set.  OBTW the Allstate car is clearly visible in the illustration of the set in the Christmas Wishbook, so I am reasonably sure that is the way it came when you ordered the set from Sears.

Marx 400 train Allstate tanker

Two notes of interest. First,  I am pleased to say that like most Marx, especially the "old 400", when tickled into action by my HUGE (by Marx standards) Lionel ZW, after 63 years, OFF she went, just like it was the sixties!!  Next,  thanks Pat (trumptrain) for getting us going today.



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Great photos, videos, info and stories everyone!  I always learn something new each Saturday from all of you.  Thanks for another great Switcher Saturday!!  Of course Saturday is not over yet so feel free to keep on posting tonight and throughout the week too  

Here is a short video ( re-run ) of a MA & PA  SW1 pulling a way freight cutting across a grade crossing.


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switcher movie Ma & Pa

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