Good morning Switcher Saturday crowd!  This is our weekly thread dedicated to little engines that do big things.

Once again I am up early on a Saturday, trying to keep the peace between my two little children while Mrs. Z tries in vain to get some more sleep.  As l am up and keeping these two quiet is a loosing task its time to go ahead and get another Switcher Saturday in session.

I had the unique opportunity to get paid to play trains this week, by setting up am O27 circle around the tree in the conference room at work while we had our Christmas Luncheon.  Unfortunately it didn't run much as the ancient 0 27 track kept coming apart.  I think for next year I will have to make a circle of plywood with an o27 or 0 31 loop on it, screwed down so it stays together!


So with this as the kick-off, show us your switchers, your critters, your yard goats, your small flanged wheel creations just yearning to be useful.

As usual, there's a few simple guidelines for Switcher Saturday:

1.This threads welcome switchers of all sizes and sources, such as 12" to the foot, live steam, HONGZ and of course 3 rail O gauge.  If it's related to switchers (model switchers, prototypes, critters, switching yards, switching layouts) - we want to see it! Videos, Pics, Stories (true or fictional), poems, whatever! 

2. If you miss the post on Saturday? NO BIG DEAL, just keep posting pictures of your favorites until the next #SwitcherSaturday. If you missed last weekend's post - check it out here.

3. Keep it friendly - we want this to be fun. (we haven't had any real problems with grumpy trolls, I'd like to keep it that way)

4. In regards to compliance with the letter and spirit of the OGR tos, this post is in the photo album section as the subject is switchers and small motive power.  Three rail O is the common medium but anything from prototype through Hongz, grand scales, live steam etc is welcome, as long you took the photo yourself or have permission to post it.  Feel free to post a link to something cool.

High Greens to All ! - JHZ563

May God Bless us all.


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Original Post

Good morning to all here, and happy SWSAT!



This AM finds the crew heading from interchange to town with today's job:


Just five cars today.


Switching work will start with pick-up of that UP covered hopper. The orange swoosh will need to be re-spotted because it takes several days to offload into tank-trucks.


The UP grain hopper will also need to be picked up and the BN car spotted in it's place.


Getting to work:





Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.


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During the past year, I have bought two Lionel #1615 0-4-0 switchers – both lightly used. They are the only postwar engines that I own. All my other locomotive models are modern scale-sized pieces with sound. I bought the 1615s because I wanted some classic 1950s Lionel engines, as I used to have, that were “Made in USA.” When I was a youngster, I didn’t think much of switchers. Now I know better…

Photo and video by:




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Good morning fellow switcher fans!  Great photos everyone!  Here are some photo of switchers on the Mountain Division switching the logging spur.  Also a B&O SW9 switching the team track in Lower Patsburg.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!  IMG_6852IMG_6857IMG_6841IMG_6870IMG_6846IMG_6825IMG_6830IMG_6833IMG_6826

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 


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It is late 1949 and a local amateur photographer was near the Pennsy yard and decided to take some photos of switchers doing their job.  He was looking for his favorite subject, steam switchers, but he did not see any this day.  Very unusual since the Pennsy still had mostly steam switchers on their roster.  He did catch a FS10, BS10, and a GS4.  The little GS4 was working hard moving a string of reefers to the icing track.

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All are MTH with DCS.  From top: FM H10-44, Baldwin VO1000, and GE 44 Tonner.





Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson


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                      Happy "SWSat" !!  

                        getting ready for a day's work...   






                        Rudolf has been busy this time of year...






                      Santa's coal train for all those naughty boys & girls...



                                       but I haven't bee naughty this year...



                                         have a great weekend everyone !!




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I picked up this pair right before Thanksgiving and neither were running. Today, I was able to free up the motor on the one on the right and it now runs great. The one on the left still isn't running but I was able to determine it has a bad armature. After a quick look around I was able to find one cheap from Trainz. Once it arrives I'll have a couple of nice little switchers that didn't cost a lot. Now I just need to find a couple of slope back tenders to go with them.




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My RC3R train buddy Bill accidentally dropped a box containing his favorite switcher after our Science Museum display. The rear pilot was snapped off. The handrails were all wonky too. Bill moved here from New York last year. Taking it back to his favorite shop wasn't an option. Our LHS closed several years ago. 

Santa took it to the work bench today. Good old JB Weld. The wire handrails straightened up nicely. I logged mile 3400 on my home layout today pulling my granddaughter's pink train. Tough little chooch!

Merry Christmas, Bill!



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