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Glad to see Mark back posting. Whatever it is, if it involves smoke that’s great news. Because if I know Menard’s, if they’re putting smoke in something that means they’re putting smoke in a LOT of stuff - just like what they do with LEDs. No idea what it is but I’m on the edge of my seat!

I’m also looking forward to the Menard’s 1966 Chrysler Newport convertibles!!

Meet you at The Rocket: The Rocket Diner from Menards! Click here to shop now!

Dimensions: 18"W x 8-3/4"D x 3-3/4"H

For decades, old railroad gear has been utilized for many non-transportation purposed. Dining cars and trolley cars have become eateries; cabooses have become tourist information offices, coffee shops, or craft stores. The Rocket Diner combines an iconic piece of railroad equipment with a trendy spot for a burger. The Rocket turns sitting trackside and having your breakfast into big-time fun!

The basics: This is a fully assembled and decorated restaurant with a difference. The main structure is a diesel locomotive body! The accessory’s footprint is 18 x 8-¾ inches with a height of 3-¾ inches. The locomotive has an illuminated headlight and markers and an electronic sign on the front side. There is also an operating smoke unit (to simulate frying those burgers) utilizing water vapor (no smoke fluid needed).

A service area for the wait staff wraps around the side and rear of the building. The patio is equipped with tables, chairs, customers, a waiter, and even menus.

The accessory is designed for use with the Menard’s 4.5-volt power supply sold separately (Menards SKU nos. 279-4061/4361, 4062/4362, or 4050). Power may be applied through a power connection on the back of the building, or by a drop-down pigtail plug from beneath the building.

Why you need this: For an outdoor bistro, the landscaping is attractive and designed to make customers linger! The base is decorated with grass and 22 bushes. The L-Shaped patio has planters on four sides, and yes, the flowers are in full bloom. The patio has timber plank-style flooring. You’ll find four brown round tables and white chairs for eight customers. Each table even has a menu mounted in the center.

The main structure is the body of an Electro-Motive F-unit diesel. Alas, the once majestic locomotive has been gutted of its diesel engine and now serves up tasty food for hungry patrons. The model is decorated in homage to the iconic Rock Island graphics, with subtitle "GOOD FOOD" emblem on the nose. In years gone by, Rock Island and its passenger service was once dubbed "The Route of the Rockets."

The nose of the locomotive features an illuminated headlight. Both sides of the nose have number boards bearing the word "ROCKET." About mid-structure you’ll see chase lighting for the word "DINER." This sequences as D-I-N-E-R and then flashes twice, and restarts again. This is positioned just above the name "The Rocket."

The locomotive is clearly the kitchen now. A smoke unit is placed in the middle of the body. The "smoke" is water vapor poured into the unit through a hole plugged with what looks like a fan with a filter to catch grease! It generates a nice wisp suggesting the cooks are in action.

A side extension has been added to the building. It has gently curved lines and darkly tinted pass-through widows and doorways serving patrons on the deck.

The patio has four seated customers and a waiter on standby. Jack the German shepherd rests near a doorway - no doubt hoping someone will trip and drop an order of cheesy French fries at his paws!

Parked nearby is a die-cast metal 1957 Dodge Sweptside pickup truck. This officially licensed model is a throwback to an era when pickup trucks could have fins and non-traditional colors. Two pleased customers are making their exit from The Rocket.

The Rocket Diner ups the ante in the passenger car-turned-eatery category is concerned. The cab unit has plenty of "Wow" packed into it, and the layout of the serving area is actually very pleasant, and just what your O gauge town folk will appreciate!

This diner is certainly inventive and looks sharp, but here is a cautionary tale about turning on the smoke feature....

About 25 years ago at York, ultrasonic atomizers to create smoke from water were sold by several dealers in the Silver Hall. It was a neat effect and I bought one. But it didn't take too long for me to realize that effectively putting a humidifying source smack dab in the middle of the layout in the basement was a bad idea in terms of promoting mold and rust.  On the plus side, water vapor is safe to breathe!

@Bruce Brown posted:

several dealers in the Silver Hall. It was a neat effect and I bought one. But it didn't take too long for me to realize that effectively putting a humidifying source smack dab in the middle of the layout in the basement

Wouldn't your basement de-humidifier solve that problem?  And don't we run our trains in the basement more in the winter when it's dry?

I noticed Lemax just added the same sort of water smoking unit to their Halloween line-up this year.  Menards carried Lemax until this year.  Perhaps there's the influence.  Seems like a pretty nice solution to those that don't like mineral oil smoke.

Cool diner.  Thumbs up!

Last edited by IRON HORSE

The smoke/mist unit is along the lines of those small water mist machines you can buy anywhere.

The pic here is of a really small one.

Now for scents, they make all kinds of essential oils in many varieties.  A few drops in the water each time you fill up.  You could probably just add a few drops of your favorite smoke fluid too.



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Last edited by Soo Line

Brought my "Rocket Diner" home this afternoon.  Overall size is close to the footprint of the Jeep Stealing UFO.  It appears that when the water level gets low it auto shuts-off the mister (smoke unit), most likely water sensor activated/deactivated.  Found no switches.  Does not appear to have any outside lights for the patio or outside areas.  Have not plugged it in yet, will do that tomorrow when I place it on the layout.  My overall opinion is that Menard's did a great job on this building (Diner).  Definitely glad I purchased it.

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
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