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Well after reading the discussion about having an inventory, I decided I should probably figure out what I have. Not done yet, but I think I bought way too much stuff for my grandkids.   I have a pretty good handle on the engines but rolling stock is another matter. Still have a couple of more shelves to do but in 3 years I think I will have accumulated 30 engines and 140 cars.  When I did my count, if I had a 6 car coal hopper set, I counted that as one. Same with passenger car sets, that is a one. Diesel ABA is also one. Funny I started out buying steamers and now have only 3. I still have a couple more diesels on order (BN) and one of the Big Boys. I am not going to count my post war or 027 cars and engines. Those are for "under the tree".

I guess my question is when do you know you have enough stuff?  OK my absolute limit would be needing to rent a storage unit to keep trains - for me that IS TOO MUCH. So far I have been good at selling off items that did not fit what I wanted to do. Two I am stuck on - A Pennsy GG1 and passenger set and a Norfolk and Western Passenger set waiting for a scale J class 611.  As much as I love the history of the Eastern railroads, I am finding myself building roads Chicago and west, so the Eastern roads do not seem to fit. Nevertheless, I am likely to hold on to the Pennsy and N&W roads as an homage to the GG1 and "J". 

And on another note, the CEO asked me if I could turn one of my buildings into a US Marine Corp recruiting office. My oldest spent 9 years in (enlisted and out as a Staff Sgt) and I agree it would be a nice touch.  Anyone done that?  I know we have several Marines on the forum.   

Jeff

Thanks Andy,  I was wondering, have you ever posted a video of your layout?  I went back to your link and remembered seeing the awesome building modeling you do.  Saw a bunch of individual photos, but nothing about the entire layout. Except of course the drawing plan on the first page. How do you like running a point to point layout? 

Morning guys, first off I want to say sorry as this could be a little long as I have been lazy not recognizing everyone's work!

@luvindemtrains Dave, Nice job on the fence! Iam with Bob I too like the Goodyear sign! I am thinking about redoing the picket fence around my park down the road!

@chris a Chris, Outstanding work on the walls the look great! I really like the viaducts for me maybe one day! LOL The lighting outside your station looks perfect! I can't wait to see the chandeliers inside! Yep your correct about the snow!

@WesternPacific2217 Scott looks alot better as a CAT! Great work!

@RSJB18 Bob, thanks for the link!

@M. Mitchell Marmel Mitch, its amazing what you come up with and build!

@Terry Luft Terry, great scene and like I said before that sure is alot of wire! LOL

@Tom Tee Tom, I agree with you totally! I had a guy call me at home and said I forgot him! He didn't even ask for help. He just excepted it!

@Capetrainman Paul, Thank you! Down the road I plan on putting lights in it like Scott did!

@ScoutingDad Jeff, maybe one day I will do an inventory but for now I think I have enough! I am only missing a couple passenger cars and maybe a baggage car for my new steam engine so I can make it look like the Polar Express! As for the Marine recruiting station, Go for it! and tell your son Semper Fi!

Well guys nothing from me as yesterday I was dealing with diverting water from the garage and train room from all the snow melting! LOL If it isn't one thing it's another. But I have a great plan today, after running to town later I plan on grabbing a cold one and spending the rest of the day running trains as it is just pouring outside!

I hope you all have a great day and please find time to have fun with your layout and trains!

@ScoutingDad posted:

Well after reading the discussion about having an inventory, I decided I should probably figure out what I have. Not done yet, but I think I bought way too much stuff for my grandkids.   I have a pretty good handle on the engines but rolling stock is another matter. Still have a couple of more shelves to do but in 3 years I think I will have accumulated 30 engines and 140 cars.  When I did my count, if I had a 6 car coal hopper set, I counted that as one. Same with passenger car sets, that is a one. Diesel ABA is also one. Funny I started out buying steamers and now have only 3. I still have a couple more diesels on order (BN) and one of the Big Boys. I am not going to count my post war or 027 cars and engines. Those are for "under the tree".

I guess my question is when do you know you have enough stuff?  OK my absolute limit would be needing to rent a storage unit to keep trains - for me that IS TOO MUCH. So far I have been good at selling off items that did not fit what I wanted to do. Two I am stuck on - A Pennsy GG1 and passenger set and a Norfolk and Western Passenger set waiting for a scale J class 611.  As much as I love the history of the Eastern railroads, I am finding myself building roads Chicago and west, so the Eastern roads do not seem to fit. Nevertheless, I am likely to hold on to the Pennsy and N&W roads as an homage to the GG1 and "J".

And on another note, the CEO asked me if I could turn one of my buildings into a US Marine Corp recruiting office. My oldest spent 9 years in (enlisted and out as a Staff Sgt) and I agree it would be a nice touch.  Anyone done that?  I know we have several Marines on the forum.   

Jeff

Jeff, I have inventoried my engines and cars.  I find myself with almost the same number as you; 27 engines and 137 cars.  Some were rather expensive and others were not.  I too think that is enough.  However, I have a couple of engines on order, both early B&O diesels I saw on the tracks near my home growing up.  I do have a few I plan to put up for sale as I don't run them and my interests have changed.  I bought a few thinking, get them while I can for grandchildren.  Well, we still have no grandchildren so who knows.

Thank your son for serving in the Marines!  My maternal grandfather was a Marine in the Philippines around 1910 and again in France in WWI.

I need to update my inventory but I'm so busy buying stuff that I don't have time......

Latest addition is an MTH LIRR SW-8 w/ PS-2. Should have it next week.

@Jim Van Every- a couple of neat projects. Looking forward to seeing the finished products.

@mike g.- I like your plan for the afternoon. After all the snow shoveling you have been doing you deserve the break.

@ScoutingDad- you have it backwards- you need a storage unit too put household c#*p in so that you have more room for trains.

Bob

Last edited by RSJB18

RSJB18:  I am seeking a little advice.  I am thinking of formulating an update to my inventory, the last one is (embarrassingly nearly 20 years old and hand written on notebook paper) although I do mark off all my acquisitions in one of Greenbergs pocket price guide books.  I just wondered, what media are you using for your inventory and are you taking pictures of each item?  Is there a commercial software product to use ?  I also am facing the daunting task of what our Scandinavian friends call " death planning" and none of my children (1) or grandchildren(2) have any real interest in continuing the collection.  Thanks

Don

RSJB18:  I am seeking a little advice.  I am thinking of formulating an update to my inventory, the last one is (embarrassingly nearly 20 years old and hand written on notebook paper) although I do mark off all my acquisitions in one of Greenbergs pocket price guide books.  I just wondered, what media are you using for your inventory and are you taking pictures of each item?  Is there a commercial software product to use ?  I also am facing the daunting task of what our Scandinavian friends call " death planning" and none of my children (1) or grandchildren(2) have any real interest in continuing the collection.  Thanks

Don

I use excel and just have a simple list at the moment. I intend to add more details as I update it to include TMCC addresses, and maintenance history.

RSJB18:  I am seeking a little advice.  I am thinking of formulating an update to my inventory, the last one is (embarrassingly nearly 20 years old and hand written on notebook paper) although I do mark off all my acquisitions in one of Greenbergs pocket price guide books.  I just wondered, what media are you using for your inventory and are you taking pictures of each item?  Is there a commercial software product to use ?  I also am facing the daunting task of what our Scandinavian friends call " death planning" and none of my children (1) or grandchildren(2) have any real interest in continuing the collection.  Thanks

Don

Hi Don, share your dilemma, no one to take an interest in the family, and picture this collection on the side of the street as FREE.  This because they have no idea what thing are worth, even in today's world.  The itemized list somehow should have an estimated worth / date so this hopefully doesn't happen. It will take considerable time , to do this list,   Any suggestions ?   I'm at a loss here. RP

There's plenty of software out there to do inventory although it may not be geared toward model railroading. I did a search for "collection inventory software in the cloud" and got some worthwhile candidates. But I have no recommendations, nor do I know what such an application would cost. Having it in the cloud seems like a good idea so that it can be accessed from anywhere including your phone.

I have been using a simple Excel spreadsheet for more than a few years now.  It works fine, I am sure there are "fancier" software options but Excel is easy to use, free.  I have added columns for "sold date", sold to, and sold price as I started thinning the herd several years ago.   Mine starts with the Manuf. Item #, then a description with Road Number so I can check the list and make sure I don't buy a "duplicate".   And yes I found I had at least 3 or 4 of the same cars when I first got serious about the inventory.   The columns then move onto Cost & Year of Purchase, and from whom, or where purchased... OGR forum, eBay, local Show etc.    It's worth the effort in my opinion, as I took it to my insurance representative along with some sample photos and he confirmed that I'd have no problem, if I ever needed to open a claim.   And yes, in the event of my unforeseen demise, it would definitely make life easier on my two children. 

I have also been using excel.   Created a tab for engines, passenger, rolling stock, cabooses, etc.   Then each tab with sections, MTH, Lionel, K line, etc.   Similar to other posts.  Part #, Description, Road #, Road name, purchase price, where purchased etc.    Having the separate tab for engines I then print the engine list as I have a column for Legacy ID # I assigned it.  Then keep on a clip board out by the layout to easily figure out engine ID.

Richard Pardo...I agree, my nightmare is that the collection goes in the trash w/o anyone even being aware that it could have significant value.  As I said above, I am going to try Excel at first to get started and see how hard it is to do.  My experience with Excel is that one you have the columns set up, it can be fairly easy.  The nice thing about it is that you can put in the collectors value (for example) in dollars and then it can sum that column for you to give you totals.  That at least might give my survivors an idea of the value.

Don

Still in process of pulling up track on my one mainline and yard, and rearranging all that, and part of my inner mainline to move everything to accommodate fitting in my Menards Cripple Creek 2 Bay Engine House so I have one bay access for each independent line into it. Major work in progress to fit that into a small layout but it will be worth it, it will be the focus building on my layout.

@mike g. posted:

Morning guys, first off, I want to thank you all for your thoughts about me. I am doing fine just whooped working with all this snow we have got and trying to help people why can't help themselves! It really sucks as there are people running around charging an arm and leg to help folks on fixed income. I do it for free as that is what my dad instilled in me! Here is what we have been dealing with and then on to some train stuff! LOL Mind you my deck railing is 6' tall and the snow pile is what was on the ground and the snow I had to take off the roof.

IMG_20220104_180306IMG_20220105_075017

Now on to some train stuff, last time my grandkids were here I was informed there were no people of color on my layout. My grandkids are part Hispanic, so I spent a few nights right before bed painting some new people of color so they would fit in. My bad!

IMG_20220101_092611

I also had an hour or so to add ground cover to the area I had to widen out for the overhang of my new steam engine. Here is what I have so far!

IMG_20220101_092900IMG_20220101_092909

The Kids and grandkids came for Christmas after the new year, and we had a great time. They gave me one of the best out of the blue gift for my train layout! I have been looking for a Greyhound bus but everyone I found was way out of my price range and low and behold that's what I got from the grandkids!

IMG_20220102_105208

I hope you are all well and having fun with your trains and layouts! Please be safe and it might be a couple days before I get back as I have a few more people to take care of. Now all we have to worry about for us is landslides as we live on top of a hill and if it slides it blocks the road!

Excellent that you have kindness in your heart to help others as you do!!!!!!!    Next , try getting the KIDS involved in this hobby. I'm doing this with 2 nephews , under 2 , and 8 yrs old . They love the trains and hopefully it will continue. Best wishes , and stay healthy .  R P

@SuperChief posted:

A few updates from the past few weeks. Saturday we ran trains. This is my 4 year old who loves trains right now more than anything. Trying to feed this as much as possible.

Over Christmas, we built a couple of flats and now need to install them. One has lights (video) the other still needs (pic). They also need some weathering.





IMG_2215

GREAT. The look on his face says it all.  Have fun and stay safe.  R P

Morning guys I hope everyone is doing well!

@Jim Van Every Jim, quite the undertaking for a horse & Mule car! But it looks like you have a great start! Wonderful looking tanker!

@FECRailroaddog What an outstanding transformation! I love the look of a real neighborhood garage!

@Richard Pardo Richard, thank you sir! I have tried to get the grandkids into the trains, they will come out watch them run, I even try to get them to run them their self's. But in 5 minutes they are back on their tablets! I guess if I had the Wi-Fi controller, they might be into it! LOL

Well guys my grand plan for grabbing a cold one and just running trains went out the window at a face pace yesterday! No train running today, I am really hopping for tomorrow!

Everyone have a great day and please have some fun with your layout and trains!

Richard Pardo...I agree, my nightmare is that the collection goes in the trash w/o anyone even being aware that it could have significant value.  As I said above, I am going to try Excel at first to get started and see how hard it is to do.  My experience with Excel is that one you have the columns set up, it can be fairly easy.  The nice thing about it is that you can put in the collectors value (for example) in dollars and then it can sum that column for you to give you totals.  That at least might give my survivors an idea of the value.

Don

Don, that is what I did with Excel.  It isn't very fancy, but it gives the value I paid for everything.  My wife has a general idea of value, but certainly not specifics.  It would definitely help her or my daughters!

don.mcerlean

Relative to the question about inventory. I too have been using Excel with columns for item number (manufacturer) and description, date purchased, price, from whom and any comments relative to repairs or where the item is located. I also use the same spreadsheet for the circuit assignment(s) for the transformers. Each item has a hyperlink to a photo of the items. The photos are organized by year of purchase with a separate folder for materials like light bulbs. It's a lot easier when the spreadsheet is updated when a purchase is made.

I have been continuing to paint the rails on the tinplate track.Rail Painting January 2022

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  • Rail Painting January 2022

don.mcerlean

Relative to the question about inventory. I too have been using Excel with columns for item number (manufacturer) and description, date purchased, price, from whom and any comments relative to repairs or where the item is located. I also use the same spreadsheet for the circuit assignment(s) for the transformers. Each item has a hyperlink to a photo of the items. The photos are organized by year of purchase with a separate folder for materials like light bulbs. It's a lot easier when the spreadsheet is updated when a purchase is made.

I have been continuing to paint the rails on the tinplate track.Rail Painting January 2022

Victor, I have been contemplating painting my rails.

It looks IMO to be quite a daunting task.  How do you paint your rails ? 🤔

I finished-up a postponed project ... to improve a MTH Country Church. I added these extra features:

* Cut and glued small pieces of "stained glass" acetate to all its gothic-style windows for a better, church-y look. I purchased the acetate sheet online from a vendor in the UK; several designs were available. I chose one without liturgical symbols or  images of saints for a "generic Protestant" look.

* Installed two add'l light bulbs to the interior in order to "light-up" the stained glass windows. The MTH factory-installed single light bulb was not enough illumination.  Now when the train room is darkened, the stained glass glows!

* Replaced the plastic cross atop the steeple with a fancier crucifix; a jewelry piece, actually.

* Installed a small transformer as a power supply for the sound board.

* Installed a sound board that plays the sound of a church bell and a music excerpt from "Here Comes the Bride."  I placed a small speaker in the attic space of the building for playback. I can activate the sound effects with a Lionel #90 control button mounted on the nearby fascia board.

* These add-ons make the church an accompaniment to a wedding in progress at the Pergola on the lawn outside, where the bride and groom, the dog of the groom, the wedding party, a priest and two nuns, and family/friends as the audience are present. A Caddy convertible is parked nearby with strings of tin cans attached to the rear bumper.

I know -- it's not a "railroad" accessory with RR-related sounds and motion. Nevertheless, it contributes to the acoustic environment of a scene, athough a visitor wouldn't recognize these improvements at first glance.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394


@Jeff, thank you for the kind words. I have not made a video, but it is on my to do list at some point. I feel like the layout is a little “unfinished” and needs a ton of scenery work done, but I have been more active with some recent projects.
I really enjoy running a point to point layout. I get to follow the train around and throw some switches here and there. And there are many switching opportunities for freight runs.

Andy

(tries inventorying collection) (gives up after 15 gi-raffe cars)  Nobody'd believe me anyway. 

Mitch

ONLY 15!

@Don McErlean- another idea is to create a photo library of your inventory. I like Victor's idea of adding links right on the spreadsheet.

I finished-up a postponed project ... to improve a MTH Country Church. I added these extra features:

I know -- it's not a "railroad" accessory with RR-related sounds and motion. Nevertheless, it contributes to the acoustic environment of a scene, athough a visitor wouldn't recognize these improvements at first glance.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394

Sounds like a nice project. Please share some pix when you can. The scenery makes the RR. I have an old sound board for a church, too bad I don't have room on the layout for one.

@FECRailroaddog- The gas station looks great. Nice customization work. Or is it kit bashing

Still waiting for my replacement fire kit. Shipping delays...... So to pass the time I bought a new diesel.

LIRR SW-8, MTH w/ PS2

2022-01-14 21.09.432022-01-14 21.18.13

Bob

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Dallas Joseph - RE Painting rails - I am using rustoleum paint in a can ("satin black" and "rusty metal primer") and brushing it on the entire rail. After letting the paint set a little, say 30 to 60 minutes, I pass a paper towel strip wrapped around a block of wood over the rail tops so the top surface can conduct electricity. I am using clean paint thinner to wet the paper towel (not too much thinner, just dip part of the strip in the thinner and wrap tightly around the wood block).  That keeps from removing too much paint. This tip was posted by someone else earlier - thank you very much. I found the best way was to paint the outside rails first with the red color, clean and let dry, then the center rail with the black paint since I could then touchup any excess red paint that got on the ties or turnout surfaces with the black at the same time.  It does take a while and is a little tedious but there is no need to hurry when one is retired!

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