Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

2010 Volume 1

MTH 2010 Volume 1 O gauge catalog

I am also a little late on this one too, but Oh well. We are getting off easy here to. Only a couple things of interest for us, but again some people are going nuts. That's the way it goes... some catalogs have nothing for you and some kill you. Take a look and decide for yourself ;-)

Lionel Media Room

Lionel announces rebate program on selected 2009 Volume II catalog items

I think this is a good move by Lionel. Hobby dollars are thin for many people and this should help. It also takes the edge off of what appears to be ever increasing prices.

Lionel Catalog - Lionel 2009 Volume II

Lionel Catalog - Lionel 2009 Volume II

I'm a little late posting this, but we've been real busy lately. Anyway, Lionel has definitely changed their approach to their product offerings. We are getting off light this time, but I know others who are going nuts over this catalog. Check it out and enjoy.

Woman, 2-year-old killed crossing railroad tracks

Woman, 2-year-old killed crossing railroad tracks

Train tracks are dangerous! A train traveling at 60 mph can sneak up on you without warning. A common misconception is that you will hear it coming. That is usually not the case. This didn't have to happen. Give trains the respect they deserve or they will give you what you deserve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Leaving tomorrow for Trainfestival09 in Owosso, Mi. Lots of pics and video to follow hopefully.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Railworks by RailSimulator.com

RailfanX - This new simulation looks pretty cool. We'll be downloading it and playing with it while on vacation :) review to follow shortly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MTH Electric Trains - HO trains that do more

RailfanX - The MTH HO 2009 v2 catalog has just been released. This one is going to hurt... They have The NYC ESE and 20th Century passenger trains as well as a very nice B&O 2-8-2 with 13 matching hoppers. These new metal MTH HO steam engines have great detail and incredible sounds for their size. The fact that they have the best puffing smoke I've seen in HO just puts them over the top. I can't wait to get my hands on these. MTH is just getting started in HO, but they are at the top of my list already.

Friday, June 12, 2009

RailfanX - Saw this awesome photo and wanted to share it.

YouTube - Cabride Tour of an N-scale Layout

RailfanX - Cool video I found on Youtube. You get to ride in the engine on a giant N scale layout. The camera glitches a little bit, but it is definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CSX Transportation and PSEG Power Bring Ultra-Low Emission Locomotives to New Jersey

Trenton, NJ - June 9, 2009 - CSX Transportation (CSXT) and PSEG Power met this afternoon with state and local officials at the Trenton Transit Center to unveil new ultra-low emission GenSet locomotives to be operated in New Jersey.

The GenSet locomotives, manufactured by National Railway Equipment Company, reduce nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions by 80 percent and can create carbon dioxide emissions savings of approximately 50 percent by monitoring engine idling and switching to "sleep" mode after a period of inactivity.

RailfanX - Read the rest of the article on the CSX website HERE

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ohio Rail Tourism Association

RailfanX - Cool site with links to museums and tourist railroads in Ohio.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Model Railroader Press books on the way to RailfanX

RailfanX - Have these on order and will review them as soon as they arrive. Iaan Rice is my favorite layout designer and Lou Sassi's fisrt book on Model Railroad Scenes is FANTASTIC! I can't wait for Vol. 2.

New book from MRP

Model Railroader Magazine Pressroom

RailfanX - New MR Press book. Have this one on order. Will update when it arrives. Prices is $21.95

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hello World. This is a test SMS update to RailfanX. I will use this to update from Railfest 09.

The UK gets a brand new steam locomotive

The UK gets a brand new steam locomotive

RailfanX - Check out the BBC video of this impressive new steam locomotive

MSNBC - Top 10 reason to take the train

MSNBC - Top 10 reason to take the train

RailfanX - It's about time that people in this country start looking at riding the train again. Here in Ohio we have a new Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati passenger service that will start soon. The renewed investment in rail is one of the few good things to come from the Stimulus package IMHO.

Pentrex - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Passenger Train

RailfanX - Pentrex makes great videos and this one looks like a winner too. We hope to be able to visit the Cumbres & Toltec someday, but for now we settle for ordering the Pentrex video. Enjoy the preview.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

GreenFrog Videos - Northeast Vintage Diesels

RailfanX - We love vintage diesels! These old warriors have tons of character. This looks like a winner from GreenFrog. We'll let you know more once we get our hands on a copy. Until then enjoy the preview.

GreenFrog Videos - Norfolk Southerns Dayton District

RailfanX - New Greenfrog video on the NS Dayton sub in Ohio. Looks kinda cool. Xavier likes this one. Enjoy the HD preview.

Logansaan videos added to the RailfanX video bar

RailfanX - We have added the compilation videos of Logansaan to the video bar. Take a few minutes to watch some of his wonderful work. Great shots and outstanding music that really sets the mood. Click once to open a small version in our Blog, or click again to launch @ Youtube. Enjoy!



"The so-called 'Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009' actually goes far beyond antitrust issues and makes major changes to rail policy. If enacted, this bill would impose new and conflicting regulations on our industry, subjecting railroads to oversight by not only the Surface Transportation Board, but the Department of Justice as well. This bill is an ill-considered, piecemeal attempt to artificially bring down rail rates for a few companies at the expense of consumers and other businesses.

Railroads are advocating for a more comprehensive approach to rail reform that fairly meets the needs and concerns of shippers and the freight railroads. The railroad antitrust bill flies in the face of these good faith efforts and must be stopped.

S.146 would hamper freight railroads ability to invest back in their systems resulting in less infrastructure investment and network growth. The ultimate cost, we fear, is jobs.

Today's bad economy is already making it tough on railroads. Circumstances will only deteriorate under additional regulatory weight."



How Rail Can Relieve Congestion

Traffic congestion is significant and getting worse in urban areas throughout the United States. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) just reported that the amount of time the average commuter spends in traffic congestion has nearly tripled in just 20 years. This represents more than $63 billion in congestion costs and 5.7 million gallons of wasted fuel due to idling in traffic jams.

There is every reason to believe that traffic will continue to grow along with population and the economy, yet the nation can no longer add sufficient capacity to urban freeway and arterial street systems to accommodate traffic growth. This means that, as bad as traffic congestion is now, it is likely to get much worse.

Trucks perform a vital role in our economy, but their volume is increasing at an even faster rate than automobile travel. Trucks suffer as a result of overly-congested highways as much or more than anyone else. With truck traffic projected to rise nearly 80 percent by the year 2020, sufficient road space is simply not likely to be available to handle potential truck volume.

The Potential of Freight Rail: Our nation's freight railroads can reduce gridlock (for cars and trucks) by handling additional freight traffic that would otherwise move entirely on the highway. A single intermodal train can haul up to 280 truck trailers (equivalent to more than 1,100 automobiles in traffic); other types of trains can carry as much freight as 500 trucks (the equivalent of approximately 2,000 automobiles in traffic). This carrying capacity is an important potential resource in the battle against highway congestion. Indeed, many trucking firms have already entered into cooperative partnerships with freight railroads to transport their trailers over long distances on intermodal trains.

Scenarios: This report reviews the potential for reducing future traffic congestion by

moving more of the long, heavy trailers to intermodal freight trains that largely bypass busy urban streets and freeways.

If 25 percent of truck traffic were shipped instead by freight trains, by 2025 the following benefits could be achieved:

• The average person traveling during peak periods would save 44 hours per year (equal to more than to five 8-hour work days) as the reduced truck volume eased traffic congestion. In the most congested urban areas, annual savings could exceed 100 hours. Nationally, we would save 3.2 billion hours of delay.

• Fuel consumption would be reduced because of faster speeds and more fluid traffic flow on the less congested roadways. Diesel and gasoline fuel consumption in 2025 would be an estimated 17 billion gallons lower than it otherwise would be - equivalent to more than 250 gallons annually per motorist.

• The savings in travel time and fuel would yield significant economic benefits. A typical household would enjoy $620 per year in reduced congestion costs, equal to $44 billion overall, in urban areas nationwide.

• Air quality would improve thanks to an estimated 900,000 fewer tons of air pollution, including lower levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Train Festival 2009

Train Festival 2009

Welcome to Train Festival 2009
8 Steam Locomotives to be Operating at Festival plus HUGE Model Train Layouts, a Miniature Railroad and More
Click for More Information

UPDATE - SP Daylight no. 4449 to attend TrainFestival
Click for More Info - Tickets Now ON SALE

Coming July 23-26, 2009, the sounds of steam whistles, the clickety-clack of steel wheels on rails, the smell of coal smoke and excitement of children of all ages will take over the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan. This quaint American Town is located in the central region of Michigan just outside of Lansing. All the charm of Owosso will welcome tens of thousands of visitors from all over North America and other regions of the world to TrainFestival 2009. The theme of the weekend will be Trains, Trains, Trains!

The Steam Railroading Institute has an award winning collection of railroad equipment and railroad artifacts. The museum is an interpretive experience for visitors of all ages. During the weekend of July 23-26, 2009, visitors to the museum will experience an even greater museum. Steam and Diesel Locomotives from around the country will be on display for visitors to tour the cabs, take photos, watch demonstrations and much more. Huge model train layouts will be on display including a massive all-Lego model train. Railroad vendors from around the globe will have unique items for purchase that you won’t find any where else. Families will be able to take an all day excursion or shorter one-hour train ride behind various vintage locomotives. For the thrill seeking visitor, you will even be able to pull the throttle and blow the whistle on one of these steam locomotives. Scaled down miniature trains will be hauling passengers around the grounds of the event as well.

TrainFestival 2009 will allow visitors of all ages to experience railroading at its best. With an expected attendance of 30,000+ for the three day festival, the Steam Railroading Institute will be buzzing with railroad excitement.

Railroad equipment is currently being arranged. As soon as a final list of equipment attending the event and a schedule is finalized, it will be posted here.

RailfanX- This is going to be an incredible event! Maybe a once in a lifetime type event. We are going and we'll have tons of pics and video when we get back! Drop us a line if you are going. Hope to see you there.

RailfanX- Wow... The MTH HO line is impressive! This new SD-70 ACe has all of the features that the larger O gauge models have... Fantastic sound, super details, speed control, DCC, and remote couplers! We can't wait to see what they make next. We are voting for something smaller like some SW class yard switchers (are you lostening MTH?)

RailfanX- MTH has really been doing a lot of work to their line of HO trains. These new HO J class N&W steamers are fantastic. The temptation to move to a smaller scale grows stronger and stronger...

When the journey ends

RailfanX- Logansaan has captured the rustic beauty of a pair of former SP units awaiting their fate in McDonald, Oh. We are hoping that they are scheduled to be rebuilt, but we aren't sure. Sit back and enjoy the sites and sounds (Logansaan is known for his music).

Official Broadway Limited Imports Paragon2 Introduction Video with Bob Grubba, President of BLI

RailfanX- HO models have been making big strides in details and sound recently which is making the move down from O gauge more and more appealing. BLI has introduced a new series called Paragon 2 that has many new features including puffing smoke for the steamers. Check out the video.


SoundTraxx: "SurroundTraxx Multi-Train Sound System for DCC So Advanced it's Wired to the Future!
SurroundTraxx is a major breakthrough in sound system for model trains! For the first time, a sound system has been designed with multiple trains in mind. SurroundTraxx gives you the realism of high-fidelity sound moving with the train as it travels about the layout without installing speakers onboard the engine.

SurroundTraxx begins with a multiplicity of audio speakers that are strategically placed in hidden locations around the layout. Using the latest Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology and advanced block detection techniques, SurroundTraxx faithfully reproduces the sounds made by each train on the layout and directs the sound to the speaker closest to the train's location. As a train moves along its route, SurroundTraxx makes continuous adjustments to the sound level of each speaker so that the sound appears to follow the train around the layout.

SurroundTraxx does not simply switch the sound from speaker to speaker but uses an intelligent cross fade algorithm that factors in train speed, direction, and distance between speakers. The sound makes a smooth transition as your train travels from one sound zone to the next without abrupt pops or thumps.

Sounds for a wide variety of both Steam and Diesel locomotives
No onboard speakers are necessary!
Six independent sound channels to reproduce the sounds of up to six different locomotives simultaneously."

RailfanX- This is a very neat system. We love the sound of our O gauge trains, and that is one reason we haven't switched to a smaller scale yet (even though it would fit better in our house). This should give even N scale trains sound that rivals (and possibly beats) the larger gauges. This may be a purchase for later this fall when we begin the office layout.