Monday, December 31, 2012

Comparison of Lionel AF U-33c and HO C-630M

I have to admit... I prefer the size of S. it just feels right.

Friday, October 26, 2012

MTH posts their 2013 HO V1 catalog

There is a lot to like about the 2013 MTH HO catalog for PRR fans like us:
Pennsylvania 4-6-2 K4s Steam Locomotive with DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0, Cab No. 719 80-3236-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $499.95 80-3236-5 DCC/DCS/Motorola 1/2 Proto-Sound 3E+ $529.95
Pennsylvania 4-6-2 K4s Modern Steam Locomotive with DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0, Cab No. 3681 80-3238-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $499.95 80-3238-5 DCC/DCS/Motorola 1/2 Proto-Sound 3E+ $529.95
Pennsylvania 4-6-2 K4s Modern Steam Locomotive with DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0, Cab No. 3752 80-3239-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $499.95 80-3239-5 DCC/DCS/Motorola 1/2 Proto-Sound 3E+ $529.95
Pennsylvania - H10 2-8-0 Steam Engine, Cab No. 7103 80-3240-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $399.95 80-3240-5 DCC/DCS/Motorola 1/2 Proto-Sound 3E+ $429.95
Pennsylvania - H10 2-8-0 Steam Engine, Cab No. 7099 80-3241-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $399.95 80-3241-5 DCC/DCS/Motorola 1/2 Proto-Sound 3E+ $429.95
Pennsylvania - H10 2-8-0 Steam Engine, Cab No. 7122 80-3242-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $399.95 80-3242-5 DCC/DCS/Motorola 1/2 Proto-Sound 3E+ $429.95
Pennsylvania GP35 Diesel with DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 80-2160-1 Cab Number 2258 $279.95 80-2161-1 Cab Number 2268 $279.95 80-2162-1 Cab Number 2273 $279.95
Pennsylvania GP35 Diesel with DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ 80-2160-5 Cab Number 2258 $299.95 80-2161-5 Cab Number 2268 $299.95
Pennsylvania GP35 Diesel DCC-Ready 80-2160-0 Cab Number 2258 $179.95 80-2161-0 Cab Number 2268 $179.95 80-2162-0 Cab Number 2273 $179.95
Pennsylvania- Alco FA-1 A/B Set, Cab Numbers 9600-A & 9600-B 80-2277-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $489.95 80-2092-0 DCC Ready $309.95
Pennsylvania - Alco FA-1 A Unit, Cab Number 9601-A 80-2278-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $269.95 80-2093-0 DCC Ready $169.95
Pennsylvania - Alco FB-1 B Unit, Cab Number 9601-B 80-2094-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $269.95 80-2094-0 DCC Ready $169.95
Pennsylvania - Alco PA A/B Set, A Unit No. 5756, B Unit No. 5756B 80-2215-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $529.95 80-2215-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $569.95 80-2215-0 DCC Ready $349.95
Pennsylvania - Alco PA A Unit, Cab No. 5755 80-2216-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $289.95 80-2216-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $309.95 80-2216-0 DCC Ready $189.95
Pennsylvania - Alco PA B Unit, Cab No. 5752B 80-2217-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $289.95 80-2217-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $309.95 80-2217-0 DCC Ready $189.95
Pennsylvania - F3 A/B Set, A Unit No. 9501, B Unit No. 9501B 80-2194-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $489.95 80-2194-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $529.95 80-2194-0 DCC Ready $309.95
Pennsylvania - F3 A Unit, Cab No. 9505 80-2195-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $269.95 80-2195-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $289.95 80-2195-0 DCC Ready $169.95
Pennsylvania - F3 B Unit, Cab No. 9505B 80-2196-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $269.95 80-2196-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $289.95 80-2196-0 DCC Ready $169.95
Pennsylvania (Tuscan 5-Stripe) - GG1 Electric, Cab No. 4911 80-2147-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $469.95 80-2147-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $489.95
Pennsylvania (Tuscan Single-Stripe) - GG1 Electric, Cab No. 4916 80-2148-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $469.95 80-2148-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $489.95
Pennsylvania (Brunswick Green Single-Stripe) GG1 Electric, Cab No. 4900 80-2150-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $469.95 80-2150-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $489.95
Pennsylvania (Silver) - GG1 Electric, Cab No. 4866 80-2151-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $469.95 80-2151-5 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3E+ $489.95
Pennsylvania - F3 Diesel R-T-R Deluxe Freight Train Set 81-4002-1 DCC/DCS Proto-Sound 3.0 $259.95 81-4002-0 DCC Ready $189.95
Pennsylvania - USRA 55-Ton Steel Twin Hopper Car 80-97009 No. 220149 $34.95 80-97010 No. 220158 $34.95 Pennsylvania - 6-Car USRA 55-Ton Steel Twin Hopper Car Set 80-90015 Nos. 220166, 220138, 220105, 220109, 220184, 220173 $199.95
Pennsylvania - 2-Car Parlor Passenger Set 81-60009 $179.95

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pennsy it is...

I don't know how many people out there are actually reading this and following along this journey of ours, but we sure get a lot of hits so if you are reading this, Hello and thanks!

Anyways, Just wanted to update the blog with the latest news. We will be starting a new Pennsylvania RR HO layout this Fall. At least I'm calling it a Pennsy layout. It won't necesarrily have every single stucture or signal derived from a Pennsy prototype, but I am doing research and considering adding certain PRR LDEs (Layout Design Elements) that I hope will give a flavor of the PRR.

First up will be to start work on the engine servicing facility, which will be more generic in nature using the Walthers kits that you see below. My intent is to build these kits first before starting on the benchwork. That way when I do finish the benchwork these structures will be ready to drop into place. That should keep me busy well into the winter (or longer?).

Starting next month, Broadway Limited will begin releasing several PRR steam engines with their Paragon 2 system. I've made the decision to grab as many of these as possible to fill out our steam roster before moving on to PRR diesels. I will post reviews as they come in. The M1 Mountains should be first in about a month from now. If you haven't seen them yet you can link to them HERE.

Here are the kits that will make up the bulk of the main engine facility:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Future HO Layout

After much deliberation and discussion with myself, my wife, my son, and my trusted friend, I may have been able to decide what shape and form my HO scale layout will take. Even though it may be a few years before construction begins I think I may have a winner here.

I have always wanted to have a large linear shelf layout, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that may not be the best decision. I realize that I am a Railfan at heart and 80% of the time will be spent watching trains run through scenery. Also given that I like to sit and watch my trains and I don't necessarily want to walk around the whole time kind of puts a crimp on the linear shelf idea.

The other issue that I had to be brutally honest with was how big was too big? At what point would it become too much construction/wiring/maintenance for 1 man and his (now) 5 year old son? I've always dreamed of a big layout like you see in the magazines, but if I'm being honest many of them are just too big for a one man show. Add in the fact that my favorite part is scenery, and I absolutely HATE unfinished, bare scenes and it became apparent that it would need to be kept a reasonable size to have a realistic shot of being finished.

So for all those reasons and my Givens and Druthers list, I am really leaning towards something very close to the Wawbeek & Sunmount plan from "101 More Track plans" by Model Railroader magazine shown below.

If anyone has another layout of simillar size that you think I should take a look at, feel free to let me know. I wouldn't mind an island style with a center scenic divider either. I have plenty of time to plan :) In the mean time we'll be working on the O gauge Hi-rail layout.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Branch line

This section is getting close to being done. I would do some things differently next time, but I am pretty pleased overall. Not bad for a months worth of free time.

Testing the MTH HO Mikado

Monday, July 30, 2012

Scenery update

More scenery action on the branch line of the XBRR

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Last of the foam work

Getting some work in on the back side tonight.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creek taking shape

More progress on the creek.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The rock work is getting close to done on the cliff side of the creek. I didn't want to do rock castings originally, but I wound up making my own out of aluminum foil and I think that's the way to go. I'll leave the original sections the way they are as they are good enough. So far so good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I started a new Hi-Rail communtiy page on Facebook. Check it out here:

Monday, July 9, 2012

More progress

At the end of day two...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Workin on the Railroad

Started work on the new branchline on the XBRR today. Not bad for one day's work.

Friday, July 6, 2012

More Dash 8

More of the new Dash 8:

MTH Railking CSX Dash 8 w/PS 3.0

The newest addition to the XBRR: MTH Railking CSX Dash 8 w/PS 3.0

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Experimenting with different ballast types for Fastrack. Woodland Scenics HO fine gray ballast looks like the clear winner here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The newest acquisition of the XBRR (Xavier's basement railroad) is somewhat of a mystery. I can't find a 631 ever being made, but I don't know much about older Lionel. All I know is it runs fairly well and Xavier likes it, so home it came. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

MTH HO Mikado

Fantastic HO steamer! 1 scale mph operation is smooth as can be. Can't recommend these highly enough.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New book- EL Mahoning Division in color: Morning Sun

Really enjoying my new Erie Lackawanna book. I grew up in Warren, OH with the EL Mahoning Division mainline literally in my backyard. Awesome photography. I highly recommend this book to any EL fan.