Here it is December…and Christmas is almost here. We are in the third week of December and I have already received my presents from my wife…and family. We are very fortunate to have the good luck we are experiencing right now…and I must say that I can’t really be happier. I wish all of you that read this blog monthly a Merry Christmas and joyous Holiday Season!!!

I got the first draft from Bob Sprague on the layout for the current house…and am awaiting grades and curve radii. I was very happy with the plan overall…and I really like what he came up with in this room…which is slightly odd shaped…to say the least. I continue to acquire coal hoppers from ExactRail during their annual sale…and really appreciate the availability of those cars at such discounted prices…MoPac; CNW; DRGW; BN; CB&Q fans…they are on sale here: https://exactrail.com/collections/bethlehem-3737-hopper.

Started working on some GE B23-7’s from Atlas…had them in storage…and brought them back out after Rapido became non-committal on their B23-7. Of course, I’d buy the B23-7 from them if they ever produce it…but these engines will stand in nicely for now…I was going to do without completely…but…NAHHHH. There are two GP15-1’s up after these…and then I’ll do a couple of GP38-2’s. Don’t want to forget about those Atlas U23B’s…I remember those back in 1997…they were the first of my “high quality” runners…now…they might have sound installed…but will be surpassed by my Genesis GP’s…in overall detail and such. But all are undecorated models to start with…so the final version is totally up to me…and I like it that way.

Started on a couple of coal hopper projects that have been long stalled as well…I am doing three 3716 hoppers and sending them to a friend…he can decal them…but I’ll get them ready for him…might even paint them in MP freight car red!!! Also started assembling the ExactRail undec 3716 hoppers too…they are getting these decals…available now from Mask Island Decals: https://www.maskislanddecals.com/product/cei-3737-open-hopper-4-bay/

I am also working on my T & P steel cabooses from Pecos River. These cars turned 30 years old this year…(1989 release)…and they really are well done. Probably the nicest MP cabooses ever done in brass, IMO. I hope that 2020 brings the MP EV caboose from Athearn Genesis…I’m primed and ready for them. Have a couple of ExactRail flat cars that I am going to decal up for ICG and MP, respectively, too. So, pretty busy around here. Winter is train season…and I aim to take full advantage of the snow and cold weather…by staying in and working on some projects.

I will get the track plan FINALLY on its’ page…this week. But I’ll update it when Bob sends me completed plans…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Thomas Austin

I am a Southern Illinois Native. I am a fan of nostalgia, and the history of Southern Illinois. Model Railroading has been a large part of my life; and it helps serve that interest. Through this interest I have learned much about the region; the people; and the industries that gave us all hope of building a life beyond our formal education. Small Towns in the Midwest built this nation...and this site aims to share that fact with the world.

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