I passed on a trip to Trainfest this year. And, glad that I did. There was only one really huge announcement (for me) at this show. Athearn Genesis announced an International Car Caboose series. And, they announced these a week or so ahead of Trainfest. So, seeing these live on Facebook gave me advance notice. These cars will apparently encompass numerous ICC cabooses from several different eras and types. It is really something to see…and a long time coming. I hope to see MoPac Extended Visions and maybe a KO&G International Steel Caboose as well. It could be a boom time again for MoPac modelers. But, I am super excited to see these cars coming to HO scale. FINALLY!!

I picked up a couple ICG GP10’s from Intermountain Railway. These are very nice engines…and didn’t get enough praise, IMO. They run really nice and smooth. The shell is pretty nicely detailed; painted and assembled. But, the frame lacks a little detail when compared to other GP7/9 underframes in the industry…but the engine is solid otherwise. The paint work is excellent; as is the printing. I’ll hang on to these for the time being…just in case I get some ICG coal hoppers for Benton Jct. Yes, it’s a lot of money to spend on Interchange power…but they’re a solid investment. I don’t think I’ll have too hard of a time selling them off if I decide to kibosh the ICG stuff. We’ll see.

Design continues on the layout…All room dimensions were finalized…and I await the first draft of the layout plan. My intentions are to include West Frankfort, and the two mine branches; Benton Jct. and a staging yard to represent points south of Jenkins Siding. I eagerly await the first incarnation of the plan. I continue to work on buildings and engines in the meantime. I have been working with a manufacturer on a special run of cars for the layout as well. These will be featured; along with the coal hoppers that currently reside in storage.

Not much else to talk about at this time. I am catching up on coal hopper projects that were dormant in my shop for months. I am cleaning off the dust from the paint bottles and getting the air brush ready to go. I did also test fit the new Athearn LED’s and 21 pin pcb’s in a GP15AC…worked beautifully. I do recommend these for retrofitting of your older genesis diesels. As Athearn continues to progress into the LED realm…it is nice to see them selling add on parts so we can upgrade our older Genesis fleets with the latest stuff. Kudos to you, Athearn.

That’s all for now…I will continue to add stuff and am getting ready to launch the mine pages on the site. The mines will become links on the “Operations” page of the site.

Until next time…

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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