Where did the year go? We are almost to the end of it. Thanksgiving weekend is upon us…then Christmas…then 2020. Wow. We have a lot to be thankful for this year at our home. Health, getting almost entirely debt free; and having those relationships and passions that make us go. I am certainly thankful for good fortunes and serendipity that worked in my favor over the years.

I have long desired to have my own business in the hobby…but I think that being a manufacturer of freight cars is not going to be a profitable venture. So, my contribution to the hobby (if I manufacture things) will be a different widget. That being said…I am certainly grateful for the coming HO scale freight cars that will be part of my layout in the near future. Arrowhead Models ACF 4600 will get a look from me…and if he does the MP in the first run…I’ll be a customer. Tangent Scale Models new offering of 8000 gallon tank cars was my first foray into those…and I bought all four numbers. Dave’s tank cars are exquisitely detailed…and track beautifully. Their arrival meant the departure of my long owned Atlas cars…because…well, Tangent tank cars make the weaknesses of the Atlas cars stand out.

Speaking of Atlas, I decided to go and build up my Atlas B23-7’s…after waiting and waiting on Rapido Trains. They now are non-commital on doing the engine…so that ship has sailed. I provided help for them for a couple of years for what? Nothing thus far. And, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a free engine. I would just like the model to be available. So, I went back to the Atlas units. With Jenks blue on them…they’ll look just fine…and they run superb. I cancelled my Rapido SW1200s too. I did some field work for them on this engine too…measuring the class lights for them from an ex-MP unit. They need to fix the treadplating on the engine, however. And, I just don’t need any switchers, personally. $300 per engine is a steep price anyway. We all have to draw a line eventually.

Still waiting on the first draft of my layout plan from Bobs Track Plans. I am curious; to say the least; to see what Bob has in mind. In the meantime, I have began to work on long stalled engine projects…and pulled the B23-7’s from storage too…as I mentioned already. With that being said…I still don’t want to give up my ideas about Karnak IL for a future layout inclusion. It’s just too cool to leave out. If Arrowhead continues their series of cars in the Penn Central and Conrail era…I’ll be on the hook again.

Athearn’s caboose project is one that I am interested in. I hope we see the MoPac EV caboose in the next run. I will be ready to assist them if necessary and if they want my help on their project. I wish them great success on it, too. I have a large purchase planned again this year and 2020 for ExactRail quad hoppers…why so many? Well, if I ever get my way…I’ll have the room for 500+ hoppers…and that would be so COOL. And, ExactRail usually puts them on sale in December.

To all that read this blog…I say Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope to continue to share my hobby with you all and thank you for reading this blog monthly. Kindest regards to you all!

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.

7 Comments

Matt Eames · November 26, 2019 at 7:15 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thomas Austin · November 26, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks Matt. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Your wife and family…and to my bud Jerel.

Bill Irwin · November 26, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Happy Thanksgiving Tom from us. Thanks to you for my conversion to DCC. You are a credit to the hobby.

    Thomas Austin · November 26, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you Bill. I enjoy your company and appreciate all the photos and things of interest you send me. Happy Thanksgiving to you, your wife and family.

    Todd Stevens · November 28, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Good stuff, Tom. WOW. 500 coal cars. I’m just happy to have 40. LoL. I can’t wait to see progress on the north end of the Joppa sub. Like you, so many memories of the Mopac in WF. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Thomas Austin · November 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Thanks, Todd. Yeah, when ExactRail released their MoPac quad hoppers ; I finally had a signature MoPac car for our area. You probably remember these cars…I sure do. I buy them regularly each year in December…So, I always get ‘coal’ for Christmas!

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