April is upon us. I don’t have to go into the current events drill to get my point across with regards to our fellow Americans as we deal with the COVID-19 epidemic. In fact, I am often speechless at the sheer ignorance of people around our home that are ignoring stay at home orders and so forth. We are following the advice and directives of our Governor; and our families are doing the same. Hopefully, we’ll be able to flatten the curve of this crisis and we can all get back to a sense of normalcy…but I don’t know if that is possible in the near future…or forever…for what it’s worth.

I went back to work for the State of Illinois on February 16. I am enjoying the challenges that occur daily, but it is taking a toll on my free time to do modeling work. And, frankly, I am now going to make time to work on the Railroad during these unsettling times. But, as I go along, I can’t help but be grateful that I have a hobby that helps keep me in the house…as I believe that we’ll be doing this for a short time…in fact, I don’t think that any of the large shows that were scheduled this summer and fall will even happen at this point…and frankly, with all that people are going through in New York and Chicago; it’s really not important right now.

I did pick up another Pecos River Brass T&P Modernized caboose yesterday. I also have three GP15AC’s to work the mine branches. I plan on doing downtown West Frankfort and the mine branch with Freeman No. 4 mine tracks. I will continue to build the rest of the engine fleet; as well as complete the brass cabooses. Plus, I will finish up the West Frankfort Depot and some downtown buildings. I’d like to get some modular photos here soon as well. I am also finalizing the speakers for the GP15-1’s that will be made to accomodate Zimo sugar cubes…for optimal sound. I still think the speakers can be MUCH, MUCH BETTER…and that’s an area where we need improvement with onboard sound.

I’d like to see Digitrax expand the DCC protocol to allow Consist addresses (while using Advanced Consisting) to be 2 or 4 digit addresses. That way I could number my consists for the various trains on the subdivision. For instance…408; 409; 414; 417, and so on.

Anyway, I hope all of you out there are staying home and staying safe. Please follow the CDC and Ill Dept of Public Health’s recommendations. To those who are ill; I hope for a speedy recovery; and those who have perished; I send my most sincere condolences.

Hang in there, folks.

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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