A little late this month with the blog. I’ve been working on some projects. I have several rolling stock projects near completion. And, I pulled the GE B23-7’s out of storage to begin working on them. I will use them for run through power at Benton Jct if/when Rapido offers a B23-7. But, these things look pretty good after all these years…and I have to do the complete rework job on them to get them to operate smoothly. They get the complete tear down; stripping the frame of that glossy black paint; and grit blasted for primer. Then a nice coat of Tru Color Jenks Blue. Their running gear is cleaned of that brown grease in simple green…and re-lubed after the wheels are painted. They have Loksound 5 decoders in them and Scale Sound Systems speakers. They sound great. Atlas units run well, too. They are pretty much stock units except for the air horn and antenna (Details West); and the snow plow (Athearn Genesis).

I hope to see a Missouri Pacific Extended Vision caboose from Athearn’s ICC caboose series. I have seen photos of the current releases online…and they look fantastic. I think just having these cars available for us in HO is an outstanding development. I sure hope they produce the ex KO&G cars too; as their current offering of the Seaboard Air Line ICC cab is almost identical from the frame up…the side windows’ size and location are pretty much the only difference. It would be an awesome development if they did those in the different schemes. I prefer the Screaming Eagle on those cars…but time will tell.

I decided to keep modeling era in the early 1980’s. Several engines that I have in process would be affected by scaling back to the late 70’s. The only thing that would really change would be Zeigler 4 mine. It closed in June 1980. So, I plan on keeping it “open” past June 1980. This allows some four stack GP15-1’s (MP 1645-up); GP50’s and the ex Rock Island GP38-2’s to be on the roster. I will number these B23-7’s in the 4600 series; and subsequently the U23B’s will get the 4500 series numbers. MoPac’s purchase of 52 ex-Rock Island GP38-2’s pushed them into the 2238-2289 series…bumping the B23-7s into the 4600 series. This occurred after March 1980…when the Rock went bankrupt.

Not much else going on around here. I am purchasing the IKEA IVAR shelving to go around the layout room and getting ready to start construction. I am pretty much following the plan that Bob Sprague designed for me. Likewise, I am looking forward to the STL National Show this year. I may have an announcement of my own during the show. So, we’ll see. I’ve grown tired of begging people to do projects for me…so, why not do them myself? I can promise this…those of you who know me; and my penchant for accuracy in our models…If I do venture into the hobby business…No low couplers; fantasy paint schemes; or stuff like that. If I was to do, for instance…the MP PS 2950…it will be RIGHT. The color will be right; details will match…and so on. And, they will match in person…not just in the picture on my site.

Speaking of my site…I had some issues with the site earlier this week…and those have been corrected. It also now on an SSL. Secured now. Safe for all. And, I’m setting the site up for a future storefront. Stay Tuned…

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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