Hard to believe that we’re over halfway through this year. That’s for sure. Working full time has taken a bite out of my hobby time at first; but I am figuring it out. I sold off all of the surplus project engines and have retained a few units to finish up for the MP train numbers 408 and 409. The power for the 408 will be either B23-7’s or GP38-2’s. The power for the 409 trains will be GP15-1’s. I back dated the fleet for now to be around the 1980-81 time frame. I have done so to include the Zeigler 4 mine; along with Freeman Number 4.

Athearn Genesis GP38-2’s were just announced in Missouri Pacific Jenks Blue with the buzzsaw emblems. These are a welcomed release; and I would like to thank Athearn and Nathan Obermeyer of the Missouri Pacific Historical Society. Athearn continues to release MP diesels and we MP modelers couldn’t be happier. Additionally, ICG Orange and White; as well as Slate Gray and Orange liveries were also offered on ex-GM&O GP38-2’s from Athearn Genesis. Very nice as well…and thanks again to Athearn for these units. Benton Junction may have some more power for interchange trains with MP.

I am trying to finish the GE B23-7’s for use on the 408 train; along with one U23B from Atlas. I am hopeful that Athearn Genesis will eventually do the EMD GP38 in HO scale too. The MP had 5 of these units and it would be very nice unit to have in my Genesis-dominated fleet. I am likewise hopeful we’ll see Athearn Genesis GP18’s with low short hoods and AAR trucks…as MP had more GP18’s than any other road…just like the GP15-1’s…Anyway, it’s a great time to be an MP modeler in HO scale.

Arrowhead Models will release their new car this month. We are all waiting in suspense; as we have been speculating for months now on what this car will be. It’s a simple car; but has 199 parts!!!! That’s all the hints on Blaine’s website blog…so we’ll just have to see. It is a car that would fit in any freight train across the country, too. Kudos to Blaine and Arrowhead Models for bringing another highly detailed; quality car to market.

With COVID-19 restrictions going to phase 4 in Illinois now; we can start to get back to some sort of normalcy here in the Land of Lincoln. However, I will continue to wear my surgical mask; carry hand sanitizer; and avoid large public gatherings for now…besides, all the train shows I used to attend are cancelled. I was able to get over to IKEA and purchase more shelving for bench work and storage; but it’s a pain in the ass to carry up three flights of stairs; However, it must be done if I am going to have some trains running. This IVAR shelving is really well done and perfect for bases of benchwork and storage for excess rolling stock; books; etc., undec the layout.

I am thinking about selling my Sieg X1 Milling Machine. It has an M2 collet set; and several carbide end mills. I would sell it; along with all vises and such if a person was interested. It is set up for CNC conversion; as it has belt drive and 85,000 RPM spindle bearings. Contact me at joppasubdivision@gmail. com if interested. We can work out shipping or pickup arrangements as well.

Until next month.

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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