This year is really flying by. The election is behind us; and hopefully we are on a path to normalcy now in the not-to-distant future? At any rate, I am eager (as are a lot of Americans) to put 2020 behind us. In a short period of time we will do just that; as New Year’s Day is around the corner.

Work is progressing in numerous directions on the ( now temporary) layout. I have a bit more to do on the benchwork; and will begin laying track soon. I am building the segment from Freeman Junction ( on the Buckhorn Industrial Lead) to the Freeman 4 mine in the current available space. I have build modules out of 3/4″ birch plywood ripped to 1″ x 3s” and assembled them with Kreg Pocket screws. The results are professional; cabinet grade bench work that is portable; which can be taken to the new layout and hopefully inserted into the new larger layout in a couple of years. The shelves are again the IVAR shelf system from IKEA. These assemble rather quickly; and provide instant storage under the layout. I highly recommend them. The idea came from prominent Modelers Bernard Kempinski and Marty McQuirk; after reading a couple of issues of Model Railroad Planning.

I am also pulling GP38-2’s from the shelves; and installing sound decoders and speakers in them for immediate use as mine power; until I can get 3 GP15-1’s built and running. I am using Nix Trains Decoder buddy; along with Loksound V5 and Zimo Dumbo dual speaker assemblies in these engines. They sound and look fantastic. I’ll use my Bluford Shops cabooses and Pecos River Brass ex-TP cars for rear protection of each train.

The Arrowhead Gondolas showed up. They are fantastic replicas. I really couldn’t be happier with them. It has to be the most highly detailed car I have ever owned. I can’t wait to see what the ACF 4600 looks like when it’s available. All I really need is a Bethlehem 3209 quad hopper now and I’m set.

The Sedalia caboose…project? I am pursuing this project with a couple of angles. I would either have it cast in resin…or injection-molded in styrene. The model itself would match specific prototype cars based on field measurements and CAD. I’ll either have this car produced by a contracted designer; or hand build myself one car…time will tell.

This time next month…I hope to be running a train or two down to the mine and switching industry tracks. I have a video camera setup and will include video links to the site and my youtube account.

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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