Well, I didn’t get a lot done in September…as work was my primary focus and task; which demanded my attention. I did take some time off…although that seems like a lifetime ago. In fact, it was at the beginning of the month. I found that I needed several days to decompress and rest…and finally got to work at the end of that time. I will take a bit more time in the first week of October to try to get some track and stuff up and running. But, it’s tough to get going when you are tired to begin with.

I did get some benchwork modules built up…these are 1″ x 3’s ripped by me on a table saw from 3/4″ birch; and secured with pocket screws from Kreg. It builds a really nice 2′ x 4′ module with luan on top and foam as a scenery and track base. Lightweight and portable…to take to the new place in a couple of years. But, for now, it will allow me to build the Buckhorn Industrial Branch and West Frankfort’s downtown…while I wait.

The Athearn Genesis cabooses showed up…I can’t say enough about them. I ordered two to support the project and hope to see Missouri Pacific cabooses in the near future. I hear that Tangent Scale Models was over at the National Museum Transport (St. Louis) measuring MP and BN cabooses as well? Hmmm. Perhaps there are new models on the horizon? Hope so!

Still waiting on the Arrowhead Models’ Railgon. I ordered a few of them directly from Blaine Hadfield and eagerly await their arrival. Advance views of them yields an excellent replica all around. I use the word ‘replica’ because very few concessions were made to accomplish the model. Blaine does his own design work here in the USA…before sending them to China for production. His cars are some of the finest I have owned ( Including ExactRail and Arrowhead) for both fidelity, accuracy, and operability. And, with prices of high-end cars on the rise; quality is there too.

Blaine’s old company; Exactrail; released a new run of their superb Thrall Centerbeam flat car. This car was the first car that Blaine designed when he took over product development while at ExactRail. It is a superb car; and ExactRail has ONLY ran it in the actual paint schemes that rostered it. NO FOOBIES. I might have to order a few more. I hope to see more 3737 quad hoppers in the future from ExactRail with more road numbers in MP; and maybe even a new scheme? Time will tell. Anyway, it’s great to see ExactRail bringing new releases to the market. ExactRail is easily 94% of my roster anyway (thanks to the Coal hoppers).

Back to cabooses for a minute…a few years back (when the world was still ‘sane’), I had mused to my best friend about the possibility of a business in model trains that focused on nothing but road specific cabooses in HO scale. The consensus that I had received from ScaleTrains, Tangent, and a few others was that cabooses weren’t profitable enough for mass production in HO scale…just like the real ones; and the amount of sales needed to justify a production of an accurate, road specific caboose wasn’t possible. Fast forward to 2020: One of the early naysayers decided to produce International Cabooses and has done quite well with them. I am happy to see that…and it has kept me from joining the market for now…however, a 100% quality model IS possible…and to be made in the USA. At least that’s what I think. I am not thinking of 3D printing, either. BTW, Athearn trains was VERY receptive of this idea from the get-go…so they aren’t one of the naysayers.

With that, the Sedalia Caboose project is back underway. See you in November.

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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