Well, we’ve made it to September. The weather will moderate and cool down a bit; the leaves will begin to turn; and we’ll start working on our layouts again…as fall tends to entice us to do so. I just returned from a Southern trip through Tennessee; Mississippi; Arkansas; Missouri; and Louisiana. I obtained measurements of another MP caboose in McGehee Arkansas. It’s possibly the last KO&G International Steel Cupola caboose left in the US. I have a WrightTrak model of the car and wanted to upgrade a few items on the car for better looking model. I plan to revamp the underframe to where it is one solid piece…and allow the model to pull off the frame. I also measured the updated equipment placed by MoPac on the car to better represent the car in the late 1970’s.

The layout progress slowed; as I seem to be busier that usual. But I did get some birch plywood ripped to 1 x 3’s…and I continue to learn from the 3rdPlanIt planning software. The main issue is fitting West Frankfort and at least one mine in the existing room. So, I sort of remain in that “paralysis-by-analysis” mode for now. I have been working on the final pictures of the coal mines; and found some excellent ground shots from the Illinois State Geological Survey Team in Urbana, IL. So, I now have some shots of both mine tipples from the ground level…and will go about the best way to make models of them.

As for models…I am working on some coal hoppers and new decals for the ExactRail cars. I would love to see ExactRail have their undecs put together at their factory in China…to make them easier to paint. I think they would sell much faster that way. But I have 10 of them here…and used to have a ton of their undecs…but sold them off!!! Oh well; live and learn.

My health continues to improve; and I am currently down 43 pounds today as I write this. My goal is to get 100 pounds off; as my health issues have subsided; and I seem to be metabolizing normally at this time. The more weight that comes off…the more energetic I am; as well as motivated. Such is my modeling and other hobbies. They are all picking back up in interest.

We may be able to buy some nearby property…and if possible; I will build my layout building on that property. I would build a 40 x 70 building and use it for both my workshop; office; and layout home. Heck, I might as well put a little apartment in there too…so I can just sleep out there. It’s really an exciting prospect of reality…and since we own our home now; our vehicles; etc., This prospective idea is also detrimentally affecting my layout progress, however; as I am always thinking ahead…trying to plan for something that isn’t a reality does lead to procrastination!

Looking forward to Arrowhead’s next car; which could be here in the fall; and then we’ll see the ACF 4600 from them. They are focusing on the 1980 build versions…so they aren’t copying Athearn Genesis; which produced the earlier versions in their release. Besides being a better model; IMO; they will be a bit newer; and can be left pretty much new looking for my 1978-80 layout. I am looking forward to the older cars when he gets to them…however. Trainfest is coming up; and I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead there.

It’s going to be an interesting fall.

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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