September 2023

Published by Thomas Austin on

We finally sold the house in Centralia this past month; which will allow us some stability going forward into train show season…thank goodness. I’ve been battling a severe upper respiratory infection the past week or so; so I’ll get my booster shots and all in a few days. I’ve cleared out several items of late that will not be needed in the new and final version of the layout…and will settle on a smaller roster of both cars and locomotives with enhanced DCC operations and lighting features…since those are now easily attainable with current product availability.

There are a few items of interest on the new product front; as I continue to partner with an individual manufacturer to produce the 3209 quad hopper in HO scale…as the sale of ExactRail and Arrowhead’s absence from the market have put the idea of that car coming from them or their successors in extreme doubt. So, I’ll use a combination of resin printing and injection molding for a small fleet of around 20 cars. The next item up after these hoppers is the MoPac Sedalia caboose.

The caboose will be done in a component-by-component style; with each part being measured in a sub-assembly method. We will then get those items ready and accurate…then move on to the next part or parts. Commercially available Brake parts and wire will be used for the brake clevis; and trucks will be Tahoe or Kato ASF ride control trucks…whichever is available. The cars will have DCC wired trucks for lighting on the end platforms and a full interior is possible…with several of these 1949 era cars around.

Another caboose project that is coming up much quicker is my custom Short Bay Window with etch metal treadplate by friend Brian Banna; the car will be a mix of Railyard models and Bluford parts…and the aforementioned treadplate…DCC lighting too…the works. But I’m only building ONE. I will post mockup photos when I get to that car in the near future; and will decide whether or not to make the under frame see through; or just use the stock under frame from the rail yard kit. We will see…I like the Bluford kit and all; but their last undecorated cars came glued together and it’s tough to paint them with the windows in them…IMO.

I continue with my GP15-1 projects in earnest…and will build 4 units for use on the layout…I’m leaning now towards Soundtraxx instead of Loksound; as I like the programming of the Tsunami and Blunami decoders much better…but the Loksound units have great motor control…I do think the Soundtraxx decoders sound much better; and with their equalizer; I can adjust the sound to my tastes within the boundaries of the speakers onboard.

The MPHS convention is coming up in October; and Trainfest in November…so here we go into Train Show season! Bring on winter.

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.