4

So what am I making room for?

Posted 8 days ago by Bob Keller
I’ve received a few notes about “why” am I getting rid of stuff via the Bob’s Making Some Room giveaway on Facebook. I suspect that there is a suspicion of some sort of insider “the end is near” angle going on. Hardly. In my re-working my layout, I’ve cut out one of three mainlines, which means there is at least one 30-car freight train that can’t be parked on the track. I have also bought more rolling stock in 2017 than anytime in the last 10 ye...
0

Bob's making some space giveaway #3: The Lionel no. 26070 Nestle Nesquik flatcar with trailer

Posted 12 days ago by Bob Keller
When I got back into the hobby, some of the more affordable (and interesting) car types that I found were intermodal cars – trailer-on-flatcar (TOFC) pieces. Some of my favorites were the nos. 16307 Nickel Plate, 16314 Wabash, and 16323 Lionel Lines. These three have twin “pup” single axle trailers as their load. Beginning with the 16308 (Burlington Northern) the cars changed to carry a single, longer dual axle van. The trailer was, of course, closer to S than O scale,...
0

Classic Toy Trains & FineScale Modeler share anniversaries

Posted 14 days ago by Bob Keller
Today the company he'd a reception of coffee and donuts to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Classic Toy Trains magazine and the 35th anniversary of FineScale Modeler. ...
3

The guard changes: Old test track gone, meet the new test track

Posted 22 days ago by Bob Keller
When I arrived at CTT nearly 22 years ago, the way locomotives were tested was to connect a ring of O-72 track on the Model Railroader workshop floor and test away. This was far from perfect, but the guys at MR didn't want to surrender the space to us for a fixed layout. When our previous editor arrived, I made the case for a fixed test track and I got my wish. I brought in my original "adult" layout from home (roughly 5x9), we carpeted it, and installed O-54, O-31, and S gauge loops on it. O...
9

Bob's making some space giveaway #2: Lionel no. 16718 USMC Missile Launching Car

Posted 26 days ago by Bob Keller
  Bob’s making some space giveaway #2 The Lionel no. 16718 US Marine Corps Missile Launching Car. So this one is an inter-service rivalry giveaway. As an ex-Air Force missileer, I’ve always been highly skeptical of giving Marines the means to fire explosives further than, say, that pillbox over there. So I figure that this car would be happier in a collection where it would actually be fired! This time the no. 16718 Marine Corps missile launching car is up for grab...
1

Cow palace

Posted 29 days ago by Bob Keller
Meet the new barn, not the same as the old barn! The dairy barn has been tweaked and improved to ensure to cows on your layout have the perfect home. The no. 279-4430 barn has the same footprint as the Menard's barn of 2014, and costs $89.99 plus shipping. Back in 2014 Menards offered up its first dairy barn – a solid-looking agricultural building, complete with advertising on the sides and roof. The firm has re-vsited the concept and, except for the general outline, as as...
0

Hail, hail the trailers are all here!

Posted one month ago by Bob Keller
I received a jumbo box from Woodland Scenics last week. It contained the three latest Built-&-Ready structures in O gauge – their mobile homes. Normally, they send the buildings in as they are released but the shock and awe of how neat these are would have been lost one-at-a-time. These are not cookie-cutter models, each one is unique, though they all follow the basic layout of a mobile home. As you can see, you cn place them side by side and not come away with the notion that they a...
2

Bob's making some space giveaway!

Posted one month ago by Bob Keller
EXCESS TO REQUIREMENTS: First in a series  A few weeks back, I was trying to find out whether or not I’d ever purchased a particular freight car I had seen on eBay. I had (which was fine), but I also had to take apart the basement to learn that fact. In my mind I had the New York Central rolling stock with the New York Central, Pennsy with the Pennsy, Railway Express with Railway Express, beer cars with beer cars, and the rest roughly grouped East or West of the Mississippi. ...
1

New illuminated vehicles (and a plug and play wiring system) by Menards

Posted one month ago by Bob Keller
Menards has cranked out some very interesting die-cast vehicles recently. But what could be better than a die-cast vehicle? A die-cast vehicle with lighting.And what about a new wiring accessory system to make illuminating your vehicles AND Menards structures easier? Well today is your day! Let prewired vehicles from Menards light up your streets. There are six trucks and six Mustangs available. Shown are the nos. 279-4237 yellow, 279-4238 classic style black, 279-4207 Menards stake truck wit...
2

Johnny Cash and trains

Posted one month ago by Rene Schweitzer
The other day, a package arrived for my husband from eBay. It was a DVD of something called "Ridin' the Rails," a documentary hosted by Johnny Cash from 1974. It's the history of railroading in about an hour. cs_setInnerHtml('video_1b5af87c-3258-47a5-a1a7-5dfc94635da4',''); This got me thinking about the other train-related things that Johnny Cash did, especially in the 1970s. Lionel released a Johnny Cash boxcar (no. 9870) with the "Ridin' the Rails" logo on it. (This was featured in...
10

Is time our hobby’s real enemy?

Posted one month ago by Bob Keller
What is the greatest foe to the hobby of model railroading?  High prices?  Video games?  Young people who don’t know what’s good for them?  Nope. To me, the biggest enemy to model railroading is time.  But it isn’t just model railroading. Traditional hobbies, traditional print publishing, and even traditional television are reeling from systematic change that nobody really understands or knows how to counter (if it is preventable). Everyone...
0

CTT issue no. 1 now available as a digital download

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
The hobby and Classic Toy Trains magazine have experienced quite a few changes in the last three decades. Our very first issue is now available as a digital download!  Hey, I'm the product guy and nobody told me! Yikes.  You can see where it all began and take a trip down memory lane with vintage trains and vintage ads from long-gone shops.  You'll also note changes in graphics and how we present stories now, versus in days passed. Heck, I'm, starting to get a little sniffly!...
4

Hail to the chief: RR Headquarters building from Menards

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
    Hail to the Chief, baby  Is it wrong to feel, well, giddy when you open a product box?  If it is, then, I plead guilty. At a time when you wonder what could Menards do that would top the York Hotel Royale, well, they top it. Other than a cryptic “O World Headquarters” on the shipping notification I received, I had no idea what the building might be. But the size of the box and the photo on the side got the heart racing. “Holy cow,” was my ...
0

Wrap up of the week

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
A few odds and ends to finish the week! And you may yet see one more HUMONGOUS blog post before the day is out! ...
0

Ride in a Sally's ride! Sally's Restorations from Menards

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
If you have watched reality shows like Pawn Stars, American Restorations, or especially Counting Cars, you know that vintage wheels can be pretty hot candidates for restoration (and being re-sold for considerably more than their original new-from-the-factory price). Menards taps into this movement with the no. 279-4032 Sally’s Restoration Shop where new life is breathed into old Ford Mustangs. The structure features an illuminated showroom with three cars and an additional two cars par...
3

Menards update 09/27

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
Received a box of goodies from Menards last week ... I still have two items that have not been announced yet, but here are some nifty products that are available now! Six railroad herald and two new 1:48 die-cast box trucks. The trucks are for Jack Links and Penske Rentals. Go to www.Menards.com/trains for more information. And since we all know Jack Links for their beef jerky and their Messin' with Sasquatch commercials, here is a link to their 10 best "Messin'" commercials. cs_set...
5

The York Hotel Royale mega-structure from Menards!

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
A few issues back I wrote a review called “Rise of the Mega Structures.” Little did I know that the product designers at Menards were just getting warmed up! I have got to say that it is thrilling to be surprised, seemingly every few weeks, by receiving a box from Menards with something in it that falls into the “Nobody will ever do that in O,” category. This is another one of those times. Not just a hotel, but a giant structure. The no. 279-3973 York Hotel Royale has...
0

All-Star Electric Trains ships to the printer!

Posted 2 months ago by Bob Keller
This year’s annual special interest publication from Classic Toy Trains is on the way to the printer! All-Star Electric Trains salutes 30 years of toy train history with Classic Toy Trains magazine. Shown here are some photos I took at the SIP’s “pin up” several weeks ago. A pin up is where the Art Department meets with the editorial staff and shows them the provisional story layouts. These are literally pinned up on a wall.  The stories are posted in the order...
7

Something is up in the workshop (Updated Wednesday 10:30 a.m.)

Posted 3 months ago by Bob Keller
Those guys from Model Railroader Video Plus are up to something down in the workshop! Hey, I wondered who hijacked the Menards buildings! Why that's the MTH police station from our closet, too! No wonder the workshop "Stay out" sign is posted! There is probably somewhere on-line that they can be observed live streamed ... ...
0

Get thee to a bus barn! The O gauge Bus Garage from Menards

Posted 3 months ago by Bob Keller
As any veteran of riding one of those slow, yellow greyhounds to and from school – and who might have left their textbooks on it, the only place you can retrieve it is (Dum-Dah) the school bus barn! Thanks to Menards, the kiddies can now see where their bus is maintained, cleaned, and just maybe where they can find that O scale text or homework assignment they forgot! The no 279-4033 O Gauge Bus Garage is a nifty structure that appears to utilize some of the design elements of the no. 2...
4

Ending a high-intensity week

Posted 3 months ago by Bob Keller
It has been a wild couple of weeks. We’ve had deadlines for the November issue (on the way to the printer), our annual special issue (finalizing the story layouts), and a half dozen other things getting ready for the December issue.   Sometimes you just have to wander down the hall and run trains in a circle for a bit to clear the mind! Oh, and a trip to Sommerfeld's Trains up in Butler to pick something up doesn't hurt either! ...
0

CTT's Anniversary Boxcar is in the house!

Posted 3 months ago by Bob Keller
Our custom-run, Made in the U.S. of A. 30th Anniversary boxcar from Lionel is in our warehouse now! The car, no. 69013, features die-cast metal sprung trucks and couplers, opening doors, and O-27 operation. The car costs $89.99 plus shipping. Order online at: www.KalmbachHobbyStore.com/Boxcar Check out our video of Bob unwrapping the boxcar! ...
2

Rene visits the Titletown Brewing Co.

Posted 3 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
Note: click on any photo to enlarge More vacation photos ahead! After the visit to the National Railroad Museum, we stopped at Titletown Brewing Company (a mere 3 miles away). Bob Keller had suggested visiting because their beers have won awards, and it's located in the former Chicago & NorthWestern Railroad depot. We stopped and learned that the brewery is in one building, and the restaurant is across the street in the depot. You can take a tour of the brewery and/or eat at the restaurant...
4

Rene visits the National Railroad Museum again

Posted 4 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
I was on vacation last week and I took a bunch of photos for blog posts that I'm excited to share! You might remember that Jim and I visited the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay about one year ago. If you missed that post, check it out here. Lots of good photos there. Note: Click on any photo to enlarge. We both took a week of vacation and returned to the museum (along with other places). I was particularly interested in their special display of railroad china, and I was not disappoi...
12

Train songs: Readers' picks

Posted 4 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
We've compiled some of the train songs our readers suggested in comments and on Facebook. Enjoy and keep the suggestions coming! Midnight Flyer by the Eagles cs_setInnerHtml('video_7a1b6a90-d706-4a89-bbe4-4e84ccb547a7',''); Southern Pacific by Neil Young cs_setInnerHtml('video_16b72a5a-b831-45de-9d74-dce3fa60bb77',''); Wabash Cannonball by Roy Acuff cs_setInnerHtml('video_7582dbbe-6a65-4a9d-a4ff-6c27996a182b',''); City of New Orleans (Willie Nelson version) cs_setInnerHtml...
7

So, what have I been buying this year?

Posted 4 months ago by Bob Keller
I have more rolling stock than I’ll ever need. Sure there is a heavy skewing toward the New York Central, but you'd also the familiar roadnames that I saw as a kid: Pennsylvania, Nickel Plate, Erie, and a few others. So when I add new cars to the fleet, it tends to be in surges and the price must be right. This is because I am, generally, a self-proclaimed tightwad. Oh, I’ll entertain the concept of paying $100 for a freight car but I’d be happier paying under $30 for it. Ac...
1

HIMARS to the rescue

Posted 5 months ago by Bob Keller
The latest addition to the Menards line of military cars is the no. 279-3964  military flatcar with High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher. The removable vehicle has a launcher that can be rotated and elevate and costs $19.99 plus shipping. The car is also available in the no. 279-3965  six-pack for $69.96 plus shipping. Order online at www.Menards.com/trains and select free shipment to your local Menards store. Check out this link showing a HIMARS ...
1

MTH BL2 diesel on the test track

Posted 5 months ago by Bob Keller
One of the most unusual diesels to come out of EMD was the BL-2 diesel. Designated a branch line (Hence the BL) locomotive, The styling was "postwar graceful," and while the locomotive never caught on, some were operated into the 1980s. Here is the MTH Premier line no.  20-20697-1 Florida East Coast locomotive in the Champion livery. The model costs $499.95. See but MTH retailer or go to www.mthtrains.com for more information. ...
2

Container well cars from Menards

Posted 5 months ago by Bob Keller
I'll brag that I usually have a box of buildings and freight cars from Menards handy, that I shoot for Product News and put up on the blog. But when the new no. 279-3688 TTX container car with two containers was announced I was a total surprise. I broke out the plastic to order a pair and they arrived at my local Menards store over the 4th of July weekend. The car was well-protected for shipment and the car comes with extra "pegs" to secure the top container to the lower container.  Th...
0

New CTT billboard! (Updated w/new photos)

Posted 5 months ago by Bob Keller
Wow, go on vacation for a week and new stuff slips into the company store without my being aware of it. Check out our new billboard from Town & Country Hobbies. Just $10 plus shipping. Check it out.  https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/layout-accesory/69014 When I find one, I'll post more pics! ...

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