2

The new Red Owl grocery and train station from Menards

Posted 5 months ago by Bob Keller
This holiday season two structures from Menards stand out: The Red Owl grocery and the train station. The newly released no. 279-3472 Red Owl store salutes the departed Red Owl chain which at one time had more than 400 stores in the upper Midwest. The structure is illuminated, has interior and exterior decoration, and costs $99.99 plus shipping. The Menards no. 279-3846 O gauge train station has exterior decoration, extensive illumination, and details such as advertising on the station platf...
0

Have you used the Magazine Index yet?

Posted 5 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
I was asked recently if CTT has any indexes available. The answer is a resounding YES! We have both annual indexes and a comprehensive online index. If you haven't used them before, I'm here to help. If you're interested in searching a particular year, or perhaps you'd like an index to keep near your magazines, we have PDF files of ALL years of the magazine available, for free, to download. See our list of indexes here. If you'd like to search a topic, we can help there too. The Magazine Index...
0

New Menards flats with heavy-duty loads

Posted 6 months ago by Bob Keller
The latest flatcars from Menards have two industrial strength die-cast vehicle loads: A cement mixer and and an excavator that his light and sound action. The cars are the no. 279-3178 Chesapeake & Ohio flat with die-cast metal cement mixer and the no. 279-3476 Pennsylvania RR flatcar with die-cast metal excavator with lights and sound. The cars cost $24.99 each plus shipping (ship free to your local Menards). Visit your neighborhood Menards to g to www.menards.com. ...
2

Electric Trains A to Z has arrived!

Posted 6 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
This year's special issue is a bit different from previous years. It's a compilation of toy-train things, organized by letter. Each letter is included; most letters have multiple entries while others have one. Some topics are familiar, like O gauge and S gauge, but others may be new to you. I've included the table of contents so you can see the list. This special issue was a complete staff effort. Hours were spent digging through the photo archive, researching topics and dates, and organiz...
3

Wow, 2016 is done (for us)

Posted 6 months ago by Bob Keller
We received our advance copies of the December Classic Toy Trains yesterday! Today we have the pin-up meeting for January, so we are off and running for 2017! This is our "Wall of covers." We post the covers from four year's worth of CTT to try and avoid duplicate styles, locos (especially that darned Santa Fe paint scheme!), not too many this or that (usually postwar versus modern locomotives), and of course the tag lines. When we receive the January issue, we drop the oldest year, move t...
0

Cycling the Ironhorse Curve

Posted 6 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
I love bicycling during the summer. The wind rushing by, the freedom of the open trails, it's exhilarating! Fall is the time of year when opportunities for rides dwindle, and alas, I must use the gym instead. It is a real downer for me. For a number of years, I've used the gym facilities at my alma mater, Carroll University. Due to renovations, I have access to the campus' YMCA building. I was pretty excited about this--the building is only a few years old and has lots of new machines. I was p...
0

New well cars from Atlas O

Posted 7 months ago by Bob Keller
We received an outstanding intermodal product from Atlas O this week, the no. 3007403-1 Gunderson Maxi-IV well car (in TTX road name). This is a beautiful three-section car that is one impressive die-cast metal rig. It has fine detail parts  (see close-up photos) and smooth rollability.   While the set can run on O-54 curves, you’ll probably want to run on O-72 or wider diameter track just for looks.   The well car comes in BNSF, BRAN, Florida East Coast, and TTX roa...
4

A visit to Bay Beach Amusement Park

Posted 7 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
Over Labor Day weekend, husband Jim and I visited my parents in northeastern Wisconsin. After we left their house, we drove to Green Bay, about an hour's drive east. We had two destinations for the day: The National Railroad museum (see my blog post about last year's trip there) and Bay Beach Amusement Park. I have fond memories of visiting Bay Beach as a child. It was a popular "end of the school year" excursion. I hadn't been there in 15+ years, and was in for some changes! Bay Beach Amuseme...
1

Morning on the test track

Posted 7 months ago by Bob Keller
I was putting a few engines through their paces on the test track. Pics are from my iPhone (running the DCS App). The building seemed strangely empty for a Friday … I hope everyone has a safe and fun Labor Day weekend! ...
11

A visit to the Seashore Trolley Museum

Posted 8 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
As part of my trip to Maine, my friend suggested visiting the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, which is not far from her house. I admit I wasn't expecting much and nearly didn't visit, but the visit turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip.  The museum has a long history, starting in 1939 with the purchase of the Biddeford & Saco open car #31. They have more than 250 transit vehicles, some from as far away as Germany and Switzerland, even Australia! According to ...
3

Menards Flak Attack!

Posted 8 months ago by Bob Keller
Menards will help keep Train Town safe with a new freight car packing serious heat. The no. 279-3429 O gauge 11 ½-inch flatcar with container and gun. The cannon can be elevated and rotated. The car costs $29.99 plus shipping. Also of interest are the no. 279-3568 long flatcar for $29.99 plus shipping and the no. 279-7848 boxcar with artillery shells for $24.99 plus shipping. All cars are available for free shipment to your local Menards store....
4

The Palace Diner

Posted 8 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
I recently went on a pleasure trip to Maine to visit a friend. She took me to the town of Biddeford to the Palace Diner. A real diner, tucked away between the office buildings and shops! According to their website, it was built in 1927 by the Pollard Company and is one of two remaining Pollard cars. The place is tiny, one row of stools and two small doors. A limited menu and very limited hours. Sadly, we arrived too late to go inside. Some of the photos were taken through the windows, so please...
0

New crop of vehicles from Menards

Posted 8 months ago by Bob Keller
Menards must be gearing up for Christmas, because a lot of new product is rolling in. New for your railroad is the no. 279-3437 Santa Fe flatcar with Shell tanker load. The 11 1/2 inch car has a wood deck, a die-cast metal Shell tank trailer as well as metal trucks and wheels. The car costs $24.99 plus shipping. New separate sale die-cast metal vehicles include pickup trucks for Chippewa Valley Farm Supply (shown in the May 2016 Product News) and for Electric Eddie electrical contractor...
5

Musings on train imagery

Posted 8 months ago by Bob Keller
The new issue of CTT arrived in the office and it struck me how popular the image of the Dreyfuss Hudson is. Not because we ran it on the cover of the October issue, but because the image – or a stylized version of it – often shows up in other forms. A good example is the cover of he audiobook version of Mr. Moto is So Sorry I recently bought. Clearly a New York Central Dreyfuss Hudson, and most likely a Lionel version at that! Part of the story has the American travelers going...
1

Electric Trains A to Z almost wrapped up!

Posted 8 months ago by Bob Keller
Whew, 34 of 37 pieces done. Only three left … but hey, I have until the 22nd to get those in! ...
2

Do the Dew in O

Posted 8 months ago by Bob Keller
The latest flat car/vehicle combo from Menards is the no. 279-3444 New York Central flatcar with Mountain Dew truck load. It has a new wood deck and carries a die-cast metal Mountain Dew delivery truck. The car costs $29.99. Order online at www.menards.com and opt for free shipment to your local Menards store. ...
1

Wings of Freedom Tour comes to Waukesha

Posted 9 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
A week ago, I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper, announcing that four WWII bomber planes would be coming to town. I've read a number of WWII-themed books, and it sounded like a unique experience. The non-profit group the Collings Foundation hosted the event, and is crossing the country on tour. They have four WWII bombers that, according to a member of the Foundation, are in flight 300 days per year. If you have the cash, you can get a ride in the B-17, B-24, or B-25. For more cash,...
2

The new Menards BNSF illuminated caboose

Posted 9 months ago by Bob Keller
The second road name in the new Menards caboose lineup is the no. 279-2670 BNSF illuminated caboose. The car has a contemporary leery and features interior lighting as well as alternating red rear warning lights. The car costs 24.99 plus shipping (free shipment to your local Menards store). Order online at www.menards.com. ...
0

The new flatcar with Pepsi Cola delivery truck load from Menards

Posted 9 months ago by Bob Keller
The latest Menards cargo-carrier is the no. 279-2670 CSX Medium Flatcar with Pepsi truck. The flatcar features a wooden deck and a large Pepsi delivery truck (see image with 1:48 scale Arttista worker … not included). For a pause that will refresh you, here is a link to some vintage Pepsi jingles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Nu9bh4g4U The flatcar costs $29.99 plus shipping, or ship free to your local Menards store. Order online at www.menards.com. ...
1

New illuminated Chicago & North Western caboose from Menards

Posted 9 months ago by Bob Keller
Menards has added a new type of car to the firm's growing line of O gauge freight cars, the no. 279-2645 Chicago & Noth Western caboose. The car has metal wheels and couplers, white interior illumination, and alternate flashing rear lights. The car costs $24.99 plus shipping or ship free to your local Menards store. For more information or to order go to wwww.menards.com. ...
3

Wireless!

Posted 9 months ago by Bob Keller
I've been experimenting with the new MTH Wi-Fi Interface unit for controlling your MTH locomotives via cell phone!  Very interesting ... After a few days of testing, and some operator error, the biggest challenge was making sure all the devices I was using were up-to-date on their operating software to use the app.  A longer review of the Wi-Fi Interface Unit (WIU) will be in our October issue, but let me toss out a few general comments, in no particular order:   1. Your Track...
0

The new Menards US Army flatcar with van

Posted 10 months ago by Bob Keller
Menard's has released the no. 29-3449 Military flatcar with military van load. The traditionally=sized car has operating couplers and a van marked for the "Total Force Training Center," Fort McCoy, Wisc.". The car costs $19.99 plus shipping (free shipment to your local Menards store). Order online at www.menards.com. ...
0

Pics of new Menards U.S. Army flatcar with bus

Posted 10 months ago by Bob Keller
Menards has added a new car to its growing fleet of military freights cars: the 279-3432 military flatcar with transport bus load. The car is decorated for the Military Transport Command, has a brown painted deck, and an olive drab U.S. Army bus as the cargo. The car costs $19.99 plus shipping (free shipment to your local Menards store). To order, go to www.menards.com and search "trains." ...
0

Our favorite fun reader-submitted videos 2

Posted 10 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
Part 1 of our favorite fun reader videos was a hit, so I'm back with a few more to share. If you have a video, please fill out our forum and share it with us. Did you miss part 1? Find it here. Clockwork trains You don't need to be a Marx fan to appreciate the fun of running clockwork trains. James Pekarek's Torison Rail Lines is a delight to watch. The Martians have landed A trainload of Martians has arrived to mine the Kryptonite below Rock Springs on the Seligman and Paulden Lin...
4

The day No. 75 came to Kalmbach's offices

Posted 11 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
On August 16, 2011, Flagg Coal Co. No. 75 made a stop at our offices.  No, we don't have tracks running up to our office. Let me start from the beginning. . . Vulcan built Flagg Coal Co. No. 75 in 1930 as an industrial switching locomotive. It moved coal from a mine near Avoca, Pennsylvania until the owners sold the engine to a quarry in New York  in 1953. The engine became privately owned the next year. In 1991, John and Barney Gramling purchased the engine and spent 10 years restori...
5

The abandoned coupler

Posted 11 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
I love to bicycle when the weather is nice, and my favorite local trail is a state trail called the Glacial Drumlin Trail. This trail followed the old Chicago & North Western route (part of the "rails to trails" program). This part of the line ceased operation in 1983, and the trail opened in 1986. A few weeks ago, I noticed an abandoned coupler in a ravine near the start of the trail. I'd never noticed it before, but because the growth from the woods hadn't grown up yet, It was more v...
4

The new MTH 20-3601-1 A5 0-4-0

Posted 11 months ago by Bob Keller
As a follow up to Bob's Train Box no. 62, here are a few iPhone shots of the new MTH Premier Line Great Northern 0-4-0 based on a Pennsy prototype. The model has MTH's ProtoSound 3.0 system, a smoke unit, a coil coupler, and costs $699.95. ...
0

Our favorite fun reader-submitted videos 1

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
Need some hobby fun? We're featuring some fun reader-submitted videos shared on our website. (If you have a video to submit, fill out our form.) Batman in Gotham City Did you know the NP served Gotham City? Gary Pearsall shared this great video of his layout. The video features the Lionel subway set. Feline King Kong is on the loose! Frank Heynick had some fun with this Gotham City-themed layout and his cat. This feline is set to destroy Gotham City, with a little help from a rat. See mo...
10

Roundup from Facebook: What was your most recent hobby purchase?

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
A few days ago, we posted a question on Facebook: What was your most recent hobby purchase? We received a lot of comments, and a reader suggested that we share them in the print magazine. We thought we'd share some of the responses here (in no particular order). Feel free to share your recent purchase in the comments! Kevin Moore: MTH Railking PRR Mikado seam engine from the recent York show, along with some rolling stock. Chris Read: Left the hobby shop with a Lionel Polar Express 20th annive...
1

Buzz from York: Who's at York, part 3

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
Bob just keeps the photos coming! ...

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