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The new flatcar with Pepsi Cola delivery truck load from Menards

Posted 11 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. ...
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New illuminated Chicago & North Western caboose from Menards

Posted 11 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. ...
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Wireless!

Posted 11 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...
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The new Menards US Army flatcar with van

Posted 11 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. ...
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Pics of new Menards U.S. Army flatcar with bus

Posted one year 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." ...
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Our favorite fun reader-submitted videos 2

Posted one year 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...
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The day No. 75 came to Kalmbach's offices

Posted one year 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...
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The abandoned coupler

Posted one year 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...
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The new MTH 20-3601-1 A5 0-4-0

Posted one year 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. ...
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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...
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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...
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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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Buzz from York: Who's at York, part 2

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
More photos from York! ...
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Buzz from York: Who's at York, part 1

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
Bob Keller is sending us TONS of photos from the York grounds. Stay tuned for more updates! ...
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Special coverage: The buzz from York

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
We'll be posting special photos this week to cover the buzz from the York show. Bob Keller will be sending us the buzz from the show this week. Check back for more updates! ...
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Lionel's new Built-To-Order SD40!

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
We just received a Burlington Northern SD40 from Lionel, and this Built-to-Order diesel looks terrific!  The SD40-series of locomotives is a stand-out star of second generation diesel power. More than 1,200 of the 3,000 HP locomotives were built for 30 North American and foreign railroads between 1966 and 1972. While there are SD40s and variants still in service, several have already been selected for preservation.  The Lionel SD40 offers road name specific detailing for shor...
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Bob @ 20 @ Classic Toy Trains

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
This month marks my 20th year at Classic Toy Trains magazine. My primary job has been the product departments of the magazine in addition to general feature and department editing. Add in "web stuff" "Bob's Train Box," and of course this blog! I retired from the Air Force amid the post-Cold War reduction in force. Unfortunately I worked in Seattle, and there were four military installations pumping people into the private sector, all with the same resume. Sigh. Time passed and it required t...
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Out of Print, Part 2 modern era Greenberg Guides (Lionel & MTH)

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
   The topic of reference books comes up quite frequently in web forums as well as in e-mail queries. Greenberg Books, acquired by Kalmbach Publishing in the mid-1990s, was the largest producer of toy train reference material. All of these books are currently out-of-print and it is unlikely that we will ever revive them.  Oh, before you ask, the answer why is the limited market for the books and their limited sales potential.  However, many hobbyists have entered the hob...
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Out of Print, Part 1: Postwar Lionel reference books

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
The topic of reference books comes up quite frequently in web forums as well as in e-mail queries. Greenberg Publishing, acquired by Kalmbach Publishing in 1991, was the largest producer of toy train reference material. All of these books are currently out-of-print and it is unlikely that we will ever revive them.  "Why?" is the limited market for the books and their limited sales potential. There are already thousands of copies of previous editions in the market place, and later edition...
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The Menards American Power & Light building

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
Power to the people  The mightiest structure thus offered by Menards has arrived: the no. 279-3388 American Power and Light building. The fully assembled and detailed power plant represents the largest structure from the Wisconsin-based home improvement chain. The building is a fully decorated structure with two smokestacks, a “run through” overhang to park coal cars, staff access doors, warning signs, and a power transformer with LED illumination. The building also has 24...
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We answer your 14 most common questions

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
We receive many phone calls, letters, and emails every week in our offices. We've chosen some of the most common questions and are posting the answers here. 1. My issue arrived damaged or did not arrive. Can I get a replacement copy? Yes, we will send a replacement. Please contact our customer service team at 800-533-6644. 2. When did you do an article on _____? We have an amazing resource called the Magazine Index, which lists 70,000 model-train-related magazine issues. You need to register...
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The unknown future of trains under the Domes

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
Since 1967, Milwaukee has had a unique horticultural destination called the Mitchell Park Conservatory (but known locally as the "Domes" because of the shape). The facility has three bee-hive shaped glass domes, each featuring a different climate inside (desert, tropical, and floral show).  The desert and tropical domes essentially remain the same inside year round, but the floral show dome's display is changed regularly. In the late 90s, the Domes began hosting a large-scale train exhib...
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The Passing of Fred Dole

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
      With the passing of Fred Dole, the hobby is a little bit poorer.  Fred was a consummate modeler and an enthusiastic devotee of promoting the hobby. Fred had been the Editor of O Gauge Railroading magazine and later became a regular contributor to, and photographer for Classic Toy Trains. I had the pleasure of editing several of his feature stories and was struck by how complete his projects were, and the willingness he expressed for sharing his techniques. Fred was...
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New Woodland Scenics O scale Theater

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
We just received the no. BR5854 O scale Theater from Woodland Scenics. This is a great model of a Deco-era theater with interior lobby decoration, illuminated billboard, and a fairly model footprint. The fully-assembled structure can be run off of transformer power or with the Woodland Scenics Just Plug system. The structure costs $169.99. Go to www.woodlandscenics.com for more information. ...
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Seeing toy trains for the first time

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
Do you remember the first time you saw toy trains operating? I got to experience this through my 8-year-old my nephew a couple of weeks ago. My parents visited and brought my nephew, Louis, along for the ride. It's more than a two-hour trip, which, to a child that age is "forever." Our circle of three-rail track, leftover from Christmas, was still up in our dining room. Louis noticed it immediately and started asking my husband questions. I soon realized that he had probably never seen a toy tr...
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F40PH in Amtrak/CSX in the new Lionel catalog

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
A new arrival to the Lionel lineup is the F40PH diesel. Lionel will be offering the locomotive in three Amtrak paint schemes as well as in the CSX Business Train livery. The Amtrak version will also include the cab/baggage car combination control unit with the side baggage door.  Amtrak F40PH units will have road number specific detailing, as well as Legacy command and sound systems. The units will be offered in Amtrak Phase I, Phase II and Phase III paint schemes with livery specific de...
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The new Menards Three-dome tank car

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
Here are she photos of the new three-dome tank car from Menards. This car is in Wisconsin Central colors and additional road names will be added to the line. The plastic car has die-cast metal trucks and the coupler-to-coupler length is approximately 10 1/2 inches. The car costs $19.99 plus shipping. An eight car set is available for $139.92 plus shipping. Menards offers  free to your local Menards store. Order online at at www.menards.com.  ...
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RMT to close in April, Walter Matuch to retire in February

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
From a press release: READY MADE TRAINS, LLC President Walter M. Matuch announces retirement in 2016. "After a lifetime  career on actual railroads (Jersey Central, Rahway Valley, Erie-Lackawanna, Conrail, US Navy) and in model railroading that spanned almost 50 years, I’m coming to the ‘end of the line’ says Walter M. Matuch, president of Ready Made Trains LLC. On February 24th, I will be 67 years young and will retire to fully enjoy my family and finally com...
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The new Milwaukee Road Hopper from Menards

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
As teased in the most recent Bob's Train Box, here is the new hopper car from Menards. A few weeks back they released a Santa fe hopper, and now the Milwaukee Road is added to an expanding list of road names (I'm not telling what comes next, either!). The car navigates O-27curves, has die cast trucks and couplers, and measures just under 12-inches coupler-to-coupler. The car costs $19.99 plus shipping (free ship to you local Menards store) order online at Menards.com. ...
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Lionel expert Joe Algozzini visits Classic Toy Trains

Posted one year ago by Roger Carp
There have been many changes at Classic Toy Trains since the magazine released its premier issue in the autumn of 1987. Editors have changed, and the contents have varied, with emphasis on the great trains of the past becoming more balanced as the magazine has showcased layouts using contemporary models. One constant over the years has been the different contributions from Joe Algozzini. Among the most knowledgeable experts on Lionel trains from the post-World War II era, Joe has shared his out...

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