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Menards Flak Attack!

Posted one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 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." ...
0

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...
4

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...
5

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...
4

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

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
More photos from York! ...
1

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! ...
0

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! ...
5

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...
6

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...
0

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...
4

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...
0

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...
0

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...
2

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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