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Model Railroader celebrates publishing 1000 issues

Posted 10 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
UPDATE: Watch a video of the event on MRVP. Watch for cameos from me at 11:38 (in pink jacket) and Roger at 18:40! Our sister publication, Model Railroader magazine, will soon be celebrating the publishing of its 1000th issue. Quite a milestone! The MR and MRVP staff are setting up a special video in which they are setting out ALL of the issues, one after another, in a continuous line around the building. It's a pretty amazing set up, seeing decade after decade of magazines down the hallways...
9

UPDATED: New Menards gear: USAF flat and WP boxcar

Posted 10 months ago by Bob Keller
If you had worried that Christmas had come and gone and that Menards would be backing off on production, don't worry. On Monday we received two large boxes of upcoming as-yet-to-be-announced goodies from the home improvement chain - both rolling stock and a knock-your-socks-off ... oh well, can't quite tell you about that yet. You'll just have to wait. And it WILL be worth the wait. Suffice it to say that the flatcar with Air Force fuel container load announced by Menards this week was i...
3

On the test track

Posted 10 months ago by Bob Keller
I was down the hall running MTH's Amtrak AEM7 locomotive this morning.  We last reviewed one in the February 2000 issue and it was a blast to run this little "Toaster" around the track. The locomotive has two can-style motors, the ProtoSound 3.0 command and sound system, and coil couplers. The sound system wasn't the typical transformer hmm, but sounded more like a gentle flow of running water! The model is available in two Amtrak paint schemes as well as SEPTA and NJ Transit liver...
3

What do O-gauge railroaders do on New Year's Eve?

Posted 11 months ago by Rene Schweitzer
UPDATE: Please see the first article CTT published about the club in 1997. It's available as a PDF to download. My hubby, Jim, is a member of the Milwaukee Lionel Railroad Club. He runs trains weekly on Friday nights, when they have operating sessions. Does the club name sound familiar? They've been in CTT twice--most recently in September 2006, when we ran an article about their HUGE Hell Gate Bridge that's part of their club layout. Toward the end of December, Jim told me the club was havi...
11

First train buys of 2017

Posted 11 months ago by Bob Keller
Well, 2017 is  here and four days in I've made a few purchases … a 300% over this time in 2016! First up are two of the New York Central covered hoppers from Menards. Yes, I picked free shipping to my local Menards store! The cars have good weight and die-cast metal trucks. One of the hoppers had an assembly glitch that I was able to fix in no time at all (it took more time to find the right screwdriver than to correct the error). Graphics were well done. My other ...
3

Holiday movies that include trains

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
NOTE: We have republished this article for your viewing pleasure.  'Tis the season for holiday movies! Holiday movies with TRAINS in them--even better! Here are some movies to enjoy with your family and friends this holiday season (in no particular order). 1. A Holiday Affair (1949) Department store clerk Steve Mason (Robert Mitchum) meets Connie Ennis (Janet Leigh), who is what would be called a "secret shopper" today. Connie buys a Lionel train set and takes it home. Her son assu...
1

Holiday toy-train photos

Posted one year ago by Rene Schweitzer
'Tis the season to enjoy some holiday photos! Click on any photo to enlarge! ...
1

New military flatcars with loads from Menards

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
Put some olive drab on your Christmas tree layout with four new US Army flatcars from Menards. Shown are the nos. 279-3473 flat with truck mounted missile launcher load, 279-3474 flat with truck mounted cannon load,  279-3475 flat with cargo truck , and 279-3478 flat with covered tarp load for $19.99 each plus shipping,  or available in a four-pack of one of each car type for $69.96 plus shipping. See them at your local Menards or order online at www.menards.com and select free...
0

New die-cast metal ONLINE-ONLY construction gear from Menards

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
I received a box from Menards yesterday with three of their new die-cast metal construction vehicles in it. They are the nos. 279-3920 Mega Crane for $39.99, the 279-3931 Forklift loader for $29.99 and the 279-3927 Crawler excavator for $19.99. These are online only they won't be in stores, and they are available now. So get over to www.menards.com to check them out.    We've posed some Arttista and Scenic Express figures with them for a size reference. If not 1:48, they a...
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Just recorded BTB 64

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
What treasures from the CTT workshop will be previewed? ...
4

TrainFest 2016

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
Last weekend was Trainfest 2016 in Milwaukee. The massive model train exhibition is held in West Allis at the State Fair Park. The event gathers club layouts from around Wisconsin and Illinois, manufacturers, and vendors to basically showcase how much fun model railroading is. ...
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Changing of the wall of covers

Posted one year ago by Bob Keller
The advance copies of the January issue arrived (the printer is about 30 minutes from our location) and that means (Drum roll please) the annual changing of the covers. Rene drops the oldest year of covers, moves the middle two years down, and plops the brand new year, 2017 in this case, on top! Yes, indeed, it is a slow Friday because everyone else is down at the State Fairgrounds getting ready for Trainfest!...
2

The new Red Owl grocery and train station from Menards

Posted one year 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...
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Have you used the Magazine Index yet?

Posted one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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...
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Cycling the Ironhorse Curve

Posted one year 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 one year 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 one year 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 one year 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! ...
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A visit to the Seashore Trolley Museum

Posted one year 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 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. ...

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