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RAILROADING: HO & 1:1 SCALE



NYC E7 #4034

E7 #4034 is the newest locomotive in the BRVRR New York Central roster. It is shown here with a six car Mail and Express train of mixed heavyweight baggage cars, converted box cars, and streamlined passenger cars. The locomotive was originally purchased in Burlington silver livery. I changed it to NYC cigar band. There is a short photo sequence on the process on the How'd You Do That page.



NYC E8 #4040

New York Central E8 #4040 is rounding the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout with a short, four car, passenger train of mixed heavyweight and streamlined cars. The locomotive is a Proto2000 with a Soundtraxx decoder and speaker. The cars are a mixture of Athearn BB, Walthers and Bachmann Spectrum.





NYC F7 #1853 at the Route 32 Crossing

New York Central F7 #1821 at the head of a mixed freight is going through the Route 32 Crossing as a NYC passenger train passes on the Eastbound mainline during a "run the trains" session in early January 2018.




Lionel Polar Express at Christmas 2017

Here is a photo of our Lionel Polar Express beneath the Christmas tree shortly after it was set up. As soon as the tree goes up my autistic grandson always asks, "Where is the train?" so it must go up quickly. The layout is smaller than normal this year because of relovated furniture.



NYC RDC #53

New York Central Rail Diesel Car #53 passes under Route 32 at the East end of the Black River Valley layout. The RDC has been on the layout for nearly ten-years now and has performed without a hitch. It is a Proto1000 model with a Digitrax DH123 decoder. I added lighting and a few passengers to give it some life.




Nathan's Double Header

My 11-year old grandson loves steam engines. Any steam engine. Here he has NYC #5335, a Hudson at the head of a double-header with Pere Marquette 2-8-4 #1235 at the head of his mixed freight. The locomotives as well as the cars in the train are oftem switched around to satisfy his vision. The process is hard on locomotive details and couplers but it keeps him occupied and happy.




NYC 1821-1814

A matched pair of F7s, NYC 1821 & 1814 round a curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout with a consist of loaded coal hoppers. The locos are InterMountain models. The lead engine #1821 has a Soundtraxx sound decoder and #1814 a Soundtraxx motor and lights decoder.




NYC 6008

NYC #9622, a SW8 switcher, spots a flat car under the team track gantry crane on the BRVRR layout. The locomotive is a Proto2000 model. A great little switcher.




Rt-32 Passing

Trains in motion. Number 5335, a New York Central Hudson at the head of a heavyweight passenger train approaches the Route 32 overpass at the east end of the layout as NYC #1821 at the head of a freight consist approaches from the opposite direction. The steamer is a Broadway Limited Imports locomotive and #1821 is and InterMountain product. Both were Christmas presents from my lovely wife.



NYC 6015

New York Central Niagara #6015 at the head of a heavyweight mail and express train passes under the Route 32 overpass at the east end of the Black River Valley layout to the delight of a group of dedicated rail fans. The locomotive is a Bachmann product with a self-intalled MRC sound decoder. A good hauler and impressive when in motion.



NYC 4040 & 53

A comparison photo of passenger train extrems. New York Central E8 #4040 at the head of a streamlined passenger consist, overtakes NYC rdc #53 at the west end of the Black River Valley layout. Both the E8 and the RDC are Proto models. 2000 and 1000 respectively.



NYC 6008

New York Central Niagara #6008 westbound at the head of a short "Mail and Express" sweeps around Pasture Curve on the Black River Valley Layout. The loco is a Broadway Limited Imports Paragon2 model. The baggage and passenger cars are from Walthers.





Cabeese Passing

New York Central cabooses pass each other as their trains negotiate the big curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout. How I lighted the cars is the subject of a "How To" article on my How'd You Do That page.





Santa Fe #337

"Santa Fe Day" on the Black River Valley Railroad. Santa Fe F7A/B at the head of a long mixed freight consist round the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout. Both locos are Athearn BB kits. The A-unit has a Digitrax DH123 decoder for motor and light control while the B-unit has a Soundtraxx DSD sound decoder and one inch speaker installed.



Santa Fe Waiting

A continuation of "Santa Fe Day" on the Black River Valley Railroad. Santa Fe FP-45 #5945 at the head of an 11-car streamlined passenger consist waits for a signal change before approaching Black River Station. The locomotive and its companion #5941 are Athearn BB models with Soundtraxx DSD decoders and 1-inch speakers installed by yours truely. The passsenger cars are also Athean BB kits, with tinted windows and internal lighting.




Santa Fe #1207

Santa Fe GP-30 #1207 at the head of a mixed freight passes Black River Tower and a waiting passenger train during "Santa Fe Day". The loco is a LifeLike/Proto model with a Digitrax DH163LO decoder installed. A very smooth and quiet runner, the loco has been on the layout for more than 10-years.





PRR #5713 Overtaking

It stands to reason that if there was a "Santa Fe Day" on the layout there should be something for the Pennsy. Pennsylvania RR E-8 #5713 at the head of a short passenger consist overtakes PRR F-7A/B numbers 9822 and 9663 with a mixed freight consist, near Grafton Tower during a "Run the Trains" session on "Pennsylvania Railroad Day" on the BRVRR.



PRR #1361

A continuation of "Pennsylvania Railroad Day" on the BRVRR is PRR K-4 #1361 sweeping around the General Industries curve at the east end of the layout with a short passenger train of 'Arch Roofed' cars. The loco belongs to my eldest grandson and is a Bachmann product with a Soundtraxx DSD decoder and 1-inch speaker in the tender. The combination of the K-4 and the arch roof cars make a nice "Old Timey" train.




PRR #9600

A further extension of "PRR Day" on the BRVRR. Pennsyslvania FTA #9600 at the head of a mixed freight consist passes the Farmers Union elevator on the west end of the BRVRR layout. The loco has been on the roster for quite some time, but largely overlooked. It is a Walthers Trainline model with a Train Control System T1 decoder installed. I have been looking for a companion FT/A orFT/B for a long time. If and when found a sound decoder is in this locomotives future.



Smoke & Steam

A little experiment. NYC Niagara #6008 sweeps around the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout with a short mail and express train in tow. A little figiting with PhotoFiltre and I managed a little stack smoke and some exhaust steam from the cylinders. More practice is needed I believe, but not a bad effort for starters.




Passing

New York Central F7s #1821 and 1814 at the head of a mixed freight consist near "Snug Harbor" gas station at the west end of the Black River Valley layout.



Taking the Curve

This photo was taken when I was testing a few new acquisitions for my Amtrak consist. Leading the consist is Amtrack AMD #120 which is an Athearn BB model with a DH163 decoder. I purchased a Walthers 24-8 Slumbercoach at the Lakeland train show and ordered a Baggage-Dormatory Transition Car and a Material Handling Car, on sale, out of the Walthers May flier. The new cars can be seen on the What's New page.


Passing Turn About

These two photos were taken in while grandpa got to run his trains in late April 2016. In the photo at left, a coal drag and a NYC Mail and Express are passing at Pasture Curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout. The lead engine in the coal drag is an Atlas model with a Soundtraxx DSD-101-LC decoder while the trailing unit is an Athearn BB model I refinished from its original CSX livery. It is equipped with a DH163 Digitrax decoder for motor and lights. In the photo at right, turn-about is fair play at the Route 32 overpass at the east end of the layout. New York Central Mail and Express with E-8 #4089 at the head of a consist of 6-baggage and express cars and one passenger coach. The locomotive is a Proto2000 with a Soundtraxx LC decoder.

Spotting a Reefer Team Track

These photos were taken in a continuation of the above "run the trains" session. In the photo at left, NYC #874, ALCO S3, is spotting a reefer on one of the Black River team tracks for the local produce dealer. The locomotive is a Proto2000 with a Digitraxx DZ123 decoder. In the photo at right, shows the action in the team track area of the Black River layout as #874 moves to spot a box car on the Redwing Flour Mills siding, while NYC SW-8, #9622 positions a flat car under the platform crane.

Pennsy's Passing

Two large Pennsylvania Railroad steamers are passing near Grafton Tower on the BRVRR layout. PRR #6407 a J1A 2-10-4, is on the West bound mainline as PRR T1 #5501, a 4-4-4-4 passes East bound. Both locomotives belong to my grandson, both are BLI's with very efficient smoke generating units which are rarely used in my small train room.



NYC #3083 & Coal Drag

NYC #3083 a GP-40 at the head of a coal drag is passing Black River Tower and approaching Black River station on the East bound mainling on the Black River Valley Railroad layout. The locomotive is an Atlas model with a self installed Soundtraxx DSD-101-LC decoder and a 3/4-inch speaker.




NYC #'s1821 & 1814

A matched pair of NYC F7s at the head of a mixed consist are passing Black River Station where a NYC passenger train is stopped to take on passengers, freight and baggage. The locomotives are InterMountain models. The lead unit has factory installed Soundtraxx sound. The trailing unit has a Soundtraxx basic motor and lights decoder.



PRR #6407

Pennsylvania #6407, a J1A 2-10-4, passes under the Route 32 highway overpass at the head of a long mixed freight to the delight of a group of railfans hanging out at Redwing Park.The locomotive is Broadway Limited imports (BLI) model and belongs to my oldest grandson.




NYC Work Train

New York Central S3 #9622 leads a MOW train westbound on the BRVRR main line. The majority of the train components are 'make shift' and temporary. The train was made up for a thread on the Model Railroade Forum. The photo used again during the second week of May 2016.




NS #9688

A little 1:1 railroading for a change. Norfolk-Southern #9688 leads a mixed consist on the westbound mainline crossing at Olive Street in Elyria, Ohio. This crossing is a favorite train watching location for my youngest grandson and myself as it is only a few blocks from home. As is true everywhere I'm sure, you never know how many trains will pass in a give time period. This day, January 30, 2016 we were lucky and saw three trains in just under a half hour.


PRR #6407

On the heels of PRR's 6407, my grandson's "Big Black Train", New York Central S1B Niagara #6008 rounds the General Industries Curve at the head of a 12-car heavyweight passenger train. The Niagara which was my 2013 Christmas present from my wife, is my favorie steamer on the layout. A Broadway Limited Paragon2 model, it has performed flawlessly since its arrival. Although its smoke unit is every bit as efficient as that the PRR 2-10-4 below, I rarely use it.



PRR #6407

Pennsylvania Railroad J-1-A #6407 is rounding the General Industries Curve at the east end of the Black River Valley layout at the head of a mixed freight train during a recent "run the trains" session with my oldest grandson, Zachary. A BLI Paragon2 model, the locomotive was his 2014 Christmas present from his grandmother and I. I apologize for the blurry photo, but I was trying to capture the 'smoke' from the model's quite efficient smoke generator.




NYC #8038

New York Central RS-32 #8038 is in the lead as it rounds the Pasture Curve on the Black River Valley layout at the head of a mixed freight consist. The loco is an Atlas Trainman model with a Soundtraxx DSD-101 sound decoder and mini-oval speaker installed. In more than 7-years on the Black River Valley layout this loco has performed beautifully.




NYC #5335

New York Central J-1-E #5335 is westbound rounding the General Industries Curve at the head of a heavyweight passenger train. The locomotive is a Broadway Limited Imports model that has been in service on the layout since Christmas of 2005. A stellar performer, it is Nathan's favorie engine.




PRR #5501

Pennsylvania Railroad T-1 #5501 is approaching Black River Satation with a westbound passenger train. The loco is aBroadway Limited Paragon model. The passenger train is a mixture of Riverossi, IHC and Walther's passenger cars.Most of the cars are lighted and a few have passengers inside. I'm still in the process of changing trucks and lighting the IHC cars.




NYC #1821 & 53

New York Central locomotives #1821 and 1872 at the head of a mixed freight consist passing Black River Station where NYC RDC has made a stop to pick up passengers. Number 1821 is an InterMountain model with a Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder. Number 1872 is an Athearn dummy used to round out the set. Someday I'll find another InterMountain model to replace it with. The RDC is a Proto1000 model I refinished in NYC livery and striped with Microscale decals. The photo was taken during a recent "run the trains" session with my grandon, Nathan.



NYC #6109

New York Central GP-20 #6109 rumbles around the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley RR layout at the head of a short mixed freight consist. The locomotive is a Proto2000 with a Soundtraxx DSD101-LC decoder and a small oval speaker. The loco is running solo here, but is usually paired with its running mate NYC #6111.




NYC #9622

A little switching action form the Black River Valley RR. New York Central SW8 #9622 is spotting a box car on the Black River Team Track. The loco is a Proto2000 and the box car is an Athearn BB kit.





NYC Steamers

In this photo taken for a thread on the Model Railroader forum are three of my four large New York Central steam engines. Left to right they are a BLI Paragon2 Niagara, a BLI Hudson and a BLI Mikado. All were Christmas presents and all of them perform flawlessly. A fourth large steamer, a Bachmamm Niagara, is not shown with this group and I have forgotten why that is. In any case, can you tell I am a fan of NYC steam power?




I was doing a little research for a project on George Elwood's Fallen Flags site and came across this photo of a NYC PAX (passenger train).(Left thumbnail). It was taken at Wellesley Farms by Dick Leonhardt ca. 1958. I thought the little train was charming as it appeared to have an SW or S3 as motive power. The thumbnail at the right is my recreation of the train for a thread on the Model Railroader forum. My version of the train is powered by a Proto2000 SW-8 with two Athearn BB heavyweight cars in tow. Kinda cool I think.

NYC #3083&3075

New York Central GP40s #3083 and 3075 negotiate the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout at the head of a mixed freight of modern cars. The lead unit is an Atlas model with a soundtraxx decoder and speaker. The trailing unit is an Athearn BB kit refinished from CSX livery equipped with a Digitrax decoder. The models operate well together and can pull a ton.


NYC #5335

New York Central Hudson #5335 is westbound with a mixed passenger train as it rumbles by the Black River Tower. The locomotive is a Broadway Limited Imports product that has done yeoman service on the layout since Christmas of 2005. Since it is one of my grandson's favorites it routinely takes quite a beating. A truly rugged engine with a lot of pulling power.




NYC #4089

New York Central E8 #4089 at the head of a westbound Mail and Express train passes under the Route 32 overpass on the heels of the Pennsylvania train below. Number 4089 is a Proto2000 locomotive with a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC decoder and 1-inch speaker. Its consist is a mixture of Athearn BB and Walther's passenger and baggage cars.


PRR #5712 & 4121

Pennsylvania RR E8s #5713 and 4121 passes under the Route 32 overpass at the head of an eight car passenger consist as a group of dedicated railfans looks on. The train is westbound on the outer mainline of the Black River Valley layout. The locos are both Proto2000 models. The A-unit has a MRC sound decoder and Soundtraxx oval speaker. The B-unit has a Lenz 1000 basic decoder. Both units started life as Atlantic Coast Line models and were refinished. A description of the process is behind the thumbnail of the locos on the Early Diesels page.

Santa Fe #337A&B

Santa Fe F7s Number 337 A and B take to the reverse loop past Black River Tower to cross through the center of the Black River at the head of a mixed consist of tank cars and gondolas. The locos are both Athearn BB kits. The A-unit is powered and the B-unit has a Soundtraxx decoder and speaker.




NYC 1821 & #1872

New York Central F7As #'s 1821 and 1872 at the head of a mixed freight consist passing through the Route 32 grade crossing at the west end of the Black River Valley RR layout. Number 1821 is an InterMountain model with a Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder. The close coupled trailing unit is a dummy Athearn BB kit model. One day I hope to exchange the dummy for a fully functional InterMountain loco.




NYC RDC #53 and Coach

New York Central RDC #53 with one 82' coach in tow passes under the Route 34 overpass bridge as a NYC passenger train passes westbound on the outer mainline. The NYC, on occasion, would run an RDC with a coach when the passenger load warranted even though the practice wasn't recommended by the manufacturer.





Pennsy Power

Pennsylvania K-4 #1361 (old) at the head of a short passenger train of arch-roof cars and PRR E8 #5713 (new) with a consist of modernized passenger cars round the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout. The photo was taken just a few days ago durning on of our infrequent (lately) operating sessions.



PRR #9822 & 4121

On the heels of the modern passenger train above comes PRR F7A/B #9822 and #4121 at the head of a mixed freight consist. Both locos are Athearn BB kits. The A-unit has its original drive and a TCS T1 decoder. The B-unit is not powered but contains a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC decoder and a 1-inch speaker. The B-unit was painted and decaled by yours truely to function as a matched set with #9822.




The photos at left and right were take of the subjects after routine maintenace. At left is Santa Fe GP-30 #1207. A Proto2000 model, it was purchased years ago for a song. The photo at right is of Black River Valley RR F7A #1116. This is the only loco on the layout in BRVRR livery. The model has an MRC chassis and an Athearn shell. It is equipped with a TCS T1 decoder for motor and lights control and runs very quietly.



NYC RDC

A New York Central RDC negotiates the curve behind the Black River Engine Facility on a test run after a bit of routine maintenance. The RDC is a Proto 1000 model purchased 5-years ago for about $20.00. It has a Digitax decoder, passengers and interior lighting installed.





NYC 4089

Rounding the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout is NYC E-8 #4089 is the sole power for a short Mail and Express train of mixed cars. The locomotive is a Proto 2000 with a Soundtraxx DSD-100LC decoder and a !-inch speaker installed. The loco sounds great and could pull the plaster from the walls.




NYC Hudson #5335 at Nightfall

New York Central #4089 with its Mail and Express consist in tow, takes to the crossover from the westbound to eastbound mainline at Black River Tower on the Black River Valley layout.




NYC Niagara #6008 with a Heavyweight Train

When the "Show Me Someting" thread on the Model Railroader website called for a passenger train, I thought of this photo. This is my grandson Nathan's "Big Black Train." NYC Niagara #6008 heads up this westbound train of heavyweight coaches as it crosses Route 32 on the Black River Valley layout. He loves to run this train in the dark as all of the cars are lighted. It does make quite a sight.




NYC Hudson #5335 at Nightfall

This photo of NYC ALCO S3 #874 switching the team track on the Black River Valley layout was taken for a thread on the Model Railroader Forum. The reefer is destined for the team track where produce dealers await. The grain box car will be spotted on the Redwing Milling Co. siding.




NYC Hudson #5335 at Nightfall

As night falls, westbound New York Central Hudson #5335 at the head of a passenger train of mixed heavyweight and streamlined cars, rounds the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout. The photo was taken just after my grandson turned out the lights in the layout room. Impromptu, but I like the effect.




NYC #3083 At Black River Station

New York Central GP=40 #3083 passes Black River Station eastbound at the head of a mixed freight while westbound NYC passenger train boards passengers and mail. Number 3083 is an Atlas model with a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC decoder installed.




NYC 8038

New York Central RS-32 #8038 passes Fred's Farm Machinery at the head of an eastbound freight on the Black River Valley Railroad layout. Fred's is the newest scenic addition to the layout and is still a work in progress.





NYC 5335

New York Central Hudson #5335 is proceeding west bound into the General Industries curve with a heavyweight passenger train after a stop for passenger, mail and express freight at Black River Station. The cars are a mixture of Walther's and Athearn products.




NYC 9519 w/ Local

NYC Mikado #9519 leads a short mixed local past Grafton Tower and Barron's Fuel Supply on the BRVRR layout. The locomotive has been in service since 2004 and has performed flawlessly ever since. I took this photo for a thread on the Model Railroader Forum and thought it deserved a place here on its home website.


NYC 1821 & 8038

Central freight trains passing each other as they proceed westbound near the "Pasture Curve" on the Black River Valley layout. Number 1821 is the newest addition to the roster, an InterMountain F-7 loco with Tsunami sound. NYC #8038 is an Atlas RS-32 with a self-installed Soundtraxx DSD-101LC decoder. Both are admirable performers on the layout.



NYC 8038

Another of the photos taken recently for a thread on the Model Railroader Forums. Here New York Central RS-32 #8038 is passing Black River Tower eastbound on the BRVRR.




Henry & Kayla

Little girls like to run trains too. Here my only granddaughter Kayla, is running a long freight train on the westbound mainline of the BRVRR. She and her brother Henry spent a great deal of time during their week-long visit in the train room. Though not as passionate as her little brother she did enjoy herself.



Nathan & Henry

My two youngest grandsons running the trains on the BRVRR layout. While Nathan runs the trains on a regular basis, his cousin Henry took advantage of his chances during a recent visit from Seattle. They got along famously and enjoyed themselves immensely.




NYC 5335 Crossing

New York Central Hudson #5335 races throught he Route 32 crossing at the head of a west bound heavyweight passenger train. The loco is a Broadway Limited Imports product that has been operating on the layout since 2005. A very reliable locomotive.




NYC 874 Spotting

NYC ALCO #874 is shown spotting a loaded grain box car on the Redwing Flour Mill's siding during a recent operating session. The little loco performs yeoman service on both sides of the BRVRR layout.





Nathan

A quick photo of my grandson Nathan operating a couple of trains on the Black River Valley layout. Whenever he comes to the house he immedeately makes a dash upstaris to the train room. He likes to get down very close to the trains and watch them run by slowly. Although he is partial to steam engines, he likes the sounds they make, he isn't opposed to an occasional diesel. He and his older brother have been operating trains since they were 4 or five years old.



Trailer Trucks

A couple of semi-trucks on the Route 32 viaduct. The photo was taken for a tread on the Model Railroader Forums but included here for a change of pace. The rig closest to the camera is, I believe, a Mini-Metals model. The tractor on the farther rig is also a fro, Mini-Metals. The trailer is from an Athearn kit with home made Hamm's Beer graphics. Does anyone out there remember the Hamm's Beer bear?



Conrail #6520 and CSX #785

Conrail GP-40-2 #6520 at the head of a local freight waits on the reverse loop as CSX SD-70MAC #785 with a mixed consist of hoppers and box cars crosses over to the eastbound mainline on the BRVRR layout. The photo was taken during a rare modern equipment operating session (read running the trains) with my grandsons early in March.

SF #5941

Santa Fe FP-45 #5941 at the head of a mixed consist negotiates the curve at the east end of the BRVRR layout. The locomotive is an Athearn BB model with a Soundtraxx DSD-100LC decoder and a 1-inch speaker installed. This model was the first 6-axle diesel I purchased for the layout back in 2005 I think and a personal favorite. Together with its brother FP-45 #5945 it usually powers my version of the El Capitan or other Santa Fe named train.



UP Challenger #3985

Zachary's Union Pacific Challenger #3985 crosses the Route 32 highway at the west end of the BRVRR layout at the head of a mixed freight. The locomotive was his 2006 Christmas present from his grandmother and I. The original MRC sound decoder died and has been replaced by a Soundtraxx DSD-100LC decoder. This locomotive a favorite of Zachary's little brother as well.



NYC #2030

New York Central RS-32 #2030 is another Atlas model I purchased in 2008. It is shown here at the head of a short local freight as it sweeps around the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout. A very quiet runner the model is equipped with a Digitax DH163 decoder. This locomotive and its brother NYC #8038 are part of the matched power set for my NYC "meat train" which was a scheduled run on the Central for many years.



NYC #3083

NYC a GP-40 approaches the Route 32 highway crossing at the head of a string of gondolas. The loco is an Atlas model with a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC decoder and a 3/4-inch Soundtraxx speaker installed. A very good performer on the BRVRR layout.



NYC Road Power

This is a view of the Black River Yard with three sets of F7s and a couple of hood units awaiting assignment. The photo was staged for a thread on the Model Railroader Magazine form. The locos are a mixture of Athearn BB kits, Atlas, Proto2000 and InterMountain models. The RDC at right is a Proto200 model I picked up when they were being sold for under $20.00.






NYC 4210

New York Central PA #4210 and PB #4301 lead a short passenger consist west bound past the Farmers Union elevator on the BRVRR layout. I thought these locomotives deserved to have their picture taken as they spend a great deal of time on the shelf lately. The A-unit has a TCS T1 decoder while the unpowered B-unit is equipped with a Soundtraxx DSX decoder and two 1-inch speakers. I love the sound of an ALCO engine. One of the ships I was staitoned on in the Coast Guard was powered with ALCO engines. No other diesel engine sounds like them.


NYC 6109

New York Central GP-20s #6109 and 6111 lead a mixed freight consist east bound at the Route 32 Highway crossing on the west end of the BRVRR layout as a coal drag passes west bound on the outer mainline. The lead loco is a Proto2000 equipped with a Soundtraxs decoder. The following loomotive is a Manuta with a Digitrax DH123 decoder. Although #6111, the Mantua loco is a little 'klunky' by today's standards, it is a smooth and reliable model.


NYC 8038

West bound NYC RS-32 #8038 leads a mixed coal drag around the General Industries curve on the outer mainline of the BRVRR layout. The locomotive is coupled with its brother RS-32 #2030. Both are Atlas models but only the lead engine is equipped with a Sountraxx DSD-101LC sound decoder. They were speed matched using my desktop computer and DecoderPro.




Coal Train

This is a photo from 2010 of a coal drag powered by two NYC GP-40s and a GP-20 east bound on the BRVRR layout. I resurected the photo for a thread on the Model Railroader Magazine Forum and thought it deserved a place here on my Railroading page once again. Not a bad photo if I do say so myself.




Grafton Turn

The Grafton Turn which today consists of New York Central GP-7 #5809 ad NYC Caboose #17962 rounds the Pasture Curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout. The Turn is becomming a daily switcher run on the railroad. The Proto GP-7 has been on the layout for more than 9-years and never given me any trouble.




BRVRR Caboose #1445

Thee conductor riding in BRVRR Caboose #1445 gives a wave to the motorist waiting at the crossing as a local freight passes through the reverse loop on the Black River Valley layout. Number 1445 is the only 'house' rolling stock on the layout.





NYC 4089 at Crossover

New York Central E-8 # 4089 takes the crossover to the westbound mainline after a short passenger stop at Black River Station on the Black River Valley layout. The consist is remanicent of the 'Pike Sized Passenger Trains' featured in Model Railroader a year or so ago.





NYC 4089 & 1663

New York Central E-8 #4089 at the head of short mixed passenger consist overtakes NYC F-7 #1663 as both locomotive round the pasture curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout during a recent operating session. The E-8 is a Prot2000 model equipped with a Soundtraxx DSD101-LE decoder. The F-7 has a DSD100-LE decoder in its trailing B-unit. I used a modified version of this photograph as a New Year's greeting on the website and electronically to most of my family.



NYC #9519 Passing

New York Central Mikado #9519 at the head of a freight train passes NYC Hudson #5335 waiting for passenger pick-up at Black River Station. Ninty-five nineteen is a Broadway Limited Imports locomotive and has been in service on the layout for 9-years. Fifty-three thiry-five, also a BLI loco has been on the layout for 7-years. Both have given yeoman service without any problems at all.




Santa Fe at the Underpass Santa Fe E-8A/B at the head of our 9-car passenger consist, west bound on the BRVRR layout. The photo was taken after the new decoders were installed as witnessed by the Gyra Light on the A-unit. Once they were matched using Decoder Pro and my home computer these locos operated flawlessly and pull a ton.


Santa Fe at the Underpass The same Santa Fe E-8 as above at the head of our version of the El Capitan are passing under the Route 32 Underpass on the Black River Valley Railroad layout. Both locomotives are recent acquisitions. Both are powered. The A-unit has a TCS T-1 decoder and the B-unit has a MRC 1716 sound decoder and speaker.





UP1469 & SF337 A pair of F-7s from rival roads sweep around the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout at the head of short passenger trains. Both locomotives feature Mars/Gyra lights, are coupled to trailing units with sound decoders and are electrically coupled with Minatronics two conductor wire sets to give them each 16-wheel electerical pick-up.





AMTRAK 120 A pair of AMTRAK cars, a coach and I believe a Cafe/Lounge car are on their maiden run on the BRVRR behind an Athearn BB AMD 103 locomotive. Fortunately, my grandson isn't picky about color schemes. Metal wheels and interior lighting are in these cars future, and maybe a sound decoder for the locomotive.




BRT On a recent trip to Michigan for a class reunion I visited with a cousin who just finished a new home. Featured is a photograph of Mike's Brickton Rail Transfer (RT) layout under constuction in a brand new train room. Mike is into post-war O-scale, Marx and Lionel with a few other manufacturers thrown in for fun. Shown is just a portion of his new layout which is obviously under construction.





B&O F-3s One of the higlights of Mike's collection, from my point of view, is this Marx Baltimore and Ohio F-3 set. These locomotives are very similar to the ones that came with my first train set in 1950 or so. Fun to see. They brought back a lot of memories.






UP 1469

Union Pacific F-7 #1469 pops out from under the Route 32 overpass to the delight of a dedicated group of railfans. Locomotives from western roads are becoming a more common sight on the BRVRR.






SF 1207

Santa Fe GP-30 #1207 westbound at the head of a mixed freight is shown approaching Grafton Tower on the inner mainline of the BRVRR layout. The loco is a Proto 2000 with a Digitrax drop-in decoder. A very quiet and smooth runner, this little loco might be a candidate for one of the Soundtraxx drop ins one day.






Santa Fe MeetingSanta Fe Passing

Santa Fe GP-30 #1207 is passing Grafton Tower at the head of the mixed freight noted above As SF FP-45s #5945 and 5941 pass eastbound with a streamlined consist on the Black River Valley's outer main line,






CSX 8768

In mid-June 2014 my grandsons and I made a little railfanning trip to Berea, Ohio. It was a busy day and we saw at least 10 Norfolk Southern and CSX trains in a little over an hour and a half. CSX #8768 is shown west bound with a consist of auto racks was one of them. Most of the rest are on video which I will post to my YouTube account when I have time.




NYC 8038

NYC RS-32 #8038 at the head of a short freight train passes under the Route 32 bridge as a NYC heavyweight passenger train rushes by. The railfans in Red Wing Park are thrilled by all of the action.





3-Truck Shay

I did a little work on our Roundhouse 3-Truck Shay trying to make it run a little smoother. I found that one thing leads to anotherwith this little model. Still some things to do. This is a beauty shot for my RRTrains inventory.





NYC #6015

Another beauty shot. This time of my Bachmann NYC Niagara #6015. I installed a new MRC sound decoder in this locomotive in December of 2013. I am still tinkering with the sounds and the motor control but have noticed a significant improvement in the motor control in the latest MRC decoders. One of my favorie steam locomotives and a great runner. .





NYC #874 & PRR #9822

Pennsylvania E-8 #5713 heads eastbound at the head of a short 'Pike-Sized' train of Walthers passenger cars. Does anyone remember the series about short passenger trains in Model Railroader? The locomotive is a Proto2000 model and equipped with a Soundtraxx decoder and speaker. When paired with its companion locomotive PRR E8B #4121 they easily handle our 12-car passenger consist.



NYC #874 & PRR #9822

Warbonnets on the Black River Valley RR! Santa Fe FP-45 #5945 at the head of a freight train consist of 50' cars on the outer mainline is overtaken by Santa Fe F-7 #337 and its streamlined passenger train. All of the locomotives are Athearn BB kits equipped with Soundtraxx decoders and speakers. When operating together on the layout, as they are in the photo, they make quite a spectacular sight.




NYC #874 & PRR #9822

Pennsylvania RR K-4 #1361 rounds the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout with a new 4-car consist of Roundhourse Arch-Roof passenger cars. While a bit old fashioned, these little cars look great behind the vintage locomotive.





NYC #874 & PRR #9822

NYC S3 #874 spots a covered hopper at the Farmers Union Elevator as PRR #9822 rounds the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout at the head of an east bound mixed freight. The little ALCO switcher is a Proto 2000 model and PRR #9822 is an Athearn BB kit locomotive.





PRR Caboose #477610

A traincrewman relaxes on the platform of PRR N-5 Caboose #477610 as his train rounds the curve east bound on the BRVRR layout. The caboose was a Bowser kit that went together without a hitch. I glazed the window openings with .010-inch clear styrene. I installed Intermountain metal wheel sets since this photo was taken.





NYC F-7 #1663

NYC NO. 1663 gives a group of railfans a thrill as it passes close by the picnic area near the Redwing Flour Mill. The locomotives is an Athearn BB kit that was converted from Santa Fe livery to NYC. It is paired with F7B #2443 which is equipped with a Soundtraxx decoder and speaker.





PRR K-4 #1361

Pennsylvania K-4 #1361 at the head of a short passenger train of heavyweight cars runs west bound on the outer mainline of the BRVRR layouts. The locomotive is a Bachmann Specturm Model with a Soundtraxx decoder and speaker installed. It is one of my grandson's favorite locomotives and was his ninth birthday present from grandma and grandpa.



NYC Niagaras

A pair of NYC Niagara's, Nos. 6008 and 6015 round the curve at the west end of the Black River valley layout. Number 6008 is a Broadway Limited Imports Paragon2 model and my 2013 Christmas present from my wife. It is shown here on the inner mainline of the layout at the head of a heavyweight passenger consist of seven cars. At right is NYC #6015, a Bachmann standard model at the head of a 15-car freight consist. This locomotive has been on the layout for nearly 8-years. I just installed a MRC 1618 Heavy steam sound decoder which replaced a MRC 1627 decoder. The new decoders' back BMF has greatly improved the loco's performance and the sound is better too. These two big steamers make quite an impressive show when operating together.



5809

New York Central GP-7 #5809 leads a consist of 'Lightning Striped' F-7s at the head of a long coal drag westbound on the BRVRR layout. This little PK2 GP has been in service on the layout since 2006 and often heads up a weekly local freight. In this instance, it shares the sound decoder in the B-unit with the rest of the consist and adds some much needed tractive effort.





RDC #53

New York Central RDC #53 is negotiating the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout on one of its infrequent appearances on the mainlines. This PK1 model is a very quiet and smooth runner. It is equipped with its original drive and a Digitrax DH123 decoder for motor control. I has a number of passenger figures in its seats and interior lighting.





Six F-7s

The thumbnail at right will lead to a photograph of six of my F-7s posed for a response to a thread on the Model Railroader Forum (Six Maids A Milking). All of the locomotives are Athearn BB kits. The Pennsy B-unit and both NYC locos were custom painted by yours truly. The A-units all have their original drives and either a Digitrax DH123 or TCS T1 decoders. All of the B-units are dummies, electrically coupled to their respective lead units, all have metal wheels and a Soundtraxx DSD101-LE decoder with a 1-inch speaker installed.





Santa Fe #5945

The thumbnail at left leads to a photo of my Santa Fe FP-45s at the head of an eight car passenger consist of Athearn streamlined cars. The locomotive and its brother #5941 are both Athearn BB kits equipped with Soundtraxx DSD101-Le sound decoders and 1-inch speakers. Number 5941 is factory finished and weathered. Number 5945 is a refinished Milwaukee Road unit.





CR 6520 & NS 6141

These two Athearn BB SD40-2s are part of the BRVRR "modern" locomotive fleet. They have been in storage for quite some time. On a whim I took them out of storage to run them and insure that they still functioned properly. For whatever reason, my younger grandson has formed an attachment to the CONRAIL locomotive and won't allow me to remove it from the layout. The photo was taken during one of Nathan's operating sessions.




PRR 5713 & 4121

Pennsylvania RR E-8s Nos. 5713 and 4121 cross the Route 32 at the head of a passenger limited on the Black River Valley layout during a recent operating session. These locos started out in Atlantic Coast Line livery and were converted to PRR. A description of the conversion is located on the Early Diesels page.




NYC 874 & 5335

A busy day on the West End. NYC ALCO S-3 moves a grain box car on the Farmers Union siding as NYC Hudson #5335 passes a local freight at the west end of the Black River Valley layout.






SF 5945

Santa Fe FP-45 #5945 and its companion #5941 at the head of my version of the El Capitan, pass under the Route 32 bridge to the delight of a group of rail fans gathered at the Redwing picnic grounds. The photo was taken during one of my grandson's recent operating sessions.



UP 1469

Union Pacific F-7 #1469 at the head of a short passenger train rounds the curve at the west end of the Black River Valley layout. This little locomotive is scheduled for some additional detailing and pairing with a sound equipped companion unit in the near future.






NYC 5335

New York Central #5335 takes on water at the Black River engine facility. A small work crew is sort of working at planting another small tree in the fore ground.






NYC 6109

Pennsylvania RR E-8 #5713 at the head of an eight-car passenger train rounds the General Industries Curve at the east end of the Black River Valley layout. The locomotive is a Proto 2000 model with a MRC Sound Decoder and an oval speaker installed. It is matched too and operates very well with its companion E-8B unit which is equipped with a basic Lenz LE1000W decoder. Both units started life in Atlantic Coast Line livery, but were converted to PRR livery for use on the BRVRR. A description of the process is posted behind the thumbnail o #5713 on the on the Modern Diesels/Modern Engines page.





NYC 6109

Black River Valley Railroad F-7 #1116 rounds the Pasture Curve at the west end of the layout with a short local freight in two. The locomotive has an MRC chassis and is fitted with a custom painted Athearn shell. It is equipped with a TCS T1 decoder and performs quite well on the flat BRVRR layout.





NYC 6109

Two New York Central steam locomotives round the curve at the West end of the Black River Valley layout. On the inner main at left is NYC Mikado #1915 at the head of a mixed fright. On the right in MYC Hudson #5335 at the head of a streamlined passenger train. Both locomotives are BLIs and have give yeoman service on the BRVRR over the years.






Baltimore and Ohio FT #800 locomotive, left thumbnail, provided the south bound power for the 16-car Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train we road through the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In a little more than two hours we viewed the scenery between Rockslide Station and Akron, North side Station. We rode down in the comfort of CVSR restored Dome Car 'Emerson', center thumbnail. The return trip was provided by LTEX GP-15 #1420, right thumbnail. The whole family enjoyed the ride. My 7-year old grandson, enjoyed his first real train ride and was reluctant to leave the train, to put it mildly.


NYC 6109

New York Central GP-20 #6109 at the head of a mixed freight crosses Route 32 at the west end of the BRVRR layout during a recent operating session. Number 6109 is a Proto 2000 model purchased for the layout in 2009. It has a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC decoder and a small oval speaker installed. It is matched to and performs very well with its running mate, NYC GP-20 #6111, a Mantua model.




Steamers

Just as we arrived at our favorite train watching spot in Berea, Ohio, early in August 2013, this Wheeling and Lake Erie SD-40 with a couple of gondolas in tow passed westbound on the Norfolk Southern main line. I just had time to snap this photo as it passed. It isn't often that we see a loco from this road in Berea.




SF 1207

This photo of Santa Fe GP-30 #1207 was taken during a recent operating session. The loco is a Proto 2000 locomotive with a Digitrax DH163LO decoder. The locomotive is a very smooth and quite operator on the layout.





BRV 1116

Here is a recent photo of Black River Valley Railroad's F-7 #1116 entering into the reverse loop with a short mixed freight in tow. Until recently, this locomotive was the only representative of the "Home Road" on the layout.





NYC GP7 #5809 leads a short local mixed freight past the Redwing flour mill on the inner main line of the BRVRR layout. This short train is typical of those we run on the layout. The 4' x 10' format doesn't allow for really long trains.





Two traditional rivals meet at Black River Station on the BRVRR layout during a recent operating session. The Pennsy locos are recent additions. The NYC ALCO PAs are Athearn BB kits. The A-unit has a TCS T-1 decoder. The B-unit is a dummy with a Soundtraxx DSX sound decoder. The ALCOs are hauling my 8-car streamlined NYC consist of Athearn BB passenger cars.



My version of Pennsy's Broadway Limited is passing Black River Tower as it approaches Black River Station on the BRVRR. The Locos are hand finished and decorated former ACL locomotives Both units are powered, but only the A-unit has sound. The passenger cars are a mixture of Walther's and Rivrossi models. S



NYC SW-8 #9622 and its caboose, which make up the Grafton Turn on this day, are eastbound on their daily run. They are shown here passing the Farmers Union Elevator and approaching the Grafton Tower.







Shown here at right is the sum total (March 2013) of the Pennsylvania RR diesel motive power on the roster for the BRVRR. The E8 passenger locomotives #5713 and 4121 at the head of an 8-car passenger consist on the outer mainline are featured on the Early Diesels page.

PRR #9822 and 9663 are at the head of a fright on the inner main line. A brief description of their construction is also on the Early Diesels page. Both trains are negotiating the curve at the west end of the BRVRR layout.



NYC RS-32 #8038 heads a short local freight around the curve on the west end of the BRVRR layout. The loco is an Atlas Trainman model with a Soundtraxx DSD-100LC decoder and a 190-527 mini-oval speaker. It most often runs lead with its companion NYC #2030 but this time was employed solo on a local freight.






New York Central Niagara #6015 at the head of a heavy weight passenger train approaches Black River Station on the outer mainline of the BRVRR layout. The Niagara is a Bachmann model with an MRC 1627 Steam Sound Decoder installed in the tender. The loco is a very smooth operator and sounds awesome.





Black River Valley RR #1116 leads a short local freight on the BRVRR layout. An F7A, #1116 is the only loco on the railroad in 'House' colors. The loco has a MRC chassis and an Athearn body shell. It operates very smoothly and quietly but does not have on board sound. It is often operated MUed to the under-table sound decoder.





NYC Hudson #5335 at the head of a streamlined passenger train passes Black River Tower east-bound for Toledo. The tower operator can be seen inspecting the train as it passes. The smoke from the locomotive is an experiment in using the various tools in my primary photo manipulation program, PhotoFiltre. Not too bad for a first attempt.





NYC RS-32 #8038 can be seen (left thumbnail) through the trees next to HWY 32 as it approaches the highway crossing on the layouts reversing track. The locomotive is clearly visible (right thumbnail) as it crosses the road at the head of a mixed local freight that includes a heavyweight coach and a caboose. This little local is a favorite on the layout because it is short, only five cars counting the caboose and because the author loves the sound of ALCO prime movers.




NYC Mikado #9519 appears from behind some trackside pine trees near the Black River Tower on the inner main line on the BRVRR. The loco is at the head of a short local freight making its way toward Grafton. The locomotive is a BLI and has been operating almost continuously on the layout since 2004.





NYC Hudson #5335 approaches the Route 32 Overpass at the head of a short passenger train on the BRVRR layout.







New York Central RDC #53 approaches Black River Station where it will stop and pick-up some anxious passengers. It seems the local commuter is running a few minutes late. The model is a Proto 1000 modified with a lighted interior and a few passenger figures. A Digitrax DH123 decoder takes care of the lighting and motor control.



Here NYC steamer #5335 passed Grafton Tower at the head of a westbound passenger train. The loco and its train are checked at ground level and from the tower as it passes. NYC #874 can be seen in the background, switching a few cars at the team track siding.




Following on the heels of #5335 is NYC E8 #4040 at the head of the Mercury as it passes General Industries. We often run more than one passenger train at a time on the layout. They just have to be relatively short, usually 4-8 cars.






NYC Hudson #5335 rounds the General Industries curve at the head of a short 8-car passenger train. The loco, a BLI, is a 9-years old and that still operates flawlessly. It was my 2005 Christmas present from my wife. It is a favorite of my grandsons since it makes such wonderful sounds.




NYC GP-20 #6109 passes an eastbound freight on the inner main line of the BRVRR. This engine is a Proto 2000 loco with a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC sound decoder installed.





NYC RDC #53 approaches Black River Station to load passengers as a NYC F7 at the head of a westbound freight train passes on the outer main line of the layout. The RDC is a Proto1000 model. I have added a few passengers and interior lighting to give the model some life. The F7 is an Athearn BB kit with some modifications and a Soundtraxx DSD-100LC decoder and 1-inch speaker installed in the trailing B-unit.


AMTRAK #120 is am Athearn BB locomotive as is its brother #104, a dummy. Here they are at the head of a short passenger train as it rounds the Pasture Turn on the Black River Valley Railroad layout.





ALCO PA #4210 at the head of a westbound passenger train overtakes RS-32 #8038 leading a short freight train at the Pasture Turn on the Black River Valley layout. The PA is an Athearn BB kit with a Soundtraxx DSX decoder and 1-inch speaker installed in a B-unit. The RS-32 is an Atlas Trainman loco with a DSD-101LC decoder and a mini-oval speaker on board.



GP7 #5809 passes Black River Tower eastbound on the inner main line of the layout. This little locomotive is Proto2000 model that I picked up at a train show in 2006. When it is on the layout it is MUed to the under table sound decoder since it doesn't have its own on-board sound. It is however, a very quiet smooth running locomotive.




NYC RS-32 #8038 at the head of a short freight train passes Black River Tower on the BRVRR layout's inner mainline. The model is an Atlas Trainman locomotive with a Soundtraxx DSD 101-LC sound decoder and mini-oval speaker.




NYC RDC #53 negotiates the Center Street crossing as it enters the reversing loop on the BRVRR layout.






NYC #9519 passes the Center Street Crossing at the head of a short local freight train as it completes the reversing loop on the BRVRR layout.






NYC Mikado #9519 passes under the Route 32 bridge at the head of a short freight train. Joe and Moe, seated in the shade at the picnic table at right, are enjoying the show as the big steamer passes by.








NYC RDC #53 Rounds the curve on the approach to Black River Station at the East end of the BRVRR layout. The RDC is a Proto 1000 with a Digitrax DH123 decoder installed.








The newest member of the BRVRR locomotive roster, NYC SW8 #9622, moves a few grain box cars at the Farmer Union Elevator while on its D.C. test run.





The King of 4-8-4s, a New York Central Niagara #6015 rounds the curve at the east end of the BRVRR layout at the head of a streamlined passenger train. This big steamer loves running at high speed on the outer main line. When up to speed with the sound decoder on it puts on quite a show. My two grandsons love to watch it run.




New York Central Hudson #5335 at the head of a short passenger train of heavyweight cars is overtaken near Black River Station by NYC PA #4210 at the head of a new streamlined passenger train. I thought the black and white photo brought back some of the feeling of the era better than a color photo would. The NYC Hudson is a BLI locomotive that has been on the layout for several years. The PA/PB locos are Athearn BB kits. The A-unit has the original drive and a TCS T-1 decoder. The PB-unit has a Soundtraxx DSX decoder and a 1' speaker. The locos are electrically coupled with a Miniatronics 2-conductor wire set to give them 24-wheel electrical pickup and all but eliminate the stutter in the sound decoder.



Pennsylvania Railroad F7A passes Black River Station at the head of a short freight as passengers board NYC RDC #53 for a trip into Toledo. I think the black and white image captures the feeling of the era better than a color image would. Something a little different at least.





NYC Mikado #9519 rounds the curve at the West End of the Black River Valley layout (Left Thumbnail) as Caboose #24534 crosses Olive Street near Black River Tower (Right Thumbnail). The loco is a BLI which has been in service on the layout since Christmas of 2004. The caboose is an Athearn BB kit. I lighted the interior with a single bulb wired to modified Kadee coupler spring pickups on the trucks. A brief description of the installation is on the Rolling Stock page.




New York Central GP-40 #3083 is passing Black River Station at the head of a short freight train. The passengers at the station look on in anticipation of the arrival of the New York bound Michigan.






The Santa Fe's El Capitan rounds the curve in front of the General Industries building at the East End of the Black River Valley layout. FP-45 #5941 an Athearn BB kit with a Soundtraxx DSD101-LC decoder, leads the consist. This loco and its brother can pull the plaster off of the walls so the 8-car train of Athearn BB passenger cars is no real challenge.




Pennsylvania RR F7 A/B set #9822 and 9663 pose for a picture near the West end of the BRVRR main line shortly after their construction. The locos look pretty good and perform well on the layout. There is no 'stutter' from the sound decoder in the B-unit.






Traditional rivals pass at Black River Station on the BRVRR layout New Year's Day 2011. The Pennsy K-4 is a Bachmann model. The NYC Hudson is a BLI. They are both pulling short passenger trains of Walther's cars.







A West bound New York Central passenger train passes a short freight headed by NYC Mikado #9519 as it rounds the curve near the Farmers Union grain elevator. I tried to light this photograph to mimic the lighting conditions at dusk. I particularly like the steamer's headlight reflections in the windows of the passenger cars.




NYC E8 #4089 at the head of a short passenger train passes an Eastbound freight headed by NYC F7 #1663 on the BRVRR layout.






Santa Fe FP-45 #5945 rounds the curve at the West End of the Black River Valley Railroad layout in the lead of my new eight car Santa Fe streamlined passenger train consist. All of the cars are Athearn BB Kits. Each car is lighted with a single bulb, powered with wound-wire pick-ups on the axles. All of the cars have Kadee couplers with the steel "air hose" cut off. Plans call for detailed interior at least for the Vista Dome cars, and a few passengers to bring the train to life.

NYC S-3 #874 is pushing a couple of flat cars through the reverse loop on the BRVRR. The chain-link fence in the foreground is a new addition to the Baron Oil Supply scene and my third effort at making an acceptable chain-link fence. The fence is constructed of 1/16-inch brass and styrene shapes and 'bridal veil cloth I purchased at a fabric store. This is my best effort to date.





My grandson and I try to make a railroading related trip each summer. This year we traveled to Altoona, to visit Horseshoe Curve and the Altoona Railroaders Museum. Then we went on to Scranton, Pennsylvania to visit Steamtown. To see a short 'photo essay' of our visits to these memorable places just click on the thumbnail of the Big Boy at right.




New York Central E-8 #4089 passes by the new Pasture scene at the Northwest corner of the Black River Valley Railroad layout. The noise of the engines doesn't seem to bother the cows any.





NYC RS-32 #8038 meets NYC GP-40 #3083 as they pass near the Grafton Tower on the Black River Valley layout. Number 8038 was on its almost maiden run with its new Soundtraxx decoder. I love the sound of ALCO engines. They bring back a lot of memories for me.




My new Atlas Trainman ALCO RS-32, NYC #8038 as it rounds the curve near the new Farmer's Union grain elevator. I installed a Soundtraxx DSD-101LC and speaker. It runs very smoothly and sounds good too. I spent a few minutes matching it to its intended companion, NYC RS-32, #2030 which is also an Atlas Trainman locomotive with DecoderPro and my PC.






Zachary Waiting

The thumbnail to the right of Zachary waiting for the train leads to the photo essay of our June 2008 AMTRAK trip to Chicago, Illinois to see the Great Train Story layout at the Museum of Science and Industry. The trip has been on our "things to do" list for a long time. I decided the time had come shortly after school let out for the year in early June. After one false start, when the train was delayed for several hours, we made it at the end of the month. To say that Zachary was excited about the trip would be an understatement. We had a wonderful time. Some of the photos I took on our visit to the Museum of Science and Industry are the subject of the essay. Enjoy!



NYC GP40 #3075 leads NYC GP40 #3083 as they transit the reversing loop past the Redwing Flour Mill on the BRVRR. This was the test run with a load after I speed matched them using DecoderPro and my home computer. NYC GP-40 #3083 is my first Atlas locomotive and a smooth runner. NYC GP-40 #3075 was cobbled together from an Athearn BB kit. Originally in CSX livery, I refinished it and detailed it with parts from Atlas, Kato and Detail Associates to provide a running mate for the Atlas. It has a Digitrax DH163 decoder and LED lights. I am very pleased with the way these two locos operate together. I have to admit that DecoderPro made speed matching these two dissimilar locos much easier than I anticipated.



Norfolk-Southern GP30 #5819 leads as these Cleveland Waterfront switchers move a mixed consist on the West-bound Mainline. I see these two venerable locomotives quite often operating near down town. This photo was taken in the last week of April 2008.





I snapped this photo of a Norfolk-Southern maintenance of way magnet crane working on the main line on the Cleveland waterfront in January of 2008 as I returned to my truck after work. Unfortunately, the machine had moved out of range before I could get closer.






I took this photo of an Eastbound CSX freight at dusk in August of 2007. It had been a slow day for trains at our favorite rail fanning site in Berea, Ohio. This was the last picture I took that day. The cell phone was ringing off the hook with inquiries from my daughter asking when I was going to bring her son home. Zachary and I made it home by 10:30 or so.






I caught the Norfolk-Southern rail surfacing car waiting on a siding on the Cleveland Waterfront in March of 2007. It was one of several pieces of maintenance equipment working the mainline between trains.







I photographed this patch job NS SD40-1 #6752 at the head of a west bound mixed freight on the former NYC mainline in late March of 2007. I was surprised to see the loco in mainline service.







I caught this Eastbound AMTRAK passenger train late in the morning of February 15, 2007 as it passed the station on Cleveland's waterfront. It was the first clear day after a major snowstorm and the sky was unusually blue. Pretty scene don't you think?







This ballast groomer is the first one of its type I've seen. The photo was taken in early January 2007 on the Cleveland lakefront near Browns Stadium.








Norfolk-Southern #7574 as it passes the Olive Street crossing in Elyria with a mixed freight. When moving at track speed, these big diesels actually shake the ground as they pass.






Petoskey

On the 6th of August, 2006 while visiting my mother-in-law in Petoskey, Michigan, my grandson and I took advantage of occasion to view some unusual railroad cars. The Tuscola & Saginaw Bay Railroad tracks through the center of town, played host to a pair of T&SBRR GP35s and their consist of twelve privately owned and restored railroad cars. Click on the thumbnail of the GP35s at right to see my photos of the cars.





This rail fan gets a friendly wave from a Norfolk-Southern engineer as he passes eastbound on Cleveland's waterfront. Unless the parking lot is full, you can get right up to the property line fence at this location near the Cleveland Port Authority. Many of my proto-type photos have been taken from here or from the top of the access ramp a little farther west.





I saw this Norfolk-Southern Scale Test Car #982569 sitting on a siding near Cleveland Browns Stadium in mid-October. It is the first of its type I have ever seen in real life. Beyond the test car is a work train with a crane and a large electro magnet. I have been informed that the magnet is used to clean the loose spikes, rail plates and other iron scrap from the ballast. A two-for-one shot, if I ever saw one.




Strasburg Rail Road

In the summer of 2005 we took a trip to Strasburg, Pennsylvania to ride on the Strasburg Rail Road, visit the Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania, The Toy Train Museum and, for the grandson, the Choo Choo Barn multi-scale layout. A highlight for everyone was the steam train ride to Paradise, PA on the Strasburg Rail Road. Press the thumbnail to the left for a brief photo essay of our journey. A new page will open were some of the photographs I took on our trip, with brief descriptions, will be displayed. Enjoy!




PRR 5901

During our 2005 trip to Strasburg, Pennsylvania we visited the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Press the thumbnail to the right for a brief photo essay of some of the exhibits in the museum. A new page will open and display a few of the photographs I took in the museum.





The Flats Industrial Railroad #12, an S-3 I think, is shown 'parked' in its usual spot before the RR bridge near Collision Bend on the Cuyahoga River. The photo was taken in late June of 2005 and shows one of two switchers belonging to the railroad. If anyone out there is thinking of a switching layout, the Flats Industrial Railroad might be an interesting proto type.


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