logo: Black River Valley Model Railroad




Mobius Mini Cam

The thumbnail at right will lead to a short video taken with my Mobius Mini Action Cam Pro video camera. The camera was my 2015 Christmas gift from my wife. The video is of a short trip around the inner (East bound) mainline on the Black River Valley layout. It is not quite two minutes long and was done to test the camera. More experimentation with camera angles and locomotive speeds are needed before I undertake a new 'Around the Black River Valley Railroad' video. I was amazed at the clarity of the video this little camera takes. Enjoy.

BRVRR Part 1BRVRR Part 1

Every year, shortly after Christmas, my eldest grandson insists on making a video of the newest additons to the Black River Valley Model Railroad. We are up to video number eleven, (BRVRR #11). This year I decided to post the video on YouTube to make it available to my friends and relatives around the country. The video was too long for one posting on YouTube so by 'clicking' on the thumbnail of NYC #1821 at left you will see Part #1 of our video. Clicking on Pennsylvania #6407 will lead to Part #2. Enjoy!

SF 1207 The thumbnail at right will lead to a short video featuring the Santa Fe Railroad operating on the Black River Valley Railroad layout. Two distinct trains are shown, a GP-30 powered local freight and my version of the El Capitan powered with the latest additions to the BRVRR locomotive roster, an A/B set of Proto-2000 E-8s in War Bonnet livery.

French Lick Railway Sign

As a part of our annual 'train trip,' my oldest grandson and I visited the French Lick Scenic Railway in French Lick, Indiana in July 2014. With a name like French Lick it had to be good, right? We spent the night of July 28 in Jasper, Indiana. We made our way to French Lick and the French Lick Depot in time to catch our train on July 29th. The thumbnail at right will take you to a short (less than 15-minutes) video of our excursion.

NUC #8038

The thumbnail at left of NYC ALCO RS*32 #8038 will lead to a short (3:09) video of a fifteen car, coal drag of mixed hoppers as the train negotiates the reverse loop on the BRVRR. The video was taken from the parking lont of the Redwing Flour Mill, while looking west near the Route 32 crossing in the town of Black River. I hope you enjoy the show.


The thumbnail at left leads to a short video of the LEVIATHAN #63. The locomotive is a replica of the engine that powered Abraham Lincoln's funeral train from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois. The promoters hope to recreate the entire train before the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death.

NKP 765

My eldest grandson is a steam nut. He loves steam locomotives, models or 1:1 scale. At the end of August 2013 Nickel Plate RR locomotive #765 was doing excursion runs, part of the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad's Steam In The Valley program. The Cuyahoga Valley RR is located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park about 25-miles from our home. For an early birthday present for my grandson, we took a one-hour excursion behind #765. Zachary was thrilled and we both enjoyed our all too short trip. By clicking on the thumbnail at left you will see a short video of NKP #765 as it arrives at Boston Mills Station to pick us up for our ride. Enjoy!

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

While returning from our summer of 2013 trip to the Cass Railroad in West Virginia we passed within a few miles of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA. Since we were in no hurry to get back to Ohio, Zachary and I stopped to see what the museum had to offer. By clicking on the thumbnail photo at left you will take a short trolley ride, aboard a restored trolley, from the museum store and office to the huge shed where the actual museum and its collection of antique trolleys is located. We took the short tour and viewed thirty or more trolleys, restored and otherwise, but the collection must number more than 100. Enjoy the ride!

The thumbnail at left is of Western Maryland Shay #6 at Whittaker, West Virginia. Clicking on it will lead to a short video of the locomotive returning to the shops after our trip up to Bald Knob and back on July 12, 2013. We had a great time on the 11-mile trip from Cass, West Virginia to Bald Knob on the Cass Scenic Railroad. WM # 6 is the largest Shay ever built and Zachary was thrilled to see it and ride on a train powered by it. The round trip from Cass to Bald Knob takes about four hours through some very rugged and scenic country. It is a 'must-do' if you are ever in southeast West Virginia.

Behind the thumbnail photo at left is a short video of my new Pennsylvania RR F7s at the head of mixed freight on the BRVRR main line. After all the work put into these locos I thought they deserved to be highlighted here.

Click on the thumbnail of the three GPs at right to watch a short video of a coal train as it passes Westbound on the outer main of the Black River Valley Railroad. The Lead GP-40 is an Atlas model with a Soundtraxx DSD101-LC decoder installed. The second is an Athearn BB model with a Digitrax DH123 decoder and the GP-20 bringing up the rear is a Proto2000 model also with a Soundtraxx DSD101-LC decoder. I used DecoderPro to speed match the locos. They work together very well and sound awesome.

Click on the BRVRR Logo at left to watch a video of a trip around the BRVRR layout from an engineer's perspective. The video is titled 'Around the Black River Valley Model Railroad and lasts about 8-minutes. Until I watched this video, I didn't realize how sterile the layout really was. I'll be working on improving the interest and realism for some time to come I think.

Norfolk-Southern loco #2746 leads a fast freight downgrade at Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA. Unfortunately the railroad was having track problems that day and the normal volume of traffic was much reduced. It was still a thrill to finally experience firsthand what had always been just an image on a television. You can view the short video of the passing by 'clicking' on the thumbnail at left.

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Copyright by Allan Coates 2004-2016. All Rights Reserved.