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This blog is limited to articles; random photos or quick updates are posted to the FaceBook page.

Blog entries from August 2017 and earlier have been migrated from a former site and many of the images are incorrectly linked. These may be repaired over time.

Fourth quarter was a slow starter for Middle Division construction. The family had a late vacation; then I had to coordinate picking up the models from Joe Henry Kline's family. Add a few holidays, and where did all that time go?

The past two weeks have been very productive. I got about fifteen feet of backdrop installed on the top display level, as well as about fifteen feet through Yeagertown. I've also formed, but not installed, rough scenery forms for the Yeagertown area. Track painting is next for this area, as the photo indicates.

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I am very pleased to announce that I have acquired a number of Joe Henry Kline's models. This morning Dave Wartell and I "extracted" the models from the layout in McClure, Pa. 

Joe Henry has been in a nursing home for several years and his model railroad is still intact, which I learned following publication of photos in a recent issue of The Keystone. I contacted the family about the status of the layout and subsequently visited and made an offer on a number of the models.

Nothing better than a holiday without family plans, and Columbus Day was one of them. A whole day in the train room!

The first task at hand was installation in the fascia of a Digitrax UR-91 radio receiver and a Logic Rail Technologies LocoNet Fast Clock. May seem like a simple task, but it took a lot more effort than I had anticipated to make it look good. Also had to provide power to both, home-runned to the UPS system at the Power Desk. Had to also run a LocoNet home run back to the Power Desk.

Undaunted by Hurricane Sandy bearing down on central Pennsylvania, I made use of the Governor's closure of the state to work on the turnout control wiring in Yeagertown.

This past weekend at the Timonium show I picked up wiring connectors for Tortoise switch machines. Though these add to the cost per turnout, they allow you to perform all of the wire soldering on the bench and then slip the connector over the card edge of the switch motor. It also allows you to more easily swap out a switch machine without having to resolder anything.


The last time Broadway Limited Importsran the PRR M1 4-8-2 Mountains, I was still in N scale. Actually, I had just made the decision to switch back to HO, and I scrambled to find two of the locomotives. That release was in the Blue Line series and I secured an M1a and an M1b.

M1's are prohibited on the Lewistown and Milroy secondaries that I model, but I needed them for main line service. Also, the Lewistown engine house kept a Mountain or two on standby for the mainline. So when Broadway Limited announced a rerun in the Paragon2 series, I jumped at the opportunity and ordered another M1a and another M1b.

With the Blue Line's still in the box, I learned that they had non-functional front couplers (really?) and that they were somewhat difficult to consist with their QSI or Paragon2 counterparts. That said, I opted to sell them on eBay and ordered an additional two Paragon2 units.

This week the Middle Division took receipt of all four Paragon2 locomotives -- two M1a's and two M1b's.

Next up: An Alco RSD-15 due in November.

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