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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.

 

rpm logo crop1I just returned from RPM EAST held in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. This event is held in odd-numbered years to offset the RPM Valley Forge held in Malvern, Pennsylvania in even-numbered years. This was my first time at the Greensburg event and it did not disappoint. A "shout out" to Eric Hannsman, Don Coulter, and the rest of the crew that put this event together.

There were eight model railroads open for operating sessions on Thursday evening, though I did not arrive until Friday. There were 14 model railroads open on Sunday for open houses; due to time constraints, I did not make it to any of these either. So, that all said...

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The PRR-Pro group, its 32nd project, is building N8 cabin cars. The project began on January 1, 2019.

I am modifying and detailing six Bowser N8 kits. The models feature American Model Builder window glazing, Cal Scale trainphone supports, Precision Scale #31001 generators, xxxx markers, Tichy eye bolts, phosphor bronze wire, Kadee couplers, InterMountain wheel sets, and Mount Vernon Shops decals (of which I facilitated production).

References: 

Several months ago I started listening to several podcasts related to model railroading. They are actually quite enjoyable. One that I listen to regularly is Lionel Strang's A Modeler's Life. They interview model railroaders and bring out their background in the hobby. Reflecting on my own past, I decided to share where I got my start.

Born in 1962, I got my first train set at a very young age... no later than seven, but I really don't remember. The HO scale set included a Mantua GP in Reading yellow and green livery. Many years later it would take a nose dive off the layout due to a sibling which resulted in breaking the short hood off.

The first layout was on a sheet of plywood laying on top of a pool table. From an Atlas plan book, it was a basic figure eight with the Atlas pier set. Never got to scenery and, quite frankly, I don't remember running in much.

A recent thread on the Atlas Forum asked "What model railroads inspired you?" It challenged readers to recollect before responding. Responses were typically in list form, but I'd like to share my list with justification, in no particular order...

Without a doubt, I can point to Bruce Chubb's Sunset Valley Lines as my original inspiration. As a teen, I was glued to the series in Model Railroader. It was my first exposure to the concept of "operations" on a model railroad.

Allen McClellan's Virginian & Ohio is probably on everyone's list. I was late to the party as I was not a Railroad Model Craftsmansubscriber at the time, or perhaps that was when I was at college and my hobby was boxed up. In any case, it was in the late 1980s or even the 1990s that I was enlightened by Allen's work. His "beyond the basement" approach opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.

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Like many modelers, I have a huge collection of unbuilt freight car kits -- about 200. They get backburnered to building the layout, scenery, and preparing for operations.

So when I recently scheduled surgery to repair my left anterior talofibular ligament and my doctor told me I would have to keep my foot elevated for several weeks, it didn't take long to come up with busy work. I pulled out a stock of plastic kits and all of the tools required for assembly.

Seventeen days after surgery I can call the project complete, with 35 cars having been added to the roster.

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