Wednesday, December 5, 2012


This is a true gem and something you would only be able to find at York.  York October 2012's meet brought me this absolute gem, made by Carl Neidlinger.  Its a Standard Gauge McKeen car which has been made out of two Ives standard gauge passenger bodies.  I have no idea how Carl got this motor car's body so absolutely perfect, but here it is:

Lionel 33 Restoration

I picked up this Lionel 33 engine from Ebay for $55.  Its a cute little engine.  Someone must have gotten sick of the puke green color and went nuts with the spray paint.  Horrid paint job aside, the engine is straight as an arrow and shows no signs of rust.  Its a great little engine. 

Here are some pics of the engine as it came in the mail:

After stripping out all of the wires (the insulation on which was pretty dry and cracked and just came right off) I was able to run the positive wire through the bottom of the engine (it has no roller plate on its bottom) and this was the result:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This is an updated post with my revisions to the standard gauge zephyr.  As you may or may not recall, I purchased a gauge one zephyr body from my friend Bob Thon.  Bob is the owner of Roberts Lines and a few years back he manufactured a gauge one zephyr which is absolutely sublime.  The gauge one zephyr is made from Aluminum and is gorgeous.  And yes, Bob was nice enough to get me one of his gauge one zephyrs which is missing a middle car.  Anyways, I digress. . . .

So my initial post with the standard gauge zephyr was a little quirky since the body sat on the drive truck, which made the drive iffy at best and the nose was raised off the trakc, which also didn't look quite like the zephyr.

Here is the alterations I made.  I lowered the motor truck INTO the body.  This is the result:
I think that this is a HUGE upgrade from the previous Standard Gauge Zephyr.  The linkage between the two bodies needs a little work, but I'm proud of this creation and I think that this zephyr is the first and only one that I have seen in Standard Gauge. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Although these are older videos, and they should have been posted last November, but these are the pictures from the 2011 SGMA show in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. 


The Standard Gauge Module Association (SGMA) had another show at the Driver's Village located here in Syracuse New York.  If anyone is in the area, and loves trains, Driver's Village is a great stop.  There is a permanent display set up by the Large Scale Group (primarily running Gauge one trains) and we have a very good rapoire with the Large Scale guys.  They invite us routinely to set up and display our modular layout at shows they run and September 8, 2012 we obliged.

We ran a 12 foot by 20 foot rectangular layout for the five hours of the show.  The layout attracted several children, including my two boys.  It was nice to see my sons run trains for a half an hour without the assistance of any adult.  The boys were a good draw for other children. 

The pictures I have posted are of my sons and also Jim Cottzolla's fiance Renee, who was essential in the set up and running of the layout.  Its nice to include family in our crazy hobby and as these pictures show, it was a nice day of running trains. 


Friday, November 4, 2011


In the past, I have at times regretted buying the Lionel Milwaukee Road Standard gauge set issue in the 1990's, but was unsure of the reason why.  After pondering this issue for more time then I should have, I figured uot why.  The Engine and tender are absolutely gorgeous.  It was the passenger cars.  And not the fact that the passenger cars were streamlined and lacked a clerestory.  It was the putride grey that Lionel decided to paint the roofs of these cars.  I tried an experiment and painted my entire set's roofs black.  It makes a better set in my mind and solves any issues I had with the appearance of the set.  Take a look,

I hope you agree, the black roof makes this car look far more attractive.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Super 381 in Action-Milwaukee Road

This engine is great!  After what seemed like years of waiting, the Super 381 finally hit the tracks on my basement layout.  Look at how nicely this engine runs.  The ngine had very little clearance and actually hit most, if not all, of my lock ons, so I had to grind them down to remove the clearance issue. 

I have posted a photo of the engine. . . . .
And also a video of the set in action . . . .