Prof's Trains

Welcome to my Trains page, A short History of my trains; When I was young, we had some Lionel trains. Yes, thats O guage. I left them for the rest of the family when I joined the service in 1975.

I didn't have any train stuff until Christmas of 2008, when my sister sent me a train car like one of the ones we had as kids.
It was the old Lionel Horse car where the horse heads bobbed in and out of the sides.
She had no idea I didn't have any trains!
Well, I caught the bug. I had to get a train running!!!

I went on ebay looking and talked to my brother who had some trains.
He had a MTH starter set he got thinking it was a Lionel. (Bad Ebay Description and no pic of the box)
He had kept it as it was interesting to him, but he didn't need it, He had planned on giving it as a gift to our sister until he learned it was not a Lionel. I bought it from him and set up a small loop right away. The smoke unit was impressive, I had to turn it off after just a few minutes!!!

I also grabbed a Lionel 0-6-0 Docksider & matching caboose on e-bay and a few more cars, I especially wanted the one I never had as a kid, The 2460 6-wheel truck Crane car.
The Docksider amazed me with it's shiny new detail. I was hooked.
Soon I was visiting the local train shop (42 miles away, but you take what ya can get)
It turns out he carries a large selection of MTH trains as well as Lionel. I soon determined I liked the MTH stuff better for the money.

My wife soon tired of the layout of track in the middle room of the house and ordered it out :-)
I immediately started clearing space for a layout in the basement.
It started as an 11 ft by 11 ft squashed figure 8. I stood in one loop and the other was squashed tight with O-31 radius curves.
I added wye's in the middle instead of a crossover to close the 8 with the outside loop and allow reversing my trains.

My main line curves are all going to be O-72 to O-54 to O-72 for a 90 curve.
Thats what I had everywhere Except the squashed part.
I now have expanded the once tight side of the loop out around the other half of the room in the basement.
The layout now spans 11' x 23' with a 3' X 3' notch taken out of one corner by the Furnace.
The track wraps around 2 water heaters and a Chimney that sit in a row smack in the middle of the layout..
Here is a track plan of the current track I run on. The squares are 1 foot.

I found a MTH Imperial Railking UP Big Boy freight set for a decent price and picked that up too ;-)
The Imperial Railking line has Excellent detail on the more traditional sized equipment so it can run on tighter turns.
A Scale Big Boy requires no less than O-72 (72" diameter) turns. Thats a 6 foot across circle to turn it! And then it looks like it's going to run off the rails any moment!
The Imperial RK Big Boy will turn on O-31 (31" Dia) but it looks really odd doing it. And at 29 1/8" it is almost 6" shorter than the scale one.
Much of the shortness is in the tender. It is supposed to be a massive centipeded lender but it's not that long.
A long tender with centipede type wheels cannot go around a sharp corner. Thus the length loss.
I found out the LHS does layaway on trains... Now I"m really in trouble.

The set was the engine & tender, 4 reefers and a caboose.
Love the action of that big articulated engine. Also Love the sounds from the ProtoSounds 2 system.
I have added a few more cars to that set too. :-)

After that I really had to slow down, but I did grab one more item I get a kick out of.
A Galloping Goose with Proto Sounds (#5)
I really enjoy the sound sequence of the RGS line that I can get out of it.
I would upgrade it to PS2, but I don't want to lose the sound sequences.

Please note, these do not stream, they download to your computer and open in Windows Media Player or your favorite equivalent.
One of these days I'll get a YouTube account for Streaming them.

This is a link to a short video of my Big Boy pulling a consist in my basement. It's 26.4Mb so it takes a minute to download.

This is a link to a video of my Big Boy pulling a 51 car consist on my layout. It's 25.5Mb so give it a minute or two.

I now have 2 Imperial Railking Big Boys, An FEF (4-8-4) in UP, a 2-8-0 in UP and a PRR 2-6-0. I want to repaint all of them except the Big Boys for Rio Grande & use the smallest one as a switcher.
I'll need to add another proto-coupler on the front tho.
I may just look for a switcher and run this as a secondary mainline engine for servicing small industries..
Recently there was a request from a OGRR forum member for info on the MTH Operating Signalman Boxcar.
I posted I would make a Video and put it on my website, so here it is.
A short video of the Operating Signalman Boxcar, this one is a UP car.
Note that I ran it through twice on purpose. Please forgive the unsteady camerawork. It was 1:00 AM when I shot this with my phone.
So now what?
Well, I have the Coors Light Silver Bullet train on a hidden siding now
(link to MTH website steaming video)
and I added the tail car 'cause it looks incomplete without it.
And I picked up a Docksider with TMCC and the TMCC Crane and boom car set in MOW paint. These are really cool.
Oh yes, I have acquired various rolling stock as time passes, I now have far more than will fit on the current layout.
So I really need to get on with the new benchwork!!! Trouble is, the budget is being consumed by something more important than my hobbies.

My daughters wedding is over... THAT was expensive.
But now I"m catching up on things so I can look at the layout more.

Also, I have big plans for the layout, but a lack of funding to impliment them at this time.
I will keep adding a bit at a time as I get cash available.
I also change the plan from time to time.
As of now I'm planning a 16 X 23 around the walls figure 8 with a lift gate walk through for access across the middle of the '8'
It includes a spiral up around a mountain that will hide the Chimney and Water heaters,
On top of the mountain will be a siding with a open style sawmill like my Uncle ran for most of his life.
It also gets a rendition of my home town changed as if the rail-line went there.
The Outer Main includes a set of sidings with oil well pumps and tanks.
Along the middle of the figure 8 on the left side of the mountain is a siding for a coal mine.
In the left side of the figure 8 is a smaller loop (switching lead) with a 4 track yard in it.
It also includes 6 long storage sidings hidden under the terrain on the left side.
The switch is off the inner main between the 2 wyes there. Hidden track snakes around the water heater and chimney to wrap back up under the engine house and then ladder down under the yard above.

Here is a peek at the future track plan, But it's still not finalized!!!
Again this is 1 foot squares. The hidden storage is not shown.

It has a double mainline, with O-80 to O-72 mainline curves.
The Mountain has a custom curve radius of 25" for most of the top.
That means O-48 or smaller rated equipment will run up there. This is unfortunate but it is prototypical.
I'm still not sure this is the final design, I'm thinking I want to add at least 1 more industry,
My Uncles Meat Processing Plant. It will need Stock cars delivering, a stock yard, the building, and reefers removing the product. But I"m still not sure where I'm going to put it. It needs to be outside of town but still nearby. :-)
And I decided I want a run through siding for a Passenger stop in town.

I brought a copy of the 3D modeling software home from work, It is very helpful in designing my benchwork.
So now I have Benchwork in 2D and am finding all the things that would have been problems.
Better to find them in virtual wood than in real wood. Saves a lot of money.

Some Pics for forum users: O-72 Wye w O-72 loopback O-72 Wye w O-54 loopback O-54 Wye and curves

This Page last updated May 14, 2013.