When I attended the huge Autism Expo in Indianapolis early this month, a gentleman that I know from the local G scale model train shop had set up a loop of track and was running a train and advertising for the shop and passing out flyers for the shop. The table was constantly busy with parents and thier kids watching the trains. That gave me 2 ideas. First off the shop needed to have trains there for sale, there were others with toys ideal for autistic children there. And that I wanted to build on my idea for a train decorated up specificaly for autism. At that shop I found an box of old Kalamazoo brand trains that fit the bill perfectly. The old time style locomotive is quite colorful being the MCRR version. Along with the locomotive and green tender car, I got 2 Union Pacific passenger cars that I will redecorate for the Autism Express, there are 3 gondolas with seats in them for figures to sit on. Kind of like you might see on a train at an amusement park. Most importantly was the train was affordable, large scale trains can be quite expensive. I got the engine/tender, 2 passenger cars, 3 gondolas and a work train style caboose using up shop credit from trains of mine he has sold. I hope to have the two passenger cars redecorated before the fall Expo in northern Indiana. We are not going to scale look here folks, just for my own and others amusement.
Tonights accomplishments was to remove the old factory optional chuff sound from the tender to make room for a battery, I left the micro trigger switch and associated wiring in place on the locomotive till I find a smaller speaker so it will all fit in the tender. I repaired 2 cracked axle gears with some NOS ones I got thru a former Kalamazoo Toy Trains employee. I need to aquire 2 critter contolers so I can vary the speed or turn them off( I have 2 of these old 4-4-0s). I am considering how to redecorate the coaches. I used images I printed out on photo paper on a smooth sided LGB Euro passenger car and that was ok, but these are wood side coaches. Would love to have Stan do up some decals, but the cost for multi color decals might be more than I can deal with for awhile. I want to replace the Union Pacific letter boards above the windows with Autism Express, then the logo in the middle of the body below the windows, replaced with the ribbons that have the multicolor jigsaw pieces on them. Then put a single puzzle piece over each of the UP reporting marks that are below the windows. The cars lack interiors, so I am looking to see what I can use to put seats in them for figures. The pic below is of my first attempt at a custom G scale autism car, using an LGB Euro coach, it looks a bit odd behind a wild west 4-4-0, so some more proper style coaches are what I have to work with now. Mike