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Discussion Starter #21
Got me a new locomotive...


A Bachmann Spectrum Baldwin Consolidation steam locomotive, in the ATSF roadname of course! This is the mid-2000s DCC-ready version. Aside from missing a couple details, when I first got it I was told it had a short in the tender, but it turns out it was because the wheels in the tender trucks were positioned incorrectly. So I re-installed them as shown on the diagram, plugged a TCS DPX2-UK decoder into the board, and now it runs very well. (Though after plugging in the decoder, I had to remove the original yellow capacitor as instructed on the TCS website, as the decoder has its' own capacitor built in.)
Very nicely detailed, and the shell even feels metallic. (Was it die-cast or something?)
Bachmann still makes this locomotive today, but it's no longer branded as a Spectrum model, but still has the same high quality.


Hey look! Santa Claus is in town! But wait, is it REALLY Santa? The neighbors say it's just the father of the kids living in that house, and every year on Christmas Eve he dresses up as Santa and goes down their chimney to lay the presents under the tree.


The Consolidation pulling my Christmas train through the town as the BNSF local freight passes on the other track.


Another nice shot of the Christmas train with its' new DCC motive power.
 

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It's funny, I have the 90's version of that loco in an 0-6-0 with the slope-back tender (marked as 2126), but I just finished converting it to a 2-6-0 and picked up the larger tender. I had to convert it to DCC myself but it seems to be a good running loco. I definitely like it better in this new configuration though.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
It's funny, I have the 90's version of that loco in an 0-6-0 with the slope-back tender (marked as 2126), but I just finished converting it to a 2-6-0 and picked up the larger tender. I had to convert it to DCC myself but it seems to be a good running loco. I definitely like it better in this new configuration though.
Yeah, it's amazing how Bachmann is keeping so many older products alive, albeit in new and improved versions (at least for the locomotives and rolling stock, though their blinking bridge and oil tank also now use LED flashers). The Baldwin Consolidation also now comes in a DCC sound-equipped version.

I also shot a video this morning...
 

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Discussion Starter #24

The Christmas train passing through one of the town railroad crossings. Imagine the drivers' surprise to see a train with a steam engine roll through the crossing instead one of the usual diesels!


The stream coming from the logging mill.


Rail travel gets pretty busy during the holidays!


The freight train now pulled by my Walthers BNSF "Fakebonnet" Dash 8-40BW, with the TYCO ATSF wide-vision caboose at the end.


An overview of my three trains currently on the layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Well, Christmas is over, so here's an interesting update...


I've got my Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive in revenue freight service now! Smaller freights, and it may be anachronistic with the rest of my layout, but so what? It looks cool!


Said freight train stopping at the logging mill...


Loading logs...


The steam-powered freight passing a more modern (and longer) BNSF freight train.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Looks great! :) What size radius tracks are you running there?
18" radius. It's cheaper and fits among the dimensions I need, and virtually all my equipment works well on it (even if my Amfleet and Superliner cars overhang a bit like Lionel passenger cars). I even have a Mehano-made Alco Century 628 12-wheeled diesel that handles the 18" radius turnouts pretty well (probably because it was aimed at consumers and often included in such train sets from companies like AHM, Life-Like, Model Power, even TYCO in their waning years!)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
A few more new pics...


The back half of my longer BNSF freight currently has all TYCO rolling stock! Meanwhile, the steam engine crew is awaiting their next orders.


I already got a controller and detection unit for this railroad crossing, and will soon wire up the signals to it!


This part of the road still isn't finished yet, so I thought I'd close it off until I do! At least the train station can still be accessed by passing through the Pizza Hut parking lot.


The Amtrak train passing through the downtown station.


The BNSF freight dropping off crates at a TYCO Prestomatic bin...


It's pretty busy at this train station right now...


An overview of the residential area with the Amtrak train stopped at the nearby station.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
That's a nice layout, looks like it was fun to build and even more fun to operate.

Magic
Sure is! And I've got more pics...


Giving my tracks a once-over in an anachronistic but cool manner!


A nighttime action shot at the residential area and the Skyview drive-in theater!


Another action shot in the dark. Looks a lot more like a real city or town this way!


The Skyview Drive-In is still doing well on my layout! Sorry for the crossbuck on the road; I was still positioning things.


For this run, I put my Walthers Trainline BNSF bay-window caboose at the end! It does look neat, but I find I like the look of a caboose with the cupola on top better.


Double Dash-8s! For pulling an HO-scale freight train with more than ten cars, I find consisting to help quite a bit, just like the real thing.


Trying some repositioning. I removed the TYCO lighted colonial house, as the interior lighting was broken anyways, and made a bit more space for the high school. I even put it right across from one of the elementary schools, like I've seen in some towns (the neighboring town of West Bridgewater, MA has both its' elementary schools and the middle/high school in one general area so they are close to each other.)


But I DID get a neat new structure: the Walthers Cornerstone Hole-In-One Donut Shop! Since it's molded in three colors and they recommend some painting for it, I thought I'd paint the decorative prop donut up like a Simpsons donut! I moved the Cornerstone newsstand over to a different, next door to the post office now.


The Exxon gas station now has an illuminated sign, made by Life-Like Trains.


An overview of this part of the layout, with new positioning of the high school with an added garage. This looks a bit more realistic now, especially with the TYCO freight unloading depot being so close to the high school originally. Maybe I'll put up a fence between that and the school parking lot.
 

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wiley wrote:
"The Skyview Drive-In is still doing well on my layout!"

You're showing the wrong movie!
You should be showing the Burt Lancaster film, "The Train" !!
Or maybe "Von Ryan's Express" with Sinatra !!
 

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Discussion Starter #32
You're showing the wrong movie!
You should be showing the Burt Lancaster film, "The Train" !!
Or maybe "Von Ryan's Express" with Sinatra !!
Relax; that's just the pre-movie intermission! :D
But anyways, here are more new pics!


The current setup on this side of the Main St. area of downtown, with the new donut shop and relocating the newsstand.


Disaster strikes! One of the turnouts apparently malfunctioned and opened by itself, leading to this head-on collision! At least the locomotives didn't blow up in the wreck, like in the movies or TV.


Some time after the train wreck. I disguised this leftover unused turnout wire with some lychen, as I often see shrubs growing next to railroad tracks in real life. (Because the turnout is right next to my control platform, there is no need for me to operate it via remote.)


Just a shot with both my operating crossing gates in action. Next to the station I plan to get an operating NJ International crossing signal and gate to wire up there with a crossing signal detection/flasher unit (probably Logic Rail Tech's Grade Crossing Pro.)


Speaking of that railroad crossing, I've provided a booster terminal connection to the inner loop, replacing the regular rerailer with a terminal rerailer. I've read in a few books that it's wise to provide a booster connection opposite or away from the main terminal connection on a large layout, especially if using DCC with multiple locomotives.


An overview showing my current freight train consists. After that head-on train wreck, when cleaning and repairing them I decided to switch around the rolling stock. I also unhooked the TYCO ATSF wide-vision caboose from my main BNSF freight as I decided it looked a little too toylike, and put my Walthers Trainline BNSF bay-window caboose at the end of the train for the time being.


Plus, having my hoboes ride in a freight train pulled by a steam locomotive looked a bit more appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Been quite a while, but I got a new engine!

Yup, a Mantua Classics Santa Fe GP20 "Yellowbonnet" diesel! It's the DCC-ready version, as sold by MRC/Model Power. A pretty good runner. I also plugged a TCS T1 decoder into the 9-pin plug, and it operates very nicely using that decoder.


Once I get better with decals, I might patch small "BNSF" logos under the road numbers. After all, the numbers are already not in the original ATSF font anyways, so it would give a fairly realistic appearance of a BNSF-renumbered "Yellowbonnet" diesel, like the real-life surviving "Yellowbonnet" locomotives out there.


Trying out some double-heading power here, hooking my Walthers BNSF GP9M behind the GP20. Of course we know that GP9M uses Cox's old tooling, but is a much better-quality locomotive, in several ways quite similar to the MRC/Mantua GP20, or the modern base-line Bachmann diesels.



Trying out the new Bosch/Walthers adhesive parking lots on my layout.


Unloading crates from the TYCO operating boxcar again...


I've got my Athearn Amtrak Phase III P40 locomotive pulling the Amtrak cars now. The rear coupler on my Walthers Mainline Amtrak F40PH broke; it was an E-Z Mate with plastic spring, so I'm going to replace it with a Kadee #26 coupler (due to the placement of the back coupler pocket on the F40PH.) Plus, I like to alternate my motive power from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Some more photos...


Newer Mantua Santa Fe GP20 meets its' 40-year-old TYCO equivalent!


The main freight stops at the Plasticville freight station.


Anachronistic, but cool-looking!


I upgraded some more TYCO cars with Intermountain 33" metal wheels.


A nice shot of the BNSF freight and Amtrak passenger trains next to each other.


I finally got around to replacing the damaged pilot/cowcatcher on my Bachmann Baldwin 2-8-0 steam engine! It does make an interesting visual difference.


The industrial area of my train layout, with an AHM freight carrier!
 

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Looking great, Wiley. Love the Amtrak consist. A lot of talk is given that
"22" radii as a minimum is a "gold standard," but I rather find that having
something that works well is more important. At the end of the day, modellor's
are achieving selective compression, and that you have created something
amazing and works well is all that counts, in my book. Well done!
 

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Very Impressive! And Nice Scenery!

I too am a long time Tyco fan. I recently unboxed my ol Tyco layout from when I was a kid. It sat tucked away for nearly 40 yrs in different garages from move to move!
Looks like you are using EZ Track?

I too use Easy track. Have you ever considered ballasting your EZ Track?

I've come up with a simple way and has really added a touch of authenticity visually. Its probably one of the better tutorials out there. If you don't mind... I'll share it with you at the following link:


Finally I made sure my track layout was final which was in place for about a year.
It took a few practice tracks on a side table but got really good at my inventive process. And it looks like Ballast, NOT a powdery applied mess. What helped was I invented a process by modifying a ballast tool from Prepose.

Anyway just a thought.

Again really great layout. Love the Tycos!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Very Impressive! And Nice Scenery!

I too am a long time Tyco fan. I recently unboxed my ol Tyco layout from when I was a kid. It sat tucked away for nearly 40 yrs in different garages from move to move!
Looks like you are using EZ Track?

I too use Easy track. Have you ever considered ballasting your EZ Track?

I've come up with a simple way and has really added a touch of authenticity visually. Its probably one of the better tutorials out there. If you don't mind... I'll share it with you at the following link:


Finally I made sure my track layout was final which was in place for about a year.
It took a few practice tracks on a side table but got really good at my inventive process. And it looks like Ballast, NOT a powdery applied mess. What helped was I invented a process by modifying a ballast tool from Prepose.

Anyway just a thought.

Again really great layout. Love the Tycos!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Nice! Maybe I'll try that method...
 

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Discussion Starter #40
For this holiday season, I thought I'd try something a little different!


The town church decorated for Christmas.


Santa Claus talking with kids behind the church.


The downtown train station decorated for Christmas.


Just a typical school day scene.


Giving the tracks a once-over.

Now here's the big new project I am doing for this holiday season...

Yep, it's been snowing on my layout! I figured since we were actually getting some snow where I am this December for a change, my model train layout should experience winter as well. I'm using 1/4-inch Woodland Scenics styrofoam sheets cut to fit and then made up with Woodland Scenics "snow" material! They are designed so I can store them after winter and then place them on the layout again for next Christmas! Plus, the little foam shavings also make for a pretty realistic simulation of plowed snow! (But I vacuumed the tracks before running my trains through that area.) This is still a work in progress; I'm hoping to have more grassy areas covered with snow before Christmas Eve.


A small boy and his sled walking past the old freight station.



The Christmas train makes its' way through the snowy landscape!


New to my layout this year is a Christmas tree lot! The figures and such come from Preiser and Walthers.
 

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