Category Archives: Trains & Model Railroading

ERRHSI Layout Update – April 14, 2018

This week we pretty-much wrapped up the scenery at the Idaho Falls Stock yards. Alan donated some self-stick grass tufts that finished it off. We’re going to make a gravel lot at the south end (on the right in the photos), and I plan to add some “dirt” inside the corrals/pens, but other than that, I think we’re there.

I promise we’ll stand the livestock up soon!

Continue reading ERRHSI Layout Update – April 14, 2018

ERRHSI Layout Update – April 5 2018 progress

This week, we worked on finishing up the scenery at the Idaho Falls stock yard.

I applied a light dusting of Woodland Scenics blended earth ground cover, then a really light dusting of Woodland Scenics grass in places. I then scattered small pieces of Woodland Scenics medium turf in a couple of different shades of green to represent weeds. Vet added some of Tim’s scratch-made grass tufts and sagebrush.

The glue was still drying when we left for the evening (you can see white spots at the base of some of the weeds), but here are some updated pics.

Continue reading ERRHSI Layout Update – April 5 2018 progress

Bob’s HO Scale PRR Model Railroad

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to visit an AMAZING HO Scale Model Railroad in Wyoming. The layout is about 24′ x 40′, and has mountains that reach about 6′ high. The detail and scenery work on it is INCREDIBLE. I shot a little bit of video, I hope to go back and shoot more later. This is in the owner’s basement. Bob worked on the PRR for 27 or so years, so of course that’s the railroad he models.

Motorizing the Walthers 120′ N Scale Turntable – Proof of Concept

I’m in the planning stages of building a new, larger N scale model railroad layout. The thought process is basically to try to work in as many of the features that I’ve wanted on a layout since I started reading Model Railroad magazine when I was about 13 years old.

Among those features is a locomotive service facility complete with a roundhouse and turntable. There aren’t very many options currently available: there are ready-made affordable turntables from a few manufacturers, but they’re too small to handle the larger steam locomotives I plan to eventually have. There’s one turntable from Walthers that is large enough, and it’s very cool with automatic indexing (moving to a selected track), etc. But,  it’s priced at around $250.00! I set out to find an affordable alternative.

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Pelle Søeborg’s Daneburg Sub HO Scale Model Railroad

When it comes to model railroad scenery, Pelle Søeborg takes the cake. The man has written five model railroading books on scenery, layout construction, weathering, and more. He is a contributing editor to Model Railroader magazine. His scenery work elevates model railroading to the level of art. What’s really amazing to me is that he models the Union Pacific Railroad, and he somehow manages to recreate the scenery and landscaping perfectly – even though he lives in Denmark!

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Evanston, Wyoming Union Pacific Roundhouse

Back in August, we made the trip to Evanston, Wyoming to visit the Union Pacific Roundhouse.  The city of Evanston is in the process of restoring the roundhouse, machine shop, and some of the other facilities and is converting them to a convention/events center.  The work they’ve done is beautiful, and it will be exciting to see it finished.

The roundhouse was dedicated in 1871.  The Union Pacific Railroad abandoned the building and deeded it to the city in 1971. Yes, the railroad operated the roundhouse for 100 years! It truly is a historic location. They city has completed renovations on the machine shop, and about 30% of the Roundhouse. They’ve also completed restoration of the locomotive turntable, and for the train show they were actually giving rides on it.  That’s right, I actually got to ride on a roundhouse turntable! For more information on the roundhouse and the restoration efforts, visit the city of Evanston’s website at

On a personal note, my great grandfather Alton Howell and my great-uncle Earl Howell were both locomotive engineers on the Union Pacific – and while I don’t know for sure what routes they worked, it was a very surreal experience to stand in the roundhouse and think “they may have been here”.

On this particular weekend, the Hostler’s Model Railroad Train Show was taking place IN THE ROUNDHOUSE.  I’ll have a follow-up video of the show itself soon.

Here’s some video of the Roundhouse facilities themselves.  Enjoy!