Yesterday, I once again had the opportunity to attend a model railroad operating session (or as my friend Vet likes to call it, “Transportation Simulation”) at Bob Davis’ home, on his INCREDIBLE HO Scale Pennsylvania Railroad layout. The opportunity to run trains on his world-class layout is something I really appreciate, and something I have dreamed of doing since I was about 12 years old, when I would intently study the Model Railroader magazines my great uncle had given me repeatedly until the covers were falling off.
It’s difficult to capture the size and beauty of his layout in photos or video. However, this video follows a coal train around the entire layout, starting as it descends from the branch line that is above his staging tracks, picks up a string of coal hopper cars from the coal branch, winds its way through the mountains and over a switchback that takes the train 2 loops to ascend/descend, and finally through town and into the yard.
There are a couple of shots I’m not happy with, and I while I took a handheld camera stabilizer with me, I forgot the quick-connect plate to actually mount the camera on it – so I shot this all handheld, sometimes walking backward at the same time. Excuses aside, I’m pretty happy with it and hope you enjoy it.
A special thanks to Bob for opening his home and his layout to us.
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.
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 https://www.evanstonwy.org/374/Roundhouse
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!
Members of the Timberline Garrison of the 501st Legion appeared again this year at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s Family Fun Day. This annual event serves as a reunion for NICU patients, their families, and the hospital staff. Here’s some video I shot.
Disney has released several figures in this line. They vary in quality, but for $35 or less each (they go on sale often) they’re a nice figure for the money – on their own or as a base for customization.
Every year, in honor of our veterans, our city hosts the “Field of Honor” – a display of hundreds of U.S. flags located at the Idaho State Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. Here’s a short video I put together. To all of our men and women in uniform – and to your families – thank you for your sacrifices.