What’s on Your Workbench?

Rich Randall has been working on an O scale All-Nation Model Trains cast aluminum EMD NW2 switcher model for his Milwaukee Road at Avery, ID, layout. The unit is pictured at the St. Maries plywood mill where it is slated to become the dedicated switcher. It sports a nice all-brass, modernized chassis with a Pittman motor, along with dual-drive sprung trucks. Rich painted it and installed a Tsunami II sound decoder, speaker, TCS KA-2 keep-alive, Shapeways spark arrestors, partial cab interior with a crew, electrical pick-up wipers, and LED headlights. Rich reports that it runs very well but still needs weathering.

What’s on Your Workbench?

From Don Florwick

Popping into my layout room the other day with no real purpose in mind, I spied a note on one of my staging yard switch panels. The note was reminding me to relabel the panel to clear up an inconsistency between adjacent yard panels.

I have three staging yards (left) along one wall of my layout room stacked one above the other and the 4-yard panels for the three staging yards are similar for each yard. Each panel has a rotary switch to choose the proper staging track. This makes picking a staging track pretty straight forward for my operating crews at the Pittsburgh & South Pennsylvania (P&SP) RR.

So why the note? It seems that for some reason unbeknown to me, I labeled this panel for the middle yard, Wheeling Staging, showing yard track #1 on the wall side of the shelf, whereas the other two yards had track #1 as the first track on the aisle side of the shelf. This inconsistency had not caused major problems but it had caused confusion from time to time if an operator failed to look at the yard panel track diagram before picking their track with the rotary switch, hence the note to self to fix it someday.

I try to remove inconsistencies from my railroad’s infrastructure when I see they create confusion. Operators are busy enough minding their schedule and deciding whether they have the authority to make their movement. 

Making the change was rather easy. I used a piece of an old credit card to remove the dry transfer labeling (left) from the track and rotary switch areas and I repainted the rotary switch area.

I waited a day to let the new paint around the rotary switch area dry. The dry transfers were applied and then over-sprayed with dull cote (below) to protect them.

Total time to make the change; about two hours of puttering around. Another inconsistency was cleared from the P&SP.

Jay Beckham’s open house 12 December

Mark your calendar. Jay Beckham is having an open house at his Berkeley Springs, WV,    O scale, 2-rail layout on 12 December from 1 to 5 PM. A mask and physical distancing are required to visit his 60’ x 30’ layout, based on the Pennsylvania Railroad. The layout operates with NCE DCC and C/MRI CTC signaling.

Jay and his crew have done a lot of work this year. Find Jay online at jaysoscalelayout.blogspot.com and see more of the recent progress on his layout at the SMD Facebook page. If you plan to visit, private message Jay on Facebook with your name, scale you model, and city where you live. Or send an email to the SMD at southmountaindiv@gmail.com and we will put you in touch with Jay.

ALERT – MER email SCAM

Mid-Eastern Region

By Kurt Thompson, MMR, President, Mid-Eastern Region, NMRA, Inc.

November 10, 2020

My fellow Mid-Eastern Region members:

It is November and we are approaching the holiday season which is a time of happiness and celebration and gift-giving. Sadly, someone is practicing to be the Grinch and is trading on the good name of the Mid-Eastern Region and me, as your President.

The MER has been struck by a scamming artist. The person has taken all the email addresses on the MER website and then masquerading as me, asked almost all the MER staff and the Division Superintendents to buy gift cards in support of a charitable cause. The culprit makes it sound very convincing. So much so that several members have called me and others have emailed me to verify the email as spam.

I will not forward the email here. Suffice to say, the closing salutation is incorrect and doesn’t carry my usual ending. Also the reply email address is not my official email address at all. When in doubt, let your mouse hover over the email address and look at the actual return address. It should be president@mer-nmra.com. If it’s not from the email address, it is not from me!!!

As President of the MER, I will never ask you to purchase gift cards or donate money to a cause, other than your donation to the MER itself. The MER is a 501(c)3 organization which means we can accept donations and they can be treated as a tax benefit to the donor. The MER does not make donations outside the organization.

The MER will take measures to strengthen the security of information on the website. 

If you ever receive an email purportedly from me as the President of the Mid-Eastern Region that asks you to purchase and mail gift cards, please stop and consider the nature of the request. It will be fraudulent. If you still question or feel that there may be some truth to the request in the email, feel free to call me on my cell phone which is listed on the MER webpage and in the NMRA Magazine.

If I don’t answer the phone call immediately, please leave me a message and DO NOT make any purchases based on the email. I will call you back within 24 hours. No purchase has to be made in haste that waiting 24 hours will cause the world to fail.

Wishing you a happy holiday season. May you and yours enjoy it.

Wheel Report Submissions Needed

Your Wheel Report needs photographs of current model railroad projects in progress or completed in this calendar year, 2020. Big or small; email a photograph and short description to Tom Fedor at southmoutaindiv@gmail.com.

Since we don’t regularly gather in person for meetings, operating, or work sessions, as inspiration I would like to feature your work in the winter edition of the newsletter.

Read more in the winter edition.