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Model Railroader

Model Railroader March 2021

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The world’s most popular model railroading magazine publishes the information you need to build your own railroad. Get Model Railroader digital magazine subscription today for step-by-step how-to projects; great model train layouts; and realistic track plans. You'll also get reviews of the latest locomotives, rolling stock, and accessories in HO, N, O, and other scales, expert tips, and more!

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
dreaming, planning, and model railroading

How do you build a great-looking, smooth-running model railroad? A layout like that doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning. Building a layout from start to finish is a relatively complex project. It helps to break it down into manageable phases, such as bench-work, track, and scenery. Each of these phases is made up of many individual tasks. Now you have a plan – and you have a list of jobs you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. True, some of these tasks may require learning new skills. That’s a good thing. Mastering new skills is a great feeling – and better abilities are sure to make a big difference in your modeling efforts. Planning is a skill like any other. It can be learned – and it is the key to…

8 min.
news & products

HO scale Siemens SC-44 Charger diesel-electric locomotive. This modern passenger engine is now available from Bachmann Trains. The HO scale SC-44 Charger is decorated for Amtrak in the passenger carrier’s Midwest (two road numbers), Pacific Surfliner (one number), and Cascades (WSDOT, one number) schemes. The model ($459) has a dual-mode TCS WOWSound decoder with Audio Assist; a Keep-Alive capacitor; a die-cast metal frame; a printed destination board; directional headlights; interior corridor work lights; roof-mounted strobe lights; marker lights; and separate, factory-applied windshield wipers, grab irons, and detail parts. Bachmann Trains, 215-533-1600, bachmanntrains.com HO scale locomotives • Electro-Motive Division GP38 diesel locomotive. New road numbers: Norfolk Southern (Thoroughbred scheme, two numbers) and RJ Corman (red, silver, and white scheme). New paint schemes: Conrail (American Revolution Bicentennial scheme in one number, blue with white sill…

1 min.
club offerings

• Great Northern 24 x 48-foot passenger and freight depot. Laser-cut basswood and aircraft-grade three-ply birch plywood HO scale kit produced by Hidden River Manufacturing for the Great Northern Ry. Historical Society. Features interior and exterior walls, flooring, removable roof with soffit, three-tab shingle strips, two- or three-bay front windows, window and door plugs for modifying the depot, roof access ladder, peel-and-stick doors, basswood chimney, and trim. Measures 69⁄16" x 33⁄4" x 3". Platform not included. $49.95. Great Northern Ry. Historical Society, gnrhs.myshopify.com • Great Northern 50,000-gallon wood water tank and pump house. HO scale kit produced by Monroe Models for the Great Northern Ry. Historical Society. Laser-cut basswood kit with micro-plywood, cardstock, and fiber board parts. Tank roof is one-piece injection-molded styrene part with molded shingles and lead-free white-metal cap…

7 min.
ask mr

What’s a “demonstrator” locomotive? Q I’m doing research on the Wisconsin Central, Wisconsin & Southern, and the Soo Line. Some photos I’ve found refer to the locomotives as “demonstrators.” What exactly is a demonstrator locomotive? Bob Vysinka, LaValle, Wis. A When a locomotive manufacturer like Electro-Motive Diesel or General Electric comes out with a new model, it will build a few “demonstrator” models. It will then send these locomotives to railroads for them to try out, in hopes the railroad’s managers will see the advantages of the new model and order some for their roster. Since the demonstrator locomotives don’t belong to the railroads, they’re painted in promotional schemes featuring the manufacturer’s name and logo instead of the railroad’s. The demonstrators usually make their tour of several railroads before being sold and repainted…

1 min.
reader tip

More help for Great Domes In further response to Jeff Gottlieb’s question about his Walthers Great Dome cars derailing (December 2020), there may be another answer. On curves, the tops of the trucks sometimes snag on the car body shell or on the metal tabs that are part of the car’s lighting system. The solution is to grind down the high spots on the trucks. On the Pullman-Standard domes (used on the Milwaukee Road, Canadian National, and VIA Rail), the problem is caused by the plastic detail part added to the outside of the sideframe. Smoothing this part down with a file will solve the problem. The Great Northern dome has different trucks, and the highest points on the truck are the four bolster pads, shown in the photo above. Filing a small amount…

8 min.
adding water scenes to jones island

Up until now, the mooring basins on the Jones Island section of our HO scale Milwaukee, Racine & Troy layout were looking a little dry. Lake boats and ocean-going vessels would be hard pressed to dock in the plywood in front of the Continental Grain (now COFCO International) elevator or the Port of Milwaukee General Cargo Terminal no. 2 Water features, in part, dictated the removable benchwork design for Jones Island [see the September 2020 Model Railroader for more on that. – Ed.] The mooring basin for COFCO International is located in a corner adjacent to the hallway windows. If we built the layout with fixed benchwork, it would have required a reach of between 2'-11" and 3'-71 ⁄2" to work on the mooring basin. Neither ideal nor comfortable. Further, we needed…