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Model Railroader December 2020

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!

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
R 115,66
R 651,25
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
having a little fun with history

Have you ever become so involved in a project that you lose track of time? It happens to me fairly often when I’m focused on an intricate task. You’ve probably heard the expression, “He’s stuck in the past.” When I’m in my train room I’m sometimes stuck in the present! It’s all good though. I find I do some of my best work when time stands still. I’m also guilty of daydreaming (I call it “layout planning”). I can spend hours thinking about what my future empire might look like, or how to justify the purchase of another locomotive. It’s that kind of hobby. We enjoy it in the present and happily look forward to what we will do next. But what about the past? As Model Railroader prepared to celebrate its 80th year in…

8 min
news & products

HO scale Electro-Motive Division F7A and F7B diesel locomotives. Walthers offers these cab units in railroad executive schemes, including Chicago & North Western, Burlington Northern (Grinstein Green and cream), CSX (gray, blue, and yellow [YN2] scheme), Kansas City Southern (Southern Belle scheme), and Norfolk Southern (Tuxedo scheme). The Mainline series HO scale models have factory-installed handrails and Proto-Max metal couplers. Direct-current models with a 21-pin plug for a Digital Command Control decoder are $139.98 (A unit) and $279.98 (A-B set). Versions with a dual-mode ESU sound decoder are $199.98 (A unit) and $399.98 (A-B set). Wm. K. Walthers Inc., 414-527-0770, walthers.com HO scale locomotives • Canadian National RSC-14 diesel locomotive. Canadian National (stripes and “wet noodle” herald schemes). Five road numbers per scheme. Redesigned chassis and shell for easier access and disassembly; operating…

8 min
ask mr

What do different TTX marks signify? Q I have six freshly painted brass O scale auto racks that I need decals for. I’ve found some TTX flatcar sets that might be close. Do auto racks have special letters before or after the reporting mark different from those on a regular TTX flatcar? Tom Champley, Oregon, Ill. A Yes. Each type of car has its own reporting mark. The type of 89-foot flatcars commonly used with early auto racks are designated RTTX. Enclosed tri-level auto racks are ETTX; CTTX is a roofless enclosed tri-level rack. Non-enclosed bi-level racks are TTBX; enclosed ones are TTGX. Non-enclosed tri-level racks are TTKX. TTNX is a single-deck enclosed auto rack for large trucks, and TTQX is a tri-level rack for minivans and automobiles. TTRX is another non-enclosed tri-level…

3 min
master custom builder bill lenoir

Bill Lenoir, 1910-1995, considered one of our hobby’s master builders because of the high quality of his work, was called upon to design patterns for firms from which they could produce models. His New York Central Hudson graced Model Railroader’s cover in March 1935. He was 24. Bill built O scale brass steam locomotives, gas-electric cars, passenger and freight cars, and had many personal models become contest winners – five in one 1934 Chicago show! His 1934 ad listed four styles of trucks for 1:48 O and 17⁄64" Q scales and kits. His Lenoir’s Model Railway Supplies folder showed boxcars, wood and metal reefers, and wood-sheathed automobile cars. Olsen couplers were 75 cents per pair; 10 varieties of freight car trucks were $1 a pair; four- and six-wheel passenger truck pairs were…

8 min
new life for an old building

Back in the October 2020 issue, I noted that Ladishfeger Steel Products, an industry kitbashed by the late Art Curren, was going to be relocated from Kelly’s Island to Mukwonago on our HO scale Milwaukee, Racine & Troy staff layout. Initially David Popp and I thought this would be a fairly straight-forward structure transplant. But then we took a closer look at the scene. In the February 2013 MR, I wrote about adding a low-relief building at Mukwonago. I paired up the curtainwall structure with prefab metal low-relief building to form Empire Level. The real company, which makes levels, squares, and other tools for the construction trades, is located in Mukwonago. However, unlike its model counterpart, the full-size Empire Level factory isn’t rail-served. Since Ladishfeger Steel Products is also a curtain-wall building,…

3 min
a look back at the mr&t’s heritage fleet

Believe it or not, Model Railroader magazine’s freelanced HO scale railroad, the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy (MR&T), is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2020. During the course of those four-plus decades, the magazine’s staff has enjoyed two model railroads. The first was located at Kalmbach’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters at 1027 North 7th Street. The current layout is in a neatly appointed room at our offices in Waukesha, Wis., a western suburb of Milwaukee. As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the MR&T heritage fleet. Though these locomotives have been around for six years already, they help tell the history of our railroad. In 2005 and 2006, Union Pacific unveiled six full-size locomotives decorated for railroads it merged with. In 2012 Norfolk…