Western Pacific Runs Over HPRR Track

David Dodds, modeler, Highland Pacific Railroad

David Dodds, modeler, Highland Pacific Railroad

odeler Marc Thrasher shared two photos of Western Pacific locos crossing over Boggs Bridge. Dave Dodds is the modeler of this fallen flag. 

Trains were running according to  Highland Pacific Railroad recently released Timetable No. 9. The timetable updates the realities of running trains over certain sections of the layout, accounts for full freight yards, and "builds in time" and makes allowances for difficulties in making up some trains in certain yards. 

Come down and join the fun. Next full-layout timetable operating session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, 2017. We start operating at 7 pm.  Be there or be square.


Beer Trains Coming Soon

A Czech entrepreneur is planning to bring his passions for model railroads and beer to the United States. Order a pint of beer and your drink is served by a model freight train arriving at your table. 

Petr Fridrich came up with the concept in the Czech city of Brno in 2009. "I used to be a collector of engines, train models. It combines business with a hobby," he said. Plans are being finalized for a new location in Chicago. This time plans include a craft brewery on site.

Perhaps Marc Thrasher's beer train that runs on HPRR trackage can be converted to serve a cold one to the engineer cabs.

Read more here: Beer Trains Coming Soon


Bill Chappell Takes First Place in Levity

Bill Chappell with his first-place, whimsical caboose.

Bill Chappell with his first-place, whimsical caboose.

Bill Chappell, a funny guy in his own right, does it again! Bill's humorous rail car "Does your train of thought have a caboose?" has won a first place Levity Award at the 2017 Pacific Coast Region convention held in Bakersfield.

Bill's car started out as a high-cube boxcar to which he added numerous detail parts to convert the boxcar into a "caboose." The car includes interior lighting, scale windows, side doors, rear porch, and marker lights. 

You may also remember this car won an award at the LA Division meet in Culver City last September at the Pacific Southwest Region convention.. 

Congratulation to our General Superintendent!


Santa Fe Service to Carlsbad Caverns Rolls Again

Modeler Jerry Duncan has created the late Cavern, a train of the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe. In the later years the Cavern consisted of a locomotive, often an Alco PA, a baggage car, and an observation car. The train ran from Clovis to Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Here, Jerry's Cavern leaves Vista Yard on its way to the passenger yard for servicing and eventual assignment.

First night sets new records

Dave Dodds, Modeler

Dave Dodds, Modeler

Tonight was the first night of our 68th Annual Open House. A full crew of cab engineers, yard operators, panel operators, and members working the extra board. In attendance were: Ron Merkel, Pat Keegan, Dave Flynn, Marc Thrasher, Bruce Thomas, Steve Smith Sr. (also working a Open House Chief), Pete DeBeers, James Keena, Lindsay Smith, Bryan Hunnell, Jerry Duncan, Bill Chappell, and Arie Korporaal

Day 2 and Day 3 of the 2016 version of the Open House are this weekend, November 5 and 6, noon to 5 pm both days. So only two more days left; pick one and come on down!

James was here!

Click to enlarge

James, favorite pal of Thomas, made a trip around the layout at tonight's club meeting. Engineer Steve Smith Jr. guided the English locomotive. James was designed and built at Horwich Works in 1912/13. He was an experiment of the 28 class.

Toby, running last, provided helper service on the grades between Bayshore and Highland. Toby is a GER C53 steam tram who came to Sodor after his tramway closed down. He works on Thomas' Branch Line. 

You never know what you will see running over the Highland Pacific Railroad tracks. 

Thomas and friends will move on to the Orange Empire Railway Museum for a two=-day stint on the same weekend as ourOpen House. 

We Are on the PSR Layout Tour!

Later this week the LA Junction Convention of the Pacific Southwest Region of the National Model Railroad Association gets under way in Culver City. You can check the details at the PSR Web site  One activity of the convention will be a layout tour on Saturday, September 24th.  Our layout is on the tour.  Here’s the schedule for Saturday:

10:30 AM to Noon - PSR Layout tour
Noon to 4 PM - Special Timetable Operations

Seventeen (count ‘em) Highland Pacific Railroad members are needed for a full operating session. You are needed to serve as crew for one of the following positions:

  • Trainmaster
  • Dispatcher
  • 5 Mainline Cabs
  • 2 Conductor/Switchman for assisting mainline trains
  • Vista Yard Operator
  • West End Yard Operator
  • Bayshore Harbor Operator
  • Delmar Passenger Terminal Operator
  • Roundhouse/Diesel Shop Hosteler
  • Doreing Local
  • Blue Island Local
  • Pinehurst Local

We will also need club personnel to shower, clean up, and act as hosts for our guests.See you at the club at 10 AM this Saturday. We need to straighten out the front room and make the place presentable just like you.

Let’s have a good show.


Pacific Southwest Region/NMRA Convention September 21-25

Bill Chappell, Modeler

Bill Chappell, Modeler

Bill Chappell, General Superintendent, has built this whimsical caboose. Bill intends to enter his scratchbuilt, lighted,  and detailed "caboose" in the upcoming PSR Convention in Culver City at the end of the month. 

The LA Junction, PSR Convention runs from September 21–25, 2016 at the DoubleTree Hotel Los Angeles–Westside. For details information on convention facilities, visit the website 2016 PSR/NMRA Regional Convention on the web. Our own James Keena is a member of the convention planning committee.

Speaking of which, James will be giving two clinics at  the convention on Friday, September 23rd.  The first clinic at 4 PM is where he will present tips and techniques on Weathering Flat Cars and Gondolas (Part 1). And if you haven't gotten your fill of flat cars by then, James will offer Part 2 of the clinic, Building Loads for Flat Cars and Gondolas (Part 2), this time at 6:30 p.m. That could turn out to be a nice way to spend a Friday evening. Compare that to watching reruns of Lockup on TV.

You can register for the convention online this year. Registration can be mailed (forms are at the club) or you can register onsite. See you there.