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    • November 3, 2019 2:03 PM EST
    • Re. the hotel, Jerry and I spoke with Dan last Tuesday. Dan (of Star Hobby) said they were about to solidify things with Embassy Suites in Timonium, just keep checking the web site.


      I just did, and yep, they're confirming ES as the hotel. I just booked a room there, and used the group code ECT, and the rate dropped from $157 to $119. 


      A couple big benefits with ES is the included full breakfast, and free happy hour in the evenings (which include snacks). 


      About the Drag & Brag room. Dan wasn't sounding like he could arrange that himself. He said we could always meet in the big atrium, but that's wide open and public, so I'm thinking we LSC fols try to do a conference room deal like usual.  


      Ric, Bob, Jer, If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.


      BTW, while at the all-scales show last weekend and in the Star Hobby area (one of the only two large scale firms there), I spoke with Dan. Disclaimer: this is not official, just me passing on hear-say, because it's fun. Dan told me which halls they were using, and for those who are familiar with the Cow Palace, there's the smaller center call where you enter, and two enormous halls to the left and right. He said they'd get the center and left halls (not the right-side one). I think he mentioned they'd use the center for vendors, and the left hall for layouts... but that might change as they arrange things.


      From the MD State Fair site: "The Cow Palace is divided into three distinct areas/sections - 24,000 square feet, 62,400 square feet and 72,000 square feet." If the order of those is center-left-right halls, ECLSTS will have 96,000 sf of floor space. 


      I looked up York's Memorial Hall for comparison, where ECLSTS has always been held. It's east (our prior vendor) hall is 28,000 sf, while its west (prior layouts) hall is 29,000 sf. So if I'm guessing / understanding / calculating properly, the new Tim show will have 85% of the prior vendor space (seems ok; it wasn't all used at York), and over 100% more layout space. 


      Again, none of my opinions / comments here are official in any way. But the bottom line, as I see it, is that nothing is being down-sized with the move. There's actually more space, no matter how Star divides it up. And while I really liked the York Wyndham and its rates, the new hotel offers (again, just my opinion) good bang for the buck.





    • October 31, 2019 8:37 AM EDT
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    • October 20, 2019 11:38 AM EDT
    • I should have titled this thread "K4 Steamups" as that's what I have been doing.  Between a long boating trip and other activities, most of my trains hardly moved a wheel.  The K4 was my go-to engine for the big tracks though, and I am slowly figuring out how to use the axle pump.  I also got the oiler to work at last.  For all you worriers - I did run it completely out of water a couple of times, and it has run half-a-dozen days without much steam oil.  No signs of damage - it did run faster once I got the oiler really working!


      Anyway, here's a quick video from yesterday:


    • October 13, 2019 5:22 PM EDT
    • Now that's a steam effect - cool and not very windy in Maryland.



      My K4 and Pennsy coaches, and Dan's coaches passing with Noel's Aster mikado.  That's Dan in the background, and Jerry (Naptowneng) up front.


    • October 6, 2019 10:17 PM EDT
    • Panoramic video of Tom Millers indoor F scale layout

    • September 16, 2019 11:31 AM EDT
    • The building houses more than the railroad.  It is built on a slight slope so there is storage under it  for equipment to maintain the large and still beautifully maintained property.  The 7.5" gauge track still looks great.  From the looks of things I would think there is a full time crew that maintains the property.   Google maps might help.,+OR+97378/@45.3884107,-122.9332247,476m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x54eab3bf266a83c1:0xa2102fc4ac23ba6a!8m2!3d45.0992814!4d-123.3948291

    • September 16, 2019 10:14 AM EDT
    • David, I believe the layout itself is 40 ft by 100 ft so the building would have to be at least over 4,000 sq ft I would think.


    • September 15, 2019 7:29 AM EDT
    • John Passaro said:

         Thanks, Paul.....


         I'm looking at the West Portland album and I'm asking myself, "There has to be something that Tom Miller did or had done for him badly, doesn't there? Really?"


         The entrance to the layout. I'm looking at the arch in the doorway. Nice touch, really nice.


         I'm looking at the sign, the carving, the relief, painted, gilded sign. The green glass spotlight, where do you even find such a lamp? Then I zoomed in and see the details of the painting and carving in the medallion.


        I don't know whether I admire all of this or if I'm insanely jealous ! ? !






      Hell John, I'm trying to figure the size of the building that two story entrance is attached to

    • September 14, 2019 7:47 PM EDT
    • John Caughey said:

      Step back folks, this Foamer is about to erupt!!!!


    • September 14, 2019 5:38 PM EDT
    • Step back folks, this Foamer is about to erupt!!!!

    • September 30, 2019 2:32 PM EDT
    • Congratulations Randy on spreading the infection of live steam model railroading. Good job, on all counts.

    • September 30, 2019 12:30 PM EDT
    • Thanks Guys.


      Yes Pete,  I was very pleased to give your #12 and Baggage #29 their first runs.  They did look great!


      I have been very lucky to acquire many of Pete's fine models as he downsizes and adjusts his collection.  I'm going to try hard to give them a good home and keep them in the pubic eye.  It was a slightly stressful event dealing with the very fresh roadbed that caused one serious derailment and a few near misses.  We kept a few buckets of dirt on hand to repair as needed. It became quite stressful trying to deal with the electrical issue without any volt meter or soldering equipment handy.  A few batteries were taped together, some plugs in the wiring were rerouted and eliminated the toggle switch from the circuit and then some electrical tape removed from solders in the wires so they could be touched to the poles of the cobbled battery pack.  With that done the receiver lit right up and we had confirmation of the culprit. Once I got word that there were no battery holders to be found I decided to re-jump all the connections in the current holder with tin foil.  It turned out to be the first one I jumped.  Big relief!

      Overall I was pretty pleased and so was the groom. Four people that never ran live steam were able to take the controls and a few of them were walking away talking about having to get something.  I hope the urge sticks for them. 

    • September 30, 2019 10:53 AM EDT
    • Looked great Randy. Especially #29 on the rear!

    • September 30, 2019 3:31 AM EDT
    • ha ha. Ya dun good kid...............

    • September 29, 2019 10:36 PM EDT
    • What a great idea for a wedding!

    • September 29, 2019 9:53 PM EDT
    • I am impressed! What a good friend you are for doing this. I did not register you were using live steam (even though you did say RC battery) until the video!



    • September 29, 2019 8:08 PM EDT
    • Yeah Bob,

      I thought it was pretty cool.  The Groom loved it but did admit after he saw what went in to it that it may have been a bit of a crazy idea.  It was my kind of crazy though.


      I just realized I for got the video. My Son took this.  I was so busy running and watching for flaws in the new track work I barley had a chance to get pictures.


    • September 29, 2019 6:49 PM EDT
    • Randy, that would be a first for me. Great photo op and a wonderful wedding gift.

    • September 29, 2019 6:32 PM EDT
    • I think this could be a first, but I am sure it's not that common.  I was asked to set up an run a model railroad with my EBT equipment by my good friend and fellow FEBT Board member.  At first I was a bit skeptical that it could be done.  Once I made a site visit the area was found to be quite level and I decided to give it a shot.


           I told him that I would need a 1/2 yard of top soil delivered Friday afternoon.  The plan was to mow the grass as short as possible along the the new ROW then put down a top soil road bed.  Afterward we would rake out the soil into the grass and hopefully it would settle into the law leaving no evidence at the venue that the railroad nuts had visited.  The picture below shows the newly laid road bed.


      EBT at a Wedding


        We assembled large sections of track on the tables inside the reception pavilion in an effort to not lose as many screws in the dirt during assembly.  We ended up using every piece of track we had and were able to add a freight house spur with an "industrial" spur off of it.  Unfortunately I didn't have any type of structure for the industry, but some spotted hoppers with dead trees around got the point across.


      EBT at a Wedding

      EBT at a Wedding


      The were lots weed along the forest line that were harvested to make trees and shrubs around the scene.  Between 4 and 8pm on Friday we (my self and two other buddies) were able to get the road be laid and 90% of the track down.  Between 9am and 12pm Saturday we got the track finished, structures placed and the trees and shrubs planted.  By 1:15 the realization the the plastic battery holder for my locomotives RC controls had failed and ceased to conduct electricity.  I had tested the loco on my coffee table 5 days prior and not had issues.  At the time the holder was a bit corroded and warped looking but worked fine. Apparently that was it's last gasp.  One of the fellows that helped me set up was sent out to find a replacement holder or some cheap toy that we could break the battery compartment out of to use.  Unfortunately he found nothing in the few options available in this semi rural location. Luckily though I was able to use a piece of tinfoil to jump the bad spot in the pack and we ran without problem all afternoon.


      EBT at a Wedding

      EBT at a Wedding


      Here is the Groom having his got at the controls of live steam for the first time.


      EBT at a Wedding


      All the guests loved the set up and lots of great conversation and questions ensued.  Tear down started around 9 and went well.  We scooped out the road bed with 5 gallon buckets tossed it in the woods and raked out the remains in to the grass by car headlight. We were on our way home by 11pm.