Large Scale Central


Hey Jon,

EEEEyeah, ya got to have storage for those things that are part of your life. That’s a reason the “Timesaver” has to be so high. Life goes on even when you aren’t working on the railroad.

You know the old George Carlin definition of “stuff”. A place for your nail clippers.

Progress made on construction of space for the switching puzzles in the garage. We are having really great weather here in Southern Illinois. Cold front came through and woke up to 59 degrees this am. This keeps up and another new wall will be growing on the Bluestone Southern.

Needed to pick up more 2 x 4’s for shelving and last night was a gorgeous evening. Lots of progress getting done right now, but its only so the rest of the old house can be get emptied. 42 years in one place, can create an interesting landfill.

All modules are in place. Not quite the right place, but close. Minor leveling and next job is to bring in the corner curve. “Trainmaster” says I can proceed.

Hi, Jan!..(

Looks good Ric.(

OK…I get it …Trainmaster is in the picture to represent that you have 12’ ceilings and the doorways are at 8’ ?

Sell the motorcycle lift and buy more trains! You and Trainmaster can carry the ride on stuff to the RV

About 2013, Jan caught on to the fact that I was taking so many pictures of her for a measurement representation of “5 foot”. It makes scale perspective easier, but she’s not really pleased in most of the pictures. ( ceilings of all the rooms and the garage in the duplex are 9 feet. Had to re-aquaint myself with a more accurate measurement can usually be obtained by measuring down from overhead trusses and rafters, than up from concrete floors.

The motorcycle lift is my portable workbench and my lift to get the 1 1/2 equipment in and out of the vehicles, plus puts things at a great height to work on. Need to add the vice of my old basement workbench. Another minor “to do”. That list just grows and grows.

Got enough done to move on to other projects of moving and stuff inside, until cooler weather.

Had to make a pilgrimage to Harbor Freight. Broke the last working tape measure, time for replinishments and replacements. Found some great small bar clamps to hold the modules together. Just $2 each. When building a traveling modular layout, space and weight becomes a premium. You got to be able to take all the parts. Small progress, but progress. Hot in the Midwest. If you want to work in a west facing garage in July, you do it early morning and then stay out of there.

Haven’t checked in on this thread since before our 11 day odyssey beginning at Tanglewood and ending in the Rocky Mountain National Park (Thanks to John Passaro for suggesting it).

Great looking progress. Did you get your picture issue sorted out? I’ve retired from my Tech job, but staying on at the sign shop. I can help you with sign problems (

All “progress” put on hold as we do some research development in unknown parts of the Country!

Ric, I am sure they are known to somebody.

True, but no by us. Starting “Jan and Ric’s Great Adventure” this morning.

You guys enjoy Fire Island and keep us posted !

1012/2017 - Yesterday was the completion of a major event. The old headquarters of the Kaskaskia Valley Railway was put on the market for sale. There is little left to take apart. The outside trackage is gone with only paths of the old roadbed to show where it ran. Might be able to find a 1:21.4 “rails to trails” program, if there is some grant money available, but won’t hold our breath.


With Doug giving up on the outside railroad and Eric beginning plans for an inside storage and a testing loop railroad, it is interesting to reflect back on our path of model railroading that started in 1996 with our first outside figure 8 in the corner of the backyard. Formal Operations were conducted from November, 2001 until November, 2010 and we had lots of friends travel down those tracks, all the way from the “Fiddle Yard” in the garage to the “Cat Dump Mine” at the end of our driveway. All of this actually became a catalyst for our traveling to many railroads for Ops, the creation of the “Timesaver” that still displays at the ECLSTS each year and so many friends.


So Eric’s sketches and dreams of his indoor test tracks has caused me to reflect back to my original “test tracks” at “Owl’s Bend” in the basement and that’s where I arrived yesterday. That is all that is left of the old KVRwy. If things don’t move fast on the house sale, it will be removed. If they do move fast, it goes with the house. Winter/indoor test tracks really do keep the juices flowing.


Not much progress has been made on the new KVRwy location as travels and collection of inventory of the old KVRwy lines has taken a priority. There was also the little heart maintenance BS, but that’s not even worth talking about. We head south November 1st to work on the 1 1/2 inch ride on stuff at the Ridge Live Steamers for the Winter, so with GOD’s blessings all is well.

This is bittersweet news. For quite a few years I struggled with trying to find a way to make one of your operating sessions as you were the guy that set me down the operations path in a seminar at my first ECLSTS. Our friendship developed from there and more friends from the drag-n-brag crowd were added. That led to our trips to Ottawa to operate on Fred’s IPP&W and then to Bob’s and Stan’s. Since you were the catalyst in this still growing group of friends I feel bad that we never got to see the outdoor version of the Kaskaskia Valley Railway.

Some day we might just be able to get to Andy’s and then visit your new indoor version. By the time that happens I’m sure it will be done (

Thanks for the kind words, Jon. Its all just evolution. You’d think I’d feel sad with taking it all apart, actually I just feel sore.

Ric, how goes it. We moved in 2016 and have gone to building an entirely raised railroad because I was tired of having to spend a week on my hands and knees weeding every time we were going to have guests. Glad to see you online.

Hi Paul,


Things are very good. We are sitting in southern Alabama and plan to cross in to Florida, today. Our travels interrupt the smaller, 1:20.3 scale, versions of our railroad, but it increases the 1.5 ride on version. The “Covid Crap” has caused some isolation that actually allowed me to get a lot of the 1:20.3 progressing forward. I really need to get back in to posting pictures, but now using the excuse of waiting on Bob to update the software. Any excuse.(


All is well here and I hope you show posting of your upgrades.