Category Archives: The Trains

Visiting Chicago Museum of Science and Industry / Tranportation

Visited the Museum of Science + Industry, Chicago this past weekend, to see their terrific HO model railroad exhibit, from Chicago through the plains, the rocky mountains, and ending up in Seattle.

I will put shots of the exhibit up in future posts, but this one to one scale Empire State Express greets you at the beginning.

Empire State Express

Closeup of Driver

Empire State Express Driver

Scouting scenes on layout for photography

As a photographer, I am starting to look at sections of the in progress layout to work up into completed photographs of scenes, looking to do this in different weather scenarios, time of day, etc. I will put up several in the next few posts and then later I’ll recall them and the finished photographs.

View across main line and siding to town


Wiring the movable access section part of the town for lighting


Using several kinds of lighting including woodland scenics Just Plug, strips of long reel leds

as well as some 12-16 volt incandescent Veissmann gas lamps.

Wires for town site

Wires for town site

Rigging bus bars and Just Plug light hub to a couple of mini plugs [added later) so the access section can be removed if needed with little trouble.

under the town section wiring in progress

under the town section wiring in progress

Adding details and lighting to highway underpass

Finishing the highway underpass leading out of town. I added led lighting and safety railings, as I have made the sidewalks higher above the road surface.

strip light and connector

self adhesive LED strip light and connector

Here the railings have been added and some random trash added. (might add more later)

almost ready to install

almost ready to install         

View from road under the bridge showing lights, railing and a poster on the wall

Under the bridge

Under the bridge

Will add a wall surface from sidewalk to the Road before installing the underpass



Adding TCS wow sound decoder to Bachmann Heavy Mtn

After receiving my package from Tonys Train exchange, with my DCC system and sound decoder etc,  I started the installation in the Vanderbilt tender which has limited room in width to install a round speaker. So here are some shots following Erik from Tonys Train Exchange advice , using 2 new mini speakers.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange

Amazingly small TCS Wow sound decoder to install in tender

This decoder has many choices of bells, whistles, engine types, all manner of mechanical injectors, pumps, generators, brake squeal, air release as well as light control and great control of the running engine including very slow speed right out of the box.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders

Drilling sound holes on drill press

Holes need to be drilled through the tender bottom to allow the sound exit.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC

Holes drilled for sound and test fitting speaker enclosures

Checking the fit of the mini speaker enclosures.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange

Engine and Vandy tender, showing TCS sound decoder installed, before mounting speakers.

Showing the decoder installed in top of tender with strong double stick (Scotch exterior mounting tape)

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange

2 Supersonic Mini speakers installed in Bachmann C&O Vandy tender bottom

The 2 mini speakers and their enclosures mounted and wired in the tender bottom.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange, Bachmann

Bachmann Heavy Mountain engine with Sound decoder installed, and the sound and control are really terrific.

Engine after install and really pleased with the result, the sound and control.