Category Archives: Hobby Shops

The Mammoth Amherst Railroad Society’s Railroad Show

Just returned from W. Springfield MA from the biggest model train show in the nation. Quite an experience. Over 400,000 square ft of dealers, manufacturers, modular layouts, etc.

Car in the parking lot right where I pulled in. No doubt I was in train land!

The show is in 4 buildings. this is the entrance to one of the four (Mallary Complex)

Mallary Complex

They have some canvas covered walkways between buildings

covered walkway

This is inside showing less than half of the largest building (Better Living Center)

Partial BLC Hall photo

Some of the manufacturers show a model in progress-undecorated.This is a Rapido Pre-production model at their booth

Pre-Production Alco RS11

They also have some special things like this Real 1895 Baldwin steam engine, built for SD Warren Paper Co, that has been restored to full steam operation.

SD Warren-No-2-2Ft gauge

All in all , a very enjoyable weekend

Colorado and visit to Intermountain Railway Co.

Visiting friends in Colorado, I was able to further my ongoing summer visits to full scale and model railroad sites. First was the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley CO, and then the Buenavista model railroad society in Buena Vista CO, both of which I will put up further posts in the near future, but the real unexpected treat was a tour of the

Intermountain Railway Co. the model railroad manufacturer in Longmont CO. Kirk was very gracious in showing the whole operation, from their milling the molds for injection molded parts on their CNC milling machines

CNC milling machine

Small detail parts half mold

Just a few of the many machined molds for various products

To explaining their process and inventory.

Small part of inventory

To talking about their quality control, including a final visual inspection of each and every HO engine and actually running each engine through various track situations. A very impressive commitment to quality, and not releasing anything that is not absolutely right.

Engines ready for inspection

engines in the inspection area

All in all an enjoyable morning and an appreciation of a quality company


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.


Great Scale Model Train Show


Always a treat to attend the GSMTS, in Timonium Md at the Maryland state fair grounds. Held Sat and Sun, Oct 25th & 26th at the 3-1/2 acre Cow Palace. –

Cow Palace @ Timonium

Cow Palace @ Timonium

Some of my favorite dealers to visit,

Crusader Rail servicesScenic Express –  Tichy Train Group, Motrak


Part of Scenic Express Display

Part of Scenic Express Display

Part of Crusader Rail services Display

Sorry Greenway products  was not there as they always have lots of interesting and unusual detail items, and good buys on things like Classic metal works vehicles

Lin’s Junction

Finally went to Lin’s Junction Hobby Shop in Lansdale PA on Saturday to pick up some ribbonrail radius track gauges.
Been wanting to go there after seeing their ads as part of the DC / DCC Dealers Association. Will be going back to switch over to DCC, hopefully in the coming year.
They really seemed to have a good selection of quality items, including the track gauges I was searching for, lots of variety in brands of track available, and as expected, DCC systems, decoders , etc.
Of course there was the mysterious derailment of a train with full size corn cob cargo in their outside display in front of the store. Perhaps full size squirrel intervention!