The Rip Track Podcast

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The Rip Track Podcast is an audio show that includes segments on railroad history, news, model railroad tips, reviews and almost anything else that has to do with prototype and/or model railroading. The first episode was uploaded on May 2, 2009. To subscribe to this podcast, point your podcatcher at the RSS RSS feed. The podcast is also listed in the iTunes Store. Check back here or on the Rip Track home page for the newest episodes as they are uploaded. How you can help: Producing a podcast takes a lot of time and resources. While I had originally planned to work on this as a primarily solo venture, I realize that I just don't have the time or money to add everything that I want to add. If you'd like to help with the production (you'd get full credit for the parts I use in the show that you helped on), here are some things that you can do to add value and get your name out:


Podcast: Episode 1

Here it is, the first episode of The Rip Track Podcast. In this show I discuss NTSB recommendations R-09-1 through -5 that have to do with uniform railroad signaling, I list a number of significant events in railroad history that occurred in May throughout the years, offer an excerpt from the Conversations About Photography conference sponsored by the Center for Rail Photography and Art, and I close with a Modeler's Moment describing one way to save some money on your model railroad purchases.

Don Sims Don Sims begins his lecture.

Mark HemphillMark Hemphill points out a location discussed in his lecture.
Both photos by Hank Koshollek.

Links to information mentioned in the show:

Listen to Episode 1

Podcast: Episode 2

We continue the show with episode 2. In this episode, we take a look at some interesting railroad junctions, some small rail-served industries and their modeling potential, and we hear a story about a newly hired switchman on his first trip to a distant yard for an assignment.

View Larger Map
View Larger Map

Segments in this episode:

Listen to Episode 2

Podcast: Episode 3 - all about railfanning

Railfans out railfanning.Railfanning near Prairie du Chien, WI, in 2004.

With this episode, things are falling into place and the show is officially fully established. First we hear an excerpt from the Conversations About Photography Conference where Stuart Klipper tells us about some of his inspirations for railroad photography. Then we go over a checklist to ensure that railfanning trips go well. In our Modeler's Moment, we discuss how to use railfanning as a model railroading tool, and finally, there's a little shameless self-promotion to finish off the episode.

Until next time, happy modeling!

Listen to Episode 3

Podcast: Episode 4 - locomotives and elevateds and junctions, oh my!

John Bull in 1893John Bull, train and crew in 1893. Photograph by Will P. Cook from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

In this episode, we take a look through history for the bulk of the content. We start with a "biography" of one named steam locomotive that operated in the United States during the early days of railroading, and that you can still go see today. We follow that with a 1904 Edison recording called "Interrupted Courtship on the Elevated Railway", and then another excerpt from Randy Garnhardt's clinic "Interesting Junctions." In the Modeler's Moment, we review a few techniques to keep your model railroad locomotives operating well.

Cleaning diesel wheels

Cleaning the wheels on a diesel locomotive.

Cleaning drivers

Cleaning the drivers on a steam locomotive.

Cleaning tender wheels

Cleaning the tender wheels on a steam locomotive.


Listen to Episode 4

Podcast: Episode 5 - running trains and delivering coal

Operating a model railroadModel railroaders at an operating session.

Okay, so this is a day and a half later than the schedule that the first four episodes have followed.  Well, here it is anyways.  First we hear a narration from a model railroad operating session, then we hear an 1899 musical recording describing one sad passenger train ride.  We continue with an excerpt from Jerry Pfeiffer's industry and freight cars clinic where he discusses coal deliveries in the Midwest.  Finally, in the Modeler's Moment, we look at some model railroad uses for items that you might otherwise throw away.

Former CNW coal hoppers in Madison in 2008Former C&NW coal hoppers, cars now owned by Indiana Railroad, delivered to the municipal power plant in Madison, WI, in 2008.


Until next time, happy modeling.

Listen to Episode 5

Podcast: Episode 6 - speed demons

No. 999 on display in ChicagoNew York Central No. 999 on display in Chicago.

For this episode, we'll take a look at the progression of speed records set by steam locomotives for various railways around the world.  In the Modeler's Moment, we discuss a quick and easy way to improve the appearance of the track on our layouts.  We close with a quick recap of updates to The Rip Track website.

Until next time, Happy Modeling!

Listen to Episode 6

Podcast: Episode 7 - The "Father of Railways", two junctions and selective compression

Selective compression applied to a model building.A model of the Compressed Manufacturing Company in HO scale.

Never more than a day late, here's the next episode of the Rip Track Podast.  In this episode, we take a look at the life of George Stephenson, "The Father of Railways."  Then we hear the final installment of Randy Garnhardt's discussion of interesting juctions with a look at Clinton, Iowa, and Nelson, Illinois.  Finally, the Modeler's Moment describes the princile of selective compression as it is applied to model railroads.


Clinton, Iowa - View Larger Map
Nelson, Illinois - View Larger Map

Until next time, happy modeling!


Listen to Episode 7

Podcast: Episode 8 - Daylights, porters and passenger train consists

4449 in Sturtevant, WI, on August 2, 2009Southern Pacific 4449 running past the former Sturtevant, Wisconsin, depot on August 2, 2009.

Today on the podcast, we're going to take a look at the history of Southern Pacific 4449 and some of the trains it has pulled.  We'll also hear a song about some "difficult" passengers that porters have to deal with.  After that, we'll talk a little bit more about passenger trains and how you can model them.  So, all aboard!

Listen to episode 8

Podcast: Episode 9 - A couple of railway labor unions and model railroad jobs

An engineerAn engineer on the Riverside & Great Northern Railway in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

It's Labor Day weekend here in the United States, so in this episode we'll look at some railroad labor unions and discuss some of the jobs in model railroad operations.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen history

 Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters history

Modeler's Moment: model railroad operating session jobs

Podcast housecleaning and end notes

Sources for historical information in this episode


Listen to Episode 9

Podcast: Episode 10 - Model railroad tips from show exhibitors

People installed on an HO scale moduleSome people installed on an HO scale module.

For this episode of the podcast, we're going to focus on model railroading and save the prototype history and data for a later show.  It's October, and now that the days are getting colder and the nights longer, that means that model railroad season is well under way in North America.  Model railroaders are home from summer vacations and are getting together to build, operate and just talk about their layouts with each other.  Also, model railroad shows are increasing in frequency as we head toward the end of the calendar year.  Last week I spent some time asking exhibitors at the Green County Model Railroad Club's annual model railroad show here in Wisconsin for their favorite model railroading tips.

Tips from exhibiting model railroaders:


Listen to Episode 10

Podcast: Episode 11.1 - Announcements from Trainfest, part 1

preproduction SD70ACe locomotive from AthearnThere are three major model railroad shows in North America that have become known in the hobby as shows where many manufacturers announce and debut new products: the National Train Show held in conjunction with the NMRA's national convention, the International Hobby Expo held every October in Chicago, and Trainfest held every November in Milwaukee.  Last weekend, I went to Trainfest and recorded quick interviews with as many manufacturers as I could to find out what we can expect from them this model railroad year.  I was able to talk to so many different companies that each had so much to say that Episode 11 is the first mulitpart episode of The Rip Track Podcast.  We'll hear from several manufacturers in each part of this episode, and each part will have photos and links in the show notes that relate to the announcements that were mentioned therein. 


Exhibitors interviewed for this part of Episode 11:

Listen to Episode 11 Part 1

Podcast: Episode 11.2 - More announcements from Trainfest

N and HO scale covered hoppers from North American Railcar CorporationIn part 1 of this episode we heard from a few manufacturers who were showing new products at Trainfest 2009.  It's time to pick up where we left off, so let's jump right in and hear from some more manufacturers.

Listen to Episode 11 Part 2

Podcast: Episode 11.3 - Finishing off the announcements from Trainfest

Leslie Eaton demonstrating Iwata airbrushes

This took a little longer than expected to get online (previous posts on The Rip Track home page have all the details), but here it is.  In this part, we'll finish hearing from the manufacturers that were showing their products at Trainfest 2009.  So, without further ado, let's get back to the show floor.

Listen to Episode 11 Part 3

Podcast: Episode 12 - Snow Train, Chicago Railroad Fair and building a freight car fleet

Cover of the 1948 Chicago Railroad Fair's Official Guide BookWe start this episode with a look at the preparations for the Snow Train at Mid-Continent Railway Museum.  Then, we review the legacy of the "last great railroad fair" which occurred in 1948 and 1949.  Finally, in the Modeler's Moment, we discuss tips and strategies for building a prototypical freight car fleet on a model railroad.

Listen to Episode 12

Podcast: Episode 13 - 2010 National Train Show announcements

The HO scale layout built by Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.The National Train Show was held in July 2010 in conjunction with the National Model Railroad Association's 75th annual convention.  This year I was able to talk to many of the manufacturers at the show and got some audio for everyone to hear with their new announcements.  Unlike the Trainfest episode last year, this episode has all of the audio in one long chunk.  This episode is about 5 times longer than usual, but here it is.

NOTE: The show notes are not yet complete.  I will be updating this page with links and photos as I am able, but this way you get to hear all of the announcements while they are still fresh.

2010 National Train Show announcements (companies are listed in alphabetical order):

Andy Fletcher's Custom Trains
  • Color drawings of North American railroad equipment
 Andy Fletcher at his booth with his art

 O scale California Zephyr dome car from Atlas O scale rolling stock from Atlas

Bachmann    N scale Peter Witt streetcar from BachmannHO scale turntable and roundhouse from BachmannN scale steam locomotives by Bachmann
Badger Airbrush    One of the airbrushes on display by Badger Airbrush
Bar Mills Scale Model Works
  • Laser-cut structure kits in N through O scales
  • A selection of kits from Bar Mills Scale Model Works
BLMA   Norfolk Southern "Top Gon" cars by BLMA
City Classics  HO scale city structures from City Classics
CVP Products    
DCC Uncoupling
  • DCC-controlled uncoupler systems within HO scale freight cars
 Remote controlled uncoupling by DCC Uncoupling
Deluxe Innovations    Preproduction N scale "ReachStacker" by Deluxe Innovations
ESU - Loksound  
ExactRail    An HO scale L&N box car from ExactRail
GC Laser    "Cube" structure system from GC LaserStock loading ramps in various scales by GC Laser
Gorilla Glue  
Imagine That Laser Art
  • Merchandise Mart elevated station
  • LeWow building
  • Round stock laser cutting, smokestacks, etc.
  • Wood flat car decks
 HO scale flat car deck by Imagine That Laser Art
  • HO scale resistor wheelsets
Kadee Quality Products    HO scale equalized trucks from KadeeCouplers in many scales by Kadee Quality Products
Kato USA   N scale city structures, street tracks and streetcars from KatoCustom repainted HO scale BNSF locomotive by Kato
Lenz Elektronik, GmbH  
Lunde Studios   The display diorama from Lunde Studios
Mianne Benchwork    Modular benchwork components by Mianne Benchwork
Micro-Trains Line   N scale Pullman car by Micro-Trains Line
Model Railroad News    A recent issue of Model Railroad News
MTH Electric Trains    HO scale Union Pacific 2-8-2 locomotive from MTH
NCE    Cab 06r by NCE
Oregon Rail Supply Signal bridges from Oregon Rail Supply
  • Aerosol adapter for paint and adhesives
Rapido Trains    An HO scale Osgood-Bradley car by Rapido
Sidetrack Laser    A logging industry by Sidetrack Laser
SJ Models

1:16 scale UP Big Boy by SJ Models

Tangent Scale Models    HO scale Union Pacific hoppers by Tangent Scale Models
True-Line Trains    HO scale Canadian National covered hopper from True-Line Trains
  • Going out of business in April 2011 so the owner can retire
Wheels of Time  
Wm K. Walthers The preview model of LAUPT by WalthersA new barn kit from Walthers


Listen to episode 13

Podcast: Episode 14 - Announcements from Trainfest 2011

Kids enjoying the Lionel layout at TrainfestYes, it has been a while, but it's time to get this podcast back on the mainline.  So here it is, the next podcast episode full of model railroad announcements from Trainfest 2011!

The manufacturers are listed below and presented in the podcast episode in the order that I talked to them.  Their order in the podcast is not meant to indicate any preference for one manufacturer over another.  While I was collecting the audio for this podcast episode, I was given a sample of the PanPastel product for review; I will work on writing a more complete review for posting at a later date.

Grand Rails 2012

  • 7.5 inch gauge White Creek Railroad operations
  • HO scale Sunset Valley Railroad
  • self-guided tours to about 70 more model railroads
  • about 13 more bused model railroad tours or 7-hour limo tour to 6 layouts
  • Side Tracks for non-model railroad themed tours and clinics


  • N scale Trinity 64' refrigerator car; release around New Year
  • all new N scale cars will include Micro-Trains couplers
  • HO scale Pullman-Standard 5344 box car; MN&S, RI, BAR, MILW, Sandersville, TM; six numbers each; available in December
  • third release of HO scale Trinity 6275 FBOX box car in 18 new numbers
  • HO scale B&O wagontop box car; six liveries
  • HO scale Evans 5277 box car; RailBox, Louisiana Midland, Rock, BN, LEF&C; six numbers each
  • HO scale Thrall 2244 gondola; 15 panels; Rock, DT&I, CNW, CR; six numbers each; January release
 HO scale gondolas from ExactRailHO scale wagontop box cars from ExactRailN scale refrigerator car from ExactRailHO scale 5344 box cars from ExactRail

Phoenix Unlimited

  • model railroad XL lubricants
  • precision needle oiler cap
  • plastic and factory-paint safe
  • many viscosities available
  • synthetic oil, some conductive or penetrating
  • 10-year shelf life
 XL Lubricants booth


  • N scale Metra trainsets; locomotive, cab car and two coaches; single coach available separately; additional cab cars for future release (packaging and sets are yet to be determined)
  • HO scale GE AC4400; UP, BNSF, CP; modeler-installed handrails
  • HO scale SD9043MAC; UP, CP, Indiana Railroad; due in March 2012
  • HO scale Gunderson Maxi-4 cars; Pacer, AOK; due in March 2012; does not include containers
  • HO scale container well car 2-packs; BNSF, DTTX
  • N scale Gunderson Maxi-1 cars; TTX with APL containers; due in March 2012
  • all Maxi stack cars made with metal/plastic mixture for better car weight in operation
  • containers have magnets installed and locking pins to keep them together on the car
 N scale Metra loco and cars from Kato

Motrak Models

  • HO scale Consolidated Auto Parts Company structure; shipping December 15, 2011
  • HO scale Bisgeier Tool Company structure; due January 1, 2012
  • many HO scale freight car loads; N scale loads under clearance and not available after January 1, 2012
  • HO scale retaining walls, stone arch bridges
 HO scale structure from Motrak ModelsHO scale MOW shed from Motrak ModelsHO scale loads from Motrak Models

Bluford Shops

  • N scale cabooses; MP bay window, four other transfer cabooses; road names TBA; due in 2012

Spring Mills Depot

  • HO scale B&O/Chessie/CSX Canstock boxcar; four versions; prototype-appropriate details for each era
  • Future releases will probably be in the late 1960s era, but not ready to announce what car is the next project

TrainCat Model Sales

  • N scale fire tower structure
  • N scale aggregate conveyer and unloader structures
  • N scale elctrical substation structure; insulator details available separately
  • N scale B&O 2- and 4-track signal bridges
  • HO scale B&O 4-track signal bridge
  • N scale B&O mast signals
  • more announcements to be made at the Springfield show
 N scale aggregate unloader from TrainCatN scale substation from TrainCat


  • pastel weathering colors; cake of pastel pigment in a pan; instant-use pigments; can blend colors; color does not disappear under clear coat; can be erased before the clear coat if it needs to be changed
  • applied with dense sponge tools; several shapes and sizes available; washes with soap and water; can use stiff-bristled sable brush
 The results of weathering with PanPastelThe tools and sample results for PanPastel


  • infrared train detectors; not affected by room lights
  • can be placed between the rails or across the track
  • works with all control systems; do not need to modify rolling stock
  • operates on 9-15 volts AC or DC
 Across the track infrared detection by AzatraxInfrared train detector mounted between the ties

JAM Solutions

  • HO and N scale Stealth Track Cleaner; can mount under locomotives
  • scrap metal load materials for custom loads; milling machine chips specifically made for this product and not from floor scraps; aluminum and steel available; can be painted
  • model railroad fascia control panel box; metal box, polycarbonate cover
  • custom model railroad construction
 Scrap metal loads from JAM SolutionsHO scale Stealth Track Cleaner from JAM Solutions

Ross Custom Switches

  • Hi-rail and tinplate track and switches
  • O72 #4 turnout matches the footprint of Lionel's switch
  • O72 wye switch in development
  • O54 switch in planning
  • hi-rail turntable
 Switches from Ross Custom SwitchesSpecialized switches from Ross Custom SwitchesTurntable from Ross Custom Switches

Fox Valley Models

  • N scale Milwaukee Road rib-side cabooses; due in January 2012
  • HO and N scale express cars
  • N scale Milwaukee Road 50' rib-side single door box cars in development
  • more Hiawatha schemes and cars in development
Milwaukee Road cabooses from Fox Valley Models 

Deluxe Innovations

  • company headquarters damaged by hurricane Irene; company now located in Midland Park, NJ; production now resuming
  • N scale Gunderson Maxi-4 cars; six roadnames
  • N scale woodchip gondolas; UP, WP, SOU, MILW, CN and unlettered (black) with data
  • N scale containers; Dole (5-pack), ITEL (2-pack)
  • N scale 48' containers; NYK Transamerica, BN America, CN Laser Intermodal
  • N scale container chassis; Hanjin, Maersk/Sealand, APL, Hyundai
  • N scale 20' corrugated containers; Evergreen, Max, Genstar, Cast
 N scale Maxi-4 cars from Deluxe InnovationsN scale woodchip hoppers from Deluxe InnovationsN scale container chassis and 20' containers from Deluxe

  • HO scale Speedrail interurban car; available in December 2011
  • HO scale MER&L public service building
  • HO scale transmission power line structures
 HO scale transmission towers and streetcar from Milwaukee SpeedrailHO scale public service building from Milwaukee Speedrail

InterMountain Railway Company

  • N scale R-70-20 refrigerator car; original 1969 and revised 1995 versions
 N scale refrigerator cars from InterMountain

Model Builders Supply

  • 1:200 to 1" scale plastic pattern sheets; brick and stone patterns
  • tree kits and foliage materials; tree armatures; foliage mats; hedges
  • N to O scale architectural model supplies

Con-Cor Trains

  • HO scale Electroliner; new sound decoder that can fit on the first run too
  • HO and N scale Zephyr; twin-headlight style
  • HO scale New Haven Comet; shipping late January or early February 2012
  • HO scale PRR MP54 commuter car; expected in mid-February 2012; multiple liveries, both powered and unpowered
  • HO scale branchline commuter-suburban car; Royal American Shows, Rio Grande, Southern Crescent, Daylight; expected December 2011
  • Christmas cars shipping in early December
 HO scale MP54 from Con-CorHO scale Zephyr from Con-Cor

Wheels Of Time

  • Wheels Of Time Limited; HO and N scale 35' Sealand containers and chassis
  • N scale PC90 PiggyPacker; due December 2011
  • N scale buses; CTA and LA Transit Lines
  • N scale 70 baggage express cars; expected Spring 2012; preorders now
 N scale buses and HO scale containers from Wheels of TimeN scale PiggyPacker from Wheels Of Time

NCE Corporation

  • CAB06P and CAB06Pr throttles; shipping began November 11, 2011
  • new Throttlebus panels; use CAT-5 cables
  • D13SRJ decoder 10-pack
  • software upgrades for PowerCab and PowerPro systems
 The NCE booth

Atlas Model Railroad Company

  • HO and N scale 42' steel coil car
  • HO and N scale 85' trash flat car with 20' waste containers
  • N scale Middlesex Manufacturing structure
  • more announcements planned for the Springfield show

Woodland Scenics

  • O scale structures
  • cactus and palm trees; fruit and flowering trees
  • demo kits and sample packs
  • TidyTrack track and locomotive wheel cleaning tools; due in February 2012
 Live scenery demo at the Woodland Scenics boothTidyTrack demo at the Woodland Scenics booth

Blackstone Models

  • HOn3 scale K-27 locomotive third release; available weathered or unweathered
  • HOn3 scale C-19 locomotive second release
  • HOn3 scale narrow-frame tank cars; CYCX and UTLX
  • HOn3 scale passenger cars second release
  • HOn3 scale stock cars; six new numbers
  • HOn3 scale box cars; six new numbers
  • HOn3 scale EBT 3-bay hopper
 HOn3 rolling stock from Blackstone ModelsHOn3 locomotive from Blackstone ModelsHOn3 coach from Blackstone ModelsHOn3 hopper from Blackstone Models


  • new diesel sound files; 567 turbo, dual 567, modern GE, U50; all now shipping
  • SurroundTraxx system now shipping
  • lighting decoders; coach light decoder designed for Blackstone coaches, caboose light decoder designed for Blackstone caboose

Lionel Trains

  • Santa Fe 3751 and 3759 rerelease; features whistle steam
  • Mallet locomotives; features whistle steam
  • Lincoln train
  • expanded American Flyer line
  • S scale Challenger locomotives; GN, UP; now shipping
  • S scale U33C; many roadnames
 Santa Fe 3751 from LionelThe Lionel booth


  • SoundValue; new and improved sound decoders
  • new packaging highlights DCC equipped products
  • enhanced detail in all new products; better hidden weights
  • N scale Northeastern steel caboose
  • HO scale Schnabel car; 16 axles
  • N scale RS-3
  • all N scale products now include operating knuckle couplers
  • updated N scale doodlebug in Spectrum line with DCC decoder
  • N scale USRA 2-10-2 with DCC; six roadnames
  • N scale tank cars
  • On30 scale 14-ton 2-truck Heisler; shipping soon
  • On30 scale log skidder
  • Williams 4-6-0 locomotives; four roadnames
  • large scale brass track; improved rail joiners; UV-protection built in to the ties
  • plug-and-play system for sound and DCC decoders in HO and On30 rolling stock
  • new products designed with adding decoders and new features in mind even if they are purchased without extra features
 N scale 2-10-2 locomotives from BachmannN scale cabooses from BachmannOn30 Heisler from Bachmann


  • HO scale SP C-50-7 bay window caboose; operating marker and interior lights with a lighting decoder for DCC
  • HO scale GP7, GP9
  • HO scale SD70ACe third release; CSX, UP MKT heritage, Ferromex, MRL
  • HO scale MT4 with skyline casing; expected in Q1 2012
  • many new liveries on existing products
  • HO scale rotary snowplow now with F7B tender to replace the steam tender in previous releases
  • HO scale 2-8-0
  • HO scale DD40; expected Q2 2012; sound equipped locomotives will have a separate sound decoder for each motor
 HO scale DD40 from AthearnHO scale GP9 from AthearnHO scale SD70ACe locomotives from Athearn

MTH Electric Trains

  • HO scale RDG Alco FA-2
  • HO scale Milwaukee Road Bipolar
  • HO scale GG-1; due in January 2012
  • electric locomotives feature directional motorized pantographs
  • HO scale train sets that include sound decoders

GC Laser

  • HO scale backdrop flats
  • HO scale six-story buildings
  • HO scale farm house
  • HO scale angled backdrop building
 HO scale farm house from GC LaserHO scale backdrop flats from GC LaserHO scale angled backdrop building from GC Laser

Wm. K. Walthers, Inc.

  • HO scale Broadway Limited; all cars in stock, E7 locomotives soon
  • HO scale El Capitan; preproduction samples shown
  • HO scale interlocking towers; PRR, ATSF; sneak peek samples shown
 HO scale Broadway Limited from WalthersHO scale El Capitan from WalthersHO scale interlocking tower from Walthers


Listen to episode 14

Podcast: Episode 15 - Barstow, Waupaca and Railsplitter 2012

The observation end of the Grand Canyon Railroad train at the Grand CanyonIn this episode, we visit the Barstow Harvey House, the preserved Waupaca Depot, and do a quick recap of the 2012 MWR NMRA convention.

Barstow, California, Harvey House

The track side of the restored Barstow Harvey HouseI talked with Joseph Hisquierdo, Director of Public Relations of the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce in November 2011.  The Chamber maintains its offices within the restored Harvey House building, and the Chamber's website has information on visiting and using the space for private events.

Book recommendation: Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time (associate link, provides a commission for The Rip Track)

The restored formal dining room at the Barstow Harvey HouseThe lunch counter room at the Barstow Harvey House

Waupaca, Wisconsin, Depot

The station sign at WaupacaI talked with Mike Kirk in June 2011 about the depot restoration.  A number of photos of the restoration work are in his Flickr photostream.  The Waupaca Historical Society also has more information about the depot.

One of the bricks was left with the black patina from before sandblasting to show the contrast

Midwest Region NMRA conventions

RailSplitter 2012 was held on the weekend of March 8-11, 2012, in Springfield, Illinois, hosted by the Illinois Valley Division.  The 2013 convention, titled Milepost 50, will be hosted by the Central Indiana Division on the weekend of May 2-5, 2013.  Links for the 2013 and 2014 conventions are not yet available but will be accessible through the Midwest Region website's future conventions page.

Railfanning across the Western United States

In this podcast episode, I give a quick itinerary of my trip across the Western half of the United States from last November.  Here are a few photos from the trip.

The former Milwaukee Road bridge across the Grand River in South DakotaBNSF trains meet at Orin, WyomingA westbound UP train at Cajon Pass summitAn eastbound BNSF train at Cajon siding on Cajon PassA preserved Santa Fe Railroad switcher at the Barstow railroad museum, adjacent to the Harvey HouseEastbound BNSF trains being readied and departing BarstowA dome car operated by Grand Canyon RailwayThe restored Santa Fe Railroad depot at the Grand CanyonThe westbound Amtrak Chief in New Mexico, northwest of AlbuquerqueA preserved former Santa Fe Railroad steam locomotive in Kinsey, KansasKansas & Oklahoma Railroad switching the grain elevators in Larned, Kansas

The steam locomotive we found on static dipslay was in Kinsey, Kansas.  I didn't mention it in the episode, but we did get to have lunch at another restored Harvey House, the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon (above and behind the station in the photo above).

Additional credits

Music for this episode, used with permission, was performed by Harmonious Wail.  The specific track used was "I Found a New Baby" from their 2010 album "The Vegan Zombie's Lament."

Listen to episode 15