Motive Power on the box file layout


I had previously mentioned my attempts to order a Peckett from Hornby US with no success. Technically I guess I still have one on pre-order, who knows if anything will come of it. In the mean time I found one on an internet auction site so now I have this:

The cement hopper is provided for size reference, as it’s one of the smaller cars you’d find on an US themed modern layout. That is to say a Peckett is small, though very highly detailed. I was surprised how intricate the details are and even more surprised with how heavy it is.

It should come as no surprise a decoder for this little thing is even smaller. This isn’t the official Hornby decoder, it’s a TCS M1 which is actually smaller. The reason I went with it is because it’s much easier to get ahold of. Surprisingly this was probably one of the easiest decoder installs other than the drop in type. This is likely because there is no lighting to worry about.

I took a video of it on a test run under DCC power… unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of track to test it on but what I did it was working like a champ.

Not a Weekend Update


It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and it’s not a weekend and also not a specific topic so I’ve decided to be a little cheeky.

Primarily I’ve just been too busy with kids activities and work. At the end of August and beginning of September my wife and I had a trip to the UK. We didn’t really see much train related stuff because I more paying for it than planning it 🙂

There were a few things that were tangentially train related that I also managed to get pictures of (and a bunch of things I couldn’t/didn’t for various reasons). To start if off we were in Oxford briefly (on our way to Highclere Castle which was cool) and as we were walking to Christ Church College (which was also cool) I saw a sign for Pembroke Square which made me think of Pembroke:87.


We took a train from Edinburgh to London and there was plenty of cool rail infrastructure and trains but where I was seated couldn’t really take any pictures but one day in London I looked up and saw a “CANADIAN PACIFIC” and I thought that was pretty cool.


The only other train related pictures from that vacation are of Waverly and Kings Cross station.

I’ll also included this picture because I think it is one of the best ones I took, and this was just a quick shot with my phone.


In more local news I got a SD40-2 I ordered back in January. This one is a rivet counter EMD Leasing unit. Unfortunately like my last SD40-2 this one also arrived in not perfect condition.


I was able to get the truck re-attached fine and it seems to run well. It’s a DCC ready one so I added a LokPilot 4.0 decoder to try and get all the lighting effects possible without having to pay for sound. I’ve got the colored class lights working which is pretty cool but have yet to get the strobe light to turn on at all yet.

It would be nice if the cool lighting effects were available on the operator edition because I don’t really need all the easily breakable detail pieces (like the ones I broke trying to get the shell open to fix it and install the decoder) but I guess we can’t have everything.

In other news Jeremy Dummler’s WordPress blog was compromised and he basically lost the content of his blog. He has a new blog setup at so check it out if you were following his blog before and hadn’t heard… or just check it out if you are looking for a good model railroading blog.

Some non-train model building



One of the things I want to teach my kids about modeling in general is that the fun in the hobby is not buying stuff it’s the building stuff. So one of my oldest’s (Luke, 10) Christmas presents was a Revell kit of a Camaro ZL1.


This model was a pretty good starter for him, there were some parts that could be painted (different engine components etc, the body was already painted) but we opted not to this time around.

Fun was had, we spent a couple hours together, and Luke ended up with a cool model and a little brother that thought it was pretty cool he built a car. I foresee more of these models in my future and some of the glue-less snap together models for Jacob (5).



A Birthday Present/Something Different


I have a good friend who had a birthday this week and I wanted to do something a bit fun. The back story is I own a truck and I’ve helped him move large objects, particularly landscaping dirt and rock. So I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to get him his own truck for his birthday?


With those wheels and suspension lift it might be a little difficult to shovel dirt in and out but it is guaranteed for life! But naturally as a modeller I couldn’t just leave it as is. Now I’m not talking about weathering, I mean with a paint job that loud you are pretty much required to keep it clean. But how about a load of dirt.


This is something in my box of scenic “stuffs” that’s no longer in its original container and I’m not entirely sure what I got it for. I believe it to be woodland scenics ho scale coal which in a pinch and a little scenic cement will substitute nicely for 1:64 dirt. Had I planned this out a little further in advance I probably could have found some S-Scale shovels too.


Happy Birthday Kevin and enjoy the new truck 🙂