• 05/13/2014 - 09:03

    The U Boat: Models and Anecdotes

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  • 05/05/2014 - 09:11

    The U Boat line

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  • 04/29/2014 - 09:54

    Part I: Genesis of the U-Boat

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  • 04/11/2014 - 11:51

    In an earlier blog entry (December 2012) we looked at  manifest or general merchandise trains, unit trains, and way freight-peddler-turn-switcher. Today we’ll follow up this article with a look at transfer, maintenance of way or MOW, and mix trains that you can model on your pike.


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  • 04/01/2014 - 11:33

    New From the Nuremburg Toy Fair

     O scale Diesel Powered Diesels

    You’ve heard of live steam in HO by Hornby in 2004. Well, we now have Live Diesel in O scale! Yes, Glockenspiel Modells, located in Rothenburg ob...

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  • 01/21/2014 - 09:11

    All I needed was a friend to lend a guiding hand
    But you turned into a lover and
    Mother, what a lover, you wore me out
    All you did was wreck my bed
    And in the morning kick me in the head
    Oh Maggie, I couldnt have tried anymore
    You lured me away from home, cause you didn...

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  • 01/10/2014 - 12:40

    Model Railroading has long been a popular form of relaxation, enjoyment and creativity. Around the world it is safe to say that the number of people that have indulged themselves into the hobby at one time or another is over a million. Some are collectors of model and toy trains, while others love to watch their trains run on model train...

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  • 11/08/2013 - 15:26

    With this year being the 100th birthday of John Allen, we want to go beyond just our recent paragraph in the “In the News” segment of our newsletter and focus on this master craftsman whose name is almost synonymous with Model Railroading.  John has had a major influence on this hobby, and SMARTT is certainly no exception....

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  • 10/29/2013 - 15:37

    Modeling unit trains is very easy; most cars used in unit trains are available as ready to run models. Many manufactures offer these cars with multiple numbers, or include a small decal sheet so you can number the cars yourself. The only restrictions that will apply are cost; ready to run cars are expensive, up to $50 per car and the size of...

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  • 10/24/2013 - 16:28

    Back in the 1960’s, railroads perfected the concept of trains carrying a single commodity from point A to point B. This allowed railroads to speed up delivery time by eliminating switching, the assembling and disassembling trains at railroad yards. These trains would start at a processing point, such as a coalmine and proceed to an endpoint,...

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  • 09/23/2013 - 12:28

    If you are a modeler of the Southern Railway and love spectacular scenery, you may want to model the CNO&TP. Modeling this railroad would be a rewarding project for Southern, Norfolk Southern, and freelance modelers. Southern modelers can have the option of modeling the railroad as it was prior to the early 1960’s, or from that date up to...

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  • 09/15/2013 - 21:29

    If you drive through central Kentucky and Tennessee on US 27 you will parallel one of my favorite railroad lines, Norfolk Southern’s CNO&TP. Formally part of the Southern Railway, the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railroad ran from Cincinnati to Chattanooga. It was part of what the Southern Railroad called its Queen and...

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  • 03/18/2013 - 08:31

    The opening scene of the movie “The Blues Brothers,” is an aerial view of the massive industrial landscape of Joliet and Calumet City, Illinois. Chicago has the distinction of being one of the few cities in the US that is both cosmopolitan while simultaneously being heavily industrial. Here US Steel and Swift Meat Packing rubbed shoulders with...

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  • 03/12/2013 - 14:11


    HOG Butcher for the World,
    Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
    Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
    Stormy, husky, brawling,
    City of the Big Shoulders:

     --- Carl Sandburg

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  • 03/04/2013 - 09:24

    In part one and two, we covered Washington Union Station and its support facilities, let’s now turn around and head for the Potomac Yard. First, we must cross the Potomac River railroad bridge. This swing bridge crosses the river at one of its narrowest points. However, the Potomac River is no long a navigable waterway above this point so the...

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  • 02/25/2013 - 09:44

    The second biggest railroad landmark in the DC area is the railroad yard in Alexandra, VA, known as Potomac Yards, or Pot Yards for short. Before we move over to Pot yard, let’s take a look at some of the other railroad locations of note in DC. There are three major support locations to Washington Union Terminal (WUT).  The first is K...

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  • 02/20/2013 - 10:57

    Over the years, the DC area has played a major roll for US railroads, both in freight and passenger operations.  Because of this importance, Washington DC has had and still does have some very interesting railroad facilities.

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  • 02/11/2013 - 10:15

    At the western end of this section of the B&O lies the town of Harpers Ferry and its famous bridges and tunnel. Here is where John Brown attacked the US Army arsenal in 1859. Today, the entire town is a historical site. This is probably the most photographed location on the B&O.

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  • 02/05/2013 - 09:52

    February is still winter in the Northeast, but it does mean that spring is one month closer. Here in Florida the first sign of spring does not come from the first buds appearing on the trees but the words, “pitchers and catchers report!” Yes, believe it or not spring training is only days away, and that means Opening Day up north will follow...

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  • 12/10/2012 - 09:51

    Freight trains come in many shapes and sizes.  They can be as short as a locomotive pulling a single freight car with a caboose or as long as a 150-200 car manifest train. Here are some of the terms railroaders and modelers alike use to refer to their freight trains: Manifest or general merchandise, unit trains, way freight-peddler-turn-...

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