Friday, April 26, 2013

Back in the Saddle

It's been awhile since I was able to relax a bit and start posting again.  Due to some changes in my life I had to relocate from the isolation of my mountain top retreat back down to the bustling burb of Talent Oregon.  A sleepy little place sandwiched between the Conservative Gun Toting paint everything red white and blue city of Medford and the only Liberal bastion of political thought and lifestyle this side of Eugene, Ashland.  Talent really struggles with it's identity and owing to it's place geographically, someone middle of the road in thought and action.  The advantage is that I am within a 7 minute walk to work and have some space at my new place to expand and actually start doing some ground work on my layout.  The disadvantage is the lack of a really good coffee shop in town.  I mean the one local shop benifits from no competition, but is getting better.  I hope someday they start employing serious Barrista's and replace the clown posse they have now.  Dressing like a Bohemian doesn't mean you can brew a proper cup of Java.  So, 15 minute drives back to my beloved Ashland for a cup of coffee are minor annoyances, but once there, they are a welcome mini vacation and memories of good coffee and good food.  Back to the subject at hand...

I've mad a few acquisitions over the months, beefing up my motive power roster with the addition of two new Bachmann S-4's.  If there was ever a good deal in this world, these little beauties would be it.  Standard DC versions can be had for under $50.00 at discount on line hobby shops and those with DCC and Sound near $120.  The nice thing about the DCC units is that Bachmann designed a chip that works both with standard analog and DCC without having to switch anything.  It even makes all the correct sounds when on a regular DC track!  This way I can run my trains with my buddy Bruce Petty on his DC only track and then use the same units at my club, which is DCC only.  Very cool.   These units pull about 8 cars comfortably, lashed up I can sort 20.  Gotta love progress.

Rolling stock has been added to as well with a few old Athearn 40' PS1 box cars, a hand full of Accurail outside braced boxcars, Athearn and Atlas tank cars and the real standout of my fleet, the Intermountain F70, SP flat car.  As large as the SP fleet was in it's day, there are very few pure SP prototypes in any scale.  Most of their stuff was shop built and didn't see wide spread service on other roads until they were gobbled up by UP.  The F70 is a sweet ride and thanks to the Southern Pacific Historical Society, you can get some nifty add ons to make the Sheet Rock flats and the TOFC flats most wanted by modelers. SP F70 Flatcar upgrades   I will be ordering 5 of the TOFC flats for a future project as soon as my fun kitty fills up again.

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